Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in a Monday speech that China is preparing for war with the United States.
"Today the intelligence couldn't be clearer. Whatever its actual intentions may be I could not say, but China is preparing for a war and specifically for a war with the United States," Kendall stated at the Air and Space Forces Association's Air, Space, and Cyber Conference.
Kendall went on to say that China for the last two decades has been "reoptimizing its forces" to compete with the United States in the Western Pacific.
The Air Force secretary's comments come in the wake of President Joe Biden's Vietnam visit, during which the president said that China's economic problems make the country less likely to invade Taiwan.
Republican congressman Mike Gallagher (Wis.), by contrast, said Monday that China's internal problems could cause Chinese president Xi Jinping to become even more aggressive.
Xi told the Chinese military last month to speed up its modernization and combat readiness following several months of intensified military exercises.
Numerous war games over the past several years have reportedly shown that the U.S. military is unprepared for war with China.
Kendall emphasized the necessity for the Air and Space Forces to increase their ability to project power, as well as to deter an invasion of Taiwan.
Speaking on the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Kendall said, "We must be ready for a kind of war we have no modern experience with."