White House staffers appear to be walking back President Joe Biden’s commitments to defending Taiwan from invasion by China. The President’s pledge to stand by the Taiwan military at a CNN Town Hall in Baltimore on Friday has sparked anger in Beijing. The Biden administration is reportedly now looking to “clean up” after the President made the comments with the White stating the US leader was in fact”not announcing any change in policy.”
Washington DC Correspondent Kethevane Gorjestani told France 24: “The White House is trying a little bit to clean up those presidential comments yesterday during a town hall where [President Biden] was very clearly asked whether the West would defend Taiwan in the case of a Chinese attack and he said, yes, we have a commitment to that.
“This morning the White House, trying to walk back those comments by Joe Biden saying Biden was not announcing any change in policy.
“They insisted that the US relationship towards Taiwan is based on the Taiwan Relations Act which means that there is continuous support from the US, for a Taiwan’s right to defend itself, and that the US continues to oppose any change in the status quo and meaning they’re giving a message to China not to act in a way that would change anything regarding Taiwan.
“So the White House really walking back those comments, the same way they did back in August when already, Joe Biden had made similar comments about the US defending Taiwan in the case of an attack, and again, at the time, the White House walking back those comments saying that the President had actually misspoken.”
“So you’re really seeing there, the administration trying to clean up the words of Joe Biden.
“This is of course the second time already, that Joe Biden has made these comments and as we heard in that report this has really angered the Chinese authorities because they feel that Joe Biden is sending mixed signals that the Biden administration is sending mixed signals and they want to make the US policy very clear.
“So what you’ve heard from the Secretary of Defence and what you’re hearing from the White House is that nothing has changed from the US point of view.”
Pressed on whether the US would intervene to defend the island of Taiwan from China, the President had replied: “Yes and yes.”
CNN host Anderson Cooper later looked to confirm Mr Biden’s position on a pledge to back Taiwan in the case of a war, to which the President replied: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”
The President’s staff later appeared to backtrack on the commitment which went a long-running position of “strategic ambiguity,” over the level of US backing to Taiwan in the event of a full-scale attack by China.
It comes after the US President was taken to task over his administration’s failure to stop China from being able to “leapfrog” the US with their nuclear capabilities.
In August the Chinese military was able to launch a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, US Senator Lindsey Graham described reports of the launch, if correct, as “the biggest game-changer in the last 40 years.”
Fox News host Hannity said: “We’re watching now hypersonic missiles that are have nuclear capability being fired around the globe, and talk of reunification with China and Chinese fighter jets flying over Taiwan airspace Joe does nothing. Why should the Chinese fear, Joe Biden. I don’t see any reason why they would.”
Senator Graham replied: “Well, what does it matter to the people at home listening to this programme if, in fact, the Chinese have developed hypersonic missiles that can deliver a nuclear weapon is a military game-changer when it comes to nuclear forces.”