President Joe Biden has added to the official American backing for the island’s democracy by stating that the US military would protect Taiwan if China attempted to attack the autonomous island claimed by Beijing as part of its territory.
In response to a question about whether US soldiers, including men and women, would protect Taiwan in the case of a Chinese invasion, Biden responded in the affirmative.
After the interview, the White House said that US policy remained unchanged.
This policy states that Washington wishes to see a peaceful resolution of Taiwan’s status but leaves the possibility of sending the US military in reaction to a Chinese invasion.
The timing of Biden’s remarks coincides with an increase in tension over Taiwan as a result of moves by the Chinese government under President Xi Jinping to intimidate the island by launching missiles into the sea and flying fighter jets close by, as well as visits to Taipei by prominent politicians like US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Federal law requires Washington to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself, but it is unclear if the US military would be sent. Although there are no official diplomatic links between the US and the island, there are still some.
After a civil war that left the Communist Party in charge of the mainland, Taiwan and China broke apart in 1949. The two governments claim to be one nation but disagree about who has the right to rule it.
Beijing criticizes official international contacts with Taiwan’s elected government as encouragement for Taiwan to formalize its de facto independence, which the mainland claims will spark a conflict.
Washington has said that it does not favor Taiwan’s formal independence, a position that Biden reiterate in the interview that is air on Sunday.
The president said that Taiwan determines its level of independence on its own. Therefore, we do not support their independence.
When asked whether he is prepare to use military force to protect Taiwan during a Chinese invasion in May, Biden responded in the affirmative at a press conference in Tokyo.