US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated on Sunday (October 2) that he sees no possibility of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, where the country is attempting to create a “new normal” with military exercises near the South Asian island.
In a conversation with CNN, Austin said, “I don’t see an imminent invasion.” He further added, “What we do see is China moving to establish what we would call a new normal. Increased activity—we saw a number of centre line crossings of the Taiwan Strait by their aircraft. That number has increased over time. We’ve seen more activity with their surface vessels and waters in and around Taiwan,” Reuters reported.
Last month, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, which infuriated China, and it began military drills close to the island. However, these drills were reduced later. In response to these drills, the US and its allies continued their sailing in the region.
Watch | US defense secretary Lloyd Austin sees no imminent invasion of Taiwan by China
Austin further told CNN that the US would continue to work with its allies and partners to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. As per the defense secretary, the United States is currently seeking to restore military communication with China as it is essential for both. Austin further claimed to have had a telephone conversation and met in person with Defense Minister Wei Fenghe of China regarding military communication. He said that they’ll do everything to keep sending the message to get those channels open and that he hopes that China will soon cooperate with the US.
Since the defeated Republic of China government retreated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists, the narrow Taiwan Strait has frequently been the cause of military conflicts.
(With inputs from agencies)
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