China’s military activity around Taiwan threatens the region, says U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Singapore, June 11: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasized US support for Taiwan on Saturday, suggesting at a major defense forum in Asia that recent Chinese military activity around the autonomous islands could change the status quo.

In the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, Austin mentioned “a steady increase in provocative and unstable military activity near Taiwan.” This includes almost daily military flights by the People’s Republic of China near the island. China warned Taipei about “decisive steps” after Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen advised Beijing to curb military adventures.

“Our policy hasn’t changed, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to apply to China,” he said. Austin said Washington remains committed to “one China policy.” This admits Beijing, but admits informal and defensive relations with Taipei.

Although Taiwan and China split during the 1949 civil war, China claims the island to be its territory and does not rule out using military force to occupy the island. China has in recent years strengthened its military provocation against Taiwan by democracy, with the aim of threatening to accept Beijing’s request for unity with the mainland of communism.

“We continue to focus on peace, stability and status quo throughout the Taiwan Strait,” Austin said in a speech. “But China’s move could undermine the security, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.”

Austin said the United States “behind the principle that the differences between the two banks must be resolved by peaceful means,” but said it would continue to fulfill its commitment to Taiwan. “This includes helping Taiwan maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities,” he said.

“And that means maintaining our own ability to resist the use of forces and other forms of coercion that endanger the safety and social or economic systems of Taiwanese people.”

The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, which governs the relationship between the United States and the island, does not require the United States to intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese invasion, but it does secure resources for Taiwan to defend itself. According to Beijing, which has a US policy of preventing unilateral changes in status.

(This is an edited and auto-generated story from the Syndicated News Feed. LatestLY staff may not have changed or edited the content body)

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