Biden Says U.S. Will 'Defend' Taiwan 'Militarily' if China Invades, White House Clarifies Stance
President seems unaware of his own administration's position.
President Joe Biden, while speaking in Tokyo on Monday during his first trip to the region as president, announced, once again, that the U.S. will come to Taiwan's defense if China attempts to take the island by force.
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Biden was asked by a reporter if the U.S. would defend Taiwan, and the president responded, “Yes, that's true. That’s the commitment that we've made.”
“We agree with the One China policy. We signed on to it, and all the attendant agreements made from there, but the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is (just not) appropriate,” he said.
But the devil is in the details.
The White House later said the administration's policy "has not changed."
"As the president said, our policy has not changed," the spokesperson told Fox News. "He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself."
Wang Wenbin, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told reporters that China has “no room for compromise or concessions on issues involving China’s core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
History Repeats Itself
Last October, Biden made headlines during a CNN town hall when he told an audience member that the US would defend Taiwan if China invaded. Anderson Cooper, the moderator, had the president clarify that the U.S. would defend Taiwan, and the president confirmed his position again.
“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” he said.
There are times that Biden appears out of lockstep with his own administration and the White House was forced to clarify those remarks, saying that there was no change in policy and insisting that the US remains guided by the Taiwan Relations Act for 1979.
The act states that Washington is committed to providing Taipei with arms for its defense. The U.S. maintain a position of “strategic ambiguity.”
Note to Readers: This week’s Trends Journal goes into detail the history of Washington’s vague position on Taiwan. Please consider subscribing here. Our forecast has not changed. China will eventually take over Taiwan and the U.S. will not engage.