“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” he said when asked during a town hall if the US would defend Taiwan. But a White House spokesman later told some US media outlets that his remarks did not signify a change in policy.
Taiwan reacted by saying Mr. Biden’s statement would not change its own position with regard to China. The US has long practiced “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to the thorny issue of defending Taiwan.
This has meant the US has been deliberately ambiguous about what it would do if China were to attack the island.
China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, one that it may take back by force one day if necessary, whereas Taiwan claims that it is a sovereign state.
The US has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan but sells arms to it as part of its Taiwan Relations Act, which states that the US must help the island defend itself.
“Taiwan will show a firm determination to defend itself,” said presidential spokesperson Xavier Cheng, who also went on to acknowledge the Biden administration’s continued show of ‘rock-solid’ support for Taiwan.