Background Briefing: May 23, 2022
No More Strategic Ambiguity When it Comes to China Invading Taiwan
We begin with President Biden’s answer to a reporter’s question today in a press conference with Japan’s Prime Minister that yes, if China attacked Taiwan, the U.S. would respond militarily which some interpret as a gaffe. But Biden could hardly have said no, that the U.S. would let China go ahead and invade Taiwan just as Putin has invaded Ukraine. Joining us is an expert on Taiwan Shelley Rigger, a Senior Fellow in the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a Professor of East Asian Politics at Davidson College. She is the author of Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse as well as two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party and we discuss the furious response from China’s Communist government and Beijing’s concerns about the meeting underway of the Quad leaders of the U.S., Japan, India and Australia which China originally dismissed but now sees the Quad as a threat.
The New Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and Is SCOTUS About to Gut the SEC?
Then we look into another meeting in Tokyo apart from the Quad and that is Biden’s meeting with leaders of Japan, India, and ten other countries in a high-profile launch of the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the IPEF. Joining us is Robert Kuttner, the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and the Ida and Meyer Kirstein Chair at Brandeis University. He was formerly an assistant to the legendary I.F. Stone, a chief investigator for the Senate Banking Committee, and for 20 years wrote a column at Business Week. His books include The Stakes: 2020 and the Survival of American Democracy and his latest, Going Big: FDR’s Legacy, Biden’s New Deal, and the Struggle to Save Democracy, and we discuss his article at The American Prospect, “Biden’s New Trade Deal: Less than Meets the Eye.” We also investigate another far-right court ruling that could go a long way towards Stephen Bannon’s goal of “deconstructing the administrative state” and discuss Robert Kuttner’s other article at the Prospect “Another Sweeping Far-Right Court Ruling: Following the practice of ignoring precedent, an appellate ruling seeks to destroy consumer and investor protection.”