Updated December 9th, 2021 at 15:17 IST

Pentagon says China, Russia testing US policy on Taiwan & Ukraine amid heightened tensions

As crisis continues to escalate across Ukraine and Taiwan, US Defence Secy Llyod Austin rejected the "red lines" saying such steps will only exacerbate problems

Dipaneeta Das
Pentagon Chief
IMAGE: AP | Image:self

As the crisis continues to escalate across Ukraine and Taiwan, US Defence Secretary Llyod Austin III rejected the "red lines" saying that such steps will only exacerbate the problem. In an exclusive interview with Defence One during Outlook 22, the top Defence Staff emphasised that he prefers a more flexible approach to the tense situation in Eastern Europe, where US intelligence officials have allegedly intercepted deployment of over 70,000 troops along the Donbas region.

Calling for more diplomacy in addressing issues towards "goal in both cases," Defence Secy Austin said that "I think in situations like this, I think conveying red lines only exacerbates the problem. I think we need to focus on finding ways to de-escalate and reduce tensions.” Talking about US' reverberation in case of potential invasion of Russia in Ukraine, the official also suggested that it is necessary to "reinforce the confidence and reassurance of our NATO allies and our eastern flank allies would be real, and the United States would be prepared to provide that kind of reassurance." The interview came a day ahead of US President Joe Biden's meeting with Vladimir Putin warning the latter of 'consequences' over its expansion in the eastern borders of Ukraine.

Biden warns Putin of 'robust' measures

In a high-profile meeting held on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of "strong economic measures" in case Moscow intended to invade Ukraine. Reiterating support to Kyiv, Biden also called for de-escalation of tension and "return to diplomacy," the White House informed in a press statement. The meeting mostly wrapped around the military escalation in the Donbas region, however, the presidents also discussed the US-Russia dialogue on Strategic Stability, a separate dialogue on ransomware as week as joint work on regional issues such as Iran.

'Don't want to change status quo unilaterally': Def Secy

Speaking about US open support to Taiwan without any formal allegiance, Austin had said that “We don't want to see a change in the status quo, especially, certainly a unilateral change in the status quo," Defence One reported. Austin's assertions come after a high-profile US visit to Taiwan preceded by weapon's sale to the island. The moves have over time infuriated Beijing, which has, from October 1, increased military drills along the Indo-Pacific region.

(Image: AP)


Published December 9th, 2021 at 15:17 IST

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