President Joe Biden said the U.S. military would defend Taiwan if the island was invaded by Chinese forces, in a broad-ranging interview on CBS 60 Minutes broadcast on Sunday where he also said the Covid-19 pandemic was now “over” and chided his predecessor’s handling of critical government documents.
Biden told CBS that U.S. forces will defend Taiwan in the event of an “unprecedented attack” and when pressed on if this meant sending troops to defend the island from a Chinese invasion, Biden said “yes”.
Prior to this, Biden said the U.S. still adheres to the one-China policy and is not encouraging Taiwan to seek independence—but added “Taiwan makes their own judgments.”
Following the interview, a White House official clarified Washington’s official policy on Taiwan has not changed.
During the interview, Biden also declared the Covid-19 pandemic was “over” even though nearly 400 Americans continue to die from the virus every day.
The president, however, acknowledged the U.S. still has a “problem with Covid” and said his administration is “still doing a lot of work on it.”
On the issue of classified government documents being found in former President Donald Trump’s residence, Biden said he has not been briefed about the seized documents but deemed his predecessor’s actions “totally irresponsible,” and expressed concern that data about intelligence sources and methods may have been compromised.
On the issue of running again in 2024, Biden said he had not yet made a “firm decision”, adding that it was “much too early to make that kind of decision.”
In a segment of the interview broadcast last week, Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against using nuclear weapons in Ukraine as his forces face major setbacks. When asked what he would tell Putin if he was contemplating the use of chemical or tactical nuclear weapons Biden said “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II.” In the interview, the president also said Ukraine was “defeating” Russia on the battlefield.
Biden tells 60 Minutes U.S. troops would defend Taiwan, but White House says this is not official U.S. policy (CBS News)
Biden Calls Trump ‘Irresponsible’ Over Mar-a-Lago Documents (New York Times)
President Joe Biden Full Interview (CBS 60 Minutes)