Politics

Top US General Mark Milley warns that China wants to “bully and dominate” the Indo-Pacific


The Albanese government said the Chinese had intercepted an RAAF plane in a dangerous manoeuvre in May.

In the same month Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Beijing’s air force pf behaving in an “irresponsible and provocative” way after a Canadian aircraft deployed in Japan narrowly avoided a collision with Chinese jets.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and Commander, US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John ‘Chris’ Aquilino met with Australian Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell to discuss the US-Australia alliance.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and Commander, US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John ‘Chris’ Aquilino met with Australian Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell to discuss the US-Australia alliance.Credit:Department of Defence

Asked about the prospect of China invading Taiwan, Milley said: “The United States interest is for any differences between China and Taiwan to be decided peacefully… We absolutely oppose the use of military force in an unprovoked way. We think that’s unnecessary, it’s high cost – we’re witnessing that in Ukraine.”

Milley said the US military would help facilitate a trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, despite President Joe Biden recently saying the military was opposed to the idea.

“If there is a decision made that Speaker Pelosi or anyone else is going to travel and they ask for military support we will do what is necessary to ensure safe conduct of their visit,” he said.

Former prime minister Paul Keating this week said Pelosi’s possible trip – which would be the highest-level American visit to Taiwan since 1979 – would be a “reckless and provocative act” that may “degenerate into military hostilities”.

Admiral John Aquilino, the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, forcefully rejected Chinese claims the US was trying to foster an Asia Pacific version of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) through its AUKUS partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom.

“There have been no actions by the United States with any allies or partners in this region to establish a NATO-like structure,” Aquilino said, adding that any narrative of a Pacific NATO was “just not factual”.

General Angus Campbell, the chief of the Australian Defence Force, said Australia and the US were in a “constant conversation” with each other about how to deepen their military alliance.



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