US says does not support Taiwan independence: fact sheet update
The United States goes back on its words and stresses that it does not support Taiwan independence following a "blunder" in its fact sheet on the island.
The United States State Department has updated its fact sheet on Taiwan again to bring back a line about not supporting formal independence for the island that China sees as an inalienable part of its sovereign territories.
The State Department in May changed the wording on the section of its website dedicated to Taiwan, removing wording on not supporting the island's independence and acknowledging China's position that Taiwan is part of its territories, sparking outrage from Beijing.
Washington claimed that the wording did not reflect a policy change, followed by changing the wording once again to reintroduce a line saying "we do not support Taiwan independence."
The change was first reported by Taiwan's official Central News Agency on Friday, while it seemingly took place on May 28, according to the date at the top of the fact sheet.
The United States does not support Taiwan's independence and has "repeatedly made this clear both in public and in private," State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said last month.
Washington, despite not having any formal ties with Taipei, is the island's most important international backer and arms supplier.
Beijing warned Wednesday Washington of "serious consequences" for its support for "separatist forces" in Taiwan amid US Senator Tammy Duckworth's visit to the island.
Following Duckworth's meeting with the Taiwanese president, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press briefing that his country strongly opposed the visit and urged the United States to "earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communique" and refrain from "sending any wrong signals to the 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces."
And despite having stated that the US will not change its policy regarding China, President Joe Biden angered Beijing by appearing to signal a change in the US policy of "strategic ambiguity" on Taiwan.
In a contradictory statement, Biden noted a week ago that "we agreed with the One China policy, we signed on to it... but the idea that (Taiwan) can be taken by force is just not appropriate," as the One China policy states that Taiwan is a part of the sovereign mainland.