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The U.S. military invokes China’s actions against Taiwan, the risk rises

Washington (Associated Press)-The U.S. military warned that China may be speeding up the timetable for seizing control of Taiwan, and Taiwan island democracy has been the main source of tension between Washington and Beijing. For decades, it has been widely believed that this is the most likely cause of a potentially catastrophic Sino-US war.

The worry about Taiwan comes from the fact that China has exerted new power after years of military accumulation. It has become more radical toward Taiwan and more confident about sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea.. The confrontation between Beijing and Washington has become increasingly fierce.High-ranking Chinese officials trade sharp and unusual public barbs With Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Antony Blinken) During the talks held in Alaska last month.

However, launching a military operation against Taiwan will test US support for Beijing as an independent province. For the Biden administration, it can choose to abandon friendly, democratic entities, or risk a full-scale war on causes that most Americans do not understand. The United States has long promised to help Taiwan defend itself, but it is unclear how far it deliberately allowed Taiwan to launch an attack on China.

Increasing concerns are consistent with the government’s view, because the government believes that China is a frontline challenge facing the United States, and more actions must be taken as soon as possible in the military, diplomacy, and other areas to prevent Beijing from trying to replace the United States as a major force . in Asia. Some U.S. military leaders believe that Taiwan may be the most direct flashpoint.

“We have signs that the risks are actually rising,”

; General Philip Davidson, the most senior US military commander in the Asia-Pacific region, told the Senate panel last month, referring to China’s military actions against Taiwan.

Davidson said: “The threat will be manifested in this decade, in fact, in the next six years.”

A few days later, Davidson’s successor, General John Aquilino, refused to support the six-year timetable, but told the senator at the confirmation hearing: “My opinion is that this issue is more important than most of us thought. Much closer.”

Biden’s government officials’ speeches were not so sharp, but they emphasized the intention to deepen relations with Taiwan and issued a warning from Beijing to prohibit outside interference in matters that he considers to be internal affairs.

On Wednesday, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Daniel Wu said that military threats to Taiwan are increasing. Although he said “not particularly worrying”, the Chinese military has been engaged in what he called “real battles” for the past few years. The “style” exercise is closer to the island.

Wu told reporters: “We are willing to defend ourselves, there is no doubt.” “If we need to fight, we will fight, if we need to defend ourselves until the last day, then we will defend ourselves until the last day.”

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Calling China a “pace threat” to the United States, the military department is also making adjustments accordingly. Take the Marine Corps as an example. After two decades of fighting on the ground with Middle Eastern extremists, it is considering the reshaping of China and Russia.

One aspect of China’s military modernization hardly made the U.S. military angry. Admiral Charles Richard, the head of the US Strategic Command, is in charge of US nuclear forces. He wrote in a recent article that China is expected to become a “strategic partner” of the United States. He said that China’s nuclear weapons reserves are expected to double in the next ten years, “not even triple or quadruple”, although this is beyond the Pentagon’s official view that during that period, nuclear weapons reserves will “at least double.” “.

However, Taiwan is regarded as the most pressing issue.

US officials pointed out that the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army seemed to shock Taiwan. For example, China’s air invasion, including flights on the island, is an almost daily occurrence. Its role is to propagate threats, eliminate Taiwan’s pilots and aircraft, and learn more about Taiwan’s capabilities.

Chinese officials mocked Davidson’s remarks in Taiwan. Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for the Department of Defense, urged Washington to “abandon the idea of ​​zero peace” and do more to build mutual trust and stability. He said: “External forces attempting to use Taiwan to seek restraint in China, or Taiwan’s independent forces using military means to achieve independence are a dead end.”

The impact of China’s military operations on Taiwan and its 23 million people is profound and possibly so severe that Beijing and Washington have long been in a fragile middle ground-Taiwan’s political autonomy has ruled out Beijing’s control. , But there is no formal independence.

The prediction of when China will decide to try to force Taiwan to reunite with the mainland has long been different, and the United States has no unified view on this. Larry Diamond, a senior researcher at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, said last week that he doubted whether Chinese leaders were prepared to forcefully resolve the issue.

He said: “I don’t think it will come anytime soon.”

The Trump administration has taken a series of measures to show a firmer commitment to Taiwan, including sending a cabinet member to Taipei last year, making him a visitor to Taiwan since the severance of relations with Taiwan since the official severance of diplomatic relations with China in 1979. The highest-ranking U.S. official. . The Biden administration expressed its desire to cooperate with China, but expressed its opposition to China’s extensive actions.

Last week, John Hennessey-Niland, the U.S. ambassador to Palau, a Pacific island nation, became the first serving U.S. ambassador to visit Taiwan. Since Washington broke ties with Taipei to support Beijing.

China is often the object of criticism from Congress. The opposition to the Pacific Military Deterrence Plan was reflected in the adoption of the Pacific Deterrence Plan. The Pacific Deterrence Program received US$2.2 billion in funding in 2021. Davidson hopes that it can support other operations to build a better air defense system to protect the U.S. Guam territory from Chinese missile attacks. And maintain the U.S. military superiority in the region.

Rep. Adam Smith, Democratic Rep. Washington and chairman of the House Armed Forces Committee, doubts the military’s stubbornness to dominance.

In a recent online forum hosted by Meridian, the Center for Nonpartisan Diplomacy, he said: “Considering the way the world works today, it is desperate and unrealistic for a country to become the ruler.” He said that the US military can maintain adequate levels with allies Power to send a message: “China, don’t invade Taiwan, because the price you paid for it is not worth it.”


The Associated Press writer Ken Moritsugu in Beijing, the Associated Press writer Wu Huizhong and Taipei in Taiwan, and the Associated Press diplomatic writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report in Washington.

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