My hunch is that we will fight (with China) in 2025
A warning by a senior U.S. general that a war with China could break out within two years has caused a stir. The US Department of Defense dismissed it as a “personal opinion,” but critics poured out in China saying it was a reckless statement that reflected the hostility of the US military. As Taiwan becomes an issue again a week before US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln’s visit to China (February 5-6), there is a prospect that the US-China conflict may intensify.
According to the Washington Post (WP) on the 27th (local time), 4-star General Michael A. Minihan, who leads the US Air Mobility Command, distributed a memo to subordinate commanders, urging them to quickly prepare for a potential conflict between the US and China. urged He ordered to check the response posture, saying that there is a possibility that the US may not capture Chinese President Xi Jinping’s desire for war.
“I hope I’m wrong,” said Commander Minihun, but predicted, “My gut feeling is that we’re going to fight in 2025.” The basis for this was the timing of the elections in the United States and Taiwan.
Commander Minihun said, “Chinese President Xi Jinping has secured a third term and set up a war-related advisory committee in October of last year.” ) will provide the reason. President Xi’s team, reason and opportunity are all set for 2025.”
In particular, Commander Minihun emphasized, “We need an integrated unit that can win inside the first island chain (Kuril Islands-Japan-Taiwan-Philippines) established by China.” China is implementing the so-called ‘anti-access and area denial (A2AD)’ strategy to block US military intervention, and the area set by reflecting China’s core interests is inside the first island chain.
At the same time, he urged thousands of soldiers under his command to be fully prepared. “We must hurry to prepare,” said Gen. Minihun, ordering his commanders to report major plans for war with China and update emergency contacts by the end of next month. For pilots who can carry weapons during the next month, “Conduct live-fire training at a 7m target. (In shooting training) Aim for the head.”
In the meantime, there have been rumors of an invasion of Taiwan in 2025, such as the claim of Commander Minihun. In October 2021, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chu Kuo-jeong said, “By 2025, China will have the strength to invade Taiwan in full scale with lower costs.” made efforts to expand military cooperation to contain China. The United States held a defense minister meeting with Japan on the 12th and also announced plans to forward deploy mobile forces to Japan to strengthen military posture in the Indo-Pacific.
The Joe Biden administration also declared China the greatest threat to US national security, saying China had rapidly expanded its military power and made aggressive moves in recent years.
However, the fact that an active-duty US 4-star general gave an order emphasizing specific countermeasures has a different weight. Commander Minihun served as deputy commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command for two years from September 2019. He is a bright figure in the trends of the People’s Liberation Army of China. The U.S. Air Mobility Command, which he leads, is in effect responsible for the supply and transportation of U.S. troops on the battlefield.
Since then, there has been a backlash in China, saying that it “reflects the deep hostility of the US military.” A famous military blogger said, “It is nonsense to aim for the head rather than the torso in actual combat.”
On the 29th, the Global Times, an affiliate of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, strongly criticized the remark, saying it was a remark that exacerbated strategic distrust between the United States and China and increased tension by quoting experts from the country.
“It is quite provocative and reckless for a senior US general to make such confrontational remarks at a time when China-US relations are sluggish,” said Shin Chang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in China. It will only hurt,” he said. “Senior American political leaders know that such frivolous remarks will do great damage to China-US relations,” he added.
Ahead of US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln’s visit to China next month, it was argued that the intention was to gain more from the negotiations.
Chinese military expert Song Zhongping said, “U.S. military generals exaggerate China’s military power, trying to get their troops to spend more on defense.” ” he said.
After the distribution of the memo by Commander Minihun, the US Department of Defense started to evolve. While acknowledging the existence of the memo from Commander Minihun, the Pentagon drew a line as a ‘personal opinion’.
In a statement on the 27th, Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said, “China is a challenge to pursue the Pentagon,” and “US officials are working with allies and partners to preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
A Pentagon official, who requested anonymity, said General Minihan’s remarks “do not represent the Pentagon’s views on China.”
In the midst of this, Secretary of State Blincoln visits China on the 5th and 6th of next month and has his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang. On April 10th, in line with the 44th anniversary of the US Taiwan Relations Act, there are rumors that the new US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will visit Taiwan. There is an analysis that if Chairman McCarthy, who is considered a hardliner against China, actually visits Taiwan, there will be a stronger backlash in China than when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August last year. This is why there are observations that the US-China conflict over Taiwan will intensify.
Reporter Kwon Yoon-hee