China is preparing its military for war with Taiwan, retired US Army lieutenant general and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster has warned.
Relations between China and Taiwan have long been strained by the island’s aspirations for independence, but have become even more strained by China’s increasingly aggressive leadership. Although Taiwan is considered independent from China and is recognized as a semi-autonomous country, China has claimed it as its own and considers control of it essential to its reunification policy.
Amid rising tensions, McMaster said he believes China could be preparing for military action to take control of Taiwan, on CBS. He added that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who won a historic third term last year, has made it clear that he plans to retake Taiwan.
“Xi Jinping has made it very clear in his statements that, from his perspective, he will make China whole again by including Taiwan,” McMaster said. “And preparations are underway.”
McMaster said the best way to prevent war over Taiwan was “deterrence,” adding that the United States, which already spends more than $1.6 trillion on defense, should invest even more in national security because it would be “much more expensive.” go to war with China, which boasts one of the strongest armies in the world and continues to increase its influence in the Pacific region.
“China has become increasingly aggressive, not only from an economic and financial and diplomatic perspective, but also physically, with its military,” McMaster said. “And what’s really disturbing is, I think, that Xi Jinping is preparing the Chinese people for war.”
He pointed to some of Xi’s speeches, which have taken a hard-line tone in recent months, as evidence that the US should take the threat of war more seriously and “expand its power”. It would also force allies to invest more in their national defense, which would further serve as a deterrent, he added.
He said the US and its allies must be careful not to “fall into the same traps” they did with Russia, which launched its invasion of Ukraine. McMaster’s warning follows other indications that China may be considering war against Taiwan.