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President Biden Is Frustrated with Aides' Walking Back His Public Remarks

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发表于 6-1-2022 14:37:48 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 6-1-2022 15:23 编辑

Latest news first.

(1) Carol E Lee, Peter Nicholas, Kristen Welker and Courtney Kube, Inside a Biden White House Adrift; Amid a rolling series of calamities and sinking approval ratings, the president’s feeling lately is that he just can’t catch a break — and that angst is rippling through his party. NBC News, May 31, 2022.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics ... se-adrift-rcna30121

consecutive paragraphs in an entire section of the report:

"Managerial breakdowns

"Amid a rolling series of calamities, Biden's feeling lately is that he just can’t catch a break. “Biden is frustrated. If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” said a person close to the president.

"An assumption baked into Biden's candidacy was that he would preside over a smoothly running administration by dint of his decades of experience in public office. Yet there are signs of managerial breakdowns that have angered both him and his party.

"Biden is annoyed that he wasn’t alerted sooner about the baby formula shortage and that he got his first briefing in the past month, even though the crisis had long been in the making. * * *

"Beyond policy, Biden is unhappy about a pattern that has developed inside the West Wing. He makes a clear and succinct statement — only to have aides rush to explain that he actually meant something else. The so-called clean-up campaign, he has told advisers, undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise. Worse, it feeds a Republican talking point that he’s not fully in command.

"The issue came to a head when Biden ad-libbed during a speech in Poland that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.” Within minutes, Biden’s aides tried to walk back his comments, saying he hadn’t called for Putin’s removal and that U.S. policy was unchanged. Biden was furious that his remarks were being seen as unreliable, arguing that he speaks genuinely and reminding his staff that he’s the one who is president.

"Asked about the staff's practice of clarifying Biden’s remarks, the official said: 'We don't say anything that the president doesn't want us to say.'
  

(2) Gingrich on 'Fox & Friends': Biden Was Right About Taiwan and 'His Staff Is Nuts;' Gingrich responds to White House correcting Biden's remark on defending Taiwan against China. Fox News, May 23, 2022 (video).
https://www.foxnews.com/media/gi ... support-right-staff

The entire text:

"Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich praised Biden for pledging US support of Taiwan in the event China decides to attack, arguing he was 'instinctively' right, but his staff is 'nuts' for walking back his remarks. Gingrich reiterated clear communication is key in dealing with Beijing during "Fox & Friends; on Monday [May 23, 2022].

NEWT GINGRICH: I think that all of his key people are hard line left-wingers who are terrified of the world, and I think that Biden instinctively here was right. And I believe, and as you know, Claire Christiensen and I wrote a book on Trump versus China and laid out the whole Chinese threat. I think that the clearer you can be, we're not in a situation of strategic ambiguity, because you don't want Xi Jinping to try to gamble and try to take Taiwan. I thought Biden was right, and his staff is nuts.
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 楼主| 发表于 6-1-2022 14:40:05 | 显示全部楼层
(3) Both reports were at the top of front pages.
(a) Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Peter Baker, 拜登:若中国入侵台湾,美国将提供防卫. 纽约时报, May 23, 2022
https://cn.nytimes.com/world/20220523/biden-taiwan-defense/

, which is translated from

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Peter Baker, President Says He'd Use Force to Defend Taiwan from a Chinese Attack; Surprise declaration sets the stage for heightened tension with Beijing. New York Times, May 24, 2022, at page A1.  

consecutive paragraphs:

"At a [May 23, 2022] news conference with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan during a visit to Tokyo, Mr Biden suggested that he would be willing to go further on behalf of Taiwan than he has in helping Ukraine, where he has provided tens of billions of dollars in arms as well as intelligence assistance to help defeat Russian invaders but refused to send American troops.

" 'You didn't want to get involved in the Ukraine conflict militarily for obvious reasons,' a reporter said to Mr Biden. 'Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?'

" 'Yes,' Mr Biden answered flatly.

" 'You are?' the reporter followed up.

" 'That's the commitment we made,' he said.

