A subtle change by the US State Department to its position on Taiwan upset China who called the actions “political manipulation”.
This looks like another instance of Joe Biden’s making another foreign policy mistake at a time when he seems to be causing one crisis after another. This is not the first time Biden has stumbled on the Taiwan issue.
The change comes on the State Department’s website which removed a portion of the Taiwan summary which had declared that Taiwan is a part of China. This comes as China continues to increase its threats about invading Taiwan.
The previous version had said that “The U.S. and Taiwan enjoy a robust unofficial relationship”. Now that sentence reads, “As a leading democracy and technological powerhouse, Taiwan is a key U.S. partner in the Indo-Pacific.”
Also, included in the previous version was the phrase, “The U.S. does not support Taiwan independence”. This change indicates a much stronger US tie to Taiwan and fears that Washington will recognize Taiwan’s independence.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian ripped into the Biden administration over the changes calling it a “petty act of fictionalizing and hollowing out the one-China principle.” and accused the United States of political manipulation, according to the Daily Mail.
This is not the first time that Biden has waffled on the Taiwan issue. In July 2021, the administration cited a strong ‘unofficial relationship’ with Taiwan but stated they did not support Taiwan’s independence.
But in November of last year, Biden himself stunned the world by telling reporters of Taiwan: “It’s independent. It makes its own decisions.”
However, just one hour later he walked back the comment, saying the U.S. was not officially recognizing Taiwan’s independence.