US President Joe Biden has said that the US would intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan. He said the burden to protect Taiwan is “even stronger” after Russia’s action in Ukraine. It was one of the most forceful presidential statements in support of self-governing in decades.

The US traditionally has avoided making such an explicit security guarantee to Taiwan, with which it no longer has a mutual defence treaty.

The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which has governed US relations with the island, does not require the US to step in militarily to defend Taiwan if China invades. However, it mandates America to ensure Taiwan has the resources to defend itself and to prevent any unilateral change of status in Taiwan by Beijing.