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Even before U.S. President Joe Biden traveled to Tokyo this week to strengthen a partnership with Australia, India and Japan, the alliance was struggling to present a united front, as India refrained from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now, with remarks that Biden made about Taiwan on Monday, the Indo-Pacific bloc is facing another unexpected complication. On the eve of a summit of the four nations, Biden said he would defend the democratic island militarily if it were invaded by China, sending shock waves around the globe and placing the allies in a tricky position as they seek to avoid further antagonizing Beijing.

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