General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday (Jun 17) dismissed the possibility of Chinese military invasion of Taiwan in the near-term as Beijing currently lacks capabilities needed, Reuters reported.
Gen Miley shared his assessment during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee when he was asked about China’s declared intention of eventually reuniting the island state with the mainland.
“I think China has a ways to go to develop the actual no-kidding capability to conduct military operations to seize through military means the entire island of Taiwan if they wanted to do that,” Gen. Milley said.
The four-star general, while declining to provide details on the basis of his assessment, said the probability of a military attack on Taiwan is low. “There is no reason [for China] to do it militarily. So I think right now it is probably low — in the immediate near-term future,” Gen. Milley said.
US senior military officials and the Congress have recently and repeatedly alluded to the possibility of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) taking over Taiwan by force.
Admiral Phil Davidson who leads the US Indo-Pacific Command predicted in March that the mainland could attempt to take control of Taiwan "in the next six years."
Earlier this week, twenty-eight Chinese air force aircraft, including fighters and nuclear-capable bombers, entered Taiwan’s ADIZ, the largest reported incursion to date.
Chinese officials say that reclaiming Taiwan, however, remains a “core” national interest.
Of late, Chinese commentariat has been claiming that the military advantage that U.S used to enjoy in the Taiwan Straits has been blunted. They have claimed that Chinese mainland's rapid development and military construction have "dismantled the US' confidence."