No Shift in American Policy Regarding Taiwan

Hours after US President Joe Biden said the United States was committed to defending Taiwan if it was attacked, the White House clarified that statement by saying “there is no change in our policy.”

Biden made the remarks in a televised event CNN on Thursday (21/10) afternoon.

The day before China said there was “no room” for compromise or concessions on the Taiwan issue.

Biden’s remarks on Thursday were seen as an extension of the “strategic ambiguity” that the United States has maintained in its response to attacks on Taiwan, the self-governing island nation.

“The president did not announce any changes in our policy. Nor has he made the decision to change our policy,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attends a meeting between defense ministers of the NATO group member states in Brussels, Belgium on October 21, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol)

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attends a meeting of the defense ministers of the NATO group member countries in Brussels, Belgium on October 21, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol)

Asked by reporters whether America would defend Taiwan if the island were attacked by China, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he would not discuss the hypothetical situation, but emphatically said that “no one wants to see those cross-Strait issues widen, including of course the President. Biden. There’s no reason for that.”

Speaking in Brussels after a meeting between defense ministers from the NATO group, Austin added that the United States remains committed to its longstanding “one China” policy. [em/rs]

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