Biden: US forces would defend Taiwan if China invades
Washington, Sep 19: US President Joe Biden said on Sunday that US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Biden made the comments during an interview on the "60 Minutes" program.
What did Biden say?
When asked on whether US forces would defend Taiwan if China invaded the island, Biden said "yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack."
Biden reiterated that the US maintains a One China policy and does not support Taiwan's independence.
A White House official said following the interview that US policy toward Taiwan has not changed. The United States has long maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity on whether it would intervene militarily in Taiwan.
"The President has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year. He also made clear then that our Taiwan policy hasn"t changed. That remains true," the spokesperson said.
In May, Biden was asked whether the US would get involved militarily if China invaded Taiwan. "Yes ... That's the commitment we made," he responded. The White House swiftly walked back the statement, saying that the US' policy on Taiwan had not changed.
Escalating tensions over Taiwan
A visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month has lead to increased tensions between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan. China said the US was "playing with fire" and began military drills around the island, which it considers to be Chinese territory.
Later, a high-level French delegation also visited Taiwan.
Earlier this month, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told DW that China had been revealing its strategies for a future invasion of the island.
On September 2, the US State Department greenlit a potenital $1.1 billion (€1.1 billion) arms deal with Taiwan that included the sale of anti-ship and air-to-air missiles and a radar surveillance system.
Under a law passed by Congress, the US is required to sell Taiwan military supplies.