This is not good.
On Monday, President Joe Biden said that in case of an invasion of Taiwan from China, the U.S. would intervene with its military. He said that the need to protect Taiwan is “even stronger” following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This is one of the biggest statements made by the president in support of Taiwan.
Biden, during a news conference in Tokyo, said “yes” to the question of whether he would defend Taiwan with the use of the military in case of an invasion. “That’s the commitment we made,” he continued.
Traditionally, the U.S. did not provide explicit security guarantees to Taiwan, especially since they no longer have a mutual defense treaty. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which has outlined the relations between the U.S. and the self-governing island, does not state that military intervention is necessary. However, it does require that the U.S. policy helps ensure that Taiwan can defend itself and that a status change of Taiwan by Beijing wouldn’t occur.
CNN was quick to downplay the importance of the comments of the White House by saying that there was no change in US policy. This is the third time in the last few months that Biden has noted that the US would protect Taiwan in case of a Chinese invasion. However, the White House has often retracted those statements and remarks.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that “I think the President was clear on the fact that the policy has not changed.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin has expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the remarks made by Biden. “China has no room for compromise or concessions on issues involving China’s core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
He continued, “China will take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests, and we will do what we say.”
The White House has maintained that the comments made by Biden do not reflect a policy shift.