Beijing on Monday said it is ready to defend its national interests over Taiwan, in a rebuke to US President Joe Biden's vow to defend the island militarily if it is attacked.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the comments at a press briefing, saying that "no one should underestimate the firm resolve, staunch will and strong ability of the Chinese people in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity".
Wang told reporters that "Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory".
"The Taiwan issue is a purely internal affair for China," he said. "On issues touching on China's core interests of sovereignty and territorial integrity, China has no room for compromise or concession."
Biden's comments, made during his first visit to Japan since taking office, appeared to be a departure from existing US policy of so-called strategic ambiguity on Taiwan.
When a reporter asked Biden if the US would defend Taiwan if it were attacked, the president answered: "Yes."
"That's the commitment we made," he said, during a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
“We support the one-China policy, we support all that we've done in the past, but that does not mean that China has the jurisdiction to go in and use force to take over Taiwan. So we stand firmly with Japan and with other nations to not let that happen. My expectation is it will not happen, it will not be attempted," Biden added.
Biden made a similar comment about defending Taiwan in October. But a White House official again stressed there is no change in US policy towards Taiwan. (AFP/Reuters)
Last updated: 2022-05-23 HKT 17:20