Biden: US will help Taiwan if China attacks

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President Joe Biden says in the television program “60 minutes” that the United States would send military aid if China attacks Taiwan. However, the White House maintains that the American stance remains – that is, it helps the country with military means but does not promise to send any troops.

It is not the first time that Biden has made promises of military aid that the White House has since played down. The last time was in May during a visit to Japan.

“Strategic Ambiguity”

Washington severed formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 and instead recognized Beijing as China’s sole ruler. Mainland China then became an important trading partner. But at the same time, the US maintained a crucial, if fragile, role in supporting Taiwan.

By law, the United States must sell military supplies to Taiwan to ensure the country’s defense against Beijing’s much larger armed forces. However, nothing is said about the possibility of sending soldiers to the island. The US’s stance is usually called a “strategic ambiguity”.

When asked if the latest statement from Biden signals a change in the strategic ambiguity, a White House spokesperson said:

– The president has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year. He also made it clear then that our Taiwan policy has not changed.

Re-election to the presidency uncertain

During the interview in “60 minutes”, Biden was also asked if he intends to stand in the next presidential election in 2024. Previously, the message has been that he planned to do so.

Biden, who turns 80 in November, says it is his intention to run.

– But it is only an intention. It is not a firm decision that I will run again. It remains to be seen, says Biden.

– It is far too early.