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China being watched ‘very closely’: US

Taiwan's air defence zone has witnessed a scores of Chinese warplane into its airspace while the US naval ships have passed through its waters.

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Washington: Taiwan may not be subjected to a Chinese attack but the US is monitoring the largest populous nation ”very closely,” the media reported on Sunday citing a top American official on Sunday.

China is clearly developing the capability to attack at some point, but deciding to do so would be a political choice, US General Mark Milley told the BBC.

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Beijing claims Taiwan to be a ”breakaway province” and that must be re-unified with the mainland, ”by force if necessary”.

China has accused the US of supporting Taiwan’s independence and vowed to “resolutely crush” any such attempt, BBC report said.

Taiwan’s air defence zone has witnessed a scores of Chinese warplane into its airspace while the US naval ships have passed through its waters.

“Could, should, would, those are key words there,” Milley told BBC when asked whether he thought China would attack Taiwan.

“In terms of capability I think China clearly is developing a capability. President Xi (Jinping) has mentioned that in public forums, he has mentioned it in speeches, that he has challenged the PLA (China’s People’s Liberation Army) to develop the capability to attack Taiwan at some point in time.

“And whether they would or not, it is a political choice, it is a policy choice, that will be based off of how the Chinese view the cost risk benefit at the time.”

“There is no indications or warnings of anything imminent at this time. But again, we watch it very, very closely,” Gen Milley added.

There are no official diplomatic relations between the US and Taiwan, but the Washington sells arms to the latter as part of its Taiwan Relations Act.

According to the Act, the US must support Taiwan with the means to defend itself.

At the same time, the US also maintains formal ties with China and also diplomatically acknowledges China’s position that there is only one Chinese government, BBC report said.

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