Earlier yesterday, US President Joe Biden said he was ready to defend the island of Taiwan if it was invaded by China, which made his aides shiver with the force of the unplanned statement, according to people present at the conference.
When Biden was asked whether he would defend the self-governing island of Taiwan if it was invaded by China, he replied, “Yes, this is the commitment we made."
By doing so, Biden bypassed the current official US foreign policy of not explicitly stating that the country might enter an actual war with China.
This was not the first time that Biden issued such a statement, and every time the White House was forced to clean up from behind him, and these statements came at times close to each other so that they did not exceed 9 months.
Chinese officials expressed their anger at those remarks, however. The White House insisted that the president did not announce a new policy, but China and political analysts saw that the president was pushing US policy forward in the face of an increasingly aggressive Beijing.
“ I am a little old- fashioned in the sense that I trust what the chairman says, especially when it comes to war and peace, and when it comes down to it, if China uses force against Taiwan, only the president of the United States can command the United States to come to Taiwan’s support,” said David Sachs, a Council on Foreign Ties expert on US-China relations. “The White House, National Security Council, and State Department have no spokesmen.”
Joe Biden’s visit to Asia, for the first time as president, coincided with the five days of Chinese military exercises in the disputed South China Sea. “We comply with China’s stance and all the surrounding treaties that recognise the legitimacy of the Taiwan government,” he said, adding that “the concept of Beijing taking it by force will not be appropriate. It would disrupt the entire region and would be another act similar to what happened in Ukraine.”
“No one should undervalue the Chinese people’s tenacity, steadfast commitment, and strong skills in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Wang Wenbin, said. He also stated that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, which makes the Taiwan issue a purely internal affair for China. Furthermore, he firmly declared that "China has no room for compromise or concession on issues touching on the country’s core interests of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
This was not the first time that the White House tried to soften the atmosphere after Joe Biden’s confrontational statements. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News in August last year, he said that Washington would respond to the Chinese invasion.
Officials quickly changed the statements to reporters, and a senior administration official said: "Our policy regarding Taiwan has not changed." Two months later, CNN asked Joe Biden about the possibility of the US military entering to defend Taiwan and he replied: "Yes, we have an obligation to do so." This caused embarrassment to the White House, which was also quick, every time, to calm the force of those statements, which would cause major international turmoil.
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