"The president's declaration, offered without caveat or clarification, set the stage for fresh tensions between the United States and China * * * It [declaration] also surprised some members of Mr Biden's own administration watching in the room, who did not expect him to promise such unvarnished resolve. * * *

"The White House quickly tried to deny that the president meant what he seemed to be saying. 'As the president said, our policy has not changed,' the White House said in a statement hurriedly sent to reporters. 'He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.'

"But Mr Biden's comments went beyond simply reiterating that the United States would provide Taiwan with arms, because the question was posed as a contrast to what he had done with Ukraine. The president made no effort to qualify what he intended when he agreed that he would 'get involved militarily.' [Biden did not say so; in fact, this so called quotation came from reporter's question: 'get involved * * * militarily' (second quotation above).]

"In fact, he repeated the notion that his commitment to Taiwan went beyond what he had done for Ukraine. 'The idea that that can be taken by force, just taken by force, it's just not appropriate,' he said of Taiwan. 'It would dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine. And so it's a burden that is even stronger.

"Mr Biden had ignored the practiced imprecision of his predecessors with regard to China and Taiwan before in his presidency. Last August, in reassuring allies after his decision to abandon the government of Afghanistan, he promised that 'we would respond' if there was an attack against a fellow member of NATO and then added, 'same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan.'

"Taiwan, however, has never been granted the same US security guarantees as Japan, South Korea or America's NATO allies, and so the comment was seen as significant. Two months later, Mr Biden was asked during a televised town hall if the United States would protect Taiwan from attack. 'Yes, we have a commitment to do that,' he said. That also set off a frantic scramble by the White House to walk back his remark by insisting that he was not changing longstanding policy.

(b) Andrew Restuccia, Ken Thomas and Josh Chin, Biden Signals Policy Shift on Taiwan; President, speaking in Japan, says the US would defend Taiwan from a China invasion. Wall Street Journal, May 24, 2022, at page A1.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/bid ... -taiwan-11653286228

Quote:

(a) "President Biden said the US would respond militarily to defend Taiwan if China tries to take it by force, sparking uncertainty over whether the US was moving away from its longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity and prompting a clarification from the White House.

"Mr Biden's comments were met with anger from Beijing and praise from Taipei. They were also part of a pattern: In August and October of last year, the president answered questions on Taiwan by suggesting a break in US policy toward the democratically self-ruled island, only to have aides jump in to say nothing had changed

(b) "Sen Ted Cruz (R, Texas) said Mr Biden needed to be clearer with his comments.

" 'This isn't the first time this President has gone abroad and tried to reassure our allies, only to have the White House walk his comments back,' Mr Cruz said in a statement. * * *


Note: In David Frum, Why Biden Is Right to End Ambiguity on Taiwan,
https://www.theatlantic.com/idea ... gaffe-china/631644/
The Atlantic on May 24, 2022 has collected all pertinent information and supplied links, including
(a) Full transcript of ABC News' George Stephanopoulos' interview with President Joe Biden. ABC News, Aug 19, 2021
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/ ... t/story?id=79535643

Quote:

(i) "Read the full transcript of President Joe Biden's exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday [Aug 18, 2022].

(ii) "STEPHANOPOULOS: You talked about our adversaries, China and Russia. You already see China telling Taiwan, 'See? You can't count on the Americans.' (LAUGH)

"BIDEN: Sh-- why wouldn't China say that? Look, George, the idea that w-- there's a fundamental difference between-- between Taiwan, South Korea, NATO. We are in a situation where they are in-- entities we've made agreements with based on not a civil war they're having on that island or in South Korea, but on an agreement where they have a unity government that, in fact, is trying to keep bad guys from doin' bad things to them.

"We have made-- kept every commitment. We made a sacred commitment to Article Five that if in fact anyone were to invade or take action against our NATO allies, we would respond. Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with-- Taiwan. It's not even comparable to talk about that.

