U.S. Commander: China May Attack Taiwan Within 6 Years
Admiral John Aquilino, nominated to become commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, stated that China's attempt to annex Taiwan is even more imminent than the six years suggested by the incumbent commander, Philip Davidson.
China to Invade Taiwan in Six Years? U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Nominee: Closer than Most Think
United Daily News, March 24, 2021
Admiral Philip Davidson, the incumbent commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, stated that Taiwan is one of China’s ambitions and will face clear threat within six years. As to the possible timetable of China’s annexation of Taiwan, Admiral John Aquilino, the nominee for commander, stated on March 23 that this problem is closer to us than most think.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas questioned Aquilino whether mid-spring is a better season for China’s armed forces to attack Taiwan, and Aquilino answered that it would be a better time according to maritime meteorology.
In response to the warning by a U.S. commander that China may attack Taiwan within six years, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that the Chinese Government will try to explore new ways of cross-strait integration and development. Xi released an important signal for continuing to promote peaceful development.
United Daily News)
Cross-Strait Relations: After U.S. Warning, Why Xi Poured Cold Water on Taiwan Invasion Remarks
United Daily News, March 28, 2021
After the high-level diplomatic confrontation between the United States and China, a high-ranking general of the U.S. military warned that China may invade Taiwan within six years, heightening tension in the strait. However, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently inspected Fujian and emphasized the need to promote integration with communication, benefit, and love. Xi encouraged the exploration of new paths for cross-strait integration and development, and release important policy signals to continue promoting peaceful development. These statements are tantamount to indirectly dumping a bucket of cold water on the theory of invading Taiwan.
The U.S. military has repeatedly proposed the “China threat” theory in the past, but it is still relatively rare for a statement such as the one given by current commander Admiral Philip Davidson of the Indo-Pacific Command regarding the six-year time frame. Aquilino, the nominee for commander, even added that the threat to Taiwan may be closer than most of us think.
According to a commentator, if the competitive strategy of the United States is to distinguish between China and the Chinese Communist Party and make the Chinese people oppose the leadership of the Communist Party, then its handling of the human rights issues in Xinjiang has been a serious mistake.
Xinjiang Cotton Incident: Why China is Taking High-Profile Countermeasures
By Luo Ching-sheng
China Times, March 31, 2021
The meetings between American and Chinese officials in Alaska shocked the world with its fiery opening, with the two strongly condemning each other. The strong and unyielding 16-minute speech given by Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office of the Chinese Communist Party, left a lasting impression. The response of the Chinese society has been particularly strong. "Golden phrases” from the speech, such as “the Chinese don’t play this game” and "the United States is not qualified to speak condescendingly to China" have even been made into T-shirts and are being sold.
After the meeting, China’s external profile has shown signs of becoming tougher and more unyielding all around. On March 22, the European Union High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs imposed sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity on the grounds that they violated the human rights of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. China quickly announced counter measures to sanction against the system and announced anti-sanctions against 10 individuals and four entities in Europe, including several members of the European Parliament, think tanks and scholars.
European Union foreign ministers imposed sanctions upon China, Myanmar, and Russia for human rights abuses.
(Photo from: The Storm Media)
March 22: Two F-5E fighter jets from the Zhi-Hang Air Base in Taitung were returning from drill exercises in Pingtung but during a change of formation collided and crashed into the sea. Lieutenant Luo Shang-hua who parachuted from the jet was sent to the hospital and determined dead. He only recently married in early March. Another pilot Captain Pan Ying-chun is still missing. His child just turned a month old. On October 29 last year, a F-5E fighter jet from the Taitung base also crashed into the sea due to engine failure, killing the pilot.
March 23: The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, which determined September last year that the Chinese Association for Relief and Ensuing Services (CARES) is an affiliated organization of the Kuomintang (KMT), met again March 23 to determined that assets belonging to CARES were ill-gotten assets during the authoritarian KMT era and demanded that NT$900 million (about US$31.4 million) of assets be transferred to the state. This sum includes a campaign by CARES in 1961 to raise funds for mainland Chinese disaster victims totaling NT$34.2 million (about US$1.2 million) and US$751,000, which were also deemed ill-gotten assets and should be transferred to the state.
March 24: The Central Drought Response Conference decided to limit the water supply in Miaoli, Taichung, and parts of northern Changhua starting April 6 for two days a week. This is the first time in Taiwan that the water supply will be limited since 2015, and the proposed measure will affect 1.06 million households. The water supply for science parks and industrial zones will be reduced but not suspended.
March 25: European Union foreign ministers gathered in Brussels, Belgium, and sanctioned China, Myanmar, and Russia for their human rights abuses. This is the first time that the European Union has sanctioned Beijing since the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989. China responded by announcing retaliatory sanctions against 10 members of the European Parliament and national parliaments and four EU institutions. As of March 25, eight countries in the EU, including the Netherlands, Denamrk, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, and Slovenia, called Chinese ambassadors respectively to express their dissatisfaction with the retaliatory sanctions.
March 25: In the first press conference since taking office, President Joe Biden stated that the United States will not be silent on what is happening to the Xinjiang Uyghurs, Hong Kong, and domestic events within China. Biden again described Chinese President Xi Jinping as having no democracy in his bone. According to Biden, he will not let China surpass the United States as the most powerful country in the world under his watch.
March 26: Numerous international apparel brands, including H&M, saw their past statements suspending the use of Xinjiang cotton raw materials targeted, triggering an angry boycott by Chinese Internet users, which has expanded to impact brand ambassadors. Thus far, more than 40 mainland Chinese, Hong Kong, and Taiwanese artists have terminated their contracts with related brands, of which Adidas was hit the hardest. Nearly 20 artists, including Eason Chan, terminated their contracts with the brand.
March 26: Taiwan and the United States signed a memorandum on coast guard cooperation, the first official document between the two countries since the Biden administration took office. Director Brent Christensen of the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) stated that the memorandum formalizes the long-standing close cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan coast guards.
The Ministry of National Defense announced that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) dispatched fighter jets, with as many as 20 intruding Taiwan's southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the largest-scale incursion to date this year. The Air Force dispatched air patrol forces to respond, broadcast drive-away messages, and monitor using anti-aircraft missile surveillance.
March 27: Ever Given, a mega container ship operated by Taiwan's Evergreen, was supposedly hit by strong winds on March 23 and accidentally ran aground in Egypt's Suez Canal, causing a two-way channel obstruction. A total of 331 cargo ships were blocked, causing US$10 billion in global trade losses. Oil prices also rose 5 percent due to blocked oil shipments.
On the evening of March 26, the rescue team dug a total of 20,000 cubic meters of sand around the ship's head and dispatched 10 tugboats. As of March 29, the Ever Given has been refloated and freed.