October 3, 2022
Biden says US forces will defend Taiwan in case of Chinese aggression

US President Joe Biden photographed in London on September 18, 2022. Biden said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the US military would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, his clearest statement to date on the issue.

Brendan Smilowski | AFP | Getty Images

US President Joe Biden said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, his clearest statement to date on the issue.

Asked in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview whether US military would defend the self-governing island claimed by China, he replied: “Yes, if indeed, there was an unprecedented attack.”

Asked to clarify whether he meant that, unlike Ukraine, US forces, men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden replied: “Yes.”

The interview was just the latest time Biden appeared to go beyond long-standing US policy on Taiwan, but his statement was clearer than the previous one about committing US troops to the island’s defense.

Asked to comment, a White House spokesman said US policy toward Taiwan had not changed. “The president has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year. He made it clear even then that our Taiwan policy has not changed. It is true,” the spokesman said.

The CBS interview with Biden was conducted last week. The President is in Britain for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday.

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The United States has long stuck to a policy of not clarifying whether it will respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan.

In May, Biden was asked if he was willing to join forces militarily to defend Taiwan and replied: “Yes… that’s the commitment.”

In a “60 Minutes” interview, Biden reiterated that the United States did not support Taiwan’s independence and remained committed to a “one-China” policy in which Washington officially recognizes Taipei to Beijing.

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