US: Boosting Taiwan’s Defenses an ‘Urgent Task’
Bolstering Taiwan’s defenses is an urgent task and essential to deterring the threat of invasion by China, the Pentagon’s top official for Asia said on Wednesday, adding that U.S. partners were stepping up their military presence in the region.
Tensions between Taiwan and China have escalated in recent months as Beijing raises pressure on the island it claims as its own with repeated air missions over the Taiwan Strait, the waterway separating the democratically governed island from China.
Without question, bolstering Taiwan’s self-defenses is an urgent task and an essential feature of deterrence, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Mr. Ratner added that China’s air and maritime campaigns around Taiwan were “intentionally provocative” and increased the likelihood of miscalculation between armed forces in the Indo-Pacific.
They put the prosperity and security of the region at risk, and are part of a pattern of PRC military coercion and aggression against other U.S. allies and partners in the region, including India, Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, Mr. Ratner said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
We are seeing countries stepping up their military presence in the region and their willingness to support deterrence in a way that we haven’t before, he added, mentioning joint military activities with Canada, Britain and Japan.