President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the United States was committed to defending Taiwan if it were to come under assault from China, a posture that seems to be at odds with the United States' professed policy of strategic ambiguity. The White House has responded to similar assertions made by Biden before, saying that historical US policy toward the island has not changed.
However, the United States has deliberately kept vague on whether it would intervene militarily if Taiwan were to come under assault by the People's Republic of China.
The United States recognizes China's claim to sovereignty over Taiwan under the One China Policy.
Hundreds of aircraft have flown close to Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone in recent weeks, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that reunification between China and Taiwan is unavoidable at this point in history.
"The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo," the official said.
"China urges the US to strictly abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the China-US Three Joint Communiqués, be cautious in its words and deeds on the Taiwan issue, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the separatist forces of Taiwan independence, so as not to seriously damage China-US relations, peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news briefing in Beijing Friday.
Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he was not concerned about a planned military clash with China, but that he was concerned about an unintended escalation of the situation.