Washington, Sep 19 (EFE).- The United States does not consider that there is an “imminent” risk of conflict between China and Taiwan, a high-ranking Pentagon official told Congress on Tuesday.
“We do not believe that conflict is imminent or inevitable” because the policy of military “deterrence” throughout the Taiwan Strait is “real,” said the Pentagon’s head of defense affairs in the Indo-Pacific, Ely Ratner, during a hearing in The House of Representatives.
The official explained that, from the US perspective, China is the greatest threat to stability in the territory, since it is carrying out a “diplomatic and military pressure campaign” against Taiwan.
To counteract it, Ratner stressed, the US has been providing military support to Taiwan with the “sole” purpose of strengthening its defense capabilities and making said deterrence strategy effective.
“We are focused on providing Taiwan with the self-defense capabilities it needs, as well as maintaining our ability to resist any use of force that jeopardizes the security” of the territory, Ratner stressed.
In late August, the US for the first time provided Taiwan with $80 million in funds from its foreign military financing program, which is normally accessed by sovereign and independent countries.
The US aid is added to the military package worth $345 million that Washington granted to Taipei a few months ago, as well as the $2 billion in loans that the Lower House approved last year for the current fiscal year.
Taiwan is one of the main reasons for friction between the US and China, since Washington is the main supplier of weapons to the island and would defend it in the event of a conflict.
The Asian giant claims sovereignty over Taiwan, a territory it considers a rebellious province since the Kuomintang nationalists retreated there in 1949 after losing the civil war against communist troops.