Biden Says US Forces Will Defend Taiwan If 'There Was An Unprecedented Attack' By China

U.S. President Joe Biden said he would intervene militarily to defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack amid escalating tension at the Taiwan Strait

What Happened: Biden was asked if the U.S. forces would defend the democratically-governed island. His response was, “Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” in an interview with CBS on Sunday. 

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Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Biden has often emphasized that U.S. military forces would not fight Russian troops on Ukrainian soil. However, he is set to take a different route with 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?” the journalist asked Biden, and the president’s reply was a firm “Yes.”

The remarks made by Biden are the most recent of several instances when the U.S. appeared to go beyond its long-standing established policy on Taiwan. The two nations have long stuck to a policy of “strategic ambiguity,” while the U.S. has also often reiterated that it also respects Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ‘One China policy.’ “We agree with the One China policy and all the attendant agreements we made,” he had said earlier.

Meanwhile, a White House spokesperson said U.S. policy towards Taiwan had not changed. “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, according to a Reuters report.

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry also expressed gratitude to Biden for reaffirming the “U.S. government’s rock-solid security commitment to Taiwan.”

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