Some lawmakers were frustrated and uncertain by President Joe Biden’s recent declaration that the United States would defend Taiwan militarily from Chinese aggression. The White House appears to have backed down on that statement.
The president was asked by 60 Minutes whether he would send U.S. troops to Taiwan to protect it from communist China’s invasion.
“Yes,” Biden said. “If there were an unprecedented attack.”
The program ran a voiceover immediately after Biden’s comment. It stated that a White House official had said that after the interview, “U.S. The policy has not changed.” According to the White House, the United States continues to maintain a policy that is strategic ambiguity. It won’t state whether U.S. forces will defend Taiwan.
Republican lawmakers were upset by the apparent flip-flop, many of whom want an end to the U.S. strategic ambiguity policy.
“I’m curious what’s going on in the big guy’s head,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R.Calif.), said during a Sept. 20 interview with Fox’s Jesse Watters Primetime.
He can’t convey a clear message. This isn’t the first time he has done this. The White House has always reacted to his comments about Taiwan and China almost every time he spoke.
60 Minutes interviewed Biden for the fourth time, and he stated that the United States is committed to Taiwan’s defense.
Biden made similar remarks during a May 2022 interview in Tokyo, at an Oct 2021 CNN Town Hall, and an August 2021 interview with George Stephanopoulos.
“Biden clearly stated on four occasions that he would defend Taiwan, but on four occasions his subordinates have clearly contradicted,” said China commentator Gordon Chang via a tweet.
“He is now required by law to explain to the American people whether he is still commander in chief and the one making the decisions.”
Some lawmakers are concerned that Biden’s repeated commitments to Taiwan’s defense and the subsequent denials from the White House won’t deter China’s ruling Communist Party from attacking democratic Taiwan. However, the effort could be an intentional attempt to obscure the administration’s strategy.
China’s Communist Party (CCP) claims Taiwan is a rogue Chinese territory that must be united with the mainland. However, Taiwan has not been under the control of the CCP and has been autonomous since 1949.
The United States of America and China have agreed that neither side will try to alter the status quo unilaterally by pursuing Taiwanese independence or unification efforts.
Biden stated that “We aren’t moving” during the 60 Minutes interview. “We don’t encourage their independence. … That’s [Taiwan’s] decision.”