China’s threatening response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan indicates the communists could be eyeing an invasion of the island sooner than had been expected.
That belief follows Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday warning President Joe Biden not to “play with fire” over Taiwan, Axios reported, citing a Chinese readout of a phone call between the two leaders.
Even The Associated Press reported that Xi’s tough language suggested Chinese leaders might believe Washington didn’t understand the seriousness of previous warnings about Taiwan.
U.S. and Taiwanese officials previously floated various timelines of 2025 or 2030 for a Chinese invasion of the independent island, which the communists claim as their own.
Officials now believe China might move against Taiwan within the next 18 months, according to a recent New York Times report.
A Taiwanese government official in Taipei told Axios that U.S. and Taiwan need to strengthen military cooperation and joint training.
“Whether it’s 18 months or seven years from now, we need to start this process now, before it’s too late,” the official told Axios.
Despite an imminent attack not being expected, Axios reported, CIA Director Bill Burns last week said the risks “become higher, it seems to us, the further into this decade that you get.”
Although the Biden administration insists there has been no change to the “strategic ambiguity” policy or to the “One China Policy”— under which the U.S. neither rejects nor accepts Beijing’s claims over Taiwan — the president has said the U.S. is committed to defend the island.
Amid concerns over a potential invasion, Taiwan has taken inspiration from Ukraine’s effective defense against Russia.
Taiwan officials are considering expanding the country’s mandatory military service, Axios reported. Also, the Ministry of Defense issued its first civil defense handbook, and civilians are signing up for civil defense training courses.
The U.S. has been urging Taiwan to invest more in the kinds of asymmetric warfare capabilities, such as truck-mounted anti-aircraft missiles, that Ukraine has used against Russia, Axios reported.
Biden and Xi spoke after reports circulated that Pelosi, D-Calif., intended to visit Taiwan.
Biden on Wednesday said the U.S. military has concerns about Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.
“I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now. But I don’t know what the status of it is,” Biden told reporters, according to The Hill.
Source : News Max