President Joe Biden stated on Monday that if China invaded the self-governing island of Taiwan, the US would be prepared to engage militarily, further confusing US policy in the area.
Biden, speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at a press conference in Tokyo, said Beijing was already flirting with danger with its recent military maneuvers and other hostility toward Taiwan, which China considers its own territory.
The issue arose in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“For obvious reasons, you didn’t want to get militarily involved in the Ukraine conflict,” a reporter inquired. “Are you prepared to intervene militarily to defend Taiwan if necessary?” ”
Biden said, “Yes.”
He continued, “That’s the commitment we made.”
A White House official appeared to backtrack on his earlier statement that the US may act militarily soon after.
“Our policy has not changed, as the President stated. In a statement, the official added, “He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” “He also reaffirmed our commitment to provide Taiwan with military capabilities to defend itself under the Taiwan Relations Act.”
At a press conference on Monday afternoon, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated the remarks.
He stated, “Our One China Policy has not changed.”
Wang Wenbin, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, voiced “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to the US statements and warned Washington against backing “Taiwan independence.”
In a statement, Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed gratitude to President Barack Obama and the US government for reaffirming their rock-solid commitment to Taiwan.
Similar remarks by Biden on Taiwan have caused consternation in the past.
While the United States is bound by law to send defensive weaponry to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province, a strategy of strategic ambiguity has left it unclear what the US would do if Taiwan was attacked.
At the press conference, Biden stated that Washington’s attitude toward Taiwan had not changed.