The Chinese threat to invade Taiwan is serious and more imminent than many understand, the US admiral chosen to lead the Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific region said on Tuesday.
China considers taking control of Taiwan its “No. 1 priority,” US Navy Admiral John Aquilino, nominated to become commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, told the US Senate Committee on Armed Services.
“The rejuvenation of the Chinese Communist Party is at stake” with the Taiwan issue, he said.
Aquilino disagreed with recent comments by the outgoing US Indo-Pacific commander, US Navy Admiral Philip Davidson, that China could attempt to take over Taiwan as soon as six years from now.
“My opinion is that this problem is much closer to us than most think and we have to take this on,” he told the panel, which was reviewing his nomination.
Aquilino said that the threat is such that the US needs to implement a proposed US$27 billion plan to boost US defenses in the region “in the near term and with urgency.”
“The Chinese Communist Party has generated some capabilities in the region that are designed to keep us out,” he said. “The most dangerous concern is that of a military force against Taiwan.”
However, Aquilino declined to comment on the suggestion by US Senator Tom Cotton that Beijing could opt to attack Taiwan as early as next year.
Aquilino, currently the head of the US Pacific fleet, said that there are two major concerns if China seized Taiwan: the potential threat to global trade and the damage it would have on the US’ credibility with its Asian allies such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
IN A HURRY: The 199,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine expire on May 31, so the CECC might expand vaccine eligibility, but distribution would begin in a week at the earliest The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines allocated to Taiwan through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program arrived yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, adding that, after testing, it would be able to distribute them by Monday next week at the earliest. The 199,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were shipped from Amsterdam on a China Airlines (中華航空) plane and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 5:21am. After the cargo was examined and release procedures were completed at the airport, the Aviation Police Bureau escorted the vehicles carrying the vaccines to a cold chain storage facility. Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General
HEATED TRAFFIC: As Beijing holds naval drills near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense said it had a full grasp of the situation and would handle it ‘appropriately’ A Chinese carrier group exercising near Taiwan is part of what are to be regular drills, the Chinese navy said in a statement late on Monday, further escalating tensions between Taipei and Beijing. The group, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, was conducting “routine” drills in the waters around Taiwan, a move to “enhance its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests,” the statement said. “Similar exercises will be conducted regularly,” it said, without elaborating. The statement came after the Ministry of National Defense earlier on Monday issued a statement regarding a rise in the number of incursions by Chinese jets into
AIMED AT TAIWAN? Institute for National Defense and Security Research research fellow Ou Si-fu said chips can be ‘bought off the shelf’ and then used in weapons The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that chips from Taiwanese semiconductor companies were not making their way into Chinese missiles “to the best of our knowledge.” A report in yesterday’s Washington Post alleged that a Chinese company named Phytium Technology Co (飛騰) used chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), along with US software, in advanced Chinese military systems. “TSMC has long placed strict controls on their chips. The export of high-tech products from Taiwan is also highly regulated,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “According to our understanding, none of the end uses for those products
NO TIME: The driver tried to apply the brakes when he saw the truck, but the train did not have time to come to a full stop, an investigation report said The crane truck that caused last week’s fatal train accident had slid onto the tracks about one-and-a-half minutes before it was struck, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. The board had launched an investigation into the derailment, which killed 50 people and injured 211 people, making it the nation’s most devastating railway accident in decades. Carrying 494 passengers and four Taiwan Railways Administration personnel, the southbound express train to Taitung hit the truck as it was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The train derailed following the collision, with the left side of the eighth