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'Deeply concerned by China's aggression in Taiwan strait...': US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin

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'deeply concerned by china's aggression in taiwan strait...': us secretary of defense lloyd j. austin © Provided by Times Now 'deeply concerned by china's aggression in taiwan strait...': us secretary of defense lloyd j. austin

'We're deeply concerned by China's aggressive, escalatory, and destabilising military activities in the Taiwan Strait and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific,' said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III after a meeting with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles in Hawaii on Saturday. "The World faces a growing challenge from autocratic countries attempting to change the status quo through threats, coercion and provocative military activities and even naked aggression," he added.

The two world leaders further discussed the steps needed to 'enhance deterrence and strengthen security in the Indo-Pacific.' "We talked about enhancing our interoperability and expanding our operations and advancing our on-going posture, force posture initiatives," Austin said.

Last month, US President Joe Biden made it pretty clear that US forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Responding to a question asked during a CBS 60 Minutes interview about whether US forces would defend the self-ruled island claimed by China, Biden replied, "Yes if in fact, there was an unprecedented attack."

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Speaking on Biden's remarks, a White House spokesperson said later that the US policy towards Taiwan had not changed. "The President has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year. He also made clear then that our Taiwan policy hasn't changed. That remains true," the spokesperson said.

The US Secretary of Defense also spoke on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and noted that 'nations around the world are uniting to oppose Russia's unprovoked and cruel invasion of Ukraine.' "The United States and Australia are united in opposing actions that threaten peace, stability and the rules-based international order," he said.

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