(PresidentialWire.com)- The Biden administration was left scrambling on Friday to clarify comments made by the president about defending Taiwan as the country comes under fire from the Chinese Communist Party. The president had suggested that he would defend Taiwan, following news that the Chinese government intends to encroach into the territory and clamp down on its freedoms as an individual territory in the same way it did to Hong Kong over the last year.
On Thursday, the president responded to a question from a CNN reporter about whether the United States would defend Taiwan if the recent flying of military aircraft over Taiwanese airspace became a fully-fledged invasion.
“Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” he said.
It’s the kind of promise former President Donald Trump would have made, but not one that a pro-China president like Joe Biden should be making – not least because of his family’s business interests in the country.
It left White House spokespeople wondering how to defend the president, and how to signal to China that the United States won’t veer from the “One China Policy” that Biden supports – which is the belief that China has the right to take control of territories that it believes is traditionally a part of its own empire.
“The President was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy,” a Biden spokesperson told The Hill.
The spokesperson added that the United States’ defense relationship with Taiwan is currently guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, and that the government will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense – arguing that defending the country wouldn’t be a diversion from existing policy.
No word, however, on what President Joe Biden thinks about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise to achieve “reunification” with Taiwan.