The head of the United States Navy recently warned of the possibility of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan before 2024. Admiral Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations, said that the U.S had to consider that China could take action against Taiwan much sooner then expected. He made these comments while speaking to the Atlantic Council, an American security and international affairs think tank, on Wednesday. He continued saying: “When we talk about the 2027 window, in my mind that has to be a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window… I don’t mean at all to be alarmist… it’s just that we can’t wish that away.”
His comment regarding 2027 is in regard to a previous warning made by Admiral Philip Davidson, then-head of Indo-Pacific Command, last year. In which he cautioned that China could undertake military action against Taiwan before 2027. While downplayed at the time, officials have raised their concerns over the past year reports Financial Times. These comments came just two days after U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that China was “determined to pursue reunification on a much faster timeline” after deciding that the status quo was “no longer acceptable”. This past Sunday at the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th Congress, President Xi Jinping criticized U.S support for Taiwan, accusing “external forces” of raising tensions across the Taiwan Strait and warned that outside actors would burden the blame if China attacked Taiwan. This comes after months of increased Chinese posturing near the Strait and numerous “live-fire” exercises and amphibious invasion training operations carried out by the PLA and Chinese Naval Forces in regions opposite the island nation.
In the past, Joe Biden has on four occasions warned China that the United States military would intervene to defend Taiwan from an unprovoked attack. Worry about the mounting Chinese military activity and movement near Taiwan, within military and political ranks, has risen since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a visit to Taipei in August, which in itself raised outrage from Chinese officials, with threats being made over the trip.
Congress will soon vote on legislation to authorize the funding of $10 billion over five years for support to Taiwan through weapons allocation. It would be the first case of the U.S funding weapons sales to Taiwan, in the past Taipei has previously paid for American weapons that were approved for sale by Washington.