A day after 'defending Taiwan by force' comment, Biden says no change to policy of strategic ambiguity

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
Tokyo, Japan Updated: May 24, 2022, 01:09 PM(IST)

Taiwan is regarded by China as an inalienable part of its territory, and differences with Washington over Taiwan are the most sensitive issue in its relationship with the US. Biden's remark seems to have angered Beijing, which said that Washington was "playing with fire." Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

While the United States is bound by law to give self-ruled Taiwan the ability to defend itself, it has traditionally adopted a policy of "strategic ambiguity" on whether it would intervene militarily to safeguard Taiwan in the case of a Chinese attack

Just a day after making a remark about his country's readiness to use force to defend Taiwan against Chinese invasion, United States President Joe Biden noted that Washington's "strategic ambiguity" policy remains in effect.

While the United States is bound by law to give self-ruled Taiwan the ability to defend itself, it has traditionally adopted a policy of "strategic ambiguity" on whether it would intervene militarily to safeguard Taiwan in the case of a Chinese attack.

A convention that Biden appeared to violate on Monday.

Watch: China blows up replica of Taiwan's naval base

However, when asked on Tuesday if the United States' policy on Taiwan had changed, Biden replied, "No."

"The policy has not changed at all. I stated that when I made my statement yesterday," he remarked after a round of discussions with his Quad colleagues.

Also read | Joe Biden says would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan

The subject of Taiwan loomed large over a meeting in Tokyo of leaders from the Quad nations of the United States, Japan, Australia, and India, who reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific area in the face of a more assertive China.

Taiwan is regarded by China as an inalienable part of its territory, and differences with Washington over Taiwan are the most sensitive issue in its relationship with the US.

Biden's remark seems to have angered Beijing, which said that Washington was "playing with fire."

Also read | Watch: Leaked video shows Chinese commanders discussing Taiwan invasion plan

China has no place for compromise or concessions on issues concerning its sovereignty and territorial integrity, said a representative for the Chinese foreign ministry.

Some critics suggest that Biden misspoke or made yet another gaffe. Others believe that his remark carries no formal guarantee of security and only stands to risk accelerating Beijing's desire to act.

(With inputs from agencies)

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