White House flip-flops again on Taiwan’s status in fact sheet revision

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


The U.S. State Department has once again revised its fact sheet on Taiwan, now stating that it does “not support” formal independence of the self-governed island nation.

The change follows a revision last month in which the department removed the same wording. The May version also eliminated a paragraph acknowledging China’s position “that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China,” which was not added back to the most recent iteration.

A new statement that the U.S. “maintains our capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of Taiwan” appears in the latest update.

The White House insists that the revisions do not reflect a policy change, according to Reuters.

A State Department spokesperson on Friday said that the fact sheet was updated this month to reflect Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s May 26 speech on China, during which he said the United States does not support Taiwan independence.

“We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side, we do not support Taiwan independence, and we expect cross-Strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means,” the spokesperson said, referring to the strait that separates Taiwan from China’s mainland. 

Tensions between the U.S. and China over Taiwan’s independence have intensified in recent months, particularly after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which numerous pundits, lawmakers, and experts have said provided Chinese President Xi Jinping with invaluable insight into how the U.S. might respond to aggression toward Taiwan.

Beijing has become increasingly assertive in its claims of ownership over the island, while Taiwan’s government says only the island’s 23 million people have the right to determine their future and that it seeks peace but will defend itself if attacked.