Top Air Force commander fears the US and China will be at war by 2025: report

Top Air Force commander fears the US and China will be at war by 2025: report
Image via Creative Commons.

During the Cold War, the world’s two competing superpowers were the United States and the Soviet Union. But in 2023, long after the Soviet Union’s demise, some political scientists regard the U.S. and Mainland China as the two superpowers.

Many U.S. businesses are quite reliant on China, where numerous products are manufactured. But according to the Washington Post, Gen. Michael A. Minihan, a top U.S. Air Force commander, fears that the U.S. and China will be at war by 2025.

In a new memo described by the Post as “unusually blunt,” Minihan lays out his reasons for fearing such a conflict. Minihan, Post reporters Christian Shepherd and Pei-Lin Wu explain in an article published on January 30, “cited Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s securing of a third term and the January 2024 presidential elections in Taiwan, the self-governing democracy of 23 million that Beijing claims as its territory, as reasons to accelerate troop preparation.”

READ MORE: Taiwan: The world's other nuclear flashpoint

Shepherd and Wu observe, “Readying for a war is a general’s job — and Minihan’s view is not that of the government, a U.S. defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue — but his gut-feeling assessment is a stark reminder of the stakes involved in attempts to prevent bilateral relations slipping from frosty hostilities to a hot conflict.”

U.S. officials, from President Joe Biden to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), have made it clear that protecting Taiwan is a top U.S. priority. Shepherd and Wu note that the government in Beijing sees American leaders as “entirely to blame for diplomatic and military tensions” between the U.S. and Mainland China — and that “being able to take Taiwan by force is the primary objective of Chinese military modernization.”

While the U.S. has the world's largest military, Shepherd and Wu note that China has “made rapid headway toward its goal of becoming a world-class fighting force on par with the United States by 2050.”

The Post reporters note, “(China’s) troops have no real combat experience — the last war China fought was a brief but bloody conflict with Vietnam in 1979 — but the official defense budget has grown from $114.3 billion in 2014 to $230 billion in 2022. The real figure is probably higher. Even so, it remains a fraction of American spending, which was set at $816.7 billion for fiscal 2023.”

READ MORE: Why Xi Jinping may not need 'the use of force' to 'assault' Taiwan: national security expert

Read The Washington Post’s full report at this link (subscription required).

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