S. lawmakers defy China’s ire, meet Taiwan leader Visiting U.
S. lawmakers defy China’s ire, meet Taiwan leader SupportTaipei, Aug. 15, 2022 Five U.
S. lawmakers visiting Taiwan on Monday met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and other lawmakers in a show of support for Taiwan amid escalated tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
The US congressional delegation arrived on Sunday for a surprise two-day visit, which followed a trip earlier this month by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.
S. House of Representatives.
China increased pressure on Taiwan both militarily and economically after Pelosi’s 19-hour visit to Taipei on Aug. 2-3. The delegation includes Republicans and Democrats and is made up of Senator Ed Markey and Representatives John Garamendi, Alan Lowenthal, Don Beyer and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen.
Local TV reports showed the lawmakers entering the presidential office to meet with Tsai on Monday then heading to the parliamentary building nearby.
Legislator Lo Chih-cheng of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) told reporters that issues discussed at a meeting with U.
S. lawmakers include future Taiwan-U.
S. military cooperation.
Lo said the U.
S. group’s visit at such a sensitive time, coming shortly after China’s large-scale drills near Taiwan, shows that Beijing cannot prevent leading political figures from around the world from visiting Taiwan.
“Their arrival also delivers an important message that American people are standing with Taiwanese people,” Lo said.
Tsai’s office has not released any details about the meeting.
“I’m travelling to Taiwan with a bipartisan congressional delegation to reaffirm U.
S. support for Taiwan and encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Markey said on Twitter.
In Beijing, China’s Defence Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said on Monday that the visit by the U.
S. delegation undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory.
Beijing rejects official contacts between other countries and Taipei.
A US congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, Washington’s de facto embassy in Taipei said, days after China held military drills around the island in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
Sunday’s unnannounced visit came after Pelosi infuriated Beijing by visiting Taiwan earlier this month, sparking unprecedented air and sea drills that raised the prospect of conflict.
“Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Representative John Garamendi (D-CA), Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Representative Don Beyer (D-VA), and Representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS) will visit Taiwan from August 14-15, 2022, as part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region,” the American Institute in Taiwan said in a statement.
“The delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual interest,” it added.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry hailed the delegation’s visit as another sign of warm ties between Taipei and Washington.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its sincere welcome (to the delegation),” the ministry said in a statement Sunday.
“As China is continuing to escalate tensions in the region, the US Congress has again organized a heavyweight delegation to visit Taiwan, showing a friendship that is not afraid of China’s threats and intimidation, and highlighting the US’ strong support towards Taiwan.
” The delegation will meet President Tsai Ing-wen and attend a banquet hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu during the visit, the ministry added.
“The two sides will extensively exchange views on issues such as Taiwan-US security and trade relations,” it said.
Taiwan’s president calls Chinese military exercises ‘irresponsible’ Taiwan’s president calls Chinese military exercises ‘irresponsible’ ExercisesTaipei, Aug. 5, 2022 Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday night called China’s military exercises off the coast of the self-governing island “irresponsible not only for Taiwan, but also for the international community.
” Demanding that Beijing be “rational and self-restrained,” Tsai said in a video address that Taiwan would not seek to escalate tensions with China further, but stressed that it would defend its sovereignty as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continued a series of live-fire drills around the island due to last until Sunday.
The Taiwan government was working to ensure safe and smooth operations at the island’s ports and airports, as well as the stability of the financial markets, she added.
According to Japan’s Defence Ministry, four Chinese missile shells landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone after flying over Taiwan.
However, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence would not confirm that the missiles has passed over Taiwan, saying only that the military was employing various early-warning and monitoring mechanisms to track missiles fired by the PLA and had activated its defence systems.
Tsai thanked the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized countries for calling on Beijing to refrain from “aggressive military activity” in the region and for reiterating its commitment to stability in the Taiwan Strait.
“We strive to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, and always keep an open mind for constructive dialogues,” Tsai added.
The Chinese military kicked off major air and sea drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan shortly after U.
S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended a visit to the island which has drawn Beijing’s ire.
The exercises were set to end on Sunday.
S. Speaker Pelosi wraps up Taiwan visit, heads to South Korea U.
S. Speaker Pelosi wraps up Taiwan visit, heads to South Korea Pelosi, Aug. 3, 2022 U.
S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ensured Taiwan of Washington’s support Wednesday and met with activists before wrapping up her whirlwind visit to the island republic and heading on to South Korea.
