The White House is in the midst of rushing to walk back President Joe Biden’s recent comment on how the U.S. military would intervene to protect Taiwan from a potential invasion from China.
The remark was made by Biden during a news conference in Tokyo as part of his diplomatic trip to Asia.
A reporter asked the president “you didn’t want to get involved in the Ukraine conflict militarily for obvious reasons. Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?”
“Yes,” Biden replied. “We agree with the One China policy. We signed onto it and all the attendant agreements made from there. But the idea that [Taiwan] can be taken by force, it’s just not appropriate. It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.”
Q: “Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan?”
BIDEN: “Yes, that’s the commitment we made.”
Biden’s staff immediately walked back these comments. pic.twitter.com/AhPC3czPOl
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 23, 2022
As of right now, the U.S. does not actually have any mutual defense treaty with Taiwan.
“The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which has governed U.S. relations with the island, does not require the U.S. to step in militarily to defend Taiwan if China invades, but makes it American policy to ensure Taiwan has the resources to defend itself and to prevent any unilateral change of status in Taiwan by Beijing,” the Associated Press noted.
A report from Mediaite stated that CNN’s John Berman mentioned on the show New Day how the U.S. has a policy of “strategic ambiguity” in relation to Taiwan, hence why top Biden aides were “caught off guard” by the president’s comments.
“The comments this morning seem a little less ambiguous,” Berman said. “As to whether they were strategic, CNN has learned the president’s comments caught his top aides off guard. They are already issuing some clarifications this morning. Beijing issued a response a short time ago as well.”
The network’s White House reporter Kevin Liptak received a comment from Biden’s administration attempting to push aside his comments about military involvement, stating, “as the President said, our policy has not changed. He reiterated our One China Policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.”
“He also reiterated our commitment under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.”
— Kevin Liptak (@Kevinliptakcnn) May 23, 2022
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin shared with the Associated Press that China has a “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to Biden’s comments. “China has no room for compromise or concessions on issues involving China’s core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“China will take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests, and we will do what we say,” Wenbin asserted.
These circumstances seem awfully familiar, as there were a few incidences in March where Biden called for regime change in Russia as well as announced that troops would be sent to Ukraine, both of which were walked back by the White House soon afterwards.
During a speech outside the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden declared.
“For god’s sake this man can not remain in power!”
After denying NATO enlargement has anything to do with destabilizing Russia, Biden closes his Poland address with a stentorian demand for regime change in Moscow.
Washington’s ultimate goal, made plain. pic.twitter.com/vjg6Vxs7dw
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) March 26, 2022
The White House immediately corrected the Biden, denying that Biden was calling for a regime change.
“The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,” a White House official said in a statement. “He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.”
Only a day before did the White House also have to walk back Biden’s remarks on sending troops into Ukraine.
“You’re going to see when you’re there, you’re going to see women, young people standing in the middle, in the front of a damn tank saying ‘I’m not leaving,’” Biden explained to the troops while meeting with them in Poland.
Biden tells the 82nd Airborne they’re going to Ukraine:
“You’re going to see when you’re there, you’re going to see women, young people standing in the middle, in the front of a damn tank saying ‘I’m not leaving.'” pic.twitter.com/M2nu77yUw7
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 25, 2022
After this comment, Andrew Feinberg was told by a White House spokesperson that there would be no change in their position about sending troops into Ukraine.
UPDATE: A @WhiteHouse spokesperson tells me: “The President has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine and there is no change in that position.”
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) March 25, 2022
“A White House spokesperson tells me: ‘The President has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine and there is no change in that position,’” Feinberg tweeted.