America’s oldest general dismissed warnings of an impending Chinese invasion of Taiwan, insisting that the People’s Liberation Army was not even capable of annexing the island.
“I think China has a way to develop the current ability, without jokes, to conduct military operations to take, by military means, the whole island of Taiwan, if they want to do it,” said General Mark Milley, president of the common staff, they told a Senate appropriations committee feel.
Milley added that he thought China had little intention of taking Taiwan by force. “There’s no reason to do the military, and they know it. So, I think the probability is probably low, in the immediate and near future.”
His assessment contrasts with the warning issued in March by Admiral Philip Davidson, then commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, who told lawmakers during an audition that China could attack Taiwan in the next six years. Admiral John Aquilino, Davidson’s successor, said a Chinese attack on Taiwan could be launched “much closer to us than most think.”
A senior US government official as well said the Financial Times There were concerns that President Xi Jinping considered the progress in Taiwan’s unification with China as important for his search for a third term in office.
Over the past year, the Chinese military has sharply increased pressure on Taipei, such as flying planes. in the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone.
Since Taiwan first announced the incursions last September, People’s Liberation Army Air Force aircraft have entered the buffer zone on average 20 days a month. The participation of fighters and bombers in these flights has grown steadily, culminating in 44 fights in April.
After a break at the beginning of the month, China flew 28 military aircraft towards Taiwan Tuesday, the largest incursion of a day. The mission was seen as a reaction to the G7 and NATO statements that sneered at China and the arrival of an American aircraft carrier that had sailed in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
Some experts believe that China’s rapid military modernization has given the PLA the confidence it could succeed in the amphibious invasion of Taiwan.
“The Chinese military counterparts I’ve talked to tell me they can make the landing, that they are confident,” Oriana Skylar Mastro, an expert in China at Stanford University, said in a podcast this week.
But other analysts disagree. “The PLA currently does not have the amphibious lift, logistics and equipment required for a robust invasion across the Strait and shows no urgency to get it,” Andrew Erickson, a professor at U.S. Naval War College, wrote Monday.