A four-star US Air Force general encouraged his commanders to push their units to reach maximum operational battle readiness this year in anticipation of the possibility of a fight with China as early as 2025, most likely over Taiwan.
Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of the Air Mobility Command, stated that the primary objective should be to dissuade “and, if required, defeat” China in an internal memo that first surfaced on social media on Friday and was later verified as real by the Pentagon. “I hope I am wrong.
My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Gen Minihan said. In explaining his position, he claimed that President Xi Jinping of China would exploit the upcoming presidential elections in Taiwan as justification for military invasion while the US would be preoccupied with its own presidential election.
“Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025,” he added.
The memo further instructs every member of US Mobile Command to visit the shooting range, “fire a clip” into a target, and “aim for the head.” Regarding the memo, a Pentagon spokesman responded to an AFP email. “Yes, it’s true that he sent that out,” they responded. Senior US officials have recently suggested that China appeared to be moving more quickly toward annexing Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its own.
After then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was the next in line for the White House, made a forceful solidarity visit to Taipei in August of last year, China conducted large-scale military exercises that were regarded as a practise invasion.
In 1979, the US moved diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, yet it continues to sell Taiwan weapons for its defence. In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an increasing number of US legislators have urged for stepping up assistance, even providing Taiwan direct military aid.
US-China’s current relations
US-China relations have been strained in recent years, with tensions arising over issues such as trade, human rights, and territorial disputes. In 2023, it is expected that these tensions will continue to be a major issue, as both countries look to assert their dominance on the global stage.
One key area of tension is economic relations, with the US and China being two of the largest economies in the world. The US has imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, and China has responded in kind, leading to a trade war that has hurt both economies. In 2023, it is expected that these economic tensions will continue, as both countries look to protect their own industries and gain an advantage in trade negotiations.
Another area of tension is human rights, with the US criticizing China for its treatment of ethnic minorities, particularly the Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang. In 2023, it is expected that the US will continue to raise concerns over human rights abuses in China and may even impose sanctions in response.
Finally, territorial disputes in the South China Sea have also been a source of tension between the two countries, as the US has conducted freedom of navigation operations in the area, which China sees as a violation of its sovereignty. In 2023, it is expected that these disputes will continue, as both countries look to assert their dominance in the region.
Overall, US-China relations are expected to remain tense in 2023, and it is uncertain what the future holds for these two global superpowers. As we move towards 2025, it is likely that these tensions will continue to evolve and may even escalate, making it increasingly important for both countries to find ways to peacefully coexist and cooperate.
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