President Joe Biden has reaffirmed that American military soldiers would defend Taiwan in the event that the Chinese military attempted to annex the island, which is governed democratically.
When asked if “US forces, US men and women would protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion” on the CBS program “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Biden responded in the affirmative.
Yes, Biden replied.
There is no wiggle room in this statement:
On “60 Minutes,” President Biden was asked whether “US forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.”
“Yes,” Biden said.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 18, 2022
Biden has previously seemed to stray from the traditional US policy of “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to Taiwan’s defense. Most recently, during a trip to Tokyo in May, Biden declared that if China tried to annex Taiwan militarily, the US would interfere.
Biden’s prior remarks on Taiwan have been quickly downplayed by the White House, which has emphasized that US policy hasn’t changed. On Sunday, “60 Minutes” claimed that it received a similar response to Biden’s replies in their interview.
Less than 110 miles (177 kilometers) separate Taiwan from China’s shore. Despite the fact that the two parts have been administered separately for more than 70 years, China’s ruling Communist Party continues to claim ownership of the island despite never having had any direct authority over it.
The head of China, Xi Jinping, has declared that the “reunification” of China and Taiwan is inevitable and has refused to rule out using force to achieve this goal. Beijing and Taipei are currently experiencing their worst level of hostility in decades as a result of the Chinese military conducting extensive military exercises close to the island.
In accordance with the “One China” policy, the US accepts China’s assertion that Taiwan is a part of China, although it has never formally acknowledged the 23 million-person island’s claim to self-government by the Communist Party. The US supplies Taiwan with defensive weapons but has purposefully avoided saying whether it would use force to defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack.
In the “60 Minutes” interview, Biden reaffirmed his dedication to fundamental principles.
“We abide by the agreements we made in the past. Additionally, Taiwan decides for itself whether or not to declare itself independent under the “one China” policy. We aren’t doing anything and we don’t promote their independence. They get to decide that,” he said.
Nevertheless, when asked if US Marines would protect the island, he responded, “Yes, if there was an unprecedented attack.”
Has the US committed to defending Taiwan?
The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty (SAMDT), officially the Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of China, was a 1955–1980 defense agreement between the US and Taiwan.
Why does the US value Taiwan?
In trade and investment, health, semiconductor supply chains and other crucial supply chains, investment screening, research and technology, education, and the advancement of democratic ideals, Taiwan has emerged as a significant U.S. partner. Throughout decades and administrations, the US policy toward Taiwan has remained constant.
How powerful is Taiwan’s military?
Based on data from 2020, it was determined that China had 1,040,000 troops, compared to Taiwan’s 88,000. Taiwan can field 800 and 1,100 artillery pieces, compared to China’s 6,300 tanks and 7,000 artillery pieces.
Can China obstruct Taiwan?
By sending ships and submarines to blockade Taiwan’s ports from vessel entry and exit, China might impose a blockade. To rule the skies, it may employ missiles and warplanes. One of the busiest commercial routes in the world would be put in danger by even a temporary blockade.
Are there nuclear weapons in Taiwan?
Although it once had a nuclear weapons program, Taiwan does not now have nuclear weapons. Although Taiwan is not believed to have biological or chemical weapons programs, it has previously been charged with having such plans.
Is Taiwan protected by US nuclear power?
Taiwan came very near to producing a nuclear weapon, but Washington’s pressure forced the program’s termination in 1988. Taiwan does not possess a nuclear deterrent as a result, and it is not covered by the US security system.