Secretary of State Blinken recently affirmed US support of Taiwan against Chinese aggression
It’s unlikely that China will make some kind of move on Taiwan within the next two years, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said on Wednesday.
Milley’s comments came amid heightened tension in the region and U.S. reassurances that it would stand with Taiwan against Chinese aggression.
Milley was asked on Wednesday whether he thought China was preparing to make a move on Taiwan within the near future.
“Based on my analysis of China, I don’t think that it is likely in the next, near future being defined as the next six, 12, maybe 24 months … Having said that, though, the Chinese are clearly and unambiguously building a capability to provide those options to their national leadership if they so choose at some point in the future,” Milley said at the Aspen Security Forum.
“But near future, probably not – but anything can happen.”
Milley went on to emphasize the need for increased communications “because part of deterrence is having the capability to impose costs on your opponent, and making sure that you have the political will to actually use it. But also, a third piece of deterrence [that’s] really important – is clear, unambiguous communications between both sides.”
He also said that “there’s no question” the U.S. has the ability to defend Taiwan.
“We absolutely have the capability to do all kinds of things around the world, to include that if required,” he said. “We absolutely have the capability. There’s no question about that.”
The White House appeared to walk back previous statements President Biden made about defending Taiwan from a Chinese attack. Those remarks were scrutinized for how they stacked up to the U.S.’s long-standing “strategic ambiguity” in its would-be response to an attack.
A White House spokesperson later told Fox News that no changes were occurring in U.S. policy toward Taiwan, which they said “is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act.”
“We will uphold our commitment under the act, we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,” the spokesperson added.