BEIJING (AP) — President Joe Biden says U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if China tries to invade the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing as a part of its territory, including to shows of official American help for the island democracy.

Biden mentioned “sure” when requested throughout an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS Information’s “60 Minutes” program whether or not “U.S. forces, U.S. women and men, would defend Taiwan within the occasion of a Chinese language invasion.”

CBS Information reported the White Home mentioned after the interview U.S. coverage hasn’t modified. That coverage says Washington needs to see Taiwan’s standing resolved peacefully however doesn’t say whether or not U.S. forces may be despatched in response to a Chinese language assault.

Rigidity is rising following efforts by Chinese language President Xi Jinping’s authorities to intimidate Taiwan by firing missiles into the close by sea and flying fighter jets close by and visits to Taipei by political figures together with U.S. Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Taiwan’s overseas ministry on Monday expressed “honest gratitude” to Biden for “affirming the U.S. authorities’s rock-solid promise of safety to Taiwan.”

Taiwan will “resist authoritarian enlargement and aggression” and “deepen the shut safety partnership” with Washington and different governments “with comparable pondering” to guard regional stability, the assertion mentioned.

Washington is obligated by federal regulation to see that Taiwan has the means to defend itself however doesn’t say whether or not U.S. forces could be despatched. America has no formal relations with the island however maintains casual diplomatic ties.

Taiwan and China break up in 1949 after a civil struggle that ended with the Communist Get together accountable for the mainland. The 2 governments say they’re one nation however dispute which is entitled to be the nationwide chief.

Beijing criticizes official overseas contact with Taiwan’s elected authorities as encouragement to make its de facto independence everlasting, a step the mainland says would result in struggle.

Washington says it doesn’t help formal independence for Taiwan, a stance Biden repeated within the interview broadcast Sunday.

“Taiwan makes their very own judgments about their independence,” the president mentioned. “We’re not encouraging their being unbiased.”

In Might, Biden mentioned “sure” when requested at a information convention in Tokyo whether or not he was keen to get entangled militarily to defend Taiwan if China invaded.

AP journalist Johnson Lai in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed to this report.

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