(b) Remarks by President Biden in a CNN Town Hall with Anderson Cooper (Baltimore Center Stage Baltimore, Maryland; October 21, 2021, 8:00 P.M EDT). White House, Oct 22, 2021.
https://www.whitehouse.gov/brief ... -anderson-cooper-2/
—-------------------WSJ text
TOKYO—President Biden said the US would respond militarily to defend Taiwan if China tries to take it by force, sparking uncertainty over whether the US was moving away from its longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity and prompting a clarification from the White House.

Mr. Biden’s comments were met with anger from Beijing and praise from Taipei. They were also part of a pattern: In August and October of last year, the president answered questions on Taiwan by suggesting a break in U.S policy toward the democratically self-ruled island, only to have aides jump in to say nothing had changed

This time, he chose a venue much closer to Beijing. Mr. Biden spoke Monday alongside the Japanese prime minister in Tokyo during his first trip to Asia as commander-in-chief.

The president was asked if the US would get involved militarily in response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan after declining to send American troops to Ukraine to fight Russia's invasion.

"Yes. That's the commitment we made," he said.

A White House official later said that US policy regarding Taiwan hadn't changed and that Mr Biden "reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwanwith the military means to defend itself.

Under that act, passed in 1979, Congress is committed to selling weapons to Taiwan for its self-defense -- but the act is silent on whether the US is militarily obligated to defend Taiwan in the event of an attack. For decades, Washington has avoided saying whether it would intervene directly in the event of an invasion, a so-called policy of strategic ambiguity.

The president's remarks fueled already heightened tension between Washington and Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a part of China and has vowed to take control of the island.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin raised his voice when asked at a regular briefing about Mr Biden's remarks and said Beijing was strongly dissatisfied by them.

China "has no room for compromise and concession" on core concerns like Taiwan and "will take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests," Mr Wang said.

Mr Biden has said competition with China is his top foreign-[policy objective and has worked to rally allies in applying pressure on economic matters and human rights.

The US has also criticized Beijing's warming ties with Russia, and Moscow's invasion of Ukraine has forced US officials to grapple with the prospects of countering two major adversaries at once.

Taiwan is a global flashpoint similar to Ukraine. While there are no signs that was is imminent, China has stepped up military activities in the regionin response to what it calls Taiwan independence provocations -- and Beijing is expanding its nuclear arsenal.

Mr Biden, in his Monday remarks, stressed that the US remains committed to the bedrock "One China policy," which recognizes the present rulers as the only legitimate government and acknowledges—but doesn't endorse—Beijing's claim that Taiwan is a part of the nation. But the president said that policy doesn’t give China the right to forcefully take over the island.

"We agree with the One China policy and all the attendant agreements we made. But the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, would just not be appropriate," Mr Biden said.

He also played down the possibility that China would try to take Taiwan.

"My expectation is that it will not happen, it will not be attempted," Mr Biden said.

Taiwan is thankful to the US for its "rock solid" commitment, foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said.

"Our government's determination to firmly defend Taiwan's freedom, democracy and security has never changed, and we will continue to improve self-defense capabilities," she said in a written statement.

Sen Ted Cruz (R, Texas) said Mr Biden needed to be clearer with his comments.

"This isn't the first time this President has gone abroad and tried to reassure our allies, only to have the White House walk his comments back," Mr Cruz said in a statement. "The White House needs to expeditiously clarify and reassure our allies."

Mr Biden's Asia trip was intended to show that Washington is still focused on countering China when Russia's invasion of Ukraine is getting more public attention.

His suggestion of a stiffer line on Taiwan, even if played down by aides, supported his stance that the U.S. isn’t distracted by the Ukraine war and is boosting Asian alliances.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework also announced on Monday [May 23] marks the Biden administration's ambitious attempt to build economic ties with Asian nations after the US under then-President Doinald Trump, a Republican, pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017.

US officials said the framework represented a new approach to cooperation that moves beyond a traditional trade agreement.

US ally Japan, which long shied away from military commitments in the region, more recently has been at the leading edge of a more assertive posture on Taiwan, making the location of Mr Biden's comments significant. Standing next to the president, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
said in response to a question on Taiwan that he would work with the U. to ensure no one in East Asia could imitate what Russia did to Ukraine.

"We will dramatically strengthen our military," Mr Kishida said.
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