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Video Above: China's 075 Amphibious Assault Ship the Hainan

By Kris Osborn - President & Editor-In-Chief, Warrior Maven

The Pentagon is making a specific effort to correct statements in a People’s Republic of China “readout” of a meeting between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Chinese equivalent, claiming that the US “agrees” to a one-China principle.

The claim, reportedly made in a Chinese summary of the senior US-China defense meetings, attempts to suggest that the US would not oppose a Chinese takeover of Taiwan. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby specifically and clearly said this is just “not true” and reiterated that the US supports the Taiwan Relations Act which supports the continued sale of US arms to Taiwan and unambiguously supports Taiwanese independence.

“The PRC Ministry published a read out of their own which claims the US agrees to a one-China principle. This is not true,” Kirby explained.

Pentagon Commitment to Taiwan

As part of his explanation regarding US support for Ukraine, Kirby specified that the Pentagon’s commitment to Taiwan and the Asian theater overall remains a huge priority.

China is the pacing challenge. If you look at our budget, there is a record number of dollars going into research and development. We are investing in the operational concepts and capabilities to help us deter conflict against any adversary,” Kirby said. “Five of our seven treaty alliances are in that part of the world.”

Taiwan's military M109 self-propelled Howitzers move during the annual Han Kuang exercises in Pingtung County, Southern Taiwan, Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Taiwan's military M109 self-propelled Howitzers move during the annual Han Kuang exercises in Pingtung County, Southern Taiwan, Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Kirby went on to clarify that the US arms being sent to Ukraine in now way diminishes an US ability or readiness related to defending Taiwan and assuring a robust deterrence posture in the Indo-Pacific. Most of the equipment being sent to Ukraine, Kirby said, is from existing prepositioned stocks and not eroding US readiness.

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“The material we have sent is drawdown material that we already have at our bases,” he explained.

The Pentagon’s proposed budget reflects a clear and growing emphasis upon the Chinese threat by virtue of its heavy emphasis upon Research & Development, an effort to identify new breakthrough technologies sufficient to propel US military superiority.

Video Above: Will China Make a Move on Taiwan? 

Most of the assets likely to be in rapid high demand to defend Taiwan are also likely to be quite different from the kinds of land-weapons being sent to Ukraine. In order to disrupt or stop a Chinese amphibious assault on Taiwan, the US would likely rely most heavily upon forward-operating Naval assets, submarines and air and surface drones. 

The intent, one would think, would be to stop or completely disable any Chinese invasion before they were able to secure land on Taiwan and occupy the island. That would require an extremely dangerous and costly ground-war extraction campaign. 

However, should armed drones, warships, submarines and ship-launched 5th-generation fighter jets stop an amphibious landing on approach, a US and allied move to defend Taiwan might have strong prospects for success.

“China informed the kinds of capabilities we put in our budget,” Kirby said. 

Kris Osborn is the President of Warrior Maven - Center for Military Modernization and the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President - Center for Military Modernization