(DCWatchdog.com) – President Joe Biden has promised that the United States military will defend the self-ruling island of Taiwan if Communist China decides to invade it to try to conquer it.
In a wide-ranging interview for CBS’s “60 Minutes” program, the president declared with absolute certainty that the United States would intervene in the event mainland China invades Taiwan.
“Would US forces defend the island?” interviewer Scott Pelley asked.
“Yes, if, in fact, there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden responded.
“So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, US forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” Pelley pressed further.
“Yes,” the president declared.
At the same time, Biden reiterated that America would continue to adhere to its existing “One China” policy, meaning it wouldn’t encourage Taiwan to declare complete independence from Beijing.
“We agree with… [the] One China policy, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are not moving– we’re not encouraging their being independent. We’re not– that– that’s their decision,” he elaborated.
That isn’t the first time Biden has vowed to defend Taiwan from China, even though no formal treaty requires America to do so. For decades the US has stuck with a policy of “strategic ambiguity,” leaving Communist China guessing whether it would aid the Taiwanese militarily.
Shortly after Biden’s interview, his National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN that America’s existing policy on Taiwan and China remains in place, and his boss had answered “a hypothetical question.”
“When the President of the United States wants to announce a policy change, he will do so. He has not done so,” Sullivan stated.
“[The president] reiterated those basic commitments on every occasion that he’s talked about in Taiwan – including in this interview where he specifically and emphatically and unequivocally reinforced and reiterated the One China policy,” he elaborated.
Officially calling itself the Republic of China, Taiwan split off from the mainland after the nationalists lost the Chinese Civil War to Mao Zedong’s Communists in 1949 and fled to the island.
Taiwan, an informal US ally and a prosperous, capitalist democracy of 23 million people, has been self-ruling without officially declaring itself independent. In fact, as the “Republic of China,” it claims all of mainland China, plus former imperial Chinese territories in Russia and Mongolia.
In recent years, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has been vowing to “reunite” the island with China by force if necessary.