The head of the US Navy’s Japan-based Seventh Fleet said that he believes China is capable of blockading the island of Taiwan.
“They have a very large navy, and if they want to bully and put ships around Taiwan, they very much can do that,” Vice Adm. Karl Thomas told The Wall Street Journal in comments that were published Monday.
Thomas’ comments come after China launched its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting the island in early August. As part of the drills, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) simulated a blockade by closing off six areas around the island.
The Chinese drills demonstrated how quickly China could encircle Taiwan and potentially blockade the island, which is an option for China if it decides to take military action but doesn’t want to carry out a full-scale invasion. An invasion of Taiwan would be extremely difficult and require the largest amphibious invasion in history.
Thomas said that a blockade could give the “international community” time to decide on how to respond. “Clearly if they do something that’s non-kinetic, which, you know, a blockade is less kinetic, then that allows the international community to weigh in and to work together on how we’re going to solve that challenge,” he said.
Another potential option for China would be to take Kinmen County, an archipelago on the southeastern coast of mainland China that is controlled by Taiwan. The Kinmen islands, also known as the Quemoy islands, were attacked by Chinese forces during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, which occurred in 1958. The US intervened in the crisis, and there was a serious push by US military planners to use nuclear weapons against China as Beijing didn’t have nuclear arms of its own at the time.
Taiwan recently shot down what it identified as a “civilian” drone over an islet of the Kinmen Islands that is only 2.5 miles from the Chinese city of Xiamen. Drones began flying in the area that were launched from the direction of the mainland after Pelosi’s visit.
Beijing has shown no sign of preparing to attack the Kinmen Islands, but the drone incident highlights the escalated tensions in the region. China will likely increase the military pressure on Taiwan as the US continues to step up support for the island, and Washington is not backing down.
The Senate Foreign Relations committee recently advanced a bill that would give Taiwan $6.5 billion in military aid and includes other provisions that would fundamentally change US policy toward the island. President Biden on Sunday said for the fourth time of his presidency that the US would defend Taiwan if China attacked, breaking from the decades-old policy of strategic ambiguity on the issue.
10 thoughts on “US Navy Commander Says China Is Capable of Blockading Taiwan”
Isn’t it possible to get everyone involved to have a sit-down and talk the situation thru?
Didn’t China already say that Taiwan can operate with autonomy but that it can’t claim independence from China? Essentially saying, do what you want, but it’s one country? Taiwan did not accept those terms. The US is stirring the pot in Taiwan. I don’t see China handing over Taiwan to US military bases, (Which is what you know it would become if given the separatist wish)
I reckon but my own theory is to talk and keep talking until a reasonable approach can be worked out so as to reduce the risks of potential war…
That’s because you are reasonable. Not all of the parties are.
But Washington DC does not know that. It is called Diplomacy and it is not in their vocabulary.
How insane the Biden people are, they start fires all over the globe and don’t know how to put out one fire much less more than one at one time.
Taiwan was just fine with the status quo until the US started stirring the pot. From my perspective, we don’t want China to benefit from Taiwan’s semi-conductor industry until we have duplicated the technology in Arizona. (Which begs the question: who is “stealing” technology from whom.)
What happens after that is anybody’s guess. But when we have what we want, I doubt that anybody in Washington will care about Taiwan anymore.
The main arguments driving the urgency are chip shortages faced by US manufacturers (especially auto manufacturers), a new found determination to control every aspect of our supply chains, and the highly questionable notion that the country with the most advanced semiconductor industry will also be the country that has the most advanced Artificial Intelligence capabilities.
Budget time in DC? They do have a large Navy and are close to their supply lines
Is Vice Adm. Karl Thomas ready to retire? What he said is a no, no.
A German admiral had to retire because he dared to say Putin should be respected, that was really a bad thing to say.
The inmates are running the asylum.
Comments are closed.