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Biden vows to defend Taiwan from Chinese military action

United States (US) President Joe Biden vowed to defend Taiwan from Chinese military action, in comments that contradicted US policy to maintain an ambiguous stance over whether it would come to its rescue.

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Biden vows to defend Taiwan from Chinese military action
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Washington: United States (US) President Joe Biden vowed to defend Taiwan from Chinese military action, in comments that contradicted US policy to maintain an ambiguous stance over whether it would come to its rescue.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden said that, “the U.S has a commitment to protect Taiwan as the island faces growing military and political pressure from Beijing”.

"Yes, we have a commitment to do that," Biden said at a CNN town hall when asked if the US would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has complained of mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty. 

While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long followed a policy of "strategic ambiguity" on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

In August, a Biden administration official said U.S. policy on Taiwan had not changed after the president appeared to suggest the United States would defend the island if it were attacked.

A White House spokesperson said Biden at his town hall was not announcing any change in U.S. policy and "there is no change in our policy", but declined further comment when asked if Biden had misspoken.

"The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, China expressed its displeasure anyway, with a foreign ministry spokesman saying the country has no room for concessions on its core interests.

China urges the United States "not to send the wrong signals to the forces of Taiwan independence, to avoid seriously harming Sino-U.S. ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing.

Taiwan's presidential office said its position remains the same, which is that it will neither give in to pressure nor "rashly advance" when it gets support.

Taiwan will show a firm determination to defend itself, presidential office spokesperson Xavier Chang said in a statement, adding that the Biden administration's continued concrete actions show its "rock-solid" support for Taiwan.

Biden said people should not worry about Washington's military strength because "China, Russia and the rest of the world knows we're the most powerful military in the history of the world."

"What you do have to worry about is whether or not they're going to engage in activities that would put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake," Biden said.

"I don't want a cold war with China. I just want China to understand that we're not going to step back, that we're not going to change any of our views."

Military tensions between Taiwan and China are at their worst in more than 40 years, Taiwan's Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said this month, adding that China will be capable of mounting a "full-scale" invasion by 2025.

Taiwan says it is an independent country and will defend its freedoms and democracy.

China says Taiwan is the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States and has denounced what it calls "collusion" between Washington and Taipei.

COURTESY: REUTERS

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

Sports

Nadal beats Khachanov, qualifies for 4th round in Australian Open

Olympic runner-up Khachanov had lost all seven previous meetings with 2009 Australian Open champion Nadal but briefly looked capable of mounting a comeback

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Nadal beats Khachanov, qualifies for 4th round in Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Sixth seed Rafa Nadal dropped his first set at this year's Australian Open but still powered through to the fourth round with a 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1 defeat of Karen Khachanov on Friday.

The Spaniard, seeking to claim a record 21st Grand Slam title in the absence of great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, was sensational as he took a two-set lead.

But Khachanov, seeded 28th, threw caution to the wind in the third set, stalling Nadal's charge with some ferocious hitting.

Olympic runner-up Khachanov had lost all seven previous meetings with 2009 Australian Open champion Nadal but briefly looked capable of mounting a comeback.

Nadal seized back control with a break of serve at the start of the fourth, however, and with the clock having ticked past midnight on Rod Laver Arena he finished it off in a hurry.

Nadal, who has reached the last-16 in Melbourne for the 15th time in 17 appearances, will face another Russian, 18th seed Aslan Karatsev, or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino next.

 "I played a great player tonight and happy that this was my best match since coming back," the 35-year-old Nadal, who missed the second half of 2021 with a foot injury, said on court.

"I've been going through some tough times in the last year but night's like tonight mean everything."

With Federer still injured and nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic deported after a visa row, Nadal has a chance to edge ahead of that duo with whom he shares the record for most men's Grand Slam titles.

 After routine wins against 66th-ranked American Marcos Giron and German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann in rounds one and two, Khachanov represented a step up in class for Nadal despite the Russian having only ever won one set off the Mallorcan.

Nadal was primed though and won 12 of the first 13 points to stamp his authority all over the court.

Khachanov had no answer to Nadal's intensity and managed to win only one point on Nadal's serve in the opening set.

Nadal broke serve at the start of the second set but Khachanov won an incredible point in the fourth game, picking himself off the floor to crunch a backhand winner and then winning another incredible rally to earn a break point.

He could not convert that and Nadal immediately broke in the next game on his way to a two-set lead.

Khachanov began to hit closer to the lines and with more menace in the third set, which he took after breaking the Nadal's serve for the first time for a 3-1 lead.

Nadal simply found another gear though, firing a stunning backhand winner to break Khachanov's serve, and spirit, in the second game of the fourth set.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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Pakistan

Educational institutions with COVID high positivity to be closed for one week

Data suggests a strong correlation between vaccination levels and infection rate in various cities

Published by Faisal Waqas

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Educational institutions with COVID high positivity to be closed for one week

Islamabad: The National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) has decided to close educational institutions with COVID-19 high positivity for one week.

According to the reports, COVID testing in education institutes was carried out in major Omicron hit cities to ascertain disease spread among students and ensure accurate disease mapping.

Data suggests a strong correlation between vaccination levels and infection rate in various cities. In this regard, the NCOC decided that aggressive testing in education institutes will be conducted for next two weeks especially in high disease prevalence cities. 

Following to the COVID-19 cases, education institutions or specific classes with high positivity will be closed for one week. “Provincial Administration in consultation with District Health, Education Authorities and School Administrations to set a threshold of cases for deciding such closures,” it added.  

The NCOC further decided that the federating units to carry out special vaccination drives in schools to ensure 100 per cent vaccination of students over 12 years of age.

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Regional

Several fishermen trapped in sea storm near Lasbela

A boat carrying fishermen hit Gadani beach

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Several fishermen trapped in sea storm near Lasbela

Karachi/Lasbela: Several fishermen who went to deep sea for fishing got stuck in sea storm triggered by gusty winds near Daam port, Lasbela on late Friday.

Speedy winds raised huge tides in the Arabian Sea that entangled several boats in the open sea.

On other other hand, a boat carrying seven fishermen smashed into Gadani beach. All who were on board were rescued.  

The boat's engine went powered off and speedy tides took it to the ship breaking area of Gadani beach.

Rescue efforts were launched till the filing of this report.

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