During an interview with 60 Minutes on Thursday which aired Sunday, host Scott Pelley asked the president, “What should Chinese President Xi know about your commitment to Taiwan?”
Biden replied, “We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago. And that there's one China, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence.” He continued, “We are not moving… we're not encouraging their being independent. We're not… that… that's their decision.”
“But would US Forces defend the island?” Pelley pressed.
“Yes if in fact there was an unprecedented attack," Biden answered.
“So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, US Forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” Pelley asked.
“Yes," Biden said unequivocally.
According to 60 Minutes, following the interview “a White House official told us US policy has not changed. Officially, the US will not say whether American forces would defend Taiwan. But the commander-in-chief had a view of his own.”
In the spring, Biden stated that the US would "militarily defend" Taiwan were there a Chinese incursion on their island. The White House then walked that back, and the administration said that the US does not recognize Taiwanese soveriegnty. In August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taiwan against the explicitly stated public wishes of the Chinese communist regime.
In response to her visit, China fired missiles over Taiwan for the first time ever. It was a year ago that China stated its plans for how it would take over Taiwan.
After the State Department announced a $1.1 billion sale of military equipment to Taiwan earlier this month, the White House was again forced to clarify its intent regarding Taiwan. State Department Spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a September 6 press briefing, "This package was in the works for some time precisely because we expected it would be needed as China increased its pressure on Taiwan. We have and we will continue to be responsible, steady, and resolute and keep our lines of communication open with Beijing, but also continue to support Taiwan in consistent... in ways that are consistent with our policy."
The statement appeared to be issued in response to tweets posted by Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu who wrote that the deal "sends wrong signals to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces, and severely jeopardizes China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China is firmly opposed to this."
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