Top US general dismisses warnings of imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan

America’s most senior general has rejected warnings of an impending Chinese invasion of Taiwan, insisting that the People’s Liberation Army has not yet been able to annex the island.

“I think China has a way of making the real ability to make jokes to carry out military operations to militarily seize the entire island of Taiwan if they want to do so,” said General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, a Senate approval committee said heard.

Milley added that he believes China has little intention of taking Taiwan by force. ‘There’s no reason to do it militarily, and they know it. So I think the probability is probably low in the immediate, 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 a trial that China might 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 people think”.

A senior U.S. government official told the Financial Times there were concerns that President Xi Jinping considered the progress of the unification of Taiwan with China as important for his pursuit of a third term.

In recent years, the Chinese military has sharply increased pressure on Taipei, such as flying planes. in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.

Since Taiwan first announced the attacks in September last year, the 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 gradually increased and reached a peak of 44 fighters in April.

After a calm at the beginning of the month, China 28 military planes flown in the direction of Taiwan on Tuesday, the largest single-day invasion. The mission is seen as a response to G7 and NATO declarations challenging China and the arrival of a US aircraft carrier sailing in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

Some experts believe that China’s rapid military modernization has given the PLA the confidence that it could successfully carry out an amphibious invasion of Taiwan.

“The Chinese military counterparts I spoke to tell me that they can make the landing, that they are confident,” Oriana Skylar Mastro, an expert on China at Stanford University, said in a podcast this week.

But other analysts disagree. “The PLA does not currently have the necessary amphibious elevator, logistics and materials for a robust invasion in the cross street and it shows no urgency to achieve this,” said Andrew Erickson, a professor at US Naval War College, on Monday. writing.

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