After telling the world in a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, that the United States has a military “commitment” to defend Taiwan if China chose to invade, U.S President Joe Biden, then had to (again) walk back his comments while in Tokyo this week.
During the press conference, Biden was asked if the U.S would defend Taiwan and he answered by citing the Taiwan Act and saying, “Yes. That’s the commitment we made.”
China claims Taiwan as a “province” of China and has increased its threats of violence against the sovereign nation, to bring about “reunification,” but Taiwan has never been a part of China in all its history.
Officially, thanks to former U.S President Jimmy Carter, the United States does not recognize Taiwan as a state, after concessions for China were made.
Despite the Taiwan Act, there is no actual military treaty between Taiwan and the U.S., the Act is only there to establish relations between Washington DC and Taipei and allows the U.S “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character.”
White House officials were forced to issue a statement to cover up for Biden’s blunder and reassure the media that America is not about to be involved in another war.
“As the President said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
“He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself,” the official said.
The “One China” policy has different meanings. The United States uses the term to not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state and maintain diplomatic ties between the U.S and China.
China uses the term “One China Principle” to mean that China has rights over Taiwan and that it is a province of the communist country.
Taiwan uses the term “One China” in reference to the Republic of China, being the only legitimate Chinese state in the world – not the People’s Republic in Beijing, which they view as a political aberration, and not legitimate.
Biden has often made blunders regarding the tenuous situation between China and Taiwan and in November, was forced to clarify comments he made, saying Taiwan was “independent” from China – which of course caused a negative reaction from Beijing.
“We are not encouraging independence,” Biden said, attempting to reassure his communist buddies that “nothing” would happen on the issue of Taiwan.
Biden also had to walk back similar comments he made in October, after he said that the United States would step in to defend Taiwan if China did indeed invade.
“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” he said, in a comment at the time, like those made this week.
The comments did not signal a change in policy, according to White House Secretary Jen Psaki.
“There has been no shift. The President was not announcing any change in our policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy,” she said. “There is no change in our policy.”