US military estimates chances of Beijing attacking Taiwan — Analysis
China is closely following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and its consequences, the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet chief has said
The events in Ukraine have made the window for China’s possible attack on Taiwan ‘highly unpredictable,’ the commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, Admiral Samuel Paparo, has said.
During his roundtable with journalists from Indo-Pacific countries in Washington on Monday, Paparo was asked if he thought that the conflict in Ukraine and the draconian international sanctions slapped on Russia over it somehow affected Beijing’s plans to bring Taiwan back under its control.
“China is undoubtedly watching what’s happened in Ukraine, taking notes, and learning from it … And they’ll improve their capabilities based on what they learn at this time,”He responded.
But, because of all that “the window of a potential unification by force [between mainland China and Taiwan] is highly, highly unpredictable,”Paparo highlighted this.
The admiral basically downplayed last year’s assessment by then Indo-Pacific Command head Philip Davidson, who claimed that the Chinese attack on the self-governed island could happen “in the next six years.”The prediction of Davidson was “actually based on open source speeches”Paparo insisted on the fact that this was a Chinese decision.
However, now is not the right time. “take a breath or relax or relent on our own commitment to a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’,”He stated. “Many complex factors”If Beijing decides to use force to attack Taiwan, this would be a factor. It was therefore important to maintain “constant vigilance,”The admiral also added.
In Taiwan, the Republic of China was founded in 1949 after a civil conflict on the mainland. The island has been self-governed since then, but never formally declared independence from China, so Beijing views it as a breakaway territory under its ‘One China’ policy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping had earlier warned that China wouldn’t hesitate to use force against Taiwan if the island of 25 million eventually tried to cut ties with Beijing. Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials said that a peaceful resolution was preferable.
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Taipei authorities expressed their eagerness to protect its sovereignty and use the most recent hardware purchased from the US.
Despite recognizing Beijing as the sole legitimate authority in China since 1979, the Americans maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan and actively support the island’s independence push.
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