Lloyd Austin says increased China activity near Taiwan 'looks like rehearsal'

Austin made his comment during a keynote discussion with Fox News anchor Bret Baier at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, Kalifornië.

Pointing out how China has been launching multiple air operations near Taiwan in recent months, Baier asked Austin, “Do you think that these are training flights for future operations?”

Austin noted that he didn’t want to speculate, but said, “Beslis, it looks like them exploring what their true capabilities [is], and sure, it looks like rehearsal.

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LÊER: In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location

LÊER: In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location (Taiwan Ministry of Defense via AP)

Austin also affirmed U.S. dominance in the Pacific, telling Baier, “China is not 10 feet tall.

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America is a Pacific power,” Austin said. “The Indo-Pacific is a region of great opportunity and real challenges. One of those challenges is the emergence of an increasingly assertive and autocratic China.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin holds a briefing in Tbilisi on Oct. 18, 2021. (Photo by VANO SHLAMOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin holds a briefing in Tbilisi on Oct. 18, 2021. (Photo by VANO SHLAMOV/AFP via Getty Images)

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