TOKYO (AFP) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday (May 24) said Washington’s “strategic ambiguity” policy on Taiwan remains in place, a day after his comment about readiness to defend the island against a Chinese invasion suggested a change.
“No”, Mr Biden told reporters when asked if the policy was now dead.
“The policy has not changed at all. I stated that when I made my statement yesterday.”
Mr Biden said on Monday that the US would defend Taiwan in the event Beijing attempts to take control, in his strongest remarks to date on the issue of Taiwan and come amid rising tensions over China’s growing economic and military power.
Chinese State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office said on Monday that the US is “playing with fire”, following Mr Biden’s remarks.
The United States is “using the ‘Taiwan card’ to contain China, and will itself get burned,” said Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the office.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office falls under its State Council, which is often described as the country’s Cabinet.
Chinese state media Xinhua said Ms Zhu “urged the United States to stop any remarks or actions” that violate previously established principles between the two countries.
Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Monday declared that China “has no room for compromise or concession,” when it comes to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Asked on Monday if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, Mr Biden replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” he said.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday insisted however that US “policy has not changed.”
The US president spoke in Tokyo where he was meeting with Japan’s prime minister ahead of a regional summit on Tuesday.
Washington and allies like Japan have framed a tough response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a warning to others, especially China, against unilateral military action.