US should avoid open armed conflict with China: Top US general
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley stresses that if China were to "invade" Taiwan," it is entirely possible" for the US to repel the attack.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, emphasized the importance of avoiding open armed conflict with China and steering clear of repeating "great power" conflicts. In an interview with CNN, Milley stated, "We should make every effort to prevent open armed conflict with China."
He also pointed out that the United States had already been involved in two major "great power wars," specifically referring to World War I and World War II.
Discussing a scenario of a Chinese 'invasion' of Taiwan, Milley mentioned that it was entirely feasible for the US to repel such an attack. He further noted that the United States seeks a peaceful resolution in the relationship between Beijing and Taipei.
Taiwan has functioned independently from mainland China since 1949. While Beijing asserts its authority over the island, Taiwan considers itself an autonomous entity without formally declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official foreign engagement with Taipei and maintains that Chinese sovereignty over the island is unquestionable according to the One China principle, which it had agreed upon with the US.
Earlier on Saturday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malta in the latest attempt to ease efforts between the two major powers, AFP reported citing White House officials.
The White House statement noted that one of the meeting's main takeaways was a commitment from both officials to maintain this strategic channel of communication and to pursue additional high-level engagement.
"This meeting was part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage the relationship," the statement read.
Wang brought up the issue of Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory, as a "red line that cannot be crossed in Sino-US relations."
In correspondence, the US noted in the statement the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The One China principle
China considers the One China principle a main condition when engaging with foreign countries. The political doctrine was reached during a joint communique between the US and the PRC where both sides acknowledge "that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China" and "does not challenge that position."
But in recent years, despite claiming otherwise, the US has been breaching its commitment to the policy, as it held several high-level meetings with Taiwanese officials, boosted weapons sales to the island, and increased its military presence in the Taiwan Strait.
Last Tuesday, the Taiwanese defense ministry said it detected 22 warplanes and 20 naval ships around Taiwan.
The next day, it was also reported that 35 Chinese warplanes were detected around the island.