US Is Watching Chinese Operations On Taiwan ‘Very Closely’
According to John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council of the United States, the US is watching Chinese operations on Taiwan ‘very closely’ in the vicinity of Japan.
But an attack by China on Taiwan is not imminent.
According to Gen. Mark Milley, China is obviously developing the capability to attack at some point, but doing so would need political decision-making.
According to China, Taiwan is a separatist province that has to be united with the mainland, maybe via force.
It has declared that it will "resolutely demolish" any attempt to back Taiwan's independence and has accused the US of doing so.
China and the US, Taiwan's most important ally, have recently increased tension noticeably because the US general said the US is watching Chinese operations on Taiwan 'very closely'.
While the US has dispatched navy ships into Taiwan's waters, China has been launching dozens of airplanes into Taiwan's air defense zone.
In an interview with MSNBC on Thursday (August 4, 2022), Kirby said, "We’ve been watching this very, very closely. It’s concerning. It’s not just concerning to us, but it’s concerning, of course, to the people of Taiwan. It’s concerning to our allies in the region, especially Japan."
In the wake of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, controversially visiting the self-governing island, China has recently been conducting its largest-ever military exercises close to Taiwan.
US President Joe Biden claimed in May that China's close flying of jets over Taiwan put it "flirting with danger."
He swore he would defend the island if it was attacked.
In response, Beijing stated that it "would not hesitate to battle" to stop Taiwan from formally declaring independence, accusing the US of "violating its commitment to Taiwan" and "interfering" in China's internal affairs.
Gen. Milley, the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded to a question on whether he believed China would invade Taiwan by saying,
"Could, should, would, those are key words there. In terms of capability I think China clearly is developing a capability. President Xi [Jinping] has mentioned that in public forums, he's mentioned it in speeches, that he has challenged the PLA [China's People's Liberation Army] to develop the capability to attack Taiwan at some point in time.
"And whether they would or not, it's a political choice, it's a policy choice, that will be based off of how the Chinese view the cost risk benefit at the time."
"At this point, there are neither signs nor signals of anything approaching. But once more, we keep a tight eye on it," Gen. Milley said, according to the BBC.
When asked if Pelosi's visit caused China to conduct military exercises, Kirby responded, "The provocateur here is Beijing. They didn’t have to react this way to what is completely normal travel by congressional members to Taiwan... The Chinese are the ones who are escalating this."
"One of the things that’s troublesome about exercises like this or missile launches like this is the risk of calculation, the risk of a mistake that could actually lead to some sort of conflict," he added in a warning about the risk of calculation inherent in the drills.
So, all in all, China is upset with the US as the US is interfering in Chinese matters. But the US doesn't care about China, the US just wants to protect Taiwan as the US is watching Chinese operations in Taiwan 'very closely'.