BEIJING - Beijing on Monday said President Joe Biden’s latest comments that the United States would defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion “severely violate” Washington’s policy towards the island.

“The US remarks... severely violate the important commitment the US made not to support Taiwan independence, and send a seriously erroneous signal to Taiwanese separatist independence forces,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing. In an interview, Biden was asked whether US troops would defend Taiwan, and replied “yes”, if it were “an unprecedented attack”. Washington cut formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979.