US still assesses China will not invade Taiwan in next two years
The Chinese military also launched roughly a dozen missiles near Taiwan, including at least one that appeared to fly directly over the island.
Kahl’s comments that the Pentagon does not think that China will imminently invade Taiwan reflect attempts by the Biden administration to downplay the drills, with officials saying they are more bluster than an indication of military activity.
But Kahl condemned China’s attempt to “salami slice their way into a new status quo” by repeatedly overflying the median line.
“Really, it’s the activities in the strait itself, the sheer number of maritime and air assets that are crossing over this kind of de facto centerline, creeping closer to Taiwan’s shores,” that officials are noticing, Kahl said.
“It’s clear that Beijing is trying to create a kind of new normal with the goal of trying to coerce Taiwan but also frankly to coerce the international community given the importance of the Taiwan Strait to the global economy,” he added.
Kahl said China’s reaction to Pelosi’s visit was a “manufactured” crisis, noting that U.S representatives regularly travel to Taiwan.
The United States continues to support a One China policy and does not recognize Taiwan as a separate nation, but Washington supports Taipei with arms sales for self-defense.
“Our policy has not changed, it is support for the status quo,” Kahl said. “China’s policy is what’s changed.”