Biden comes against independence for Taiwan following election

 January 14, 2024

NBC News reported that this past weekend saw voters in Taiwan elect Lai Ching-te to serve as their country's new president.

The network noted that Lai is known as a strong advocate for independence from the neighboring People's Republic of China. However, President Joe Biden was quick to preemptively withdraw support for such a move. 

Biden: "We do not support independence"

A White House transcript shows Biden made his feelings on the matter known when asked about it by a reporter on Saturday, saying, "We do not support independence."

According to Politico, the White House later explained that while it opposes independence for Taiwan, the United States also wishes to see disputes between China and Taiwan resolved peacefully.

House Speaker Mike Johnson had a warmer reaction to news of Lai's victory and congratulated the new president in a post on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

"We congratulate William Lai on his election as the next President of Taiwan and we are happy to see democracy thriving among the Taiwanese people," Johnson wrote.

China warns the U.S. to stop arming Taiwan

"To underscore the ongoing commitment of Congress to security and democracy, I will be asking the chairs of the relevant House Committees to lead a delegation to Taipei following Lai’s inauguration in May," the speaker added.

He concluded by saying, "I am hopeful the United States and Taiwan together will continue promoting the principles of liberty, opportunity and security for all freedom-loving countries and our partners in the Indo-Pacific."

Biden is far from being alone in expressing disapproval of Lai's ambitions, as NBC News reported last week that China warned the United States to "stop arming Taiwan and not support Taiwan independence."

What's more, China's communist regime said it would "not make any concession or compromise on the Taiwan question" and threatened to "reunify" the two countries by force if need be.

Polls suggest most Taiwanese do not support independence

The island of Taiwan has been a self-governing territory ever since anti-communist forces fled there in 1949 following the Chinese Civil War.

However, Taiwan has never formally declared independence and the Chinese government still claims ownership over the island.

NBC News noted that polling data suggests most Taiwan residents do favor a unilateral declaration of independence from China and prefer maintaining the status quo.

It pointed out that Lai captured roughly 40% of the vote on Saturday, with the remainder being split among anti-independence candidates.

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