US Admiral Warns of China’s Military Readiness for Potential Taiwan Invasion by 2027

China’s communist regime is building its military arsenal for a potential invasion of Taiwan in 2027, according to Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command.Adm. Aquilino told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 21 that the regime has continued an “aggressive military building” of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the desire to “oppress those who believe in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to his written testimony.“All indications point to the PLA meeting President Xi Jinping’s directive to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027,” he wrote. “Furthermore, the PLA’s actions indicate their ability to meet Xi’s preferred timeline to unify Taiwan with mainland China by force if directed.”Due to Taiwan’s strategic location, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees the self-ruled island as a springboard for an ambitious expansion throughout the Indo-Pacific, ultimately supplanting the United States as the leading military power in the region. Additionally, seizing Taiwan would allow the CCP to take control of the island’s semiconductor industry, which currently produces some of the world’s most advanced semiconductor chips.The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) provided a similar timeline. In its annual threat assessment report, published in February 2023, the U.S. intelligence community wrote, “Beijing is working to meet its goal of fielding a military by 2027 designed to deter U.S. intervention in a future cross-Strait crisis.”Since taking command in 2021, Adm. Aquilino noted that the PLA has added over 400 fighter jets and more than 20 major warships, along with doubling its inventory of ballistic and cruise missiles.Related Stories“During my tenure, we have observed the PRC’s growing focus on developing the capability and capacity to project power and challenge adversaries beyond the First Island Chain,” Adm. Aquilino wrote, using the acronym of the People’s Republic of China. The first island chain includes the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan, and the northern Phillippines.That focus has included adding more guided missile cruisers and destroyers, Adm. Aquilino said, noting these navy vessels will allow China to “contest adversaries increasingly farther outside” of the first island chain.“Perhaps most concerning has been the rapid pace at which the PRC has bolstered its nuclear arsenal, increasing its warhead inventory by well over 100% since 2020,” he wrote.The Pentagon noted in its 2023 annual report to Congress that China possessed over 500 operational nuclear warheads as of May 2023. That number “will probably” increase to over 1,000 by 2030, according to the report published in October last year.Earlier this month, Beijing announced a 7.2 percent increase in its official defense budget this year, reaching 1.6 trillion yuan ($222 billion).China’s actual military spending is likely more than what Beijing announced, according to Adm. Aquilino.“I’m not sure that’s a very transparent number. My assessment is they are actually spending more on defense than they articulate,” he told senators.Adm. Aquilino elaborated that knowing exactly how much China spent on its military was not one of the most important things.“The issue is what’s coming off the assembly line, and it’s significant,” he said. “Ten more ships, high-end warships alone this year, cruisers, destroyers. Full-rate production for J-20s, increased missile system satellite systems. To me, that’s the metric.”Chengdu J-20s are China’s fifth-generation stealth fighters. According to the Pentagon’s report, China’s air force was making preparations to upgrade the planes, such as increasing the number of air-to-air missiles that the fighter can carry.“The PRC’s unprecedented military buildup and campaign of coercive actions destabilize the region. And they challenge our values and the institutions that support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Adm. Aquilino said.“What we all have to understand is we haven’t faced a threat like this since World War II.”

US Admiral Warns of China’s Military Readiness for Potential Taiwan Invasion by 2027

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China’s communist regime is building its military arsenal for a potential invasion of Taiwan in 2027, according to Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command.

Adm. Aquilino told the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 21 that the regime has continued an “aggressive military building” of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the desire to “oppress those who believe in a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to his written testimony.

“All indications point to the PLA meeting President Xi Jinping’s directive to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027,” he wrote. “Furthermore, the PLA’s actions indicate their ability to meet Xi’s preferred timeline to unify Taiwan with mainland China by force if directed.”

Due to Taiwan’s strategic location, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sees the self-ruled island as a springboard for an ambitious expansion throughout the Indo-Pacific, ultimately supplanting the United States as the leading military power in the region. Additionally, seizing Taiwan would allow the CCP to take control of the island’s semiconductor industry, which currently produces some of the world’s most advanced semiconductor chips.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) provided a similar timeline. In its annual threat assessment report, published in February 2023, the U.S. intelligence community wrote, “Beijing is working to meet its goal of fielding a military by 2027 designed to deter U.S. intervention in a future cross-Strait crisis.”

Since taking command in 2021, Adm. Aquilino noted that the PLA has added over 400 fighter jets and more than 20 major warships, along with doubling its inventory of ballistic and cruise missiles.

“During my tenure, we have observed the PRC’s growing focus on developing the capability and capacity to project power and challenge adversaries beyond the First Island Chain,” Adm. Aquilino wrote, using the acronym of the People’s Republic of China. The first island chain includes the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan, and the northern Phillippines.

That focus has included adding more guided missile cruisers and destroyers, Adm. Aquilino said, noting these navy vessels will allow China to “contest adversaries increasingly farther outside” of the first island chain.

“Perhaps most concerning has been the rapid pace at which the PRC has bolstered its nuclear arsenal, increasing its warhead inventory by well over 100% since 2020,” he wrote.

The Pentagon noted in its 2023 annual report to Congress that China possessed over 500 operational nuclear warheads as of May 2023. That number “will probably” increase to over 1,000 by 2030, according to the report published in October last year.
Earlier this month, Beijing announced a 7.2 percent increase in its official defense budget this year, reaching 1.6 trillion yuan ($222 billion).

China’s actual military spending is likely more than what Beijing announced, according to Adm. Aquilino.

“I’m not sure that’s a very transparent number. My assessment is they are actually spending more on defense than they articulate,” he told senators.

Adm. Aquilino elaborated that knowing exactly how much China spent on its military was not one of the most important things.

“The issue is what’s coming off the assembly line, and it’s significant,” he said. “Ten more ships, high-end warships alone this year, cruisers, destroyers. Full-rate production for J-20s, increased missile system satellite systems. To me, that’s the metric.”

Chengdu J-20s are China’s fifth-generation stealth fighters. According to the Pentagon’s report, China’s air force was making preparations to upgrade the planes, such as increasing the number of air-to-air missiles that the fighter can carry.

“The PRC’s unprecedented military buildup and campaign of coercive actions destabilize the region. And they challenge our values and the institutions that support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Adm. Aquilino said.

“What we all have to understand is we haven’t faced a threat like this since World War II.”

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