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China ‘on Track’ for Potential Taiwan Invasion by 2027: US Admiral

A US military commander has claimed that China is on track in its preparations for a potential invasion of Taiwan by 2027.

Speaking before the US House Armed Services Committee, Admiral John Aquilino said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been ramping up activities and nuclear capabilities “to levels unseen since World War II.”

He also said Beijing has increased its defense budget by 16 percent over recent years, making it the second highest behind the US at 1.6 trillion yuan ($222 billion).

Additionally, Aquilino said that in his three years of leading the US Indo-Pacific Command, he has seen the PLA commission more than 400 new fighter jets and 20 warships, as well as double its ballistic and cruise missile inventory.

These signs, he said, suggest that the country is sticking to its ambitions of reuniting the self-ruled island with China, “by force if necessary.”

“All indications point to the PLA meeting President Xi Jinping’s directive to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027,” the admiral stressed, adding that the PLA’s actions “indicate their ability to meet Xi’s preferred timeline” for reunification.

Increased Activities Around Taiwan

According to Aquilino, the Chinese military has been carrying out various tasks linked to potential operations against Taipei.

These include war games and simulations, including in April 2023 when it did a mock encirclement of the small island nation and performed simulated strikes.

Committee chair Mike Rogers seemed to agree with the admiral’s assessments, saying the PLA has indeed fielded modern weapons and can project power well into the Pacific.

Just recently, the Taiwanese defense ministry said it detected 36 Chinese aircraft and six naval ships operating around the island, marking it by far the largest single-day incursion of the Chinese military in 2024.

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