China has warned Biden that he is jeopardizing peace and that he should not underestimate it's 'strong ability and determination'

On Friday morning, China warned President Joe Biden that by saying the US has a "commitment" to defending Taiwan during a CNN town hall, he is jeopardizing international peace.

'When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a news briefing.'

'And no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.'

The US should "be cautious with its words and actions on the Taiwan issue," Wang said, "so as not to gravely damage China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."

Biden's remark that the US would support Taiwan if China attacked was required to be 'clarified' by White House officials, despite a long-standing policy that specifies contrary.

'Yes,' he responded when asked on Thursday about defending Taiwan. 'We have a commitment to that.'

Biden's statement contradicted a long-standing US policy known as'strategic ambiguity,' in which the US assists Taiwan in building its defenses but does not publicly guarantee to assist the island in the case of an attack.

Meanwhile, China has recently upped its military aggressiveness towards the island by practicing beach landings and staging war jet operations near the island.

Hours after Biden's remarks, the spokeswoman reaffirmed China's self-declared claim to Taiwan.

'Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan issue is purely an internal affair of China that allows no foreign intervention,' Wang said. 

After Thursday's town hall, a White House spokesperson was forced to clarify the president's position, and said Biden was not announcing any change in US policy. 

'The US defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. 

'We will uphold our commitment under the act, we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,' the spokesperson said.

Speaking to reporters earlier on Thursday, China's United Nations ambassador, Zhang Jun, said the country was pursuing 'peaceful reunification' with Taiwan and responding to 'separatist attempts' by its ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

'We are not the troublemaker,' he said, although Taiwan has repeatedly insisted it has no desire to 'reunite' with China, and wishes to retain its status as an independent democracy. 

'On the contrary, some countries – the US in particular – is taking dangerous actions, leading the situation in Taiwan Strait into a dangerous direction.

'Dragging Taiwan into a war definitely is in nobody's interest.'

Biden made a similar pledge to protect Taiwan in August during an interview with ABC, insisting that the United States would always defend key allies, including Taiwan, despite the withdrawal from Afghanistan in the face of the victorious Taliban.

That withdrawal was seized on by critics as evidence that Biden would be soft on defending allies, and saw him accused of potentially emboldening Chinese President Xi Jinping's vow to re-take Taiwan.  

Biden said the United States made a 'sacred commitment' to defend NATO allies in Canada and Europe and it's the 'same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan.'

The White House subsequently told reporters that US policy on Taiwan 'has not changed.'

Asked by an audience member at the live televised town hall whether the United States would be able to keep up with China's rapid military development, Biden also said: 'yes.'

 
Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan since 2016, will likely be delighted by Biden's declaration of support
Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan since 2016, will likely be delighted by Biden's declaration of support
 
Xi is seen on October 21 checking the Yellow River's waterways in Shandong province
Xi is seen on October 21 checking the Yellow River's waterways in Shandong province

'Don't worry about whether... they're going to be more powerful,' he said.

'China, Russia and the rest of the world knows we have the most powerful military in the history of the world.'

However, Biden expressed concern that rival countries may 'engage in activities where they may make a serious mistake.'

He referred to his longtime relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and repeated his position that he does not want 'to start a new Cold War with China.'

But he warned: 'I just want to make China understand that we are not going to step back.'

 
China launched the dummy weapon into space on board a Long March 2C rocket (pictured) during a test in mid-August which it did not disclose at the time and was only revealed at the weekend by security analysts assigned to work out its purpose
China launched the dummy weapon into space on board a Long March 2C rocket (pictured) during a test in mid-August which it did not disclose at the time and was only revealed at the weekend by security analysts assigned to work out its purpose
 
Weapons race: A comparison of the most advanced (columns from left) missiles, aircraft carriers, tanks and aircraft possessed by China, the US and Russia
Weapons race: A comparison of the most advanced (columns from left) missiles, aircraft carriers, tanks and aircraft possessed by China, the US and Russia
 
China's sabre rattling over Taiwan has increased, with waves of fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers flying into Taiwan's air defense zone.

Biden's remarks follow a Financial Times story that China had successfully tested a cutting-edge hypersonic missile with nuclear capability that traveled around the globe before landing, though not on target.

The projectile, China said, was not a missile, but rather a spacecraft undertaking a routine test.

The US and Russia are competing to create hypersonic weapons that are more difficult to defend against than current ballistic missile arsenals.

That is because they fly at a lower altitude and do not trigger early warning systems designed to detect ballistic missiles, which fly higher, before hurtling back towards the Earth and their target.

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