During his discussion with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, US President Joe Biden addressed the topic of Taiwan, promising to safeguard the island from any invasion.
When asked if Washington would intervene militarily to prevent Beijing from seizing control of Taiwan, he answered, "That's the commitment we made," according to Sputnik.
"We signed on to the One China policy... but the concept that it may be taken by force is simply not right," he continued.
This isn't the first time Biden has stated that the US will support Taiwan if it is attacked: he did so last year, and the White House has stated that the US will not modify its position on the subject.
Tensions between China and the US have been brewing over the past months, amid growing deliveries of American weapons to Taipei.
At the same time, China voiced protest over a number of US policies on the Taiwan issue: Most recently, the US Department of State edited its website, omitting the phrase "the United States does not support Taiwan independence".
In response, Beijing urged the US to "stop engaging in political manipulation", stressing "there is only one China in the world", FARS News Agency reports.
Taiwan, which formally calls itself the "Republic of China", has been governed separately from the rest of the country since the end of the civil war in 1949. Beijing considers the island to be a part of the People's Republic of China, and while the US does not recognise Taiwan as an independent nation, Washington enjoys close relations with Taipei, delivering weapons and pledging to protect the island.
Last month, however, US media suggested that American defence contractors had a backlog of $14.2 billion worth of military equipment that Taiwan bought back in 2019. According to the reports, less than 20 percent of the weaponry ordered has been delivered to Taipei due to "COVID-related acquisition issues".
Addressing the backlog, Admiral Michael Gilday, chief of US Naval Operations urged Taiwan to boost its defence, citing a possible "aggression" by China in light of the crisis in Ukraine. It triggered a painful reaction in Beijing, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry stressing that Taiwan was none of America’s business.
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