The president of the United States has once again committed the U.S. military to direct hot war with China in the event of an attack on Taiwan, a commitment that was once again walked back by his White House handlers.
In a Sunday 60 Minutes interview, Biden was asked point-blank by CBS News’ Scott Pelley if U.S. forces would defend Taiwan from an attack by the mainland.
“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said.
“After our interview a White House official told us U.S. policy has not changed,” Pelly narrates after the comment. “Officially, the U.S. will not say whether American forces would defend Taiwan. But the commander-in-chief had a view of his own.”
“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.
“Yes,” Biden replied.
This is by my count the fourth time the U.S. president has made such remarks in transgression of his government’s standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” on this issue only to have them walked back by administration staff.
This past May Biden said “yes” when asked by the press if the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese invasion, adding, “That’s the commitment we made.” A White House official later stated that the president’s comments did not reflect a change in U.S. policy.
At a CNN forum in October of last year Biden responded in the affirmative when asked by an audience member if the U.S. would intervene to defend Taiwan, and said “Yes, we have a commitment” when asked to clarify if he meant intervening against an attack from China. Again, the White House quickly clarified that “there is no change in our policy.”