Biden Announces 13 Member Indo-Pacific Framework Countering China
JAPAN - U.S. President Joe Biden has announced on Monday 13 countries that will be 'initial partners' of a US led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in order to pushback on Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific region.
The countries included in the new Asia-Pacific trading network: The US, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines. Singapore. Thailand. and Vietnam.
Nations that are not included in the new economic framework announced by the United States include Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
The U.S. government announced that the new framework will begin with 13 inaugural members, which currently account for about 40% of the world's gross domestic product according to Nikkei Asia.
The announcement came during Biden's visit to Japan, where he said that "The United States and Japan, together with 11 other nations, will be launching" the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF while standing alonside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
"This framework is a commitment to working with our close friends and partners in the region on challenges that matter most to ensuring economic competitiveness in the 21st century" he stated.
While speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Japan Biden said that the United States would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, and would defend the island from aggression from China.
While Biden stated that he doesn't believe that China will invade, he said that it has been 'flirting with danger'. When asked by a reporter whether the United States would intervene on behalf of Taiwan, he said "That's the commitment we made".
"We agreed with the One China policy, we signed on to it... but the idea that (Taiwan) can be taken by force is just not appropriate. "It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine" Biden stated.
In addressing the situation in Ukraine, he stated "important that Putin pay a price for his barbarism in Ukraine. Russia has to pay a long-term price". "Not just about Ukraine" Biden stated, emphasizing that China is watching to see if Western pressure on Russia slacks off.
However, in relation to an attack by China on Taiwan, he also added "my expectation is that it will not happen" in reference to an invasion of the Chinese on the island of Taiwan. "It will not be attempted" he stated.
In October, Biden had made similar comments, but due to the fact that the United States has no official treaty to defend the island in the event of an attack, the White House walked his comments back.
In the same manner, after Biden's recent comments promising to defend Taiwan from Russian aggression, a White House official who did not want to be named stated, "As the president said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our one-China policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait".
China criticized the new economic framework by saying that it was an attempt to create a closed club. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan dismissed those concerns by saying that "it is by design and definition an open platform".
Sullivan said that China has not been brought into the initial partners even though it is an important link in microchip supply chains, but said that the US is "looking to deepen our economic partnership with Taiwan, including on high-technology issues, including on semiconductors and supply chains" but that this will only happen on a 'bilateral basis'.