President Joe Biden says US forces will defend Taiwan if China tries to invade the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as part of its territory, adding official support of the United States to island democracy.
Biden said “yes” when asked in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS News’s 60 minutes program whether “US forces, American men and women will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.”
Asked for comment, a White House spokesman said US policy towards Taiwan has not changed. That policy says Washington wants to see Taiwan’s situation resolved peacefully but does not say whether US forces could be dispatched to respond to a Chinese attack.
“The president has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year. He also made it clear then that our Taiwan policy has not changed. That remains true,” the spokesman said.
Tensions are rising following efforts by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration to intimidate Taiwan by firing missiles into nearby waters and flying fighter jets nearby amid the protagonists’ backdrop. including US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taipei.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry on Monday expressed “sincere gratitude” to Biden for “affirming the US government’s firm promise of security to Taiwan.”
Taiwan will “resist to authoritarian expansion and aggression” and “deepen close security partnerships” with Washington and other “like-minded” governments to safeguard stability. in the region, the statement said.
Partition after the civil war in 1949
Under federal law, Washington is obligated to see that Taiwan has the means to defend itself but does not say whether US forces will be sent. The United States has no formal relations with the island but maintains unofficial diplomatic relations.
Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war ended with the Communist Party taking control of the mainland. The two governments say they are one country but have a dispute over the right to lead the country.
Beijing has criticized official foreign contact with Taiwan’s elected government as an incentive to make its de facto independence permanent, a step the mainland says would lead to war. painting.
Washington says it does not support formal independence for Taiwan, a position repeated by Biden in the interview that aired Sunday.
“Taiwan makes their own assessment of their independence,” the president said. “We don’t encourage them to be independent.”
In May, Biden said “yes” when asked at a news conference in Tokyo whether he would be willing to join the military to defend Taiwan should China invade.