WATCH: Antony Blinken’s Surprising Answer On If Biden Will Defend Taiwan If China Invades | Eastern North Carolina Now

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    Secretary of State Antony Blinken dodged answering a question from CNN host Dana Bash on Sunday regarding whether the Biden administration would come to Taiwan's defense if China tries to invade the island nation.

    When asked whether the administration has committed directly to Taiwan's government that it would help defend Taiwan, Blinken said that the administration was committed to making sure that "Taiwan has the means to defend itself, and we stand by that."

    "Are you now saying that the United States would not come to Taiwan's defense if attacked?" Bash asked. "Can you be specific, yes or no?"

    "Dana, again, what I can tell you is that we remain committed, resolutely committed, to our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act, including making sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself from any aggression," Blinken said.

    "The president said specifically that the U.S. would [defend Taiwan]," Bash said. "That's not what you're saying, correct?"

    "The president has for a long time, including when he was a senator voting for the Taiwan Relations Act, made clear that we will do everything necessary to make sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself," Blinken answered.

    Watch:



    TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA THE STATE DEPARTMENT:

    DANA BASH, CNN HOST: President Biden said at CNN's town hall last week that the U.S. would come to Taiwan's defense if China invaded. Your spokesperson said there is no change in U.S. position. So I just want to clarify: Has the U.S. committed directly to the Taiwanese government that it will come to Taiwan's defense if China invades?

    ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE: There is no change in our policy. We've had a longstanding commitment that, by the way, then-Senator Biden strongly supported when he was in the United States Senate, a longstanding commitment pursuant to the Taiwan Relations Act to make sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself, and we stand by that. The president stood by that strongly, and we want to make sure that no one takes any unilateral action that would disrupt the status quo with regard to Taiwan. That hasn't changed.

    BASH: You are the secretary of state, and that was very, very perfect diplo-speak, so I just wanted - for people who don't speak that language, can you clarify what that exactly means? Are you now saying that the United States would not come to Taiwan's defense if attacked? Can you be specific, yes or no?

    BLINKEN: Dana, again, what I can tell you is that we remain committed, resolutely committed, to our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act, including making sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself from any aggression.

    BASH: Okay. Just one more follow on that. The president said specifically that the U.S. would. That's not what you're saying, correct?

    BLINKEN: The president has for a long time, including when he was a senator voting for the Taiwan Relations Act, made clear that we will do everything necessary to make sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself.


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