Published 01/30/2023 09:58 | Edited 2/2/2023 6:43 PM
The chances of conflict with China over Taiwan “are very high”. That’s what Republican politician Michael McCaul, the new chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, said after the release of a memorandum from General Mike Minihan, suggesting that the war would happen in two years.
In the memo dated February 1, 2022, but released this Friday (27), the general who heads the Air Mobility Command, wrote to the leadership of its approximately 110,000 members saying: “My gut tells me that we will fight in 2025 ”.
Michael McCaul told Fox News Sunday: “I hope he’s wrong…but I think he’s right.”
General Minihan’s speculation does not represent the Pentagon, but it does show concern at the highest levels of the US military about a possible attempt by China to exert control over Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory.
firewood on the fire
Democratic politicians, however, dismissed the general’s speculation. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, chided the general, saying the US was in a position to establish a diplomacy that would prevent conflict between China and Taiwan.
Smith told Fox News Sunday that war with China “is not only not inevitable, it is highly unlikely. We have a very dangerous situation in China. But I think generals need to be very careful saying that going to war is inevitable.”
The United States needs to be in a position to prevent China from taking military action against Taiwan, “but I am fully confident that we can avoid this conflict if we take the right approach,” Smith said.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier this month that he seriously doubted that increased Chinese military activity near the Taiwan Strait was a sign of an imminent invasion of the island by Beijing.
On Saturday, a Pentagon official said the general’s comments “did not represent the department’s view of China.”
Opportunity to sell weapons
China has always treated Taiwan as part of its territory, which prevents foreigners from considering the island as an autonomous country. The strategy has been to isolate Taiwan diplomatically and suffocate it economically. The warlike attitude was only suggested due to the visit of the American congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, confronting the diplomatic concept of One China, One Nation.
Still, China didn’t attack the island, but it made a show of strength and dominance to the US. McCaul said that if China failed to take control of Taiwan without blood, then “they will look to a military invasion in my opinion. We have to be prepared for that.”
General Minihan links apples with apples in noting that both the US and Taiwan will hold presidential elections in 2024, potentially creating an opportunity for China to take military action.
McCaul accused the Democratic administration of President Joe Biden of projecting weakness after the failed US withdrawal from Afghanistan, which could make war with China more likely. The White House is silent on the statements.