David Ochmanek, former senior Defence Department official and war games assistant for the Pentagon at the RAND Corp think tank, said the US often loses in simulated conflicts with China. Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province to be reunited with mainland China, and has threatened to do so by military force.
Mr Ochmanek shared the sobering results of simulated conflicts between China and the US over Taiwan, with America serving as ‘the blue team’ versus Beijing’s ‘red team’.
The official said simulations of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan often see the island’s Air Force wiped out within minutes.
Mr Ochmanek also said the simulations held US air bases across the Pacific will come under attack and American warships and aircraft will be held at bay by China’s vast missile arsenal.
He added: “Even when the blue teams in our simulations and war games intervened in a determined way, they don’t always succeed in defeating the invasion.”
Admiral Philip Davidson, outgoing head of the US’ Indo-Pacific Command, recently warned Senator’s the US is losing its military edge over China.
He told the Senate Armed Services Committee: “We are accumulating risk that may embolden China to unilaterally change the status quo before our forces may be able to deliver an effective response.
“Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions. … And I think the threat is manifest during this decade, in fact, in the next six years.”
Adm. John Aquilino, a potential successor to Adm. Davidson, also told Senators on Tuesday Taiwan is Beijing’s “No 1 priority”.
He added: “My opinion is that this problem is much closer to us than most think and we have to take this on.”
China’s defence spending this year is set to rise by 6.8 percent, slightly up from last years increase.
Premier Li Keqiang said the funding would strengthen China’s forces “through reform, science and technology and the training of capable personnel”.
He added, according to a read out from the Chinese Government: “We will boost military training and preparedness across the board, make overall plans for responding to security risks in all areas and for all situations, and enhance the military’s strategic capacity to protect the sovereignty, security and development interests of our country.:
Xi Jinping, Chinese Communist Party chairman, has also repeatedly told People’s Liberation Army troops to be ready for war “at all times” this year.
US President Joe Biden has acknowledged China as America’s biggest rival.
In his first phone call with Mr Xi as President, the White House claimed Mr Biden “underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan”.
Taiwan said on Friday they had recorded the largest incursion yet reported by the island’s defence ministry from China.
The ministry said 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone, and added the air force deployed missiles to “monitor” the incursion into the south-western part of its air defence identification zone.