Biden was ‘speaking his mind’ when he vowed to defend Taiwan from China, Taipei’s envoy says

Biden was ‘speaking his mind’ when he vowed to defend Taiwan from China in comment White House had to claw back again, Taipei’s envoy says

  • Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the US stood by President Biden’s comments
  • Biden told 60 Minutes on Sunday that American forces would defend the island in the event of an ‘unprecedented attack’ by China’s military
  • Beijing was incensed by Biden’s comments and claimed they ‘severely’ violate the United States’ longtime policy on China’s unitary government
  • China has significantly increased its war games in the Taiwan Strait
  • It’s the fourth time in a little over a year that the White House has had to walk back the president’s full-throated defense of Taiwan 

Taiwan's de factor ambassador to the US Hsiao Bi-khim told reporters in relation to Biden's pledge to defend the island, 'What we've heard is President Biden speaking his mind'

Taiwan’s de factor ambassador to the US Hsiao Bi-khim told reporters in relation to Biden’s pledge to defend the island, ‘What we’ve heard is President Biden speaking his mind’

Taipei’s de-factor ambassador to Washington said on Monday that President Joe Biden was ‘speaking his mind’ when he said the US military would defend Taiwan in the event of an ‘unprecedented attack.’

It comes after Beijing accused the American president of ‘severely’ violating longstanding US-China policy with his remarks.

China has this year ramped up its military exercises on the island’s coast and in the Taiwan Strait, with some global security experts concerned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has emboldened leader Xi Jinping to make aggressive moves against the island.

‘What we’ve heard is President Biden speaking his mind,’ said Taiwan’s envoy to the US Hsiao Bi-khim, according to Newsweek.

She added that Taipei and Washington would work closely ‘to promote and maintain peace and stability in the region, and jointly uphold the status quo.’ 

It comes after Biden directly affirmed that he would send US forces to defend Taiwan if the situation called for it, during a lengthy interview on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.

‘Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,’ the Biden said if asked if his military would defend the island.

However he also toed closer to US policy when stating ‘we’re not encouraging their being independent’ from China, adding that it was up to Taiwan.

Biden said unequivocally on Sunday that 'yes,' US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of an 'unprecedented attack'

Biden said unequivocally on Sunday that ‘yes,’ US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of an ‘unprecedented attack’

The interviewer then notes that the White House said its policy ‘has not changed’ after Biden’s interview, yet again undercutting the president’s forceful rhetoric against Beijing.

But Biden did not leave wiggle room for interpretation.

‘So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. Forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?’ Pelley asked.

Biden simply replied, ‘Yes.’

It’s the fourth time in a little over a year that the White House had to pump the breaks on Biden’s enthusiastic defense of Taiwan.

Beijing was expectedly incensed by the recent remarks.

Global experts are worried that Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February may have emboldened Chinese President Xi Jinping to stage an attack on Taiwan

Global experts are worried that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February may have emboldened Chinese President Xi Jinping to stage an attack on Taiwan

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters that the statements ‘severely violate the important commitment the U.S. made not to support Taiwan independence, and send a seriously erroneous signal to Taiwanese separatist independence forces.’

‘We are willing to do our best to strive for peaceful reunification. At the same time, we will not tolerate any activities aimed at secession,’ Mao said.

China severely ramped up its aggression against Taiwan in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last month, the first for a US Speaker of the House of Representatives since Newt Gingrich.

The New York Times reported at the time that Pelosi’s plane had taken a deliberate three-hour detour to avoid areas of high Chinese military activity.

Since her trip, which was opposed by Biden and the US military, a parade of US lawmakers and elected officials have flown to the island in a show of support.

Source

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