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China says Biden 'playing with fire' over Taiwan

Monday marked 3rd time Biden has pledged to defend Taiwan militarily

FILE - Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

FILE - Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China warned President Biden that he is "playing with fire" over Taiwan after he publicly pledged for the third time to use force to defend the country.

On Monday (May 23), Biden responded affirmatively to a question about whether he would be willing to "get involved militarily with Taiwan" in the event of a Chinese invasion. The president then stressed: "It was a commitment that we made."

That same day, Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮), the spokesperson for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, warned that the U.S. is "playing with fire by using the 'Taiwan card' to contain China." Zhu added that the U.S. will "itself get burned" in the process.

She urged the U.S. to halt any comments or actions that violate the principles of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. The spokesperson claimed the refusal to let Taiwan participate in the 75th World Health Assembly as evidence that the "one China" principle is the "universal consensus of the international community and cannot be challenged."

Zhu called on Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party to immediately put a halt to "any separatist activity" and its efforts to seek Taiwan independence by leaning on U.S. support. "Otherwise, it will come to a bad end," she declared.

White House officials quickly walked back on Biden's comment, stressing that the U.S.' "one China" policy has not changed. However, this is the third time Biden has publicly pledged to protect Taiwan, having previously done so during an August interview with ABC News in which he implied the U.S. has an obligation to defend Taiwan similar to NATO's Article 5 and at a CNN town hall in October, where he stated that "we have a commitment" to protect Taiwan.