US President Joe Biden said that Washington was committed to coming to Taiwan's defence if it comes under attack from China - a stance that seems in opposition to America's stated policy of "strategic ambiguity.” Washington has long followed a policy of "strategic ambiguity" on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.
Biden has made similar statements in the past, only to have the White House say longstanding United States policy had not changed toward the island. The US provides Taiwan defensive weapons, but has remained intentionally ambiguous on whether it would intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack, the report said. Under the "One China" Policy, the US acknowledges China's claim of sovereignty over Taiwan.
A White House official tried to clarify Biden's comments on Taiwan after the town hall, saying the President was "not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy" in his remarks about China and Taiwan, the report added. Biden, citing his relationship with Xi, said he wasn't looking to enter a prolonged conflict.
Back in August, an administration official was forced to insist that American policy on Taiwan had not changed after the president appeared to suggest the US would defend the island in the face of aggression. Asked twice during CNN's Town Hall on Thursday whether the US would protect Taiwan if China attacked, Biden said it would. "Yes, we have a commitment to do that," he said.