For the second time in recent months, President Biden has said the U.S. would defend Taiwan against an invasion from China, Reuters reports.
His comment follows a similar one he made in May. Both times his statement came in response to questions from reporters.
Speaking on 60 Minutes Sunday in an interview taped last week, the President was asked if he would defend Taiwan if it was claimed by China.
“Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack,” he replied.
When asked further if that meant, unlike Ukraine, if the U.S. would defend Taiwan if China invaded, he again replied “yes.”
In May, a reporter asked if the U.S. would get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied “Yes, that’s the commitment we made.”
Both times China condemned the remarks and members of the administration tried to soften Biden’s remarks saying there had been no change in the U.S. One China stance.
“The president has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year. He also made clear then that our Taiwan policy hasn’t changed. That remains true,” a White House spokesperson said, reported CNBC.
Taiwan has long held its independence from China while China has claimed the island as its own.
“The US remarks seriously violate the one-China principle and the provisions of the three US-China joint communiqués. It is also a serious violation of the important commitment made by the US side not to support Taiwan independence,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning said Monday, according to CNN.
Biden too reiterated that the U.S. has a one China policy.
“We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago. And that there’s ‘one China’ policy, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are not moving — we’re not encouraging their being independent … That’s their decision,” he said.
His remarks also come after China objected to a recent visit to Taiwan by Democrat House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).
Biden’s comments also come in the wake of fears that the likelihood of China invading Taiwan has increased after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine..
“We are watching very carefully how the Chinese are understanding the situation in Ukraine — how the Russians have performed, how the Ukrainians have performed, and the implications of that for their own plans as they may be in Taiwan,” CIA Deputy Director David Cohen said.
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