China Tells Joe Biden 'No Room for Compromise' on Taiwan

China has said it will not compromise on defending its national interests over Taiwan, in a rebuke to U.S. President Joe Biden's vow to protect the island from any invasion by its neighbor.

China has repeatedly said Taiwan is part of its territory despite the two being governed separately since 1949.

China has not ruled out using military force to achieve its ambitions with Taiwan. However, the U.S. continues to support Taiwan's autonomy, providing it with state-of-the-art weapons and military training. If China takes Taiwan, some experts have said it give it a greater advantage in the Indo-Pacific region, and the enable to threaten U.S. bases as far away as Guam and Hawaii.

Biden made the comments early on Monday in a visit to Japan for talks with leaders of the "Quad" group, which includes Australia, Japan and India.

He said China was "flirting with danger" in its aggressive policy towards the self-governing island.

Speaking about whether the U.S. would defend the island if Beijing attacks, Biden said: "That's the commitment we made."

Responding to Biden, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in Beijing that Taiwan is "an inalienable part of China's territory".

"The Taiwan issue is a purely internal affair for China," he said. "On issues touching on China's core interests of sovereignty and territorial integrity, China has no room for compromise or concession."

Wang added: "No one should underestimate the firm resolve, staunch will and strong ability of the Chinese people in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Chinese warplanes have been entering into Taiwan's defense zone on a near daily basis for the last few months. In January 39 warplanes flew over the zone, the largest number since record-breaking incursions in October. Many believe that the sorties are designed to intimidate Taiwan and wear out its military by forcing it to repeatedly respond to the incursions. China's People's Liberation Army Air Force claims the incursions are training drills.

Biden's comments earlier on Monday seemed to mark a departure from the American policy of "strategic ambiguity" in its position on Taiwan. However, speaking shortly after Biden, a White House official said: "There is no change in U.S. policy towards Taiwan. As the president said, our policy has not changed."

His comments came on a visit to Japan that will primarily be used as a platform to launch an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a U.S.-led initiative including 12 countries in the region aimed at countering China. The IPEF will be used to boost ties through common standards in a number of areas, including green energy, infrastructure and digital trade and supply-chain resilience.

Wang Wenbin China
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin takes a question during the daily Foreign Ministry briefing in Beijing on July 24, 2020. Wengbin warned the United States on Monday that China would make no compromises in achieving its domestic aims in Taiwan. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty