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White House walks back Biden's statement that U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if China invades

"If in fact there was an unprecedented attack" the U.S. would get involved in Taiwan, Biden said.

September 19, 2022 10:00am

Updated: September 19, 2022 11:06am

President Biden and his administration again appear to be at odds over the country's support for Taiwan amid its and China's escalating military posture with each other.

During a pre-taped CBS "60 Minutes" interview aired Sunday night with President Biden, he was asked whether U.S. troops would defend Taiwan if China invades.

"Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack," Biden replied.

The interview was interrupted with a voiceover saying a White House official said after interview that "U.S. policy has not changed" and the government will not officially say whether U.S. troops would intervene in Taiwan, according to the Daily Wire.

A similar situation occurred in May when the president delivered similar remarks in Tokyo.

"So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. Forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?" interview Scott Pelley also asked.

"Yes," the president responded.

Biden also said he agrees with the "One China policy," to which the White House was likely referring. The policy acknowledges but does not endorse the Chinese Communist Party's view that Taiwan is part of China. 

"Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence," Biden also said. "We’re not encouraging their being independent. ... That’s their decision."

China has in recent months escalated its military operations near Taiwan, as the country continues to try to strengthen tries with Western nations. Taiwan as recently as last month a vowed to counter-attack.

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