With tensions rising and a looming crisis in the Taiwan Strait becoming a reality after Chinese leader Xi Jinping commanded the military to train in preparation for a “real war scenario”, the US Congress advisory committee seeks additional multi-year defence funding and other mechanisms to strengthen Taiwan’s security against unprecedented aggression from China. The Committee also called to create an executive branch panel to prepare economic sanctions that can be imposed on China in response to military action against the democratic-ruled island state.
The top Congressional body, US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), released its annual report on 15 November, which said the measures would be necessary to deter an invasion by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The recommendation proposes establishing a joint planning mechanism and encouraging increases in Taiwan’s defence spending to ensure that the island is arming itself to the best of its ability.
The report said that China seeks to isolate the island from the rest of the world through diplomatic, economic, and military coercion. The regime’s goal is to compel Taiwan into accepting communist rule by any means necessary. To that end, the report said, the United States and Taiwan would need to increase their cooperation to ensure their victory in the event of a conflict with China. Beijing also is drawing lessons from Russia’s war in Ukraine, with an eye toward the forcible unification of Taiwan with the mainland.
“Russia’s war against Ukraine has galvanised the international community and heightened concerns over a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan,” states the annual report. The report details China’s growing capabilities, more aggressive activities toward Taiwan, and the need for an expedited American response.
“While not addressing a specific timeline for a potential Chinese invasion attempt, the report certainly underscores the need for urgent action,” said Commission member Randy Schriver. “We, therefore, recommend ways to support (US forces) through multi-year funding for the most applicable capabilities and expedited joint planning to optimise a potential US-Taiwan response to (People’s Liberation Army) threats,” he said.
The USCC believe that both the United States and Taiwan will need to do more to arm and train for the possibility of a war with China, which the report says has become more likely following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
China has become increasingly aggressive in recent years and has threatened military action on several occasions.Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe vowed this year to “start a war no matter the cost” to prevent the international recognition of Taiwan’s independence.Likewise, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said to President Joe Biden this month, “Cross-Strait peace and stability and ‘Taiwan independence’ are as irreconcilable as water and fire.”
The USCC’s new report contains an entire chapter dedicated to the issue of Taiwan. It outlines how China has increased its efforts to push the international community away from helping Taiwan in order to tighten the noose. “In 2022, China adopted a significantly more aggressive stance toward Taiwan, ramping up displays of military force in addition to diplomatic and economic coercion,” the report said.
The report says that the United States will need to increase its readiness for military conflict in the Indo-Pacific region and seek to bolster its military forces and those of its partners and allies in the region.