Biden was asked in an interview on Sunday whether US troops would defend Taiwan, and replied, “Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack”.
BEIJING: China on Monday said it had lodged “stern representations” with the US after President Joe Biden said Washington would defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, adding that his comment “seriously violates” long-standing US policy on the island.
“The US side seriously violates the One China Principle, three China-US joint communiques, seriously breaches the US commitment of not supporting Taiwan independence and sends seriously erroneous signals to Taiwan independence separatist forces,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing on Monday.
“China has lodged stern representations. There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. In the meantime, we will never tolerate any activities aimed to split China and we reserve all options in taking necessary measures,” said Mao.
Biden was asked in an interview on Sunday whether US troops would defend Taiwan, and replied, “Yes, if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack.”
Asked again during the interview given to CBS 60 Minutes whether he meant that unlike in Ukraine, US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, Biden said: “Yes.”
The Chinese foreign ministry reacted angrily to Biden’s statement.
“We are willing to do our best to strive for peaceful reunification. At the same time, we will not tolerate any activities aimed at secession,” Mao said.
China claims the self-governed democracy as a breakaway region and has not ruled away the use of military force to merge it with the mainland.
Mao added that China reserves the right to take all necessary measures in response to activities that split the nation apart.
Mao urged Washington to handle Taiwan-related issues “carefully and properly”, and not send wrong signals to “Taiwan independence separatist forces”.
The spokesperson warned the US not to seriously damage Sino-US relations and the peace in the Taiwan Strait.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had warned against playing with fire over Taiwan in a call with Biden in late July, in the run-up to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this,” a Chinese foreign ministry readout on the phone call said.
The warning didn’t stop Pelosi from visiting Taiwan in early August, triggering furious statements from Beijing and an unprecedented People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill around the island.
Last week, China said it firmly opposes the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, approved by the US Senate foreign relations committee and urged Washington to stop considering it.
The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 aims to increase US military provision for Taiwan, authorising the government to sanction $6.5 billion over the next five years.