JAKARTA, Indonesia ( Associated Press) – The Chinese military has become much more aggressive and dangerous over the past five years, a top US military official said during a tour of the Pacific, which included a stop in Indonesia on Sunday.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the number of interactions between Chinese aircraft and ships in the Pacific with US forces and other allies had increased significantly in that time, and the number of unprotected encounters increased. same ratio.
“The message is that the Chinese military, by air and by sea, has become too aggressive and notorious in this particular area,” said Milley, who recently spoke to his staff in talks between China and the United States in the region. asked to collect details about ,
His remarks come at a time when the United States has stepped up efforts to strengthen ties with Pacific nations as a countermeasure to China, which is seeking to expand its presence and influence in the region. President Joe Biden’s administration sees China as a threat and America’s number one long-term security challenge.
Milley’s visit to the region focused on the threat from China. He will attend a meeting of defense chiefs of the Indo-Pacific region in Sydney this week, where key themes will be the need to increase the Chinese military and maintain a free, open and calm Pacific.
US military officials have also expressed concerns that China could invade Taiwan, the autonomous and democratic island that Beijing treats as a separate province. China has stepped up military provocations against Taiwan in an attempt to intimidate it into joining the communist nation.
US military officials have said Beijing wants to be ready to act on Taiwan by 2027. The United States remains Taiwan’s main defense ally and arms supplier. US law requires the administration to treat all threats to the island as of “grave concern”, but is unclear about how to militarily defend Taiwan in the event of an attack by China.
China’s top military chief, General Li Zuocheng, told Milley in a conversation on July 7 that Beijing had “no room for compromise” on issues like Taiwan. He said the United States should “end US-Taiwan military collusion and avoid affecting Sino-US relations and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
The United States and other nations are concerned that a recent security agreement between Beijing and the Solomon Islands signed in April could open the door to the establishment of a Chinese naval base in the South Pacific. The United States and Australia have told the Solomon Islands that they will not tolerate it hosting a Chinese military base.