President of the United States Joe Biden states that American troops would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia, at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The territories controlled by the ROC consist of 168 islands, with a combined area of 36,193 square kilometres (13,974 sq mi). The main island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 sq mi), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. The capital, Taipei, forms along with New Taipei City and Keelung the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Other major cities include Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, and Taoyuan. With 23.45 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated countries in the world.
The Republic of China, which had overthrown the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan on behalf of the World War II Allies following the surrender of Japan in 1945. The resumption of the Chinese Civil War resulted in the ROC’s loss of mainland China to forces of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and retreat to Taiwan in 1949. Its effective jurisdiction has since been limited to Taiwan and smaller islands.The political status of Taiwan is contentious. The ROC no longer represents China as a member of the United Nations, after UN members voted in 1971 to recognize the PRC instead. The ROC maintained its claim of being the sole legitimate representative of China and its territory, although this has been downplayed since its democratization in the 1990s. Taiwan is claimed by the PRC, which refuses diplomatic relations with countries that recognize the ROC.
The White House quickly acted to reinterpret Biden’s warlike remark as meaning something else, to appease the communist regime that continuously threatens to invade Taiwan.