The US’ top general yesterday said he doubts Beijing plans to try to take Taiwan militarily.
“I do think that Xi Jinping [習近平] doesn’t necessarily want to take Taiwan by force,” US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Charles Brown Jr told reporters in Tokyo. “He will try to use other ways to do this.”
Brown added that the US wanted to serve as a “strong deterrent” to any potential move by China’s armed forces.
He called for monitoring things Xi “might do to put increasing pressure on Taiwan, whether it’s militarily, diplomatically, economically.”
Brown also said that he wrote to his Chinese counterpart, General Liu Zhenli (劉振立), to establish lines of communication, but had not yet interacted with him directly.
“If the opportunity presents itself, I will definitely engage,” Brown said.
It was unclear when Brown had sent the letter. He was confirmed as joint chiefs of staff chair in September.
Officials in Taipei have said they doubt China plans to invade soon, and after Russia attacked Ukraine early last year, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) played down concerns that a similar crisis could erupt in Asia.
Meanwhile, Taiwan is likely to be among the topics discussed when US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi gather for an expected meeting next week on the sidelines of the APEC summit in San Francisco.
The in-person talks would be the first between the leaders in a year.
Both nations have a reason to improve ties. China would like to focus on turning its economy around, while Biden is gearing up for a re-election campaign.
Speaking at a roundtable with reporters, Brown also said that the US has not shifted military assets out of East Asia since the Gaza crisis erupted on Oct. 7.
“All the capabilities we have here in the Indo-Pacific under the Indo-Pacific command, we have not touched that capability while we’re focused not only on what’s happening on Europe, but the same in the Middle East,” he said.
Two lottery players recently won NT$1 million (US$31,822) prizes on scratch lotto tickets they purchased on the same day at the same store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area. Taiwan Lottery Co said that the lotto wins both happened on “20 million Super Red Envelope” (2,000萬超級紅包) scratch cards sold at a shop on Kunming Street on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday on Thursday last week. The first of the winners was a married couple, who first won NT$2,000 on a NT$300 scratch lotto card, and then used their winnings to buy a NT$2,000 Super Red Envelope. After noticing that there
CAMBODIAN CON: The two men filmed videos with made-up content with a focus on purported human trafficking, beatings and sexual assaults by scammers Cambodian authorities yesterday sentenced two Taiwanese to two years in prison and a NT$30,000 fine each for staging a kidnapping in the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville which they live streamed online. Chen Neng-chuan (陳能釧), 31, and Lu Tsu-hsien (魯祖顯), 34, were convicted of inciting and causing social disorder a day after Cambodian police officials convened a news conference about their arrest. Chen, who goes by the online name “Goodnight Chicken” (晚安小雞), and Lu, known by the handle “Anow” (阿鬧), must each pay 4 million riels (US$982), according to a court filing. The court said the duo arrived in the Cambodian capital, Phnom
TAKE PRECAUTIONS: Never hike alone and prepare food, water and appropriate equipment for Taiwan’s mountains, particularly in the winter, officials said Two mountain hikers were rescued yesterday, a day after a body was airlifted out of Yushan National Park, one of several deaths related to mountaineering or hiking in the past two weeks, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday. A Nantou County mountain rescue team called for a helicopter while responding to a call yesterday morning. They said a woman surnamed Chen (陳), 31, and a man surnamed Lin (林), 32, got lost in the mountains around the Batongguan Historic Trail (八通關古道), while traveling west toward Dongpu Township (東埔). They were directed to a nearby alpine meadow, where the helicopter landed with four
National Taiwan University (NTU) was ranked in the 126-150 band in the Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings 2023 released on Tuesday, falling for a third consecutive year. In the 2020 rankings, NTU took the 40th spot, improving significantly from the 51-60 band the previous year in its best ranking in past five years, THE data showed. However, since then the university’s ranking has dropped continuously, falling into the 61-70 band in 2021 and the 91-100 band in 2022. The list does not assign specific rankings to universities ranked outside the top 50. In 2020, three other Taiwanese universities were also listed in