“Today, our delegation … came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear: we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan, and we’re proud of our enduring friendship,” Pelosi said at a joint press conference with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.
“Today, the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” Pelosi said, as she praised Taiwan as “one of the freest [democracies] in the world, proudly to be led by a woman president.
” “Now more than ever, America solidarity with Taiwan is crucial.
And that is the message we are bringing here today,” Pelosi said.
In a tweet sent on her official Twitter account shortly before her departure, Pelosi declared that “Make no mistake: America remains unwavering in our commitment to the people of Taiwan– now & for decades to come.
” At the press conference with Pelosi, Tsai said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted security concerns about Taiwan.
“Aggressions against a democratic Taiwan would have a tremendous impact on the security of the entire Indo-Pacific,” she warned.
Before leaving Taiwan, the US politician met with human rights activists in Taipei, including the former leader of China’s democracy movement, Wu’er Kaixi, which was bloodily suppressed in 1989. Pelosi also met former Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee and social activist Lee Ming-chee, both of whom had been imprisoned in China, at the Jingmei Human Rights and Culture Park south of Taipei.
Lee had just returned to Taiwan from China after serving a five-year sentence for “subverting state power.
” Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday despite stern warnings from Beijing, making her the highest-level US official to visit the island in 25 years.
The trip has drawn outrage from Beijing, which views the self-governing island as part of the People’s Republic and rejects official contacts between its diplomatic partners and the government in Taipei.
In response to her arrival, China launched military exercises in six areas in the waters surrounding Taiwan.
They are expected to include long-range live-fire exercises and last through Sunday.
The manoeuvres are seen as the biggest show of military muscle from Beijing since the 1995 Taiwan Strait crisis, when China fired missiles over Taiwan and the US dispatched two aircraft carrier groups.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, early Wednesday to protest Pelosi’s visit as a “serious provocation and violation” of the one-China principle, state newspaper Global Times reported.
China also sent 21 planes into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Tuesday alone, the Defence Ministry in Taipei said.
Russia was also critical of the speaker’s visit.
This showed Washington’s desire to demonstrate US lawlessness to everyone, along the lines of “I do what I want,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday during a visit to Myanmar, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.
US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Tuesday said that Washington was expecting that China would “continue to react over a longer-term horizon … even beyond [Pelosi’s] trip.
” Kirby, who stressed that Pelosi’s visit was “totally consistent with our long-standing ‘One China’ policy,” said that China’s reaction was “unfortunately, right in line with what we had anticipated.
” “There is no reason… for Beijing to turn this visit, which is consistent with long-standing US policy, into some sort of crisis, or use it as a pretext to increase aggressiveness and military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait, now or beyond her travel,” Kirby said during a press briefing in Washington.
For days, Pelosi had declined to confirm news reports that she would visit and Taiwan was not on her official itinerary.
An editorial by Pelosi was published in the Washington Post minutes after she arrived in Taipei.
“We cannot stand by as the CCP (the Chinese Communist Party) proceeds to threaten Taiwan – and democracy itself,” she wrote.
“By travelling to Taiwan, we honour our commitment to democracy: reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan – and all democracies – must be respected,” Pelosi wrote.
Taiwan, which has 23 million inhabitants, has long considered itself independent.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has heightened fears that China could annex the democratic island republic by force.
Tensions over Taiwan have not been as high since the 1990s.
S. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday during a visit to the island that had drawn Beijing’s ire.
Pelosi also visited the Taiwan parliament during the trip, which made her the highest-ranking U.
S. official to visit the island in 25 years.
Beijing viewed the self-governing island as a breakaway territory that would one day be reunited with the mainland and warned the U.
S. against allowing Pelosi to visit.
In response to her arrival late Tuesday, China launched military exercises in six areas in the waters surrounding Taiwan.
They were expected to include long-range live-fire exercises and last through Sunday.
The manouevres were seen as the biggest show of military muscle from Beijing since the 1995 Taiwan Strait crisis, when China fired missiles over Taiwan and the U.
S. dispatched two aircraft carrier groups.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the U.
S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, early Wednesday to protest Pelosi’s visit as a “serious provocation and violation” of the one-China principle.
China also sent 21 planes into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Tuesday alone, the Defence Ministry in Taipei said.
Taiwan, which had 23 million inhabitants, has long considered itself independent.
