U.S. military increases risk of China’s move against Taiwan

Washington — US troops warn that China is probably accelerating its schedule to gain control of Taiwan. Taiwan has been a major source of tension between Washington and Beijing for decades and is a widely regarded island democracy that is most likely to trigger a potentially catastrophic event. .. US-China war.

Concerns about Taiwan arise as China unleashes new strengths from years of military buildup. It has become more aggressive towards Taiwan and more aggressive in the sovereignty dispute in the South China Sea. Beijing is also becoming more confrontational with Washington. Chinese officials exchanged sharp and unusually public thorns with Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a meeting in Alaska last month.

However, military action against Taiwan will be a test of US support for an island that Beijing considers a separate state. For the Biden administration, it could offer the option of abandoning amicable and democratic entities or endangering what could be a full-scale war over causes not found on most American radars. .. The United States has long promised to help Taiwan protect itself, but deliberately obscured how far Taiwan would go in response to China’s attack.

This accumulation of concerns will soon do more by military, diplomatic, and other means to deter Beijing, where China is at the forefront of the United States and is trying to replace the United States. It is in line with the government’s view that it must be done. The power of Asia. Some U.S. military leaders consider Taiwan as the potentially most direct flash point.

Admiral Philip S. Davidson
Admiral Philip S. Davidson is waiting to meet Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, Japan, on October 22, 2020. (EugeneHoshiko / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

“There are signs that the risk is actually rising,” Admiral Philip Davidson, the senior U.S. military commander in the Asia-Pacific region, told the Senate panel last month about China’s military action in Taiwan. Told.

“The threat will be revealed in the last decade, and in fact in the next six years,” says Davidson.

A few days later, Admiral John Aquilino, a promising successor to Davidson, refused to back up the six-year period, but told Senator at his confirmation hearing:

Biden administration officials have not spoken very clearly, but have emphasized their intention to deepen relations with Taiwan and have drawn warnings from Beijing about outsiders’ interference with what they consider to be domestic issues.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Wu said military threats to his country were rising and that it was not yet “particularly alarming”, but in recent years Chinese troops have described him as a “true battle.” We are implementing what we called. “Type” practice near the island.

“We will protect ourselves. There is no doubt about it,” Wu told reporters. “If we need to fight war, we will fight war, and if we need to protect ourselves until the last day, we will protect ourselves until the last day.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin calls China a “pace threat” to the United States, and military service is adjusted accordingly. For example, the Marine Corps is reforming itself with China and Russia in mind after 20 years of ground combat against Middle Eastern militants.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will address the joint media briefing held in New Delhi, India, on March 20, 2021.

The aspect of China’s military modernization has rarely failed to offend the US military. In a recent essay, Admiral Charles Richard, head of the US Strategic Army, who is in charge of US nuclear power, wrote that China is on track to become a “strategic ally” of the United States. He expects China’s nuclear weapons stockpile to double “if not triple or quadruple” over the next decade, which the Pentagon says will “at least double” its stockpile during that period. Said that it was beyond the official view of.

However, Taiwan is considered the most pressing issue.

US officials have noted PLA actions that appear to be designed to rattle Taiwan. For example, China’s aerial invasion, including flying around the island, occurs almost every day, helping to promote threats, wear down Taiwanese pilots and aircraft, and learn more about Taiwan’s capabilities.

Chinese officials have ridiculed Davidson’s Taiwanese comments. Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Ren Guochan urged Washington to “give up zero-piece thinking” and do more to build mutual trust and stability. “All attempts by foreign forces to use Taiwan to detain China, or Taiwan independence forces to achieve independence by military means,” he said.

Beijing and Washington have long managed vulnerable middle ground because the impact of China’s military operations on Taiwan and its 23 million people is so profound and potentially serious. Taiwan’s political autonomy eliminates Beijing’s rule, but does not lead to formal independence.

Predictions about when China decides to force Taiwan to reunite with the mainland have long changed, and the United States has no unified view. Larry Diamond, a senior researcher at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, said last week that Chinese leaders suspected they were ready to enforce the issue.

“I don’t think it’s coming soon,” he said.

The Trump administration has made a series of moves to show a stronger commitment to Taiwan, including a ministerial dispatch to Taipei last year, and has called him since 1979, when formal diplomatic relations were cut off in honor of China. Made it the highest level US official to visit Taiwan. The Biden administration has stated that it wants to cooperate with China as much as possible, but has expressed opposition to China’s widespread actions.

Last week, US Ambassador to the Pacific Islands of Palau, John Hennessy Niland, became the first US Ambassador to visit Taiwan since Washington broke ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing.

China has been the subject of frequent criticism in parliament. Concerns about countering increasing military power are reflected in the passage of the $ 2.2 billion-funded Pacific Deterrence Initiative in 2021. Among other initiatives, Davidson wants to help establish a better air defense system to protect the US territory of Guam from China. Maintaining missiles and US military control in the region.

Senator Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the Senate Military Committee, is skeptical that the military will stick to control.

“Given the way the world works today, it is hopelessly unrealistic for a country to dominate,” he said in a recent online forum sponsored by the independent diplomatic center Meridian. It was. He said the US military could work with its allies to maintain enough power to send a message. “China, don’t invade Taiwan, the price you plan to pay isn’t worth it.”

Robert Burns