If Democrat Joe Biden were elected president, he would undermine the U.S.’s efforts to strengthen Taiwan relations. According to defense experts, his foreign policy strategy would negatively impact the region while creating problems that would support Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Heritage Foundation national security expert James Jay Carafano explained, “China will have a lot of cards to play. … For the West not to stand up for Taiwan is a really strong signal that you’re not really going to push back on the Chinese anywhere,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
According to recent editorials by some of Biden’s top foreign policy advisors and representatives, there could be a decline in U.S. military support for Taiwan and cuts to defense spending. They may also implement a more flexible approach to countering the CCP.
According to the Washington Examiner, Zack Cooper, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said such measures would only give the CCP a boost in the region.
The Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asian Review noted that under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the United States committed to providing aid to Taiwan or the means to defend itself without specifying military intervention in case of conflict.
Meanwhile, arms sales to Taiwan have seen an increase under President Donald Trump’s administration, reaching $12.42 billion. In September alone, a new deal worth $7 billion was announced, including sea mines, missiles, and drones.
Under the administration of Barack Obama, while Joe Biden was vice president, arms sales to Taiwan were only $8.67 billion. That administration in 2011 halted the sale of F-16 aircraft to Taiwan.
According to Carafano, the Obama–Biden administration was always reluctant to do more than the minimum.
The Washington Free Beacon points out that with Obama, a strategy of “engage and hedge” was imparted to the CCP, which means cooperating with it on critical issues and dissuading the CCP from making decisions contrary to U.S. interests.
While Taiwan has been an essential player in supporting the relocation of U.S. industries from China and a key ally in countering the efforts of the CCP in the region, experts believe that abandoning Taiwan as an ally could pose problems for the future of global democracy.
Experts also indicate that Biden’s platform on Taiwan could put two other vital areas under stress: the willingness to defend Taiwan and cooperation with allies and partners.
“The Chinese Communist Party is an existential threat to the exercise of the First Amendment to the Constitution,” said Indo-Pacific expert Michael Sobolik at the U.S. Foreign Policy Council.
“The American people need to understand that the same regime that is threatening our free speech at home is also threatening the political survival of a fellow democracy in Asia, a democracy that stands with the United States resolutely,” he added.
The experts also said that with Biden’s foreign policy, both allies and partners would undergo a shift away from Taiwan, indicating a fragmentation of the support countries in the region such as Japan have provided to Taiwan.
It would raise the question of whether democracies can survive.