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China can't 'bait' U.S. with military drills - Pentagon official

STORY: China announced new military drills around Taiwan on Monday, drawing concern from U.S. President Joe Biden, a day after the scheduled end of Beijing's largest military exercises in the area to protest last week's visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Asked if the Pentagon's assessment that China would not try to retake Taiwan militarily in the next two years had changed since Pelosi's trip, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said: "No."

Pelosi's visit infuriated China, which responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, as well as by ditching some lines of dialog with Washington, including on military and climate change issues.

Taiwan's foreign ministry said China, which claims the self-ruled island as its own, was deliberately creating crises. It demanded Beijing "pull back from the edge."

Kahl said the U.S. military would carry out passages through the Taiwan Strait in the coming weeks.