Biden says U.S. has a 'commitment' to defend Taiwan, should China attack

"I just want China to understand that we are not going to step back and we are not going to change any of our views," said Biden on Thursday

Updated: October 22, 2021 - 7:54am

President Biden said Thursday during a CNN town hall event that the United States is committed to defending Taiwan should the island nation be attacked by China. 

"We have a commitment to do that," he said during the event held in Baltimore. "China knows the U.S has the most powerful military in the world."

n response to a question about Beijing's recent test of a hypersonic missile, Biden responded: "I don’t want a cold war with China, I just want China to understand that we are not going to step back and we are not going to change any of our views." 

As China's aggression escalates, Biden's comments mark a departure from the formerly held U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity" toward the region. 

According to the 1979 Taiwan Relation Act  the U.S. is responsible for making "available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain self-sufficient defense capabilities."

However, the U.S. is not committed, by way of the TRA, to defending the independently governed island. 

Over the last month, Chinese military aggression toward Taiwan has ramped up considerably, as President Xi Jinping has made calls for Taiwan to be "reunified" with  the mainland. China's military has send hundreds of warning flights into Taiwan's air defense zone as a show of force.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed disapproval for China's recent actions toward Taiwan, saying during a recent interview that "we need to see China stop these actions," which he called "potentially destabilizing." 

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