Joe Biden has stated that if Taiwan is attacked by China, he will defend it.
President Joe Biden stated the US will protect Taiwan if it is attacked by China, reversing long-standing American "strategic ambiguity" on the matter.
"Yes," Biden answered during a CNN Town Hall when asked if the US would defend Taiwan if it was invaded by China by the anchor, Anderson Cooper. When pressed further by the anchor on Thursday, the US president answered, "Yes, we have a commitment to do that."
Joe Biden's comments come just a day after Nicholas Burns, his nominee for ambassador to China, told US senators at his confirmation hearing that "strategic autonomy" in relation to Taiwan is functioning and that no changes are needed.
Under the One-China Policy, the US recognizes China's claims to Taiwan, but the Taiwan Relations Act commits the US to assist Taiwan in defending itself against China. To that aim, the United States provides Taiwan with a large amount of military weaponry.
However, the US has kept its pledge to defend Taiwan in the case of a Chinese invasion ambiguous, which is known as "strategic ambiguity."
That appears to have altered under President Joe Biden.
The White House attempted to retract his remarks. After the Town Hall, a White House official said, "The president was not announcing any change in our policy, and there is no change in our policy." "The Taiwan Relations Act governs the United States' defense relationship with Taiwan. We shall preserve our legal obligations, continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, and resist any unilateral alterations to the status quo."
That indeed remains the policy of the Joe Biden administration as stated by Nicholas Burns at the hearing. “My own view and this is also the view ... more importantly of the Biden administration, is that the smartest and effective way for us to help deter aggressive actions by [China] across the Taiwan Strait will be to stay with a policy that’s been in place,” he said in response to a senator’s remarks that Beijing takes strategic ambiguity as a sign of weakness. “This is a policy that can succeed if we execute it consistently and with some strength.”
"We recognize the People's Republic of China as China's sole lawful government," he added. Nonetheless, we have unofficial connections with Taiwan, and we have the ability, if not the obligation, to assist Taiwan in defending itself under the Taiwan Relations Act. That approach has been followed by every president, Republican, and Democrat alike."
The US has been keeping a careful eye on the recent escalation of tensions between China and Taiwan. Early this month, Beijing sent a "record number" of warplanes near to Taiwan, prompting a top Taiwanese defense official to declare that tensions were at an all-time high.