President Joe Biden has vowed that the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if China attacked the tiny South East Asian island nation, which remains one of the main U.S. allies in the region.
Biden made this remark in response to a question at a CNN town hall event in Baltimore, Maryland.
Referring to recent reports that China had tested a hypersonic missile, a student participant asked Biden what will he do to keep up with them militarily, and can he vow to protect Taiwan.
Biden replied, “Yes and yes. Militarily, China, Russia, and the rest of the world knows we have the most powerful military in the history of the world. Don’t worry about whether they’re going to be more powerful. What you do have to worry about is whether or not they’re going to engage in activities that will put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake”.
Subsequently, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper asked if the US would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of China attacking the country that lies close to it, and militarily far weaker than the super power.
“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden responded.
Biden said that he has spoken and spent more time with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping than any other world leader has. “That’s why you hear people saying, ‘Biden wants to start a new Cold War with China’.” The U.S. President made it clear that he doesn’t want a Cold War with China. “I just want to make China understand that we are not going to step back. We are not going to change any of our views,” he said.
Clarifying an apparent departure from a long-held U.S. foreign policy position, a White House spokesperson later told US media that Washington was “not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy.”
The United States has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but through the Taiwan Relations Act, it has continued to sell arms and provide military training to its Armed Forces.
The Act, which was passed in 1979, states that the US must provide the island with the means to defend itself.
Under its One-China policy, the Chinese Government states that Taiwan is part of it. In response to US support for Taiwan, Chinese defense ministry declared in 2019 that “If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs.”
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