September 23, 2022

White House Contradicts Biden Again on Taiwan

  • Analysis, Home

By Ophelia Garrett

In Brief: 

President Biden recently stated that the United States would send support troops to Taiwan if China was to attack the island nation. 

However, the White House was swift in back stepping said comments. 

The Background: 

During a recent interview with 60 Minutes, host Scott Pelley asked if China attacked Taiwan, “would U.S. forces defend the island?” 

"Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack," President Biden replied.

Pelley pushed further, "So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?"

“Yes,” was the resounding answer from Biden. 

However, a White House official was very swift to say that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not changed. Officially, the U.S. maintains "strategic ambiguity" on whether American forces would defend Taiwan, but the Taiwan Relations Act obligates the U.S. to help equip Taiwan to defend itself.

This comes despite the State Department’s announcement of a $1.1 billion sale of military equipment to the island democracy.

Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu said the deal "sends wrong signals to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces, and severely jeopardizes China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China is firmly opposed to this."

Notable Quotes: 

"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. We're not-- that-- that's their decision."-- President Biden

What do you think?