US President Joe Biden said on Monday that he would intervene militarily to defend Taiwan. When asked whether the US military would protect Taiwan if necessary, Biden replied, “yes”.
“It’s a commitment we made,” Biden spoke at a press conference in Tokyo.
“We agree with a one-China policy. We’ve signed on to it and all the intended agreements made from there. But the idea that, that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not, is just not appropriate,” Biden added.
His declaration soon attracted significant global attention during the diplomatic trip to Asia.
However, later in the evening on May 23, the White House walked back Biden’s claim, saying that US policy has not changed.
“The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,” the spokesperson said.
In less than a year, Biden has said three times that he would send US troops to Taiwan if invaded by China, which will inflame US-China tensions.
Although Biden’s comments seem to be gaffes, many people wondered whether he intended to end the US long-standing policy of strategic ambiguity on Taiwan.