On Thursday, Taiwanese defense minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the island should be able to rely on itself for defense and not depend on any other countries.
“The country must rely on itself, and if any friends or other groups can help us, then it’s like I said before, we’re happy to have it, but we cannot completely depend on it,” Chiu told reporters.
A day earlier, CNN aired an interview where Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she had “faith” that the US would come to defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion. Tsai also confirmed reports that said there are a small number of US troops in Taiwan, making her the first Taiwanese leader to acknowledge the presence of US forces.
Last week, President Biden said the US has a “commitment” to defend Taiwan, raising questions about the decades-old policy of “strategic ambiguity,” which means the US may or may not intervene to defend Taiwan. The White House quickly downplayed the president’s remarks and said it was not a change in policy.
While Biden’s comments did not signal a change in policy, hawks in Washington want to commit to going to war with China if it invades Taiwan. Some Democrats and Republicans in Congress are even ready to give the president war powers that would authorize the use of military force if China moves to take the island.