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US President Joe Biden attends a ceremony marking the 10th Anniversary dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr, Memorial, in Washington, DC, on October 21, 2021. — AFP pic
US President Joe Biden attends a ceremony marking the 10th Anniversary dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr, Memorial, in Washington, DC, on October 21, 2021. — AFP pic

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WASHINGTON, Oct 22 — The White House clarified today that there was no change in US policy on Taiwan after President Joe Biden promised to defend the island from Chinese attack, angering Beijing.

“The president was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy,” a White House spokesperson said.

The White House said it was still guided by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, in which Congress required the United States to provide the island weapons for its own defence but was ambiguous on whether the United States would intervene militarily.

“We will uphold our commitment under the act to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes in the status quo,” the spokesperson said.

Biden, asked at a CNN televised forum last night if the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if China invaded, replied, “Yes.”

“We have a commitment to that,” he said.

The Taiwan Relations Act was passed when the United States switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing and committed Washington to maintain de facto diplomatic relations with Taiwan. — AFP


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