US warship sails through Taiwan Strait after China drills

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By RFA STAFF – Originally published by Radio Free Asia

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Editor’s Note: Senior Fellow Grant Newsham was quoted in this piece by Radio Free Asia on a potential PLA attack against Taiwan


Imminent attack on Taiwan?

Over the weekend, the PLA conducted three days of live-fire drills around Taiwan with the participation of “naval, air and conventional missile forces,” according to its website.

The Liaoning carrier group, led by the PLA first aircraft carrier, has been operating in the area and conducted training with live munitions in the Philippine Sea, east of Taiwan and south of Japan from May 3 to at least May 9.

The threat of a military action against Taiwan between now and 2030 is “acute,” U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said during a hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

“It’s our view that (China is) working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,” she said without elaborating further.

Haines and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier said that events in the Ukrainian war and how Beijing construes them could impact China’s timeline and approach to Taiwan but they believe that China prefers to avoid a military conflict over the island if possible.

Grant Newsham, a retired U.S. Marine colonel turned political analyst, said that by his own estimate a PLA attack on Taiwan could happen “anytime from 2023 onwards.”

“It much depends on the United States.  If America is distracted by domestic turmoil, is having financial troubles, and is focused on a war in Ukraine, I think Beijing just might make its move,” Newsham told RFA.

“China has indeed been building a military force and capability designed to attack and subjugate Taiwan.  They have probably had the capability to move an assault force across the Strait since at least 10 years ago,” the analyst added.

“We are in a dangerous time. “

China considers Taiwan a province of China and has repeatedly said that the democratic island of 23 million people will eventually be united with the mainland, by force if necessary.

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