NTV reported last night on President Biden’s visit to East Asia, saying the U.S. leader is alarmed by China’s pursuit of economic hegemony in the region as evidenced by its advocacy of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade promotion initiative and its official application for TPP membership. The broadcaster said the President was extremely eager to court ASEAN members over to the U.S. side by hosting ahead of his first East Asian trip the U.S.-ASEAN summit in Washington where he sought their participation in his Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) initiative. The network noted, however, that some ASEAN members remain cautious about the framework on account of its lack of incentives for tariff reduction.
As for the President’s comment that the United States would respond militarily if Taiwan were invaded by China, the network said this was the third time for the President to make a remark that deviates from Washington’s policy of “strategic ambiguity” concerning the defense of the island territory. Pointing out that U.S. troops were secretly deployed to Taiwan last year to train their Taiwan counterparts and that multiple congressional delegations have visited there recently, the broadcaster said the President’s latest comment may indicate that Washington has strengthened its defense and diplomatic commitment to Taiwan.