Less than a day after President Joe Biden said the United States would come to Taiwan's defense if China were to launch an attack on the territory, one of the Communist Party's leading propaganda organs is calling the president's bluff.
The Global Times, a Communist Party mouthpiece closely tied to the regime, on Friday quickly jumped on the comments, saying "Biden won't make good on ‘defend Taiwan' claim." The propaganda outlet further accused the president of significantly shifting U.S. policy on Taiwan, which it described as "a major shift in the cross-Straits situation" that is "bound to trigger fierce confrontation" with the Chinese military.
Biden was asked during a televised town hall event on Thursday evening if America would come to Taiwan's defense were China to launch an assault. "Yes, we have a commitment to do that," Biden said. His remarks came amid China's increasingly aggressive stance toward Taiwan, including invading the island country's airspace earlier this month with a swarm of more than 50 warplanes.
Historically, the United States has refrained from saying it would confront Chinese troops were they to try and seize Taiwan. The White House on Friday sought to clarify Biden's remarks. "The president was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy," a spokesman told reporters.
Chinese Communist Party boosters are not buying Biden's rhetoric, saying the People's Liberation Army (PLA) would "wipe out" the U.S. military if it were to intervene in a conflict.
"Whether it is a slip of the tongue, such a statement will not influence the Chinese mainland's determination and will over its stance on cross-Straits ties," the Global Times wrote. "The PLA has an overwhelming advantage over the military on Taiwan island, with full capacity to cause unbearable results to US troops if they dare ‘defend' the island, and even to wipe them out."