President Joe Biden sat down for a rare, one-on-one interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” this past weekend, and it went about as well as you’d expect.
In addition to dismissing public concerns about skyrocketing inflation and his family’s foreign business dealings, America’s commander in chief decided to lay out his administration’s supposed policy with respect to the ongoing China-Taiwan issue.
“We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago,” Biden said in an apparent reference to the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. “There’s a ‘One China Policy,’ and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are … not encouraging [them to be] independent. … That’s their decision.”
Under the “One China Policy,” the United States acknowledges that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the sole government of China and that Taiwan belongs to China. The U.S. does not, however, recognize the PRC’s claims to territorial sovereignty over Taiwan.
While Biden’s remarks about Taiwanese independence fall in line with the United States’ long-standing policy toward the island nation, his next comments almost assuredly left White House staff hopping mad. When asked by CBS News’s Scott Pelley if the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden answered with an unequivocal “yes.”
“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 in a follow-up, to which Biden replied, “yes.”