China could invade Taiwan within the next six years, US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson said on Tuesday, raising hackles in Beijing, which yesterday accused the top US commander of attempting to “hype up” the threat of an invasion to inflate Washington’s defense spending.
“I worry that they’re [China] accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order ... by 2050,” Washington’s top military officer in the Asia-Pacific region said.
“Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before that and I think the threat is manifest during this decade — in fact, in the next six years,” Davidson told a US Senate Committee on Armed Services hearing.
Former US president Donald Trump embraced warmer ties with Taiwan, as he feuded with China on issues such as trade and national security.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has offered Taiwan cause for optimism for continued support aside from the US Department of State, saying in January that US commitment to the nation is “rock solid.”
Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) was formally invited to Biden’s inauguration, an unprecedented move since 1979.
China has also made expansive territorial claims in the resource-rich South China Sea and even threatens the US territory of Guam, Davidson said.
“Guam is a target today,” he said, adding that the Chinese military released a video simulating an attack on an island base strongly resembling US facilities in Diego Garcia and Guam.
He called on US lawmakers to approve the installation on Guam of an Aegis Ashore anti-missile battery, which is capable of intercepting the most powerful Chinese missiles in flight.
Guam “needs to be defended and it needs to be prepared for the threats that will come in the future,” Davidson said.
In addition to other Aegis missile defense systems destined for Australia and Japan, Davidson called on lawmakers to budget for offensive armaments “to let China know that the costs of what they seek to do are too high.”
Beijing was swift to bat away the admiral’s comments.
“Some US people continue to use the Taiwan issue to hype up China’s military threat,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) told reporters in Beijing. “But in essence, this is the US searching for a pretext to increase its military spending, expand its forces and interfere in regional affairs.”
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
As China waged extensive military exercises off Taiwan, a group of US defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the nation. The unofficial what-if game is being conducted on the fifth floor of an office building not far from the White House, and it posits a US military response to a Chinese invasion in 2026. Even though the participants bring a US perspective, they are finding that a US-Taiwan victory, if there is one, could come at a huge cost. “The results are showing that under
‘SIMULATED ATTACKS’: Ten warships each from China and Taiwan were maneuvering at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait, with some Chinese vessels crossing the median line Taiwan yesterday reiterated that it would not succumb to pressure from Beijing after China carried out its most provocative military drills in decades in retaliation for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last week. “We will never bow to pressure. We uphold freedom and democracy, and believe Taiwanese disapprove [of] China’s bullying actions with force and saber rattling at our door,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. China had “arrogantly” disrupted regional peace and stability, he said, calling on Beijing to not flex its military muscles. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has also called on the international community to “support
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