President Joe Biden on Sunday vowed that the United States would defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack, CNN reports.
CBS News host Scott Pelley asked Biden whether “US forces, US men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.”
“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said.
“We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago. And that there’s ‘one China’ policy, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are not moving – we’re not encouraging their being independent … That’s their decision,” he said.
White House downplays:
The White House downplayed the comments, arguing that they were not a change in policy.
Biden has made similar comments on at least three previous occasions.
"The president has said this before... He also made clear then that our Taiwan policy hasn't changed. That remains true,” the White House said.
China lodges complaint:
Beijing condemned Biden’s comments and said it lodged a formal complaint with the United States.
“The US remarks seriously violate the one-China principle and the provisions of the three US-China joint communiqués. It is also a serious violation of the important commitment made by the US side not to support Taiwan independence,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning said Monday.
“It sent a serious wrong signal to the separatist forces of Taiwan independence. China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition and has made serious representations to the US side,” Mao added.