Biden Says US Troops Will Defend Taiwan in Case of Chinese Invasion

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden said in an interview on Sunday that US troops would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, his most explicit statement yet on the matter.

When asked in a TBEN 60 Minutes interview whether US troops would defend the island claimed by China, he replied, “Yes, if indeed there was an unprecedented attack.”

Asked to clarify whether he meant that US troops, men and women, unlike Ukraine, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden replied, “Yes.”

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The interview was just the last time Biden seemed to go beyond long-standing US policy on Taiwan, but his statement was clearer than the last about deploying US troops to defend the island.

Asked for comment, a White House spokesperson said US policy on Taiwan had not changed.

“The president has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year. He also made it clear that our Taiwan policy has not changed. It will remain so,” said the spokesman.

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The TBEN interview with Biden took place last week. The president will be in Britain on Monday for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

The United States has long maintained a policy of not making clear whether it would respond militarily to an attack on Taiwan.

In May, Biden was asked if he was willing to commit himself militarily to defend Taiwan and replied: https://www.reuters.com/world/biden-meets-japanese-emperor-start-visit-launch-regional-economic -plan -2022-05-23: “Yes … That’s the commitment we made.”

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In the 60 Minutes interview, Biden reiterated that the United States did not support Taiwanese independence and remained committed to a “One-China” policy in which Washington officially recognizes Beijing and not Taipei.

(This story will be saved again to add reporting points)

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Costas Pitas and Trevor Hunnicutt; editing by Kim Coghill and Gerry Doyle)

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