Biden remarks on Taiwan leave administration scrambling

“He wasn’t announcing a change in policy nor have we changed our policy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “We are guided by the Taiwan Relations Act.”

Under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the U.S. is committed to providing Taiwan with arms for its defense. The law does not commit the U.S. to sending troops to Taiwan to defend it.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday dodged questions about Biden’s remarks, and about whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan from a military attack by China.

“Nobody wants to see cross-strait issues come to blows, certainly not President Biden, and there’s no reason that it should,” Austin said from NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Austin also said the U.S. remained committed to the Taiwan Relations Act and the “One China” policy.