Whether they were intentional or not, U.S. President Joe Biden's recent remarks over the defense of Taiwan are raising questions about Washington’s approach to the democratic island — creating uncertainty and confusion over U.S. policy just as China ramps up its military pressure on Taipei.

For the fourth time since taking office, Biden this week appeared to upend the U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity" — under which the U.S. expresses a strong interest in Taiwan’s security while avoiding an outright promise to defend it — delivering his most explicit comments to date that Washington would defend the self-ruled island from Chinese attack and hinting that it could support Taipei’s right to self-determination.

Although the White House has been quick to say that Biden’s remarks do not represent a shift in U.S. policy, some experts say this assertion is no longer credible.