0625: China Builds Capability to Seize Taiwan by 2027, Thank U.S., Japan and Lithuania for Vaccine Donations

Milley: China Builds up Capability to Seize Taiwan by 2027, Threatening U.S. National Security Interest in Cross-Strait Peace

Maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait is of critical importance to the United States, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told Congress on Wednesday, adding that China wants the ability to invade and hold Taiwan within the next six years but might not intend to do so in the near term.

At a House Armed Services Committee hearing on June 23, Milley told lawmakers that while unification with Taiwan is considered as a core national security interest to China and also a legacy issue for Chinese President Xi Jinping, “[i]t’s also a core national security interest to the United States to ensure that whatever happens with respect to Taiwan happens peacefully.” The U.S. supports a peaceful resolution of the issue between Taiwan and China, he added.

Milley said the U.S. is closely monitoring the growing “capability” of Chinese People’s Liberation Army, but he is currently not seeing any indicators of China’s near-term “intent” to seize Taiwan by force in the next one or two years. Nevertheless, he added that his assessment is based on what he has seen right now, but “intent” is something that “could always change” and “could change quickly.”

Milley’s comments followed recent warnings of a possible invasion of Taiwan by China. Former U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Philip Davidson said in March that China’s threats toward Taiwan could manifest “in the next six years” as China seeks to supplant the U.S. leadership role in the international order. John Aquilino, who succeeded Davidson in April, declined to endorse that specific timeline at his nomination confirmation hearing later in March, but he told lawmakers this problem is “much closer to us than most think.”

On June 24, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu also warned that Taiwan “needs to prepare” for a possible military conflict with China. In an interview with CNN, Wu said that Taiwan cannot take any chances but has to be prepared, given China’s unwillingness to renounce the use of force and frequent military exercises around Taiwan.

As China continues to escalate military threats toward Taiwan, FAPA urges the Congress to pass the “Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act” to increase the “Strategic Clarity” in the U.S. policy on defending democratic Taiwan. With strong support and clear commitments from like-minded countries especially the U.S., Taiwan and its allies can cooperate more effectively to deter Chinese aggression against Taiwan and also protect U.S. security interest in cross-strait peace.

[1] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202106240006
[2] USNI News: https://news.usni.org/2021/06/23/milley-china-wants-capability-to-take-taiwan-by-2027-sees-no-near-term-intent-to-invade
[3] CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/24/asia/taiwan-foreign-minister-china-intl-hnk/index.html

Taiwanese American Organizations Thank U.S., Japan, and Lithuania for Vaccine Donations to Taiwan

In letters to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, U.S. President Joe Biden, and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda dated June 22 and 23, the eight main Taiwanese American organizations expressed their gratitude for the recent “timely and generous vaccines donations to Taiwan” by Japan, the U.S., and Lithuania, and “their support for Taiwan and its 23 million people.”

In the letter to President Nausėda for instance, they wrote: “We thank the efforts by your government in donating vaccines to help protect the people of Taiwan from the deadly coronavirus. The recent donations of 1.24 million doses by Japan, 2.5 million by the United States and your donation of 20,000 are a much-needed boost to fight against the pandemic, showing a strong alliance of democratic countries.”

They continued: “As Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen stated . . . ‘through cooperation with the United States, Japan and other countries, Taiwan will be able to overcome the immediate challenges . . . and move towards recovery.’ It goes without saying that Lithuania deserves that respect and honor from Taiwan’s president as well.”

They concluded: “With strong support from like-minded democracies such as Lithuania, Japan and the U.S., Taiwan will be better prepared to face any challenge — be it the current pandemic or the Chinese aggression — than ever before.”

FAPA President Minze Chien adds: “China’s communist leaders are exploiting the pandemic to impose their political agenda on other countries, and use “vaccine diplomacy” to create divisions around the world. More specifically, China is trying to gain political influence around the globe at the cost of Taiwan and the U.S. But what it boils down to is that China is playing politics with the lives of the peoples of Taiwan and the rest of the world. It is simply unconscionable and unacceptable.” 

[1] FAPA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FormosanAssociationforPublicAffairs/posts/4803447376349744
[2] FAPA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FormosanAssociationforPublicAffairs/posts/4806976202663528