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On the last day of his high-stakes streak to Asia, President Joe Biden called on international leaders in Japan to do more to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying there would be no change in “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan, a day after frustrating China when he suggested the United States could send troops to the region.
“This is more than just a European issue. It is a global issue,” Biden said Russia-Ukraine war Tuesday with leaders of Japan, India and Australia.
In his remarks, Biden described the Eastern European war as a “dark hour” in history.
“We are navigating a dark hour in our common history,” the U.S. president said. “Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe and innocent civilians have been killed in the streets and millions of refugees are internally displaced as well as in exile. “
He added: “The world has to deal with it, and that’s us.”
Biden did not specifically name any of the countries present at the summit, but his comments appeared to be directed at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India has failed to implement any sanctions against Russia.
The Russia-Ukraine war is taking place at a time when tensions between China and neighboring Taiwan continue to rise, and experts say China could consider military action.
Biden was asked by a group of journalists at the summit whether he stood by the comments he made on Monday that the United States was still considering the possibility of sending troops near Taiwan to stop a potential invasion of China, which drew criticism from the latter country.
“No,” Biden replied, Reuters reported. “Politics has not changed at all. I said that when I gave my opinion yesterday.”
On Monday, Biden was asked directly, given the United States’ commitment to Ukraine, whether it would intervene a potential conflict between China and Taiwan.
“Are you willing to engage militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?” The bite was specifically asked during a press conference.
“Yes,” Biden replied. “That’s the commitment we’ve made.”
The first comment on Monday received backlash from Biden’s opponents and officials in Beijing, some of whom suggested he was speaking incorrectly.
A potential conflict in the East China Sea was not part of the Quad Summit’s agenda items.
President Biden returns to Washington on Tuesday.