US President Joe Biden has again assured Taiwan military support in the event of an attack. “Yes, if there were actually an unprecedented attack,” said Biden in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday evening (local time) when asked: “Would US forces defend the island?”

Biden took questions from Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes in Thursday’s taped interview. Pelley asked again: “So in contrast to Ukraine, to be clear: US forces (…) would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” Biden again answered the question in the affirmative.

Pelley explained on the show that after the interview with Biden, the White House clarified that US policy had not changed and the US would not officially say whether American forces would defend Taiwan.

Biden made similarly clear statements on a trip to Japan in May, saying that the United States has an “obligation” to defend Taiwan in the event of an attack. It was only at the beginning of August that US top politician Nancy Pelosi caused tensions with China with a trip to Taiwan.

The communist leadership in Beijing regards Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic and threatens to conquer it. The United States has committed itself to Taiwan’s ability to defend itself – which has so far primarily meant arms deliveries. The question of military assistance in the event of an attack was deliberately left open because Beijing would see this as a violation of the “One China Doctrine”.