Biden Reaffirms the US Would Defend Taiwan if China Attacks

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The Facts

  • In an interview with 60 Minutes that aired Sunday, Biden vowed the US would defend Taiwan in the case of an “unprecedented attack” by China, including by sending American troops.

  • However, a White House official backtracked these remarks, claiming that the US's "strategic ambiguity" on deploying troops to defend Taiwan hasn't changed.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Biden once understood the subtleties of US-Taiwan-China dynamics, but now he seems to be itching for a fight. Despite the White House walking back the president’s words, Beijing has no choice but to look at the rhetoric and action Congress is taking, and assume the US is escalating. These tensions were avoidable.

Pro-establishment narrative

Biden's words send a strong message about global democracy to authoritarians worldwide. It’s China who has been saber-rattling over Taiwan, possibly because the PRC is inspired by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. So while Biden’s words don’t change "official" US policy on Taiwan, they show a willingness to tighten the bond while sending a strong message to US allies.

Nerd narrative

There's a 65% chance that if China invades Taiwan before 2035, the US respond with military forces according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Public figures in this story

Establishment split



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