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Monday, 05 December 2022
US official: US VP Harris, Japan PM Kishida to discuss Taiwan security issue
U.S. President Joe Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris (File photo: Kamala Harris Facebook page)

US Vice President Kamala Harris and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will discuss a partnership on Taiwan security issues, a senior US administration official said on Monday (Sep 26) aboard Air Force Two.

The official also told reporters that Washington welcomes Japan’s increased military strength and security role.

Harris is set to attend former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s funeral on Tuesday after holding talks with Kishida on Monday (Sep 26).

Earlier last week, US President Joe Biden said US forces would defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion. It was the strongest indication yet of a shift away from Washington’s decades-long policy of strategic ambiguity towards the democratic island.

Taiwan's military released a handbook on civil defence for the first time on Tuesday (Apr 12). It gives citizens survival guidance in a war scenario as Russia's invasion of Ukraine focuses attention on how the island should respond to China's pressure (File photo: Pixabay)

Biden’s comments are his latest to cast doubt on longstanding US policy towards Taiwan enshrined in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which commits Washington to help Taipei defend itself but stops short of promising to provide troops or directly participate in any conflict.

Joe Biden hints at risky policy shift on Taiwan independence

During a trip to Japan in May, Biden appeared to confirm that he would use force to defend Taiwan if it was attacked by China, describing the defence of the island as a “commitment we made”.

China claims Taiwan as a province that must be “reunified” with the mainland, by force if necessary, and has accused the US of disrupting regional stability and encouraging Taiwanese separatism.