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US says crisis ‘made’ in China

China’s actions in the Taiwan Strait are “fabricated” and “completely unnecessary,” Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said Monday during a Pentagon press briefing.

Kahl said the United States has not changed its support for the one-China policy, nor do U.S. officials believe China will take control of Taiwan militarily in the next few years.

“We do not support China’s use of its military actions against Taiwan. We do not support Taiwan’s move towards independence. Our policy has not changed its support for the status quo. China’s policy is what has changed,” Kahl said, adding that China is trying to “salami-slice their way to a new status quo.”

China is “trying to coerce” both Taiwan and the international community, Kahl said.

“All I’ll say is we’re not going to take the bait and it’s not going to work,” he said. “It’s a manufactured crisis. It doesn’t mean we have to play into it. I think it would only play to Beijing’s advantage.”

Kahl was repeatedly asked about developments between China and Taiwan during Monday’s briefing. He reiterated the Department of Defense’s support for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, which sparked the final days of China’s military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

China was “clearly” not “satisfied” with Pelosi’s visit, Kahl said, but “nothing about this visit changed one iota the policy of the US government toward Taiwan or toward China.”

Kahl said China’s reaction to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was not surprising. Pelosi “had every right” to go to Taiwan, Kahl said, adding that the Department of Defense was committed to providing Pelosi with “necessary support” once she confirmed the trip was taking place.

After Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, Kahl said China conducted missile drills and other live-fire demonstrations. China has also stepped up military air and naval activities in the strait, he said.

Kahl declined to say whether Chinese planes or missiles had flown over Taiwan, saying those answers depended on each object’s lock and trajectory and that he didn’t have “the physics” of it in front of him at the time. .

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