A Chinese attack on Taiwan is not imminent, the top US general says, but the US is watching “very closely”.
China is clearly developing the capability to attack at some point, but deciding to do so would be a political choice, Gen Mark Milley told agencies.
China says Taiwan is a breakaway province that must be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary.
It has accused the US of supporting Taiwan’s independence and vowed to “resolutely crush” any such attempt.
There has been a marked escalation recently between China and the US – Taiwan’s most powerful ally.
China has been sending scores of warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone, while the US has sent naval ships through Taiwan’s waters.
In May, US President Joe Biden said China was “flirting with danger” by flying its warplanes close to Taiwan. He vowed to protect the island militarily if it was attacked.
Beijing retorted by accusing the US of “violating its promise on Taiwan” and “interfering” in China’s affairs, adding the country “would not hesitate to fight” to prevent Taiwan from formally declaring independence.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES