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U.S. Admiral Aquilino: China’s Military Buildup Poised for 2027 Taiwan Invasion

U.S. Admiral Aquilino: China’s Military Buildup Poised for 2027 Taiwan Invasion

The recent testimony of Admiral John Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, cast a stark light on the significant advancements and aspirations of China’s military capabilities. With meticulous detail, Aquilino outlined a scenario where, by 2027, China could be fully prepared to undertake an invasion of Taiwan, an assertion that not only underscores the strategic ambitions of President Xi Jinping but also signals a profound challenge to regional stability and international security norms.

Admiral Aquilino’s observations point to a comprehensive and accelerated effort by China to expand its military prowess, an endeavor that has not been seen on such a scale since the Second World War. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA), under Xi’s leadership, has witnessed a substantial increase in its capabilities, including the addition of over 400 advanced fighter aircraft and more than 20 significant warships since Aquilino took command. This military augmentation is further highlighted by a doubling of the PLA’s inventory of ballistic and cruise missiles, signaling a strategic pivot towards enhancing China’s offensive and defensive postures. The Chinese defense budget, published a $223 billion, is said to be actually closer to $700 billion a staggering figure on par with America’s defense budget.

Perhaps even more alarming is the rapid expansion of China’s nuclear arsenal, with Aquilino noting, “Perhaps most concerning has been the rapid pace at which (China) has bolstered its nuclear arsenal, increasing its warhead inventory by well over 100% since 2020.” This significant nuclear buildup adds a new dimension to the potential conflict, raising the stakes and the implications of any military engagement over Taiwan.

The backdrop to this military expansion is a series of statements and actions by the Chinese government that reaffirm its intentions towards Taiwan. China considers Taiwan a renegade province, essential to its territorial integrity, and has not shied away from asserting its claim by force if necessary. Xi Jinping’s call for the creation of a “world-class military” by 2027, coinciding with the PLA’s 100th anniversary, dovetails with these broader ambitions, placing Taiwan squarely within China’s strategic calculus.

Amidst these developments, the international response, particularly from the United States, has been one of growing concern and strategic recalibration. U.S. lawmakers and military officials, echoing Aquilino’s assessments, have called for an accelerated pace of military development to counter the rising threat posed by China in the Indo-Pacific region. This sentiment is captured in Aquilino’s assertion that “All indications point to the PLA meeting President Xi Jinping’s directive to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027,” a statement that not only underscores the urgency of the situation but also the critical window within which the international community must act to deter or prepare for potential conflict.

The implications of these developments for Taiwan and the broader region cannot be overstated. Taiwan, a self-governing island that values its democratic way of life, finds itself at the epicenter of this growing storm. The increased frequency of Chinese military activities around Taiwan, including the deployment of aircraft and naval vessels near the island, serves as a stark reminder of the tensions that permeate the Taiwan Strait. In response, Taiwan has maintained a high state of readiness, with its armed forces vigilantly monitoring and responding to Chinese maneuvers.

Will the U.S. be able to respond and to protect Taiwan and others from Chinese hegemony? Much depends on America’s upcoming elections.

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8 Comments

  1. FRANK STETSON

    2027?

    We outspend China by over half a trillion dollars, yes trillion, every year.

    I sure hope we can catch up to them…….

    Reply
    • R. Hamilton

      Our labor costs are much higher. So spending is not directly comparable.

      Reply
      • FRANK STETSON

        Mr. Hamilton, actually spending is directly comparable, results may not be, and half a trillion at $100 per hour equals 2.4 million man years of labor….. Not to mention, that I am pretty sure that in the buidiing of defense weapons, automation rates higher that labor in results.

        Truth is you are right, the spending is not comparable because we CHOOSE to protect the world not because of the cost of labor which only benefits the Chinese in the numbers of soldiers then have, a statistic that may not help much when it comes to dropping the big ones.

        Fact is we spend more than the nex 15 OR MORE countries combined, and a 11 of these are our friends.

        Now, if we can’t outprerform China at this expenditure, we should give up.

        And please, it couldh’t happen? Trump already invited Russia to attack any NATO member that does not meet it’s own committment to spend money to protect itself. He is cash strapped and his recent deal to sell Truth Social to net himself $3B has China written all over it. He has already told his Congressional sychophants to vote down the TicTok ban bill. Where did that 360-degree change come from? Right before the sale of Truth Social that has China written all over it? A sale that’s strangly taking place with stock overvalued so much by the buyer that the makers of Enron are impressed. Strangly, when his lawyers told the court, on the record, that no way he can get the money, Trump responded that he already has the cash. Did his lawyers lie to the judge? Not a smart idea.

        And who are the investors that bailed out his Duetch Bank loan come due with an inflated price on his hotel? It’s a shaddowy Florida investment firm with a couple of sports heros for window dressing and God knows who else to bail Trump out.

        His son-in-law got a few billion from the Saudi killer Prince, he’s already bought and paid for. He might buy Don too as he can invest anywhere. Lately he’s taking flack for suggesting they evacuate everyone from GAZA to put up becondo’s and hotels (which actually is a good idea IF they hire the folks from GAZA) or wherever the Killer Prince tells him to invest. Why not a half billion to Dad or Dad’s business.

        No, SIr, even the rich can have owners and bosses making demands. Think about what you heard. He’s so rich, he’s made of money and can deal like no other. He wiggled out of the Duestch Bank loan repayment, most say it’s a miracle, but we don’t know the investors or what countries they represent. He know says he has no money, he tried 30 different bond makers and they all turned him down. There’s a rule in money —- everything is for sale at a price and Don’s payment price has to go higher for added risk. Everyone saying NO just means whoever says YES gets a bigger, better deal. The vig to Don goes higher and higher. And he is more beholden to the leader.

        Also, do you think Gates, Bloomberg, Bezos, or Musk would have troubles coming up with a half a billion? Of course not. They actually have money. Think about it, Gates and Bloomberg give BILLIONS away; Don was fined and had to close down his charity for stealing money from it.

        One other vector: Don would normally call bankrupcy, he knows it well. But if he does that, he loses the election and if he loses the election, he continues to face three of the four indictments and cannot stop them. The main reason he’s running. And perhaps why he’s willing to sell out to China as he is in the process of doing.

        It’s called The Art of the Steal.

        Reply
    • Tom

      That depends on whether you use the $200B or the $700B that the article gives. The Chinese government announces defense expenditure information annually. In March 2024, China announced a yearly defense budget of RMB 1.67 trillion ($231.3 billion),1 marking a nominal 7.2 percent increase from the 2023 budget of RMB 1.55 trillion ($224.8 billion). Now, the article says, ” The Chinese defense budget, published a $223 billion, is said to be actually closer to $700 billion a staggering figure on par with America’s defense budget.” My question is, “said by who?”

      I believe that $700B comes from this right wing article, *https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/09/19/china-defense-budget-military-weapons-purchasing-power/*. This sounds like the Military Industrial Complex trying to get Americans geared up to spend even more on the military!

      Senator Dan Sullivan is a well connected Washington insider GOP senator for Alaska. He speaks in this article about real costs but really its all about spending power. And you have the classic situation where we have a rival government that is often dishonest and a paranoid military industrial complex that is always looking for the next enemy and war. The Pentagon does not really know our true military expenditure costs, they even admit it. Just remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The military industrial complex is very good at squeaking!

      For sure, China is a challenge. China had a very antiquated military that was in bad need of upgrade. I do not think costs is the best way to look at the challenge. What we need to do is look at capabilities. Use this scorecard before you get too worried. *https://www.rand.org/paf/projects/us-china-scorecard.html* We are still quite dominant but we should be aware. There is a lot of waste in our military budget – and that is what we should be focusing on, but don’t.

      Reply
  2. FRANK STETSONf

    And,,,,,,,

    Digital World is buying Truth Social. Jeff Yass is a major shareholder of Digital World.

    Trump will make three billion dollars on the sale but can’t access funds in time so will have to “leverage” it to get the bond from another source. The vig will be high but he has $3B of hot air money from severely overvalued stock.

    Billionaire Jeff Yass in one of Republican parties biggest donors, giving millions.

    Jeff Yass owns a major stake in ByteDance – TikTok, like $15B

    Trump reversed his decision and want to defeat the TikTok Congressional ban.

    Sounds like soon TikTok will own Trump

    Marjorie Taylor Grifter just bought a bunch of shares in the new SPAC for the Trumpco before the sale went through.

    Why worriy about 2027? There’s a chance we will support China’s efforts to take Taiwan after 1/21/2025.

    Reply
    • R. hamilton

      “Why worriy about 2027? There’s a chance we will support China’s efforts to take Taiwan after 1/21/2025.”

      On what planet would THAT happen? Neither Trump nor Biden would want that (although I’d argue that Biden is more subject to Chinese influence).

      Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) makes (but does not design) the most advanced chips on the planet. We would NOT want the PRC having unlimited access to such chips, let alone holding the rest of the world’s supply hostage. Granted that we’re trying to get more domestic chipmaking (about time!), but red tape is for example slowing the development of a TSMC factory near Phoenix (growth and limited water supply both being concerns in the area). And our labor costs are higher.

      One thing that concerns me is that most of what I’ve read suggests that Taiwan’s military personnel are indifferent and not very well trained. That needs to change!

      Reply
      • Richard

        Frank should stick to what he knows. And that’s very little

        Reply
  3. FRANK STETSON

    Richard should learn how to discuss instead of just how to demean.

    Reply

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