Beijing says it “deplores” the US president’s latest interview, in which he indicated Washington’s readiness to defend Taiwan
Beijing has issued a protest in response to US President Joe Biden’s latest remark that Washington could use its military to defend Taiwan. China regards the autonomous island as part of its territory, which is currently controlled by separatists.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry said it “We are deeply disappointed and strongly opposed to this.” Biden’s comment, adding that it has lodged “Strict representations” with Washington.
Taipei, in turn, welcomed the US president’s remark, which it took as confirming Washington’s “Taiwan is a country that has shown a strong commitment to its security.”
Biden responded in affirmative to being asked by a journalist if Washington would use its military force to defend Taiwan.
“If there were an unusual attack on the site, then yes.” the US head of state said on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday.
Biden, however, hastened to qualify his statement by claiming that the US is not encouraging Taiwan’s independence.
“There’s a One China policy and Taiwan makes their own judgements on their independence,” the president added.
When asked for comment, a White House spokesperson also reiterated that “our Taiwan policy hasn’t changed. This is true.”
However, Biden has made similar remarks on several occasions over the past few months, indicating America’s readiness to stick up for Taiwan militarily.
After Nancy Pelosi, the US House Speaker paid an unpopular visit to Taiwan last month, relations between China and the US fell to a new low. Beijing responded to the visit with several days worth of large-scale military drills all around Taiwan.
De facto independence has existed on the island since 1949 when the Chinese Civil War’s losing side fled Taiwan for safety and established its own government. Although Taiwan has been recognized by only a few countries as an independent country since then, Taipei maintained close and informal ties to the United States, supplying arms to Taiwan.
Meanwhile, on paper, Washington still adheres to the One-China principle, under which it formally recognizes only one Chinese government – that in Beijing.
China views Taiwan as being part of its sovereign territory that was briefly seized temporarily by separatists. President Xi has repeatedly said Beijing would seek “reunification” and has not ruled out a military option to achieve this goal.
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