China said there was “no room” for compromise when it comes to Taiwan on Friday after President Joe Biden made it clear the U.S. would defend the island if it were attacked, The Associated Press reported.
“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in response to Biden’s comments at a CNN town hall on Thursday, the AP reported.
“No one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said. “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan issue is purely an internal affair of China that allows no foreign intervention.”
At the town hall, Biden reiterated he did not want a new Cold War but said he wanted China to understand the U.S. is “not going to step back.”
When asked if the U.S. would defend Taiwan if it were invaded, Biden responded, “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.”
COOPER: “Are you saying that the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense?”
QUESTIONER: “If China attacked?”
BIDEN: “Yes, we have a commitment to do that.” pic.twitter.com/YTgxMaD4MP
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 22, 2021
“Our approach and our U.S. defense relationship … is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, and we will uphold our commitment under the act,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a news briefing on Friday. “We will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo.
“Our support for, and defense relationship with, Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China.
“I’m not in a position to comment on specific operations, engagements, or training, but I would like to highlight that our support for, and defense relationship, for Taiwan remains aligned.”
In response to a request for comment from The Hill, a White House official issued a statement that said, “The President was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy.”
Wang said the U.S. should “be cautious with its words and actions” so as to not send the wrong message to “the separatist forces of Taiwan independence” and damage U.S.-Chinese relations, the AP reported.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he would not discuss hypotheticals Friday when asked if America would defend the island.
“Nobody wants to see cross-Strait issues come to blows — certainly not President Biden, and there’s no reason that it should,” Austin said.
China has increased its incursions into Taiwan’s defense zone, sending a record number of military aircraft into the area on Oct. 4 and escalating tensions.
“Taiwan will demonstrate our firm determination to defend ourselves and continue to work with countries with similar values to make a positive contribution toward the Taiwan Strait and Indo-Pacific region’s peace and stability,” a Taiwan representative said Friday, the AP reported.
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