The US delayed the test launch of an Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this week, which triggered Beijing to conduct war drills around the self-ruled island on Thursday.
WSJ said US officials were planning to launch the ICBM from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California but have delayed the launch to avoid escalating tensions with Beijing.
"This is a long-planned test, but it is being postponed to remove any misunderstandings given the PRC's [People's Republic of China] actions around Taiwan," a defense official told WSJ.
Minuteman III tests are conducted a few times a year to evaluate the reliability of the ICBM. The last delay was in March when the Pentagon halted an ICBM test flight to avoid escalating tensions with Moscow during the beginning weeks of the Ukraine invasion.
As we noted earlier, China kicked off a new round of war drills Thursday aimed at encircling and pressuring Taiwan in the wake of Pelosi's visit.
Meanwhile, the US also has serious military assets near Taiwan, including the USS Ronald Reagan carrier group...
While Beijing and Washington are on edge with military assets positioned in the Pacific, the Biden administration has had a change of heart about angering China with Pelosi's trip to now de-escalate the situation.