Gen. Milley Warns U.S. About ‘More Aggressive’ Chinese Military After Confirmed Threats Over Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

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The number of dangerous encounters between Chinese and U.S. and partner forces in the Pacific has increased in the past five years as China’s military becomes more confrontational, a top U.S. defense official warned Sunday.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley warned at a meeting with Indonesia’s top general that China is demonstrating “more aggressive” behavior ahead of a meeting with regional heads of defense in Australia scheduled for Monday, the Associated Press reported. He did not provide specific numbers of unsafe interactions.

“The message is the Chinese military, in the air and at sea, have become significantly more and noticeably more aggressive in this particular region,” Milley said.

Milley addressed concerns of a security contract Beijing signed with the Solomon Islands in April that Western officials fear lead to a military base established on the islands, the AP reported.

“This is concerning because China is not doing it just for benign reasons. They’re trying to expand their influence throughout the region, and that has potential consequences that are not necessarily favorable to our allies and partners in the region,” said Milley.

Milley’s statement comes as China confirmed prior threats of possible military action should House Speaker Nancy Pelosi follow through with her reported August visit to Taiwan.

China’s rhetoric regarding Pelosi’s visit was notably more combative than it has been in the past, saying China expressed “stronger opposition” to the U.S., Financial Times reported Saturday, citing six people with direct knowledge of the warnings.

Senior U.S. national security leaders expressed concern that Pelosi’s trip could increase the pressure on an already tense relationship between the U.S. and China, particularly relating to alleged escalation after a U.S. warship traveled through the Taiwan Strait, Reuters reported. While the National Security Council provided “context, facts and geopolitical relevant information,” it reiterated that the Speaker is free to make her own decisions, FT reported.

China’s rhetoric regarding Pelosi’s visit was notably more combative than it has been in the past, saying China expressed “stronger opposition” to the U.S., Financial Times reported Saturday, citing six people with direct knowledge of the warnings.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference Monday that China is “fully prepared for any eventuality.”

“If the US side insists on making the visit, the Chinese side will take firm and strong measures to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Lijian added.

“The U.S. must assume full responsibility for any serious consequence arising thereof,” said Lijian.

An official press release from the Australian defense ministry states that key topics in the conference include climate change, advanced technologies and the war in Ukraine. It does not explicitly mention China.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Embassy to the U.S. and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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The Daily Caller News Foundation is a guest author for NRN. They are a non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

Kelly Offield is an investigative journalist and columnist for NRN, specializing on Big Tech's control of information. Click the red bell on the bottom left to turn on NRN's website notifications and watch Kelly Offield's author page to follow the developments of his column.