Joe Biden says US would defend Taiwan from Chinese attack
President Joe Biden has said the United States will defend Taiwan against Chinese attack, in a strong warning to Beijing a month after China staged large-scale military exercises in response to House Speaker Nancy’s visit Pelosi in Taipei.
Asked in a interview Sunday with CBS News 60 minutes if he would deploy US forces to defend Taiwan against Chinese military action, Biden replied, “Yes, if there was in fact an unprecedented attack.”
When asked again if the United States would send forces to defend Taiwan, unlike the situation in Ukraine, the president replied, “Yes.”
On Monday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Beijing “deplores and rejects” Biden’s comments and had registered “solemn complaints” with the United States, according to the Associated Press.
Biden has issued three similar warnings in the past, but Sunday was the first time he has done so since China reacted furiously to Pelosi’s visit with the unprecedented ballistic missile strike over Taiwan.
Biden made a similar statement about defending Taiwan in Japan in May. At the time, he said US policy toward Taiwan had not changed, but his comments were seen as diluting Washington’s policy of “strategic ambiguity” for decades.
As part of this policy, the United States does not specify whether it would defend Taiwan, in an effort to discourage Taipei from declaring independence and deter China from using force to assert its claim to sovereignty over the United States. island.
Some experts have urged the Biden administration to adopt a policy of “strategic clarity” – sending a stronger message to Beijing as the Chinese military steps up its aggressive activity around Taiwan. But others said his comments created a new kind of confusion.
The White House said Sunday that despite Biden’s clear comment on defending Taiwan, US policy toward Taiwan was the same.
“In my view, ‘strategic ambiguity’ is eroding, but what replaces it is closer to ‘strategic confusion’ than ‘strategic clarity’,” said Bonnie Glaser, China and Taiwan expert at the German Marshall Fund.
“China has long assumed that the United States would defend Taiwan if attacked, so these statements only reinforce the People’s Liberation Army’s planning. I suspect China is paying more attention to US capabilities to defend Taiwan, which many people question.
Biden’s remarks came days after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Taiwan Policy Act, a bill authorizing $6.5 billion in weapons and military training funding for Taiwan. The bill would also require the president to impose sanctions on major Chinese state banks if Beijing escalates its aggression against Taiwan, which could include actions such as a blockade or seizure of islands off Taiwan.
US and Chinese officials are also discussing the possibility of Biden and his counterpart Xi Jinping meeting in person for the first time as leaders at the G20 summit in Indonesia in November.
China accuses the United States of watering down the “one China” policy, under which the United States recognizes Beijing as the government of China but only acknowledges, without endorsing, its view that Taiwan is part of China.
Additional reporting by Tom Mitchell in Singapore
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