The U.S. military is concerned that an attack on Taiwan by Chinese forces is imminent, which could trigger a significant increase in tensions between the two countries.
Military officials are suspecting that China’s government is accelerating a timetable for attacking and possibly seizing control of the island following years of building tensions and disputes over sovereignty, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
“We have indications that the risks are actually going up,” Admiral Philip Davidson told a Senate panel in March.
As a result of the heightened tensions, the USS John S. McCain arrived in the Taiwan strait Wednesday, according to Reuters, as China attempted to continue agitating Taiwan with fighter jet flyovers.
China manoeuvres near Taiwan fuel concerns of potential attack https://t.co/21JKq5PhYK
— Financial Times (@FT) April 1, 2021
The concerns about the potential action come after a tense meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Chinese counterparts, in which China accused America of “slaughtering” black Americans and having no right to comment on the treatment of Uyghurs.
In March, Navy Admiral John Aquilino warned Congress during his confirmation hearing that a “likely” future invasion by China against Taiwan was of “critical concern” and “closer” than most thought. (RELATED: China Tightens Grip On Hong Kong, Changes Election Law To Ensure Loyalty)
Joseph Wu, the Taiwanese foreign minister, stated that while the situation was not “particularly alarming” as of now, China had been conducting “real-combat-type” exercises that were designed to rattle the island, the Associated Press reported.
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 7, 2021
“We are willing to defend ourselves, that’s without any question,” Wu said, according to The Associated Press. He added that Taiwan would defend itself “until the very last day.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered the military to “be prepared” in March, citing a rise in instability and growing uncertainty regarding various security situations. It was not clear if this included Taiwan.