The Biden administration has concluded that China “is flirting with the idea of seizing control of Taiwan as President Xi Jinping becomes more willing to take risks to boost his legacy,” the Financial Times reports.
Why it matters: An invasion of Taiwan, the self-governed island claimed by Beijing, would force the U.S. to decide whether to go to war with China to defend an implicit ally.
- The recent conclusion by the Biden administration is based on Chinese behavior during the past two months a senior U.S. official told FT.
- After a show of force by Chinese bombers off Taiwan just after President Biden took office, the State Department said: “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan.”
Adm. John Aquilino, nominee to head U.S. forces in the Pacific, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee this week that the threat to Taiwan “is much closer to us than most think,” CNN reported.
- China views taking control of Taiwan as “their No. 1 priority,” Aquilino said.
Adm. Philip Davidson, current head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, testified earlier this month that the Chinese military is building up offensive capability, making the threat to Taiwan “manifest during this decade — in fact, in the next six years.”