U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters while boarding Air Force One on travel to Eastern Kentucky to go to families affected by devastation from recent flooding, as he departs from Delaware Air National Guard Base in Latest Castle, Delaware, U.S., August 8, 2022.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Monday that he’s “not nervous” about China’s military exercises around Taiwan, adding that while he’s “concerned that they are moving as much as they’re,” he doesn’t think they will proceed to extend the pressure.
The remarks got here someday after Beijing concluded 72 hours of intense maneuvers and missile tests over and around Taiwan. The exercises involved dozens of Chinese fighter jets and warships to mimic a military blockade of the self-governing island that Beijing considers a province.
Biden’s relative calm reflected the deliberate American strategy of not responding to Chinese bellicosity with equally hot saber rattling.
It also reflects a broader opinion inside the Biden administration that Beijing doesn’t intend to make good on its implicit threat to invade Taiwan, no less than not within the near term.
Given this assessment, america has adopted an approach, for now, of heightened vigilance, but steadfast refusal to be drawn right into a military game of chicken within the Pacific.
Last Thursday, the White House announced that Biden would keep U.S. naval aircraft carrier strike group within the South China Sea longer than originally planned, in response to Beijing’s increased aggression toward Taiwan.
At the identical time, a Biden spokesman said america would postpone a previously scheduled intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, test.
The selections signaled Washington’s desire to keep up American military alertness within the region, while also denying Beijing the chance to point to the long-planned U.S. missile test as evidence that America was responding to China’s own missile launches near Taiwan with military preparations of its own.
Beijing claimed its military exercises were conducted in retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week.
The visit by the California Democrat, which the Biden White House publicly defended but privately opposed, marked the primary time in 25 years that an American House speaker, a position second-in-line to the presidency, had visited Taiwan.
Asked on Monday whether it was smart for Pelosi to have traveled to Taiwan given the tense U.S.-China relationship, Biden gave the usual response his administration has used for weeks.
“That was her decision,” he said, before boarding Air Force One en path to Kentucky, where Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit communities impacted by catastrophic flooding last week.
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