Say what? Biden again commits U.S. troops to defend Taiwan should China invade

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News September 19, 2022

The White House has yet again walked back Joe Biden’s claim that U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Was he unilaterally changing the U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity”, was Team Biden seeking to enhance weakened deterrence after the disastrous Afghanistan pullout of 2021, or did Joe Biden simply veer off script?

During an interview which aired Sunday night on CBS’s “60 Minutes”, Biden was asked whether the U.S. military would defend Taiwan if China invades.

“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden replied.

The interview, which was pre-recorded, was interrupted with a voiceover saying a White House official said after the interview that “U.S. policy has not changed” and the government will not officially say whether U.S. troops would intervene in Taiwan.

“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?” Pelley asked.

“Yes,” Biden said.

Related: Dean Acheson’s fateful speech and the outbreak of the Korean War on June 25, 1950, March 9, 2017

Communist authorities in Beijing said China “deplores and firmly opposes” Biden’s pledge.

In Sunday’s interview, Biden also reiterated that the U.S. was not encouraging Taiwan independence.

“There’s a One China policy and Taiwan makes their own judgements on their independence. We are not moving, not encouraging their being independent — that’s their decision,” Biden said.

Taiwan responded on Monday by welcoming the “U.S. government’s rock-solid security commitment to Taiwan.” Taipei said it would continue to deepen its “close security partnership” with Washington.

A similar situation occurred in May. Speaking in Japan on his tour of Asia, Biden said “Yes” when asked if the U.S. would defend Taiwan.

The White House quickly issued a follow-up saying there was no departure from long-standing U.S. policy.

Washington Times security correspondent Bill Gertz noted in a Facebook post: “Biden on 60 Minutes tonight said clearly the United States will defend Taiwan from an anticipated Chinese military attack. It was the fourth time he has said as much and each time an unidentified White House official walked back the comment and repeated that the U.S. policy on defending Taiwan remains the same: strategic ambiguity — maybe yes, maybe no.”

Beijing has previously condemned such comments from Biden promising U.S. military action.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory… The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair that brooks no foreign interference,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in May in response to Biden’s remarks in Japan.

China has in recent months escalated its military operations near Taiwan. Taiwan as recently as last month vowed to counter-attack.

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