President Joe Biden’s administration has delayed a U. S. intercontinental ballistic missile test to avoid further escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, the White House confirmed on Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Thursday that the administration chose to delay a Minuteman III ICBM test launch from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base that was scheduled for this week. Officials told WSJ the test was delayed to avoid worsening tensions with China after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Tuesday.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed the decision to delay the test during a Thursday press conference at the White House.
“We do not believe it is in our interest, Taiwan’s interest or the region’s interest to allow tensions to escalate further,” Kirby said. “Which is why a long-planned Minuteman III ICBM test scheduled for this week has been rescheduled for the near future.”
While Taiwan governs itself as an independent nation, China considers the island a part of its territory. Chinese officials have said Pelosi’s visit to the island violates Chinese sovereignty and vowed to make a “strong” response.
While the U. S. put off its ballistic missile test, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces launched several of their own ballistic missiles in the Taiwan Strait on Thursday. The missiles reportedly landed near Taiwanese territorial waters and in the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“As China engages in destabilizing military exercises around Taiwan, the United States is demonstrating, instead, the behavior of a responsible nuclear power,” Kirby said.... (Read more)
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