Naval chief ‘can’t rule out’ clash with Beijing over Taiwan this year
A senior US Navy admiral has warned of a potential military conflict with China. Adm. Mike Gilday urged the military to guard warships “deadly, capable and ready to win” against enemies.
Gilday, chief of naval operations, said readiness and training of crews should take priority over military capability, speaking Wednesday in an interview with the Atlantic Council, the de facto think tank of the NATO.
“What we have seen over the past 20 years is that [the Chinese] kept all the promises they made earlier than they said they were going to keep. So when we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind it has to be a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window. I can’t rule that out,” he said.
His remarks came in response to a question about the so-called “Davidson window”. The term refers to last year’s assessment that the Chinese government might manifest its “the ambitions to supplant the United States and our role as leader”, potentially by targeting Taiwan, in “the next six years.” It came from Admiral Phil Davidson, the outgoing Indo-Pacific combat commander, during a Senate hearing.
Gilday pointed out that if the US Navy fails to secure funds and perform crucial tasks, including maintenance, it could soon resemble the Soviet Navy of the late 1980s.
“Their ship count included ships they kept from World War I. They had quite a number of ships, but I’m not sure many of them were relevant,” he concluded. “And I don’t want to field ships out there in combat that aren’t lethal and capable and ready to win.”
China is currently hosting the 20th Communist Party Congress, with more than 2,200 delegates in attendance. President Xi Jinping raised the issue of Taiwan during his address to the body last Sunday.
“We will continue to fight for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the greatest effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the possibility of taking all necessary measures,” he said. he added. he got involved.
The Chinese leader warned that the use of force could become necessary due to foreign interference.
Taiwan was the last stronghold of nationalist forces during the Chinese Civil War of the 1940s. It remains self-governing, but Beijing claims sovereignty over the island and opposes any attempts by foreign nations to treat it as de facto independent.
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