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Senior U.S. military generals warn that the United States could clash with China as early as 2025

Navy personnel aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson prepare to equip F-2017 fighter jets with missiles ahead of a routine cruise in the South China Sea
Navy personnel aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson prepare to equip F-2017 fighter jets with missiles ahead of a routine cruise in the South China Sea

WASHINGTON — A four-star Air Force general warned that the United States could clash with China as early as 2025 — most likely over Taiwan — and urged his commanders to push troops to maximum operational readiness this year.

In an internal memo that first appeared on social media on Friday, Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of the Air Mobility Command, said the main goal should be to deter China and “defeat” it if necessary. The memo was later confirmed by the Pentagon to be true.

“I hope I’m wrong. My gut tells me we’re going to fight in 2025,” Minihan said.

Laying out his case, Minihan said Taiwan’s presidential election next year would provide Chinese President Xi Jinping with an excuse for military aggression and that the United States would be distracted by its own bid for the White House.

“Xi’s team, reasons, and opportunities are all aligned with 2025,” he added.

The memorandum also calls on all personnel of Mobile Command to go to the shooting range, “fire magazines” at targets, and “aim at the head.”

Responding to an email from AFP about the memorandum, a Pentagon spokesman said, “Yes, he did send out the memorandum.” ”

In recent months, senior U.S. officials have said China appears to be speeding up its timeline for seizing control of Taiwan. Beijing claims sovereignty over the autonomous democratic state of Taiwan.

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Last August, China held a major military exercise that was seen as an invasion of Taiwan. Earlier, Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the US House of Representatives, ignored pressure from Beijing and paid a visit to Taipei. Pelosi was the second in line to the White House at the time.

In 1979, the United States switched from recognizing Taipei to recognizing Beijing but selling arms to Taiwan for self-defense.

A growing number of U.S. lawmakers are calling for increased aid, including direct military aid to Taiwan. They said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlighted the need for early preparation.

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