Taiwan: The next Ukraine?

World

(NewsNation) — While the world focuses on the horrors in Ukraine, some in Washington are sounding the alarm on what could be the next invasion of a sovereign country — China taking over Taiwan.

Taiwan is an independent island nation — which China claims as its own.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haynes says between now and 2030, China will attempt a takeover.

“It’s our view that (China is) working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,” said Haynes.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday slammed the United States for changing the wording on the State Department website about Taiwan, saying “political manipulation” will not succeed in changing the status quo over the island.

The State Department website’s section on relations with Taiwan has removed wording on not supporting Taiwan independence and on acknowledging Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China.

Washington said the update did not reflect a change in policy.

China’s government considers the democratically ruled island to be inviolable Chinese territory.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters there is only one China, Taiwan belongs to China and that the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole country.

Taiwan rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, saying only the island’s 23 million people can decide their future.

The United States’ changing of its fact sheet on Taiwan-U.S. ties is “a petty act of fictionalizing and hollowing out the one-China principle,” he added.

“This kind of political manipulation on the Taiwan question is an attempt to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and will inevitably stir up a fire that only burns” the United States, Zhao said.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that while some wording may have changed, “Our underlying policy has not changed.”

“We regularly do updates on our fact sheets. Our fact sheets reflect, in the case of Taiwan, our rock-solid unofficial relationship with Taiwan, and we call upon the PRC to behave responsibly and to not manufacture pretenses to increase pressure on Taiwan,” Price said in a press briefing, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

The wording change appears to have happened on May 5, the date at the top of the fact sheet, but it was only widely noticed in Chinese and Taiwanese media on Tuesday.

The State Department also added wording on the Six Assurances, referring to six Reagan-era security assurances given to Taiwan, which the United States declassified in 2020.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in November the United States was not encouraging independence for Taiwan, having caused a stir in October when he said it would come to the island’s defense if China attacked.

The latter remark appeared to depart from Washington’s long-held policy of “strategic ambiguity” – not making clear how the United States would respond – though the White House quickly said Biden was not signaling a change in policy.

The U.S. provides Taiwan significant military aid, but with another $40 billion aid package approved for Ukraine Wednesday night, some in Congress fear the effort to arm Taiwan could lag behind.

“Well, it’s currently lagging,” Rep. Mike Gallagher stated, “There’s upwards of $14 billion in undelivered defense equipment to Taiwan.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher says some missile systems — like the ones the U.S. is sending to Ukraine — aren’t scheduled for delivery to Taiwan until 2027.

“To me, the foremost lesson is that you need to arm your friends and partners on the ground prior to conflict. That’s the only chance we have of preventing the invasion,” said Gallagher.  

Others point out China likely won’t make the same mistakes the Russian military has in Ukraine.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says the U.S. should manufacture more weapons specifically for Taiwan.

Blumenthal believes the Chinese are developing a military force “that could potentially take over the world.”

U.S. intelligence chiefs told a congressional hearing on Tuesday that China would prefer to take over Taiwan without military action, but was working to get to a position where its military could prevail even if the United States intervenes.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said the island will continue to strengthen its defense capabilities and cooperate with the United States and other like-minded countries to promote peace, stability and prosperity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation

Elections 2022

More Elections 2022