Should China ever decide to invade Taiwan, US troops will guarantee the security of the island nation. US President Joe Biden left no doubt about this in an interview with CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday. When asked whether US troops will protect Taiwan, Biden said: “Yes, in fact, there was already talk of an unprecedented attack.” However, the White House said after the interview that this is not official US policy.

    Never before has the US president been so clear about possible US support for Taiwan. In the interview with CBS, he was asked whether the promised support means that, unlike now, for example, in Ukraine, American troops will also be sent to the island to help with the defense. “Yes,” Biden replied.

    A White House spokesman said after the interview, which was already taped on Thursday, that Biden’s statement does not reflect official policy of the United States. The question of whether US troops will travel to Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion remains unanswered, the spokesman said. However, America has promised weapons to Taiwan so that it can defend itself.

    At the end of May, Biden also caused a stir by saying that defending Taiwan is a promise the United States has made on itself. That ruling angered Beijing, which considers Taiwan a renegade province. A spokesman for the president later clarified that the US would be committed to providing military support so that Taiwan can defend itself. Biden responded a few days later by saying that “the policy towards Taiwan has not changed at all”.

    Since the visit of top American politician Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan last month, relations between China and the US have been tense. China conducted days of military exercises in the waters around the island nation in the wake of her visit. Beijing has warned Washington not to “play with fire” around Taiwan.