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Secretary of State Antony Blinken on President Biden's Taiwan remarks

Antony Blinken: The 2022 60 Minutes Interview
Secretary of State Antony Blinken: The 2022 60 Minutes Interview 13:06

Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to his interview with 60 Minutes after meeting China's foreign minister. China has been raising pressure on the democratic island of Taiwan, which President Biden pledged to defend with force in a conversation with 60 Minutes last week.

"China has acted increasingly aggressively when it comes to Taiwan," Blinken told correspondent Scott Pelley. "That poses a threat to peace and stability in the entire region."

During President Biden's own interview with Pelley, Mr. Biden said U.S. forces would defend Taiwan, "if in fact there was an unprecedented attack."

"So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir," Pelley said to Mr. Biden, "U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?"

"Yes," the president said.

After the interview, a White House official clarified to 60 Minutes that U.S. policy on Taiwan has not changed. Officially, the U.S. maintains "strategic ambiguity" on whether American forces would defend Taiwan, but the Taiwan Relations Act obligates the U.S. to help equip Taiwan to defend itself.

Secretary of State Blinken told 60 Minutes he was determined to solve differences with China peacefully.

"The Chinese foreign minister must have asked you to explain the President's remarks," Pelley said to Blinken.

"Well, we had a conversation about our different approaches to Taiwan, and I reiterated what --what the president has said, and what he's said clearly and consistently. Our continued adherence to the-- the 'One China Policy,' our determination that the differences be resolved peacefully our insistence, that peace and stability be maintained in the Taiwan Straits, and our deep concern that China was taking actions to try to change that status quo. That's what the issue is," Blinken said.

Blinken says there's too much to lose in the Taiwan Strait.

"Taiwan itself, were anything to happen, it is where virtually all the semiconductors… are made," Blinken said. "[Which is] one of the reasons we're now investing so heavily in our own capacity to produce semiconductors here in the United States. We designed them, but the actual production is done in a handful of places, and Taiwan produces most of them… The effects that that would have on the global economy would be devastating."

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