China Building Up Military at Rapid Pace as It Eyes Taiwan Takeover, US Admiral Says

Chinese aircraft carrier (Getty Images)
March 21, 2024

A top U.S. admiral said on Wednesday that China is rapidly ramping up its military capabilities to prepare for an invasion of Taiwan by 2027. 

"All indications point to the [People’s Liberation Army] meeting President Xi Jinping’s directive to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027. The PLA’s actions indicate their ability to meet Xi’s preferred timeline to unify Taiwan with mainland China by force if directed," Admiral John Aquilino, head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg

Aquilino added China has recently increased its defense budget by 16 percent to over $223 billion in spite of its economic woes. Since President Joe Biden took office in early 2021, the CCP has bolstered its military with at least 400 fighter aircraft and 20 major warships, while doubling the number of its ballistic and cruise missiles. The PLA has also repeatedly simulated and rehearsed how it would invade Taiwan, the admiral noted, per the outlet. 

"[The CCP’s] unprecedented level of defense spending is paying off," Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said on Wednesday. "The PLA is fielding modern systems like hypersonic weapons and fifth-generation fighters. They can project power well into the Pacific with a 340 ship navy that includes a new aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines."

Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian in a Thursday press conference accused American officials of "trying to hype up the China-threat narrative to escalate tensions across the [Taiwan Strait] and instigate confrontation," Bloomberg reported. 

Earlier this month Biden proposed an $850 billion allocation to the Pentagon for fiscal year 2025, including $500 million to "address aggression in the [Taiwan Strait] and ensure continued support to our allies" by arming and funding Taiwan.

Published under: CCP , China , Taiwan