Biden 'willing to use force to defend Taiwan' as China is 'flirting with danger'.

US President Joe Biden said on Monday he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan, in a series of critical comments about China he made in Tokyo that an aide said represented no change in US policy on the self-ruled island.

Biden's comment, made during his first visit to Japan since taking office, and as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida looked on, appeared to be a departure from existing U.S. policy of so-called strategic ambiguity on Taiwan.

China considers the democratic island its territory, part of "one China," and says it is the most sensitive and important issue in its ties with the United States.

When a reporter asked Biden during a joint news conference with the Japanese leader if the United States would defend Taiwan if it were attacked, the president answered: "Yes."

"That's the commitment we made," he said adding that it was his expectation that such an event would not happen or be attempted.

During the news conference Biden also made other tough comments about China's increasingly assertive posture in the region, saying he hoped Russian President Vladimir Putin would pay a price for his invasion of Ukraine in part to show China what it would face if it were to invade Taiwan.

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