A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) official assesses that China’s growing pessimism over its relationship with the US is making Beijing prepare for a future war it would rather not fight, Voice of America reported Wednesday.
“China doesn’t want to start a fight with us over Taiwan,” Doug Wade, the head of the DIA’s China Mission Group, said at a virtual event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
“They will if they have to … they haven’t ruled it out,” Wade added. China’s official position is that it seeks “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan but doesn’t rule out using force.
While China is reluctant to start a war, Washington’s increasing support for Taipei has led to Beijing putting more military pressure on Taiwan. The US’s overall military buildup in the Asia Pacific is also naturally making China think they have to prepare for a future conflict.
The US has shown no interest in backing off, and US military officials are openly discussing their plans for a future war with China. Wade warned that the two powers are entering an “increasingly confrontational period,” which he expects to play out across all domains.
“It’ll manifest itself pretty much across the spectrum – every warfighting domain in every sphere of diplomatic, informational, economic, commercial,” Wade said.
Chinese officials have been calling for better relations with the US but have also stepped up their warnings about where the two powers are heading. “If the United States does not hit the brake, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there surely will be conflict and confrontation,” Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told reporters earlier this month.