Updated: 04 November 2021 14:10 IST
Taipei [Taiwan]Nov. 4 (ANI): A top US military officer said on Wednesday that China is “clearly and unequivocally” developing the possibility to invade Taiwan in the near future.
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said the US military could “definitely” defend Taiwan against a possible Chinese attack if asked.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Milley said he didn’t expect China to attempt to capture the self-governing island in the next 24 months, but if it did, US forces “definitely have the ability” to defend Taipei.” no doubt about that,” reported The Hill.
“I don’t think it’s likely in the near future, defined as six, 12, maybe 24 months, that kind of window,” Milley said. “That said, the Chinese are clearly and unequivocally building the ability to provide those options to the national leadership if they want to at some point in the near future.”
And he added: “Near future? Probably not. But anything can happen.”
In recent months, China has stepped up its provocations against the island it considers a rogue territory, flying fighter jets 150 times into its air-identification zone over the course of about four days in early October.
The aggression was a critical point in ongoing poor relations between Washington and Beijing, with top Taiwanese and US officials worried about a possible military confrontation.
Milley highlighted the long-held US stance of “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to Taiwan, saying it would be up to the White House to decide whether to intervene if China wants control of the island, The Hill reported.
Referring to China’s recent test of a hypersonic weapons system, the top Pentagon official expressed concern about Beijing’s capabilities, saying this is why the United States sees the nation as a pacing challenge, saying it points to one of the most significant global power shifts since the world wars, The Hill reported.
Milley, who last week said missile development is “very close” to another “Sputnik moment”, said the world is now “witnessing one of the greatest shifts in global geostrategic power”. (ANI)