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China unlikely to try to seize Taiwan in near future: top U.S. general

Beijing 'unambiguously' building capability for retaking as option, warns Mark Milley

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley responds to questions during a House Armed Services Committee hearing  in Washington on Sept. 29   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- China is unlikely to try to militarily seize Taiwan in the next couple of years, even as its military develops capabilities that would enable forcibly retaking the self-ruled island, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.

"Based on my analysis of China, I don't think that it is likely in the near future -- being defined as, you know, six, 12, maybe 24 months, that kind of window," General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Aspen Security Forum, when asked if China was preparing to make a move on Taiwan in the near future.

"Having said that, though, the Chinese are clearly and unambiguously building the capability to provide those options to the national leadership if they so choose at some point in the future. But near future? Probably not. But anything can happen."

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