Biden says US would defend Taiwan against China invasion

12:30 PM | 22 Oct, 2021
Biden says US would defend Taiwan against China invasion
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President Joe Biden on Thursday said the United States would come to the defence of Taiwan if the island were attacked by China, which considers it part of its territory.

“Yes,” he responded when asked in a CNN town hall about defending Taiwan.

“We have a commitment to that.” Biden’s statement was at odds with the long-held US policy known as “strategic ambiguity,” where Washington helps build Taiwan’s defences but does not explicitly promise to come to the island’s help.

In August, a Biden administration official had said that US policy on Taiwan had not changed after the US president appeared to suggest the United States would intervene if it were attacked.

A White House spokesperson said Biden at his town hall was not announcing any change in US policy and "there is no change in our policy", but declined further comment when asked if Biden had misspoken.

"The US defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo," the spokesperson said.

Taiwan's presidential office, responding to Biden's remarks, said their position remains the same, which is it will neither give in to pressure nor "rashly advance" when it gets support.