The 60 Minutes TV program that aired on Sunday, September 18, showed an interview with U.S. President Biden on September 15, in which Biden clearly stated that the U.S. will defend Taiwan.
The 60 Minutes correspondent, Scott Pelley, asked President Biden,”What should Chinese President Xi know about your commitment to Taiwan?”
Biden answered, “We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago,” “that there’s one China policy, and that Taiwan makes its own judgments about their independence. We are not moving– we’re not encouraging their being independent. We’re not– that– that’s their decision.”
“But would U.S. forces defend the island?” Pelley asked.
“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said.
“So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir,” Pelley continued, “U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?”
“Yes,” Biden replied.
Many observers felt this would shift the U.S. policy on defending Taiwan from “strategic ambiguity” to “strategic clarity.”
This is the fourth time that President Biden said the U.S. will defend Taiwan if China invades the island. He made similar statements last October and also in May this year.
Each time afterward, including the recent 60 Minutes interview, the White House spokesperson said the U.S. position on Taiwan has not changed.
Robert Tsao, a Taiwanese tech tycoon, told Financial Times in an interview that Taiwan’s stand-off with China is not about unification or independence. “These are fake issues,” he said. “China’s nationalism is anti-civilizational. Taiwan, on the other hand, stands on the side of civilization, which values reason, science, progress, peace, human rights, the rule of law and democracy. That is why we cannot be together with them.(ie. with China)”
1. VOA, September 20, 2022
2. CBS, September 18, 2022
3. Financial Times, September 20, 2022