Chairperson Joe Biden has once again vowed to defend Taiwan against China, seemingly breaking the strategic ambiguity that the United States has long sought to maintain in the region. Asked by CBS News’ Scott Pelley in a wide range 60 minutes In an interview on Sunday about his administration’s policy towards Taiwan, the president said the self-governing island should be allowed to “make their own assessment of their independence” and explicitly suggested It is clear that the US military will be mobilized in the event of a Chinese invasion.
“Will US forces defend the island?” Pelley asked.
“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden replied.
The White House quickly tried to retract Biden’s comments, just as it did three other occasions Over the past year, Biden appeared to promise a military response to China’s aggression in Taiwan. “The president has said this before,” a White House spokesman said after the interview Sunday. “He also made it clear that our Taiwan policy has not changed. That is still true. But, as CNN’s Jim Sciutto shown, there seems to be a bit of ambiguity in Biden’s statement, prompting China to be immediately drawn to China, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province it hopes to annex. “There is only one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China, and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government of China,” Mao Ninga spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said on Monday.
For decades, the United States has tried to stay on track with its Taiwan policy, seeking to recognize the legitimacy of the island’s democratic government without raising tensions with China, a major power. Nuclear. But eventually, U.S. leaders have become more explicit about their support for Taiwan, especially in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which some observers say. fear could lead to a Chinese invasion of the island. On Biden’s Defense Commitments to Taiwan, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi last month defied China’s warnings when she became the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan for decades — a move that has earned her rare praise from some Republicans. “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” Pelosi speak on the August trip. “The determination of the United States to preserve democracy in Taiwan and around the world remains questionable.”
The White House and Pelosi herself insist that the trip does not signal a change of policy. “Nothing has changed,” National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told reporters at the time. But that could become a more difficult position to maintain as American leaders, including Biden, make more promises to defend Taiwan.
Biden left some latitude in his remarks noting that he “discourages” Taiwan from pursuing full independence. He also left some room for interpretation in his wording around the exact circumstances that would prompt the United States to intervene. But the remarks make it clear that Biden is willing to support Taiwan – and potentially further escalate tensions between Washington and Beijing. “We are willing to do our best to strive for peaceful reunification,” Mao said on Monday, warning the US against sending “wrong signals” to Taiwan. “At the same time, we will not tolerate any activity aimed at secession.”