Joe Biden, the US President, stated that U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in case of Chinese invasion. This was his most explicit statement about the matter, drawing an angry reaction from China, which claimed it sent the wrong message to those who want an independent Taiwan.
In a CBS 60 Minutes interview, he was asked if the U.S. would defend the democratically-governed island that China claims. He replied,”Yes, if there was an unparalleled attack.”
Biden answered, “Yes,” when asked if he meant that, unlike Ukraine, U.S. forces, American men and women, would defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion.
CBS interviewed Biden for the CBS interview. This was not the first time that he appeared to go beyond the long-standing U.S. policy regarding Taiwan. However, his statement about the United States committing troops to defend the island was more clear than any previous ones.
The United States has remained steadfast in its policy of strategic ambiguity and has not made it clear how it would respond militarily to any attack on Taiwan.
When asked to comment, a spokesperson for the White House stated that the U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed.
“This has been said before, even in Tokyo earlier in the year. He also stated that Taiwan’s policy has not changed. The spokesperson stated that this is still true.
Mao Ning, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, stated that Biden’s remarks sent a “seriously incorrect signal” to separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.
China was “strongly dissatisfied” and “resolutely opposed” to Biden’s comments. She said that she had filed a formal complaint and warned that China retains the right to take any necessary steps to combat separatism.
The foreign ministry of Taiwan expressed gratitude to Biden for reaffirming the United States government’s “rock-solid security commitment” to Taiwan.
The Taiwan ministry stated in a statement that Taiwan will continue to increase its self-defense capabilities as well as deepen the security partnership between the Taiwanese and Americans.
Biden spoke with CBS last week. The president will be in Britain to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral Monday.
Biden was asked in May if he would be willing to help defend Taiwan militarily. He replied “Yes… That’s what we committed to.”
Biden stated that the United States is still committed to a one-China policy, in which Washington recognizes Beijing and not Taipei. He also said that the United States does not encourage Taiwanese independence.
He said, “We aren’t moving, we’re not encouraging them to be independent…that’s their choice.”
China was upset by Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House Speaker,’s August visit to Taiwan. In response, Taiwan conducted its largest ever military exercises around Taiwan.
China protested against U.S. legislation to increase military support for Taiwan. Continue reading
Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, has vowed that Taiwan would be brought under Beijing’s authority and has not ruled it out using force. Taiwan strongly opposes China’s claims to sovereignty.
In a July phone call, Xi warned Biden about Taiwan and said that “those who play in fire will perish by them.” Continue reading
When Biden was asked last October if the United States would assist Taiwan in defense, which is required by law, he replied: “Yes, that’s our commitment.”
A spokesperson for the White House stated that Biden had not announced any changes in U.S. policies at that time.
Bonnie Glaser, an Asia specialist at the German Marshall Fund of America, stated that if Biden made such promises, he would need to back them up.
She stated that President Biden should ensure that the U.S. military is equipped to defend Taiwan if he plans to do so. “Rhetorical support without real capabilities is unlikely strengthen deterrence.”