US must prepare now for China invasion of Taiwan: Admiral

WASHINGTON: The US military must be ready for a potential invasion of Taiwan as soon as this year, a senior admiral said on Wednesday, signaling high alert about Beijing’s intentions to this island.
Admiral Michael Gilday, the director of US naval operations, is the latest senior official in Washington to raise concerns that Chinese President Xi Jinping may be far more willing than previously thought to take over Taiwan. Loan.
His comments came as Taiwan’s top security official warned that any attempt to invade the island would fail and turn China into an international enemy.
Mr. Xi is on track to secure a third five-year term at the helm of the world’s most populous nation, delivering a landmark speech at the Communist Party Congress on Sunday, where he reiterated vow to one day “reunify” or force Taiwan.
In a discussion with a think-tank, Gilday was asked about Mr. Xi’s speech and whether he agreed with another US admiral’s remark that Beijing would be willing to occupy Taiwan by 2027. .
“It’s not just what President Xi says, it’s how the Chinese behave and what they do,” Gilday told the Atlantic Council.
“And what we’ve seen over the last 20 years is that they’ve delivered on every promise they’ve made before they said they’d deliver on it.”
“So when we talk about the 2027 window in my mind, it has to be the 2022 window or potentially the 2023 window,” he added.
“I can’t rule that out. I don’t mean to be wary of saying that. We just can’t wish it off.”
The Chinese Communist Party has never controlled Taiwan, but it claims the self-ruled island as its own.
Taiwan is not a treaty ally of the United States, but Congress is legally bound to sell defensive weapons to Taipei and has bipartisan support to defend what has become a democracy. progress and important global trading partners.
Beijing’s stance has long been to seek “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan but reserve the right to use force if necessary, especially if the island officially declares independence.
Words and actions toward Taiwan have become clearer under Xi, China’s most assertive leader in a generation, and the military has ramped up purchases of equipment aimed at deterring an invasion.
Xi has included Taiwan in his vision of “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and said the goal of unification cannot continue to be passed down indefinitely from generation to generation. another generation.
Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, which China has not condemned, has also raised concerns that Beijing could take similar actions against Taiwan’s 23 million people.
Military analysts have long warned that even with the strength of numbers, invading Taiwan is a daunting task, given its location and topography.
Taiwan’s national security chief Chen Ming-tong echoed that sentiment and sent his own warning to Mr. Xi.
“I want to solemnly tell the Beijing government that there is no chance of victory to attack Taiwan by force,” he told reporters Thursday in Taipei.
“It will lead to international economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, ruining his (Xi)’s ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’ and making him a criminal of the Chinese nation. .”
On Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that Beijing wants to take over Taiwan “on a much faster timeline” than previously considered, adding that “a very different China”. ” appeared under Mr. Xi.
Blinken also warned that any war against Taiwan would have a “huge” impact on global trade.


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