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Biden says that if China attacked Taiwan, U.S. forces would defend the island

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States , said that U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if China a...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, said that U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if China attacked. This was his clearest statement yet on the issue, and it is sure to anger Beijing.

In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday, he was asked if U.S. forces would defend a self-ruled island that China claims. He said, "Yes, if there was an attack like no other."

When asked to explain whether he meant that, unlike in Ukraine, American men and women would defend Taiwan if China attacked, Biden replied: "Yes."

In the interview, Biden seemed to go beyond what the U.S. has said about Taiwan for a long time, but his statement about sending U.S. troops to defend the island was clearer than in the past.

The United States has had a policy of "strategic ambiguity" for a long time, which means that it hasn't been clear if it would use military force to defend Taiwan if it were attacked.

When asked for a comment, a White House spokesman said that U.S. policy toward Taiwan hadn't changed.

"This is something that the President has said before, like in Tokyo earlier this year. He also made it clear that our policy toward Taiwan hasn't changed since then. This is still true, "the person speaking up said.

Last week, Biden did an interview with CBS. The president is in England for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth on Monday.

In May, Biden was asked if he was willing to use military force to defend Taiwan. He said: "Yes... That's what we said we'd do."

In the 60 Minutes interview, Biden said again that the US did not support Taiwanese independence and was still committed to a "One-China" policy in which Washington officially recognises Beijing and not Taipei.

Beijing will be very angry about Biden's comments, just as it was very angry when U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan in August.

China held its biggest-ever military exercises around Taiwan after that visit, and China has protested moves by U.S. lawmakers to move forward with legislation that would give Taiwan more military support from the U.S.

President Xi Jinping of China has promised to bring democratic Taiwan under Beijing's control by any means necessary, including force.

China's embassy in Washington didn't answer right away when asked for a comment.

Xi warned Biden not to play with fire over Taiwan in a phone call in July. He said, "Those who play with fire will die by it."

Last October, when asked if the US would defend Taiwan, since the US is required by law to give Taiwan the tools it needs to defend itself, Vice President Joe Biden said, "Yes, we have a commitment to do that."

At the time, a spokesperson for the White House said that Biden was not announcing a change in U.S. policy. Some experts called Biden's comment a "gaffe."

Bonnie Glaser, an expert on Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said that if Biden made promises like this, he should make sure he could keep them.

She said, "If President Biden wants to protect Taiwan, he should make sure the U.S. military can do it." "Rhetorical support that isn't backed up by real capabilities isn't likely to make deterrence stronger."

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