President Joe Biden said Thursday that the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if the island were attacked by China, which considers it part of its territory.
“Yes,” he replied when asked at a CNN town hall about defending Taiwan. “We have a commitment to that.”
Biden’s statement was at odds with long-standing US policy known as “strategic ambiguity,” in which Washington helps build Taiwan’s defenses but does not explicitly promise to come to the island’s aid.
He made a similar promise in August during an interview with ABC, insisting that the United States will always defend key allies, including Taiwan, despite Afghanistan’s withdrawal from the victorious Taliban.
Biden said the United States made a “sacred commitment” to defend NATO allies in Canada and Europe and that it is “the same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan.”
The White House later told reporters that US policy on Taiwan “has not changed.”