While China intruded into Taiwan’s air space in an unprecedented military wave of aggression, Iran’s foreign minister called on Biden to lift sanctions ‘unconditionally’. It is clear that Iran and China, two countries that used to tremble in fear during the Trump administration are growing bolder.
Biden has called for a return of American internationalism. He intends to return to the Iranian nuclear deal and is also believed to have a soft spot for China. Both these states have suddenly upped the ante in regards to their calls on what they consider to be their national interests. For China, it is Taiwan and for Iran, it is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal.
On Saturday, eight Chinese bomber aircraft and four fighter jets reached the southwest corner of the Taiwan air defence identification zone. The number of fighter jets and bombers made Taiwan apprehensive as its air force deployed missiles to “monitor” the incursion, the island’s Defence Ministry said.
The presence of so many Chinese combat aircraft on this mission – Taiwan said it was made up of eight nuclear-capable H-6K bombers and four J-16 fighter jets – was unusual. But the next day was worse, 15 Chinese airforce planes, including 12 fighter jets intruded into Taiwanese airspace. Sandwiched between the two was a futile warning from the US to China. Unnerved by China, the Taiwanese Vice president reached out to its regional partners India and Japan among others except for the US, showing a total lack of faith in the ability of Biden’s administration to keep China in control
Taiwan’s air force warned off the Chinese aircraft and deployed missiles to monitor them, the ministry added, using standard wording for how it responds to such activities.
“Airborne alert sorties had been tasked, radio warnings issued and air defence missile systems deployed to monitor the activity,” it said in a brief statement.
Beijing has watched rising U.S. support for a democratic Taiwan under the Trump regime with increasing concern. Now with Biden in charge, it is attempting a vindictive rampage against Taiwan. China, first sanctioned 28 of Trump’s officials after the President left the office and now this intensive intrusion of air space is a sure shot sign that China feels comfortable with Biden in the Oval office.
It is a similar case with Iran. Since the US election results were first declared, it has been calling for uplifting sanctions, not to the Trump administration but to the Biden administration. With Biden officially in the office, Iran’s foreign minister has upped its rhetoric by calling to uplift all sanctions ‘unconditionally’.
Iran, which was earlier struggling under Trump’s maximum pressure policy, has now called on the new US administration to “unconditionally” lift sanctions imposed by Donald Trump on the Islamic republic to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, warning against any concessions.
Just two days into Biden’s administration and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif published an op-ed in the US foreign policy magazine Foreign Affairs on Tehran’s view towards saving the Obama-era deal.
Zarif, who is considered one of the architects of the 2015 nuclear deal, wrote in the op-ed “The new administration in Washington has a fundamental choice to make…. It can embrace the failed policies of the Trump administration,” or Biden “can choose a better path by ending Trump’s failed policy of ‘maximum pressure’ and returning to the deal his predecessor abandoned.”
“But if Washington instead insists on extracting concessions, then this opportunity will be lost” he added.
Biden has also not indicated any signs of stopping these belligerent states. When China sanctioned Trump’s officials, it meant that China had sanctioned 28 US citizens, who held the highest positions in the US’s executive body. Biden did not take any reciprocal action.
Moreover, Biden has removed China from his policies as a strategic threat as was evidenced by the new State Department website.
These actions are only going to enable these states to strong-arm the US into giving more concessions, ultimately leading to the US, falling from the ranks of a superpower. Biden’s internationalism is a false policy now. With threats and aggressive states at every corner, Biden is playing with fire wrapped in wool and is bound to get burnt.