In a surprise move, the Biden White House has ordered a U.S. carrier Strike Group to remain near Taiwan much longer than initially planned, and has said they’ve have enough of China’s “overreacting” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
Late last Thursday in a stunning move, The White House shocked China by announcing that the massive Carrier Strike Group was going to remain in the region until further notice.
The decision to leave a naval strike group in the area was made in response to China’s belligerent military exercises and missile launches hinting at threatening an invasion of Taiwan.
National Security Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby announced late Thursday that the USS Ronald Reagan would be remaining the area longer than anticipated.
According to the White House transcript of the briefing, Kirby began his comments by saying, “overnight, the People’s Republic of China launched an estimated 11 ballistic missiles towards Taiwan, which impacted to the northeast, the east, and southeast of the island.”
“We condemn these actions, which are irresponsible and at odds with our longstanding goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,” Kirby added.
“China has chosen to overreact and use the Speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait,” he exclaimed.
Kirby said the U.S. anticipated China’s ramping up of its belligerence in the area, but he added that the U.S. won’t be cowed.
“The United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do. We will not seek, nor do we want, a crisis,” Kirby explained. “At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and the skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law, as we have for decades, supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The carrier group is Biden’s answer to that belligerence.
“We will conduct standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks, consistent, again, with our longstanding approach to defending freedom of the seas and international law,” Kirby insisted. “And we will take further steps to demonstrate our commitment to the security of our allies in the region, and that includes Japan.”
Kirby also said that “Beijing’s provocative actions are a significant escalation in its longstanding attempt to change the status quo.”
Kirby was asked if there was a diplomatic means to ending China’s military incursions in the region. Keep in mind, Taiwan is literally 12 miles from China folks, it’s technically theirs anyway.
“Well, we certainly would like to see the tensions deescalate. And if that’s best done through diplomacy, the United States would fully support that. We want to see the tensions come down,” Kirby replied
“I would submit to you that they can come down very easily by just having the Chinese stop these … very aggressive military drills and flying missiles in and around the Taiwan Strait,” Kirby said. “You don’t need diplomacy to just simply stop doing something that’s … escalating the tensions and putting peace and security in the region at risk.”
Will Biden hold firm and show some backbone? Kirby added these remarks. “Look, the Ronald Reagan and her escort ships are a very capable strike group. They’re there to monitor the situation. They’ll be there for a little bit longer than they were originally planned to be there,” he said.