The U.S. Navy admiral responsible for the Indo-Pacific region has discarded the previous admiral’s assessment that China’s president Xi Jinping would invade Taiwan by 2027. Adm. John Aquilino stated that it doesn’t matter what the timeline is; his mission is to prevent any conflict today and fight and win if deterrence fails. Aquilino stressed that China’s strategy of utilizing every part of its military, economy, and the information space presents a threat to security and stability in the region and that the U.S. must keep up with China to compete.
‘Everybody’s Guessing’: Pentagon Tells Congress US Needs To Be Ready For Chinese Invasion Of Taiwan Any Moment https://t.co/Qu4IBbkWxM
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Aquilino’s comments followed a series of different opinions from Department of Defense and administration officials regarding when, or if, China will move militarily against Taiwan. While Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin doesn’t see an “imminent” invasion, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that China could pursue a “much faster timeline” of reunification, without specifying a date.
USS Milius (DDG 69) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit April 16 (local time) through waters where high-seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law.
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Aquilino added that “the trends are moving in the wrong direction” and that “the United States military is ready today for any contingency.” He emphasized that the PRC has taken a whole of government approach to preparing for combat and highlighted that the U.S. must compete across the entire spectrum to counter the security challenge that China poses.
Jedidiah Royal, principal deputy assistant secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, echoed Aquilino’s remarks, stating that China intends to build a capable force that could threaten Taiwan over time. He didn’t elaborate on the administration’s goals if China invades Taiwan.
For the U.S. to execute effective deterrence, Aquilino stated that the entire government should approach it in the same way. He cited that some steps have already been taken to improve the U.S.’s ability to supply critical technologies domestically and thwart Beijing’s espionage efforts.
This is why it’s essential for the U.S. to compete across every avenue to ensure that China doesn’t get the upper hand. China understands the significance of a whole-of-government approach, and the U.S. needs to do the same. With America’s military prepared for any contingency, it’s time to focus on aggressively competing worldwide against China.