WASHINGTON: The head of the Indo-Pacific command believes China might try to annex Taiwan “in this decade, in fact within the next six years,” as part of its massive military buildup in the region.
Adm. Phil Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that China is “accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order,” which they’ve long said that they want to do by 2050. “I’m worried about them moving that target closer. Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before that, and I think the threat is manifest during this decade, in the next six years.”
One way to support Taiwan is through “persistent arms sales,” which were accelerated by the Trump administration, and could continue under the Biden team given its public comments on the need to contend with the Chinese buildup and incendiary rhetoric when it comes to the independent island.
Davidson, who will retire later this year, was likely making his last appearance before the committee and used the time to push for funding his Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which would run the DoD $4.6 billion in 2022, as part of a five-year, $27 billion effort. The proposal received $2.2 billion last year from the Trump administration.
His top priority in that plan is to get an Aegis Ashore air defense system put on place on Guam