By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – U.S. President Joe Biden says that American forces will defend Taiwan if China attacks the island.
He spoke in an interview on the “60 Minutes” television program amid mounting concerns about Chinese military operations in the area.
U.S. policy since 1979 has been to recognize Taiwan as part of China but remain silent on whether the U.S. military would defend the democratic government there.
After the interview, aired by broadcaster CBS, a White House official rushed to say that this policy has not changed. But it didn’t appear easy to reconcile these different approaches.
When asked whether American forces would defend Taiwan if China invaded the island, Biden said clearly, “yes, if there was an unprecedented attack.”
He made the remarks while Russian President Vladimir Putin met with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has pledged closer military and economic ties.
With the world focused on Russia’s war in Ukraine, there is concern that the conflict could inspire China to attack the island of Taiwan, a U.S. security official told Worthy News earlier.
China has been holding extended military exercises near the island, which it has vowed to annex one day by force if necessary.
Beijing expressed outrage about the August U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s to Taipei, the Taiwanese capital.
Tensions in the nearby Taiwan Strait soon reached levels not seen in nearly thirty years, according to analysts and officials.
Since last month, Beijing has launched joint military exercises around the island and suspended or canceled eight official military dialogues and cooperation channels with the United States.
Taiwan reported ballistic missile launches near the island, air and naval operations across the centerline and on the edge of the island’s territorial waters, plus massive cyber attacks.
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