The proposal came amid reiterated questions about the island's status with an aggressive regime on the Chinese mainland.
"Military, China, Russia, and the rest of the world know that we have the most powerful military in the history of the world," Biden said after ceasing to collect his ideas. "Don't worry about whether they're gonna be more powerful. What you do have to worry about is whether or not they're going to engage in activities that will put them in a position where they make a serious mistake."
Biden echoed his claim to have spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping "more than any other world leader has. ... You hear people saying' 'Biden wants to start a new Cold War with China.' I don't want a Cold War with China. I just want to make China know that we are not going to step back, we are not going to change any of our views." CNN's Anderson Cooper cut in to ask Biden to explain whether that would mean the United States would come to Taiwan's defense if China attacked.
"Yes, we have a commitment to do that," Biden answered.
the actual U.S. position on Taiwan has been less clear since Washington saw the communist government in Beijing in the 1970s.
Since diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, the communist government on the mainland, are tense, the government was normalized.
The Chinese Communist Party has long tried to take Taiwan under its control, but it has stayed a separate, self-governing existence. The official U.S. policy on what would happen if China actually attacked Taiwan has been described as "strategic ambiguity."
"The President was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy," a White House spokesperson said. "The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo."
The assumption has long been that the U.S. would complain about any Chinese aggression against Taiwan while holding short of any specific defense commitment to the island country.