Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said that he believes a prediction made by four-star Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan that the United States will go to war with China in 2025 is correct.
A memo issued by the general, according to NBC News, said that “I hope I am wrong .. my gut tells me we will fight in 2025″ about the potential conflict. He added that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will be looking closely at Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election that might prompt leader Xi Jinping to escalate military aggression against the region.
“Xi secured his third term [as CCP general secretary] and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason,” Minihan wrote. The 2024 U.S. presidential elections would also create a “distracted America” that could benefit the Chinese regime, he said.
“Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025,” the general reportedly said. Copies of his memo circulated online over the weekend, and The Epoch Times has contacted the Air Force for comment.
On Sunday, McCaul, the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News that he believes the general’s prediction is accurate. “I hope he’s wrong,” McCaul told “Fox News Sunday.” “I think he’s right though, unfortunately.”
McCaul said that the CCP wants to take control over Taiwan, which he suggested could take place via influencing the island nation’s elections early next year. Adding further, he claimed that the current administration is “projecting weakness” that will create an avenue for the CCP to take military action.
“But if they don’t win in that one they are going to look at a military invasion, in my judgment,” he said. “We have to be prepared for this.”
However, a top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee disagreed with both McCaul and Minihan’s assessment about a potential war with China in the near term.
“I want to be completely clear. It’s not only not inevitable, it’s highly unlikely,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) told Fox News on Sunday, noting that “anything is possible” and that “generals should be cautious.”
Writing in response to the memo, retired U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, wrote on Twitter that he doesn’t believe a war with China will happen soon.
“The job of the military is always to be ready to fight, but in my view, odds of a war with China are decreasing not increasing at the moment. The reason? President Xi is watching the Russian debacle in Ukraine and will likely be more cautious as a result,” he wrote.
A spokesperson for the Air Mobility Command, which Minihan commands, told news outlets on Jan. 27 that the memo about a war with China is real.
“This is an authentic internal memo from General Minihan addressed to his subordinate command teams. His order builds on last year’s foundational efforts by Air Mobility Command to ready the Mobility Air Forces for future conflict, should deterrence fail,” the spokesperson said.
A Department of Defense spokesperson, however, said that the general’s remarks “are not representative of the department’s view on China.” Meanwhile, top spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder stated: “The National Defense Strategy makes clear that China is the pacing challenge for the Department of Defense and our focus remains on working alongside allies and partners to preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The flurry of comments on China comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to visit China, becoming the first cabinet-level secretary in the Biden administration to visit the country.
From The Epoch Times