Washington to Defend Taiwan with Military Force if Necessary


While insisting that the US still adheres to the One China policy and is not encouraging the independence of Taiwan, President Joe Biden said on Sunday during a ‘60 Minutes’ CBS News interview that Washington is willing to use military force to defend the island from Chinese aggression.

Asked if Washington would involve directly in a potential conflict between Beijing and Taiwan to defend the island, including through the use of military force, Biden replied “yes, if necessary, if there was an unprecedented attack” before his host cut away to clarify Biden’s controversial statement.

When the interviewer Scott Pelley asked the same question again, Biden reiterated his answer, noting, however, that Taiwan makes its own judgments about its independence and that the US respects the One China policy, by which it recognizes that Beijing governs all of China’s territory and that it also includes Taiwan.

Before the interview was aired, a White House official apparently explained to CBS that Washington’s policy has not changed and that officially it would still neither confirm nor deny whether American forces would defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Ever since 1979, Washington’s policy has been to recognize Taiwan as part of China but remain silent on whether the US military would defend the democratic government there.

Although the Taiwan Relations Act obligates the US to help equip Taiwan to defend itself, Washington officially maintains “strategic ambiguity” on the possible American forces’ involvement in Taiwan’s defense.

Underscoring it as America’s commitment to protect the island, President Biden previously made a similar statement in May, but the White House was promptly forced to clarify his words following an outcry from Beijing, stressing that the US leader’s words did not constitute any changes in the US policy towards Taiwan or China.

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