Remarks by President Biden Before Air Force One Departure

Published: Wed Nov 17 2021

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport
Manchester, New Hampshire

4:56 P.M. EST

Q Mr. President, what happens next on Taiwan? You said you talked to President Xi about it -


Q - but it's clear that there's a lot of tension on both sides.


Q Nothing happens?

THE PRESIDENT: Nothing happens. We're not going to change our policy at all.

Q Can you clarify what the policy is? Because you said today "independence," and in the past you said -

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, I said that they have to decide - "they" - Taiwan. Not us. And we are not encouraging independence, we're encouraging that they do exactly what the Taiwan Act requires, and that's what we're doing. Let them make up their mind. Period. Taiwan make up -

Q Can you give us any more specifics about what you talked about last night on this topic?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we talked for three and a half hours, and that's the essence of the bottom line. Look, I made it clear - I made it clear all along that we're going to abide by the rules of road. What constitutes international airspace is international airspace, no matter what they say. There's no air identification zones - is what they're called.

Secondly, the Law of the Seas requires and dictates what constitutes territorial waters. We're going to stay outside of their territorial waters, but we're not going to be intimidated or change to not go up through the South China Sea. And we talked about that, and it was - there was no argumentation, just a matter of fact.

Thank you. You're going to freeze.

Q Sir, will there be a government delegation to the Olympics?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm the delegation, and I dealt with it.

4:58 P.M. EST

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