Austin said China is rapidly building up its nuclear arsenal, aiming to bring it to at least 1,000 warheads by 2030.
Austin emphasized the US will not force nations to choose between ties with the US or China
, and the Biden administration is looking to bolster deterrence against Chinese aggression over Taiwan and not change the status quo in the region
Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the end of a civil war more than seven decades ago, in which the defeated Nationalists fled to Taipei. tuttavia, Beijing views Taiwan as an inseparable part of its territory — even though the Chinese Communist Party has never governed the democratic island of about 24 un milione di persone.
Under the “One China” Policy, the US acknowledges China’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan. But under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the US agreed to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons while maintaining the capacity to defend it against use of force that would threaten its security.
In a later Q&A session with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Austin said the US remains committed to helping Ukraine remain sovereign territory, and said the number of Russian forces and state of the cyber domain “raises our concern.”
Austin added there was a lot of space for diplomacy and leadership to work on Ukraine.
When asked if he had any regrets on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, he paused and said he regretted losing 13 services members as well as civilians. He said he did not want to lose sight of the fact that more than 120,000 were evacuated in 17 giorni.
Austin talked about vaccine mandates with Baier
, who asked what he plans to do if the Oklahoma National Guard does not get vaccinated. Austin said he assumes they will get vaccinated
, but it is a readiness issue
. He said troops have to deploy all over at a moment’s notice
Austin also said he will take a
” a survey numbers showing Americans are losing confidences in the US military
. He said the military needs to do a better job of telling the story of what the military does and the sacrifices made