S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday on a trip she said demonstrates American solidarity with the Chinese-claimed self-ruled island.
However, China has condemned this first such visit in 25 years as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Pelosi and the rest of her delegation disembarked from a U.
S. Air Force transport plane at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei after the nighttime landing on a flight from Malaysia to begin a visit that risks pushing U.
S.-Chinese relations to a new low.
They were greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, and Sandra Oudkirk, the top U.
S. representative in Taiwan.
“Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.
“America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” Pelosi said in a statement shortly after landing.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen will meet with Pelosi, who is second in the line of succession to the U.
S. presidency and a long-time critic of Beijing, on Wednesday morning and then have lunch together, the presidential office said.
Pelosi, travelling with six other American lawmakers, is the first U.
S. House speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997. China immediately condemned Pelosi’s visit, with the foreign ministry saying it seriously damages peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, “has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.
S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
” The ministry said it lodged a strong protest with the United States.
Chinese warplanes buzzed the line dividing the Taiwan Strait before her arrival.
The Chinese military has been put on high alert and will launch “targeted military operations” in response to Pelosi’s visit, the defence ministry said.
The People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theatre Command announced that it will conduct joint air and sea drills near Taiwan starting on Tuesday night, and test-launch conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan.
Pelosi is on a tour of Asia that includes announced visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.
Her stop in Taiwan was unannounced but widely anticipated.
In a Washington Post opinion piece released shortly after she landed, Pelosi outlined her reasons for visiting, praising Taiwan’s commitment to democratic government while criticising China as having dramatically increased tensions with Taiwan in recent years.
“We cannot stand by as the CCP proceeds to threaten Taiwan – and democracy itself,” Pelosi said, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.
Pelosi also cited China’s “brutal crackdown” against political dissent in Hong Kong, as well as its treatment of Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities, which the U.
S. has deemed genocide.
As Pelosi’s motorcade approached the hotel, escorted by police cars with flashing red and blue lights, scores of supporters cheered and ran towards the black vehicles with their arms outstretched and phone cameras on.
The motorcade drove straight into the hotel’s parking lot.
White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said after Pelosi’s arrival that the U.
S. “is not going to be intimidated” by threats or bellicose rhetoric from China.
Kirby said the visit is not a violation of either any sovereignty issues or America’s longstanding “one-China policy.
” “There’s no reason for this visit to become a spurring event for a crisis or conflict,” Kirby said.
Pelosi, 82, is a close ally of U.
S. President Joe Biden, both being members of the Democratic Party, and has been a key figure in guiding his legislative agenda through the U.
Four sources said Pelosi was also scheduled on Wednesday afternoon to meet a group of activists who are outspoken about China’s human rights record.
On Tuesday night, Taiwan’s tallest building, Taipei 101, lit up with messages including: “Welcome to Taiwan”, “Speaker Pelosi”, “Taiwan (heart) USA”.
China views visits by U.
S. officials to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp on the democratic, self-governed island.
Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring the island under its control.
Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims and says only its people can decide the island’s future.
The United States has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by American law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.
S. stocks struggled for gains and the dollar and gold rallied on Tuesday amid the simmering U.
S.-China tensions over Taiwan.
The United States will “pay the price” if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan during her Asia trip, China warned Tuesday, as tensions between the two superpowers continued to soar.
The prospect of Pelosi going to Taipei, which would be the highest-profile visit by an elected US official in 25 years, has triggered increasingly bellicose warnings from Beijing that have set the region on edge.
Pelosi, 82, has yet to officially confirm whether Taiwan is part of an ongoing Asia tour but US and Taiwanese media have reported it will happen.
“The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said “the US breach of faith on the Taiwan issue is despicable” in comments published on his ministry’s website Tuesday that did not specifically mention Pelosi.
Beijing considers self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to one day seize the island, by force if necessary.
It tries to keep Taiwan isolated on the world stage and opposes countries having official exchanges with it.
In a call with US President Joe Biden last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned the United States against “playing with fire” on Taiwan.
While the Biden administration is understood to be opposed to a Taiwan stop, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Pelosi was entitled to go where she pleased.
“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with longstanding US policies into some sort of crisis,” he told reporters.
The last House Speaker to visit Taiwan was Newt Gingrich in 1997.
Kirby cited intelligence that China was preparing possible military provocations.
He said Pelosi was travelling on a military aircraft and that while Washington did not fear a direct attack, it “raises the stakes of a miscalculation”.
