As CCP Leader Xi Jingping sets China’s trajectory towards reunification with Taiwan, China seems to be on a collision course with the U.S.
As the U.S. Navy’s top officer predicts that China could invade Taiwan as early as this year, armed conflict between the U.S. and China may soon become a reality.
Back on Oct. 16, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday inferred that China could attempt to take Taiwan by force any day now. These predictions come following concerning remarks made by CCP Leader Xi Jingping at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
At the congress meeting, Leader Xi Jingping declared that reunification with Taiwan was a top priority. While Xi highlighted intentions for a peaceful reunification with Taiwan, he also refused to renounce the use of force to do so, saying, “We will never promise to give up the use of force and reserve the option to take all necessary measures.”
According to Adm. Gilday, China holds a decades-long pattern of delivering “every promise they’ve made earlier than they said.”
While previous predictions indicated that China could invade Taiwan by 2027, military minds deduce that China is paying close attention to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. U.S. military officials, such as Adm. Gilday, now believe that a forceful takeover of Taiwan could happen immediately.
The U.S. being an active participant of a conflict with China grows in possibility as President Biden confirmed back in September, during a CBS “60 Minutes” interview, that U.S. troops would aid Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Contrasting Biden’s stance on U.S. participation in the Russian-Ukrainian war, when asked succinctly if military aid would be sent to Taiwan in such an event, Biden definitively said it would: “‘So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. forces — U.S. men and women — would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?’ Pelley asked. ‘Yes,’ Biden replied.’”
If Biden’s comments are to be set in stone, this would put the U.S. on a direct path towards armed conflict with China.
However, despite Biden’s numerous declarations of military commitment to Taiwan, White House officials emphasized that his statements did not indicate a change in U.S. policy.
Since 1979, the United States has recognized China’s claim to Taiwan while also avoiding open opposition to its independence. In the event of a forceful, military acquisition of Taiwan, the White House’s official stance has been one of “strategic ambiguity,” neither confirming nor denying the possibility of U.S. intervention in such an occurrence.
Yet, tensions over Taiwan continue to escalate as White House and Beijing officials continue to butt heads over the Pacific-island country. In July, Biden and Xi held a lengthy phone call lasting over two hours, discussing various issues in an attempt to see eye-to-eye between the two country leaders. When discussing the status of Taiwan, the CCP leader left Biden with this ominous threat: “Those who play with fire will perish by it.”
In August, the strain on U.S.-China relations was further increased when U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the Taiwanese capital. Beijing executed a number of aggressive military exercises within close proximity of the island country following the visit.
Reportedly, China’s military power has been rising, enough to pose a considerable challenge to U.S. military might in the Pacific, and Xi’s sights are now fixed on Taiwan. With rising tensions between the U.S. and China and trends pointing towards a coming conflict, whispers of war are on military officials’ lips.
However, whether either country is properly prepared to sustain a war of such magnitude is an entirely different question.