Odds of U.S. military conflict with China ‘very high’, top Republican says – National

Odds of U.S. military conflict with China ‘very high’, top Republican says – National

A senior Republican in the US Congress said Sunday the likelihood of a conflict with China over Taiwan was “very high” after a US general sparked consternation with a memo warning that the United States could would fight against China in the next two years.

In a Feb. 1 memo released Friday, General Mike Minihan, who heads Air Mobility Command, wrote to the leadership of its approximately 110,000 members, saying, “My gut tells me we’re going to fight in 2025.”

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“I hope he’s wrong. … However, I think he’s right,” Mike McCaul, the new chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News on Sunday.

The general’s views do not represent the Pentagon, but reflect concern at the highest level of the US military over a possible Chinese attempt to assert control of Taiwan, which China describes as a wayward province.

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Both the United States and Taiwan will hold presidential elections in 2024, potentially creating an opportunity for China to take military action, Minihan wrote.

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McCaul said that unless China can take control of Taiwan bloodlessly, “I think they will consider a military invasion. We have to be prepared for that.”

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He accused President Joe Biden’s Democratic administration of projecting weakness after the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan that could make a war with China more likely.

“The chances are very good that we could see a conflict with China and Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific,” McCaul said.

The White House declined to comment on McCaul’s comments.

Rep. Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said he disagreed with Minihan’s assessment.

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Smith told Fox News on Sunday that war with China “not only is not inevitable, it is highly unlikely. We have a very dangerous situation in China. But I think generals have to be very careful when they say we’re going to war, it’s inevitable.”

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Smith said the United States must be able to prevent China from taking military action against Taiwan, “but I firmly believe that if we take the right approach, we can avoid this conflict.”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said earlier this month he seriously doubts increased Chinese military activity near the Taiwan Strait is a sign of an imminent invasion of the island by Beijing.

A Pentagon official said Saturday the general’s comments were “not representative of the department’s view of China.”

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