Biden restates commitment to 'one China' policy on Taiwan in call with Xi

President BidenJoe BidenChina eyes military base on Africa's Atlantic coast: report Biden orders flags be flown at half-staff through Dec. 9 to honor Dole Biden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package MORE on Monday reiterated his administration's commitment to the "one China" policy on Taiwan during a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, cleaning up remarks last month when he said the U.S. would come to Taiwan's defense if attacked by China.

Biden "underscored that the United States remains committed to the 'one China' policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances, and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the White House said in a readout of the call, which lasted roughly four hours.

Under the "one China" policy, the U.S. does not recognize Taiwan as a separate state from China. And under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the U.S. is committed to providing Taiwan with arms for its defense. The law does not commit the U.S. to sending troops to Taiwan to defend it.

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Tensions flared between the two countries recently as China stepped up military flights into Taiwan’s airspace. The heavy military presence left China watchers recalculating over what Beijing’s aims might be with Taiwan.

Biden was subsequently asked at a CNN town hall last month whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China

"Yes, we have a commitment to do that," Biden said at the time.

The comments prompted a tough response from China, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman saying "there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions."

The White House quickly walked back Biden's comments last month, insisting he was not announcing a policy change.