US and Japan Conduct War Games To Counter China

Sensitive exercises simulate attacks from Chinese military

A U.S. Navy exercise / Getty Images
July 1, 2021

The United States and Japan are conducting war games in response to the Chinese military's increasingly aggressive and dangerous behavior.

The Financial Times reported Wednesday that the Biden administration and top advisers to Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga are engaging in sensitive planning exercises to counter a potential invasion of Taiwan and other aggression in the South China Sea. The cooperation comes as the Chinese military launches an unprecedented buildup of aircraft carriers, advanced missile systems, and other lethal technologies. China has also put its military might to the test, flying record numbers of aircraft into Taiwanese airspace in June.

"In many ways, the People's Liberation Army drove the U.S. and Japan together and toward new thinking on Taiwan," said Randall Schriver, former president Trump's Pentagon chief for Indo-Pacific affairs. "Assertiveness around the Senkaku and Taiwan at the same time drives home the issue of proximity."

Top military officers have sounded the alarm on China's growing ability to attack Taiwan. Retired admiral Phil Davidson, who oversaw the United States Indo-Pacific Command, told lawmakers in March that China may be able to attack the island country in four to six years. During Thursday festivities for the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping pledged to work toward the "reunification" of China and Taiwan, saying he would "smash" any attempts at resistance.

Ironclad support for Taiwan, however, is not universal among American lawmakers. A bill by House Foreign Affairs Committee Democrats slashed diplomatic and military support for the country proposed by Republicans. And Republican hawks have told the Washington Free Beacon that the Biden administration's 2022 defense budget request underfunds Navy and Pacific defense programs needed to confront China's rise.