WASHINGTON — Days after a Chinese spy balloon flew across the United States, a top former military and diplomatic official urged President Biden to behave toward Beijing like his predecessor, saying “[Trump] The strict attitude of the administration is correct.
Retired Navy Admiral Harry Harris, who headed the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command for three years and later served as the 45th president’s ambassador to South Korea, called on Biden to clarify that if China were to become a democratic country The United States will defend Taiwan if the island is attacked.
“[Chinese President] Xi Jinping has repeatedly told us his intentions on Taiwan, and shame on us if we ignore them,” Harris told the House Armed Services Committee. “We shouldn’t be allowed to. [Chinese government] to dictate US Taiwan policy.
Reunification with Taiwan is XI’s top goal, and experts fear that an attempt to end Taipei by force could lead to war within the decade. The Biden administration has been reluctant to align too much with Taiwan to avoid provoking China, but Harris said Beijing has already made the democratically-governed island its primary target.
“My successor in Indo-Pacific Command [Navy Adm. Phil Davidson] Testified before Congress in 2021. [People’s Republican of China] could attack Taiwan in six years – that’s 2027,” he said. “We ignore. [his] Warning at our peril.”
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen in recent years over China’s aggressive economic and territorial practices, as well as its rapid military development. Former President Donald Trump, 76, was the first to prioritize confronting China on the national agenda, shifting the U.S. military’s primary threat from the Middle East to Beijing in his administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy.
While Biden’s 2022 strategy puts China as his top priority, Harris said the White House needs to step up its rhetoric, saying it could prevent China from moving onto the island. Aid would be provided and would enable Taipei to “decide either to defend itself or to surrender to China.”
“But most importantly, the American people need to know that it is your sons and daughters who will fight and die,” he said.
Harris also insisted that Biden should formally refer to China as an “adversary” rather than the current preferred designation of “strategic rival.”
“[China] sees us as the enemy; They see us as an adversary,” he said. “And being naive — acting with the expectation that we’re all going to, you know, be friends in the end — is the most dangerous thing and This itself leads to instability.”
“If we go in with our eyes open and we’re willing to engage diplomatically and they’re willing to engage diplomatically, I think we can live together in a world of strategic competition that is armed conflict. does not rise to the level of,” he said. added
But diplomacy suffered a blow last week when Secretary of State Anthony Blanken canceled a visit to China in response to the release of a large-scale surveillance balloon over US airspace.
“Beijing’s actions are coordinated, methodical and strategic,” Harris said. It indicates a disregard for international norms.”
Melanie Sisson, a foreign policy fellow at the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, criticized the cancellation of Blinken’s trip, saying it was a missed opportunity to have tough talks with Chinese leaders.
“We need these high-level contacts,” he told lawmakers. “It would have been an opportunity to talk about crisis management, for example, in addition to pressuring the CCP around the world on their other such problematic behavior.”
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