China says Biden’s comments in Taiwan ‘seriously violate US policy on the island’ – Times of India


BEIJING: Beijing said on Monday that President Joe Biden’s latest remarks that the United States would defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion “seriously violated Washington’s policy toward the island.”
Washington broke formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 and acquired Beijing as China’s sole representative, but it has maintained a decisive, if delicate, role in supporting the island ever since.
In an interview with US broadcaster CBS that aired Sunday, Biden was asked if US troops would defend Taiwan, answering “yes” if it was “an unprecedented attack.”
He went on to say that Taiwan makes its “own judgment” about independence and that the US did not “encourage” its independence.
“That’s their decision,” he said.
China reacted angrily on Monday when Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning told a regular press conference: “The US comments….”
“We are ready to make the greatest sincere efforts to strive for peaceful reunification,” Mao said.
“At the same time, we will never tolerate activities aimed at dividing the country and we will retain the choice to take all necessary measures.”
Tensions between China and the US are already higher than usual after a rare visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, a key ally of Biden and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Last week, a US Senate committee took the first step to directly provide billions of dollars in military aid to Taiwan and make the ties more official.
The US approved a potential arms sale worth more than $1 billion to Taiwan in early September, including 60 anti-ship missiles and 100 air-to-air missiles, provoking anger from China.
“We urge the US to fully recognize the extreme importance and high sensitivity of the Taiwanese issue… (and) seriously honor the commitment made by US leaders not to support Taiwanese independence Mao added.
Biden’s comments seemed to deviate from decades of US policy toward Taiwan.
Washington, while arming Taiwan, has long pursued a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about whether it would intervene militarily if Beijing invaded.
The policy aims to prevent both China from invading and Taiwan from formally declaring independence.
As on previous occasions when Biden appeared to be changing US policy on the island, the White House insisted the comments did not indicate a change.
In May, Biden again indicated that he would use military force to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, but offered no clarification.
Biden’s new comments are “dangerous, even if it’s not an official policy change,” Jessica Chen Weiss, a professor of government at Cornell University, wrote on Twitter.
“More explicit than in previous gaffes is the suggestion that the US would send troops to fight for Taiwan no matter what Taiwan does,” she wrote, adding that it “will reinforce the perception that the US is giving Taiwan a blank check.”
However, Taiwan’s foreign ministry on Monday expressed its “sincere gratitude” for Biden’s support.

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