Kirby reiterated, however, that US policy was unchanged toward Taiwan.
This means support for its self-ruling government, while diplomatically recognising Beijing over Taipei and opposing a formal independence declaration by Taiwan or a forceful takeover by China.
Meanwhile, Moscow said it was “absolutely in solidarity with China”, calling the prospect of a Pelosi visit “pure provocation”.
China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has been accused of providing diplomatic cover for the Kremlin by blasting Western sanctions and arms sales to Kyiv. All eyes on TaiwanPelosi arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday where she met Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri and Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
Press access around Pelosi has been tightly restricted so far and limited to a handful or short statements confirming meetings with Malaysian and Singaporean officials.
Her itinerary includes stops in South Korea and Japan — but the prospect of a Taiwan trip has dominated attention.
Taipei has remained silent on whether they expect to roll out the red carpet.
Multiple Taiwanese media outlets carried comments from deputy parliament speaker Tsai Chi-chang saying Pelosi was “very likely” to visit in the coming days.
And the Liberty Times newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying she would land Tuesday night, then meet President Tsai Ing-wen the next day before departing in the afternoon.
‘Seek to punish Taiwan’Taiwan’s 23 million people have long lived with the possibility of an invasion, but that threat has intensified under Xi, China’s most assertive ruler in a generation.
The island’s military on Tuesday said it was “determined” to defend it against increased threats by China over the potential Pelosi visit.
“The probability of war or a serious incident is low,” tweeted Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia programme at the US-based German Marshall Fund think tank.
“But the probability that… (China) will take a series of military, economic, and diplomatic actions to show strength & resolve is not insignificant,” she added.
“Likely it will seek to punish Taiwan in myriad ways.
” Taipei’s Council of Agriculture on Tuesday said China had suspended the import of some Taiwanese goods, including some fishery products, tea, and honey.
The council said China cited regulatory breaches.
Pelosi’s potential visit has been proceeded by a flurry of military activity across the region that highlights how combustible the issue of Taiwan is.
Last week both Taiwan and China held live fire drills.
The US has maintained a navy presence in the region, including the usually Japan-based aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan which sailed through the South China Sea last week.
The Seventh Fleet’s official Twitter reported Tuesday that the aircraft carrier was now in the Philippine Sea.
Taiwan’s government agencies face around five million cyber-attacks and probes a day, an official said Wednesday, as a report warned of increasing Chinese cyberwarfare targeting the self-ruled island.
Taiwanese officials have previously said the island faces millions of cyber attacks every month, with around half of them believed to originate from China.
Speaking in parliament, cyber security department director Chien Hung-wei said Taiwan’s government network faces “five million attacks and scans a day”.
A scan in cyber security refers to an attempt to locate weaknesses in a server.
“We are strengthening the government’s defensive measures and collecting relevant data for analysis in a bid to stop the attacks when they are initiated,” Chien told lawmakers.
Taipei has accused Beijing of ramping up cyberattacks since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who views the island as a sovereign nation.
Beijing views democratic Taiwan as part of its own territory and has vowed to one day seize the island, by force if necessary.
In a report released on Tuesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry warned that China has been “vigorously enhancing” its cyber warfare capabilities as part of the strategy to bring the island to heel.
The ministry’s information security and protection centre detected and handled around 1.4 billion “anomalies” from 2019 to August 2021 to prevent potential hacking, according to the report.
In July, Taiwan’s police launched an investigation after the Line messaging app reported abnormal account activities to the authorities.
Local media said the hacked accounts belonged to “high ranking officials” in various government branches.
Last year, Taiwanese authorities said Chinese hackers infiltrated at least 10 Taiwan government agencies and gained access to around 6,000 email accounts in an attempt to steal data.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
China vowed Friday to punish “diehard” Taiwan politicians, saying it would ban several from visiting the mainland, as tensions between Beijing and Taipei spiked to their highest level in years.
China claims Taiwan as its territory — to be seized one day, by force if necessary — and has intensified efforts in recent years to isolate the self-ruled island on the international stage.
On Friday, the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing warned that “the mainland will pursue criminal responsibility for Taiwan independence diehards in accordance with the law, to be effective for life”.
The statement by spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian named Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang, parliament speaker Yu Shyi-kun and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu as among a minority of independence supporters.
Zhu said the politicians “have tried to instigate cross-strait confrontation, maliciously attacked and slandered the mainland… severely undermining cross-strait relations”.
