'Seriously doubt' imminent invasion of Taiwan by China -Pentagon chief

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit 2022 is held in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday he seriously doubted that ramped up Chinese military activities near the Taiwan Strait were a sign of an imminent invasion of the island by Beijing.

"We've seen increased aerial activity in the straits, we've seen increased surface vessel activity around Taiwan," Austin said during a press conference alongside U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and their Japanese counterparts.

"But whether or not that means that an invasion is imminent, you know, I seriously doubt that," Austin said.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Chris Reese)