US is monitoring China while supporting Ukraine

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Mara Karlin, assistant secretary of defence for strategy, plans and capabilities also noted that in Asia, the US has been strengthening its partnerships with India, Australia, Japan and nations in Southeast Asia….reports Asian Lite News

Russia and China seek to expand their military influence both regionally and globally, with Moscow having invaded Ukraine and Beijing seeking to wrest control of Taiwan, US Department of Defence said in a statement on Tuesday (local time).

“Officials discussed the United States’, allies’ and partners’ efforts to counter those ambitions during a House Armed Services Committee today,” the statement said.

“The United States is at a pivotal moment with our allies and partners in meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow,” Mara Karlin, assistant secretary of defence for strategy, plans and capabilities, said, referencing Russia and China.

She said, “Security cooperation is an important tool that helps key allies and partners strengthen their defence and enhances our ability to rely on one another in a time of need.”

The forthcoming National Defence Strategy will emphasize how the department will strengthen these alliances and partnerships to advance national security through integrated deterrence, Karlin said.

Karlin noted that in Asia, the US has been strengthening its partnerships with India, Australia, Japan and nations in Southeast Asia.

“Our support for Taiwan is rock solid,” she said, referencing the Taiwan Relations Act. The U.S. has provided USD 18 billion to them in security assistance and will continue to ensure they have the appropriate asymmetric defence capabilities, she added.

Meanwhile, a delegation of former US defence and security officials will arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday for a two-day visit, which is likely to evoke a strong reaction from China.

Taiwan seeks strong security cooperation

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday said that Taiwan hopes to work more closely with the United States on security issues as China’s threat continues to rise in the Asia-Pacific region.

On Tuesday, an unofficial US delegation, headed by former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Glenn Mullen, arrived in Taiwan for a two-day visit. The delegation also included former US Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan Meghan O’Sullivan and former US Defense Under Secretary Michele Angelique Flournoy.

“Currently, China’s military threat in the Taiwan Strait and across the region continues to grow through the efforts on limiting Taiwan’s international involvement or through the use of cognitive warfare and disinformation tactics against the Taiwanese society,” Tsai told a meeting with the unofficial US delegation.

The president noted that Taiwanese nationals “will not give up their beliefs because of these actions.”She added that Taiwan looks forward to “closer cooperation with the US and other countries on security issues in the region.”

Mullen said that the US will continue opposing any unilateral changes to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, adding that maintaining peace and stability in the region is in the interest not only of the US but also of the world.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighter aircraft routinely violate Taiwanese airspace with incursions. The largest incursion so far this year occurred on January 23 when the PLA flew 39 aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ). However, the largest ever intrusion consisted of 56 aircraft on 4 October 2021.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that Beijing condemned the US for sending the delegation to Taiwan.

“The attempt by the US to show support to Taiwan will be in vain, no matter who the US sends. China urges the US to abide by the one-China principle and stipulations in the three China-US joint communiques, stop all forms of official interactions with Taiwan, and handle Taiwan-related issues in a prudent manner, lest it should further undermine the larger interests of China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Wang told a briefing. (ANI)

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