Psaki Sheds Doubt On Biden Promise To Taiwan, Won’t Say If US Would Defend Militarily

White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to say if the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily should China attack on Friday, calling into question a more blunt defense commitment Joe Biden made during Thursday night’s CNN town hall.

Psaki clarified that Biden’s Thursday comments did not intended to announce a change in policy, and she refused to say if the U.S. was committed to militarily defending Tawiain should China invade it despite questions from multiple reporters. Biden had previously stated at CNN’s town hall that the U.S. has a “commitment” to defend Taiwan.

Given Biden’s recent town hall comment, a reporter asked Psaki if there was a change in U.S. policy as it relates to Taiwan.

“There has been no shift. The president was not announcing a change in our policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy. There is no change in our policy,” Psaki said. “Our defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act.”

“Some of the principles of the Taiwan Relations Act that the United States will continue to abide by, of course, is assisting Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self defense capability. Another principle is that the United States would regard any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means a threat to the peace and security of the western Pacific and of grave concern to the United States,” she added.

Psaki also added that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated Friday that there was “no reason” that relations between Taiwan and China would “come to blows.”

Another reporter then pressed Psaki on if military measures would be taken by the U.S. to defend Taiwan should it come down to it.

“When the president says that the U.S. has a commitment to protect Taiwan, does that commitment include military intervention in the event of a Chinese attack?” the reporter asked.

Psaki then dodged the question by repeating that Biden’s statement implied no change to any existing US policy with Taiwan.

“So can you just remind us, that policy is: no, there would not be military intervention?” the reporter pressed.

“Our policy is to be guided by the Taiwan Relations Act,” Psaki repeated once again.

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