Washington’s top military officer in the Asia-Pacific, Admiral Philip Davidson, said the move could be part of China’s sharp ambitions to suppress the United States.
China said China could invade Taiwan within the next six years, as Beijing intensified its steps to suppress US military power in Asia, a top US commander said on Tuesday.
Democratic and self-governing Taiwan remains under constant threat of invasion by totalitarian China, whose leaders see the island as part of their territory and which they have vowed to withdraw one day.
“I worry that they (China) are intensifying their ambitions to suppress the United States and our leadership role in a rules-based international order … by 2050,” Admiral of Washington’s top military officer in the Asia-Pacific Philip Davidson said.
“Earlier Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions. And I think the danger is revealed during this decade, in fact, in the next six years,” he told a US Senate committee.
Taiwan split from China at the end of a civil war in 1949 and continues to exist under constant threat of invasion by the mainland.
In 1979 Washington granted diplomatic recognition to China from Taiwan, but it remained the island’s most important informal ally and military support.
Donald Trump forged warm relations with Taiwan when he quarreled with China over issues such as trade and national security.
Mr Biden’s administration has offered optimism for Taiwan for support from the State Department in January, saying the US commitment to the island was “rock-solid”.
Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the US was formally invited to inaugurate Mr. Biden, an unprecedented move since 1979.
China has also made extensive territorial claims in the resource-rich South China Sea and even threatens the American island of Guam, which underscores Mr. Davidson.
“Guam is a target today,” he warned, adding that the Chinese military released a video simulating an attack on an island base similar to American facilities in Diego Garcia and Guam.
He called on lawmakers to approve the installation of the Aegis ashore anti-missile battery on Guam, which is capable of intercepting the most powerful Chinese missiles in flight.
Guam said, “There is a need for rescue and to be prepared for future threats. ”
In addition to other Aegis missile defense systems destined for Australia and Japan, Mr Davidson asked MPs to budget for offensive weapons “to tell China that what they want to do costs too much.”