Washington (IP) - US President Joe Biden vowed Monday that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily if China attempted to take control of the southeastern Asian island by force, warning Beijing was already "flirting with danger".

Iran Press/Asia: The remarks, made in Tokyo where he is meeting with Japan's prime minister ahead of a summit on Tuesday, were Biden's strongest to date on the issue and come with rising tensions in the region over China's growing economic and military power.

Washington and allies like Japan have framed their tough response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a warning to others, particularly China, about the consequences of unilateral military action.

Biden hammered that message home after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russia exercises.

Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, Biden replied simply: "Yes."

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

"We agreed with the One China policy, we signed on to it... but the idea that it can be taken by force is just not appropriate, it would dislocate the entire region and would be another action similar to Ukraine," AFP cites Biden as saying.

He warned Beijing was already "flirting with danger right now by flying so close and all the maneuvers undertaken", in reference to a growing number of Chinese sorties, naval exercises, and construction in the region, viewed as a projection of its growing power.

The US president, who has led an international effort to impose punishing sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, said President Vladimir Putin had to pay a "long-term price", otherwise it would send the wrong message. 

Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of Chinese territory, and the United States has always incited Taiwan against the Chinese government by interfering in the island's affairs and providing financial and military support.

China has long considered the nearby island territory as its "sacred" territory and has always vowed of its eventual unification with the mainland even if it has to resort to the use of force.


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