Biden Upsets China with Statements Concerning Taiwan

During his recent tour of Asia, President Biden addressed the issue between China and Taiwan, stating that the United States would take military action of China attacked Taiwan. However, the White house quickly edited this statement claiming there was no policy change, which has traditionally held the opposite view concerning the issue over Taiwan. This is the third time in recent months that Biden has made statements in support of aiding Taiwan that the White House later retracted.

At a news conference in Tokyo with Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a reporter asked Biden if he would be willing to involve U.S. military in defense of Taiwan. To which Biden answered firmly “yes”, continuing with, “We agree with the one China policy. We signed on to it, and all the attendant agreements made from there, but the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is (just not) appropriate”. 

By agreeing to the “One China” policy, the United States sides with China’s position concerning Taiwan: that it is a part of China. However, the United states has also never officially recognized China’s governing claim to Taiwan. Additionally, the United States provides aid to Taiwan by sending them weapons and military supplies. The White House’s failure to explicitly state whether or not they would take military action if China invaded has always been intentional.

Following Biden’s comments in Tokyo, a white house official released a statement reaffirming that the United States’ policy had not changed despite Biden’s declaration of intending to provide military assistance. “As the President said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.” 

China was quick to respond to Biden statements as well, with dissatisfaction to his insinuation. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that China will not tolerate any external interference in its “internal affairs”. The spokesman also urged the United States to “be cautious in words and deeds on the Taiwan issue, and not send any wrong signal to pro-Taiwan independence”. Chinese officials cited the One China policy reminding the White House and Biden that interference would be considered a violation of this.


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