Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley does not think Beijing will launch an offensive anytime soon but warned that Chinese military advances seek to give the Xi Jinping regime that option.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milli said Wednesday that the United States has “absolutely the ability” to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
But the Pentagon’s top general also warned that China’s military had made incredible technological advances in a short time, something about which the Defense Department itself issued a report this Wednesday, exemplified in its hypersonic missile test, which leaves the world at risk of entering a period of increasing strategic instability.
Milley considered it unlikely that China will take any military action against Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, in the next 24 months.
“However, the Chinese are building capabilities to give those options to their leaders if they decide to use them at some point in the future,” he said.
Although asked at the Aspen Security Forum whether the Pentagon could defend the island, he replied: “We have the capacity. There is no doubt about it”.
He also said that the United States maintains its policy of “strategic ambiguity” regarding the protection of Taiwan. It would be a presidential decision to intervene if China acted to gain control of the island.
“We can do all kinds of things around the world, including that if necessary,” Milley insisted.
And he added that the United States believes that the differences between China and Taiwan should be resolved peacefully based on the will of the citizens of both sides.
“We are only interested in peaceful results,” he said.
Milli also said that after seven decades of competition between the two nuclear superpowers – Russia and the United States – the rapid expansion of the Chinese military and its technical capabilities had created a three-polar rivalry that added to the complexity.
He added that the August test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, which circled the world at relatively low altitude and at speed more than five times the speed of sound, It was almost as important as the impressive launch of Sputnik by Russia in 1957, the first satellite launched into space.
The hypersonic test was very important, “he said, highlighting Chinese advances in military technology.
We are witnessing one of the largest movements in world geostrategic power that has ever been seen,” he said.
The result, according to Milli, is that the world is entering a potentially more unstable period than in the decades since World War II.
Milley’s statements come when relations between Washington and Beijing are going through a phase of tension derived from the Chinese air raids on Taiwan, to which the United States has highlighted its commitment to the island.
At the end of October, the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-Wen, acknowledged that the threats from Beijing were increasing and that the island had the presence of trainers from the US Army.