STORY: China’s announcement of new military drills around Taiwan elicited some concern from U.S. President Joe Biden.
“I’m not worried, but I’m concerned they’re moving as much as they are. But I don’t think they’re going to going to do anything more than they are.”
China’s announcement on Monday came a day after a scheduled end to its military exercises in protest to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan.
China said the additional drills would focus on anti-submarine and sea assault operations - confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would keep pressure on Taiwan’s defenses.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry condemned the move, saying China, which claims the self-governed island as its own, was deliberately creating crises – a sentiment echoed by a top Pentagon official Monday.
“The crisis across the straight is essentially a manufactured one….”
U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said the U.S. still believed it was unlikely China would try retake Taiwan militarily in the next few years, despite its actions in the past week – and described China as trying to coerce Taiwan and the international community.
“And all I’ll say it, we’re not gonna take the bait, and it’s not gonna work.”
Kahl said the U.S. military would continue to carry out passages through the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks.
Pelosi's visit infuriated China, which responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time.
The duration and precise location of its latest drills is not yet known.