06/18/2021, 10.34
USA-CHINA
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General Milley: Beijing has neither the ability or intention to invade Taiwan

The US Chief of Defense says there is no short or medium term danger of a Chinese attack on the island. In March, the head of the US forces in the Indo-Pacific said that China could attempt to retake the island within six years. Biden rumoured ready to meet Xi Jinping.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China does not currently have the military capabilities of the intention to invade Taiwan, according to General Mark Milley. Speaking yesterday in a congressional hearing, the US Chief of Staff was said reunification with the island remains a primary interest of the Chinese leadership; however, Beijing is aware that it does not yet have sufficient military potential to occupy the entire Taiwanese territory.

Milley argues that in the short and medium term there is no danger of invasion. His words clash with those spoken in March by Admiral Phil Davidson, at the time at the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command. Davidson said the Chinese could try to take back the island within the next six years.

Beijing considers Taiwan a "rebel province", and has never ruled out reconquering it with the use of force. In reality, the island has been independent of China since 1949; at the time, Chiang Kai-shek's nationalists found refuge there after losing the civil war on the mainland against the communists, making it the heir to the Republic of China founded in 1912.

But the Pentagon does not seem overly worried about the intensification of Chinese air operations in the skies of Taiwan.

Yesterday, seven military aircraft from Beijing, including some fighter jets, breached the southwestern sector of the Taipei aerial identification zone. On June 15, the Taiwanese authorities had identified 28: the largest raid since last September, when the People's Liberation Army began multiplying its air sorties in the Taiwan Strait.

Beijing said its air missions near Taiwan are a response to interference from foreign countries that conspire with Tsai Ing-wen's government for the independence of the island

Under the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is committed to defending the island. Adopted in 1979 after the formal diplomatic recognition of Communist China, the provision does not specify the actual nature of Washington’s commitment: a "strategic ambiguity" that produces continuing tensions with Beijing.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are taking further steps to bolster US support for Taipei. Meanwhile, Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden's national security adviser, said yesterday that the White House is considering organizing a meeting between the president and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The summit could take place by phone, or on the side-lines of the G20 meeting in Italy in October.

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