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President Biden and administration officials have on more than one occasion sent out mixed messages on the U.S. position when it comes to defending Taiwan against a Chinese attack, Sen. Tim Kaine said Tuesday but noted that this appears to be part of the plan.
Biden has on several occasions stated that the U.S. would defend Taiwan if China attacked the island, and each time the White House has responded by insisting that American policy of “strategic ambiguity” regarding Taiwan has not changed. Kaine said that this back and forth is in line with that.
“Even a walk back, it becomes strategic ambiguity. So I think it’s all part of strategic ambiguity,” he said.
When asked if he believes the pattern of Biden saying one thing and then the White House walking it back is intentional, Kaine indicated that he does.
“When something happens more than once, it doesn’t seem like an accident,” he said.
The U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity regarding Taiwan has been one having ties with the island but also continuing a “One China Policy” that does not recognize it as its own country and does not support Taiwanese independence. Biden has multiple times made statements that did not seem ambiguous at all, flatly stating that the U.S. would get involved militarily if China attacked Taiwan.
Most recently, this happened during a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday. Biden said “yes” when asked during if “U.S. forces, U.S. men and women, would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.” After the interview, CBS News reported that the White House said American policy has not changed.
A similar incident took place in May when Biden answered in the affirmative when asked if he was “willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan” in the event of a Chinese invasion. A White House spokesperson then told Fox News that the administration’s policy “has not changed.”