Biden met with quad leaders in Tokyo, saying there was no change in Taiwan’s policy

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TOKYO – President Biden on Tuesday reiterated that his policy toward Taiwan has not changed, a day after he made a forceful promise – as he had made earlier – that the United States would defend the island if attacked by neighboring China.

At a meeting of leaders from the United States, India, Australia and Japan here, Biden was asked in detail in his unequivocal remarks this week that he would intervene militarily if Beijing tried to forcefully take over Taiwan. The remarks were an apparent shift in long-term U.S. policy to deliberately remain ambiguous about its activities in such situations, a policy known as “strategic ambiguity.”

Asked on Tuesday if the policy was dead, Biden replied: “No.” Asked if he would send US troops to the self-governing island if China invaded, he reiterated that position.

“The policy hasn’t changed at all,” Biden said. “I said that when I made my statement yesterday.”

Both the president and a White House official said Monday that Biden’s remarks did not represent a change in U.S. policy, despite Beijing’s immediate outburst. This particular scenario – where Biden has promised to defend Taiwan militarily and his allies are pushing it back – has been seen before, as during the CNN forum in October.

Biden’s charming South Korea seeks to strengthen ties with Indo-Pacific

His remarks came during a meeting of the Quad on Tuesday, a partnership of influential Indo-Pacific democracies that is widely seen as a counterweight to China. The four countries came together in 2004 for relief work in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, but the Biden administration increased its importance but was met with sporadic visits.

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