PC: NBC Connecticut

In his most direct comment to date on the subject, Vice President Joe Biden of the United States stated that American military would defend Taiwan in the case of a Chinese invasion during an interview that was aired on Sunday.

When asked by CBS’ “60 Minutes” if American military would protect the self-governing island that China claimed, he answered: “Yes, if there was an unprecedented attack.”

In response to a question about whether he meant that, unlike in Ukraine, male and female U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the case of a Chinese invasion, “Yes,” Biden responded.

The interview was merely the most recent instance in which Biden seemed to deviate from long-standing declared U.S. policy on Taiwan, but his declaration that American forces would be sent to defend the island was more explicit than prior ones.

A White House spokesman was contacted for response and stated that Taiwan’s status remained under US policy. “The President has previously stated this, most recently earlier this year in Tokyo. He also made it clear at the time that our policy toward Taiwan hasn’t changed. That is still accurate, the spokeswoman declared.

Biden’s interview with CBS took place last week. For Monday’s funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the president will be in Britain.

The United States has historically adhered to a position that avoids stating explicitly whether it would use force to defend Taiwan.

When asked in May if he would be willing to use military force to defend Taiwan, Biden responded, “Yes… That’s the pledge we made.”

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Biden reaffirmed that the United States did not favour Taiwanese independence and that it remained steadfast in its “One-China” policy, according to which Beijing, not Taipei, is the official representative of China.