She added that Beijing has prohibited them and their family members from entering the mainland, Hong Kong or Macau.
Their affiliates would also be restricted from cooperating with mainland organisations and individuals, she said, without giving more details.
Taiwan’s Su on Friday brushed off the threat from Beijing, saying he “won’t be intimidated.”
“It doesn’t (rule) Taiwan for one day but it’s bossing Taiwan around,” Su said of Beijing when asked about the list of “diehards” in parliament.
The nationalist Kuomintang party fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese civil war.
The island of 24 million people has since transformed into a vibrant democracy and major tech hub, leading many — including President Tsai Ing-wen — to assert Taiwan’s distinct identity, which Beijing attacks as separatism.
Beijing-Taipei ties have plunged since Tsai rose to power in 2016.
“Those who forget their ancestors, betray their motherland and split the country will not come to a good end,” Zhu said.
The comments came a day after the head of a visiting European Parliament delegation to Taipei called Taiwan’s democracy “a treasure” to be protected, promising to stand with the island.
China has dramatically ramped up military activities in recent years, with a record number of planes intruding into the island’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in early October.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
The United States will defend Taiwan if China attacks it, President Joe Biden said, prompting a warning from Beijing on Friday that its determination to take back the democratic island should not be underestimated.
Authoritarian China regards self-ruled Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize the island, by force if needed.
Beijing’s sabre-rattling has ramped up in recent years, exacerbating fears the island of 23 million people could become a major global flashpoint.
At a CNN town hall, Biden was asked whether the US would come to Taiwan’s defence if China invaded. “Yes,” he responded. “We have a commitment to that.”
Biden’s statement was at odds with the long-held US policy known as “strategic ambiguity,” where Washington helps build Taiwan’s defenses but does not explicitly promise to come to the island’s help in the event of war.
The policy is designed to deter a Chinese invasion and also discourage Taiwan from formally declaring independence — something Beijing regards as a red line.
Biden’s comments were welcomed on Friday by Taiwan, which has pushed to bolster international alliances to protect itself from Beijing.
“The US government has demonstrated, through actual actions, their rock solid support for Taiwan,” Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang said in a statement.
But Beijing warned that Biden’s comments risked “damaging Sino-US relations,” warning Washington on Friday to “act and speak cautiously on the Taiwan issue.”
“China has no room for compromise on issues involving its core interests,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing.
The US should not underestimate China’s “staunch determination, firm will and strong ability” to defend against what it sees as threats to its sovereignty, Wang added.
Biden made a similar pledge in August during an interview with ABC, insisting that the US would always defend key allies, including Taiwan, despite the withdrawal from Afghanistan in the face of the victorious Taliban.
Biden said the US made a “sacred commitment” to defend NATO allies in Canada and Europe and it’s the “same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan.”
The White House subsequently told reporters on both occasions that US policy on Taiwan “has not changed.”
Richard McGregor, senior fellow for East Asia at the Lowy Institute, said the Biden administration had “firmly restated” its commitment to strategic ambiguity.
“I suspect Biden was not trying to announce any change. So it was either loose language, or perhaps a slightly harder tone, deliberately adopted because of the way Beijing has increased the tempo of its military harassment of Taiwan recently,” he told AFP.
China has ramped up economic, diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who views Taiwan as already sovereign and not part of “one China.”
Military pressure has escalated in the last year with China sending waves of fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan’s air defense zone.
According to an AFP tally, more than 800 flights have been made into the zone since September last year — 170 just this month.
Defending Taiwan, one of Asia’s most progressive democracies, has become a rare bipartisan issue in Washington’s otherwise deeply polarised landscape.
At Thursday’s live town hall, Biden was also asked by an audience member whether the United States would be able to keep up with China’s rapid military development.
Biden responded with “Yes.”
“Don’t worry about whether… they’re going to be more powerful,” he said. “China, Russia and the rest of the world knows we have the most powerful military in the history of the world.”
But Biden expressed concern that rival countries may “engage in activities where they may make a serious mistake.”
He referred to his longtime relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and repeated his position that he does not want “to start a new Cold War with China.”
But he warned: “I just want to make China understand that we are not going to step back.”
Biden’s comments also come in the wake of a Financial Times report that China has tested a state-of-the-art hypersonic missile with nuclear capacity that flew around the planet before landing, albeit not on target.
Source Credit: TheGuardian