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US general predicts war with China in 2025


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The United States and China will be at war in 2025, likely over an attempt by Beijing to forcibly seize the autonomous island of Taiwan, which it considers its own.

The prediction would be seen as mere alarmism by those interested in increased defense budgets, but it was made by a top American general in a strategically leaked document, causing great agitation in military circles in Washington and Beijing.

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“I hope I’m wrong. But my gut says we’re going to fight in 2025,” US Air Mobility Command chief General Mike Minihan wrote in a supposedly internal memo. The text emerged on social networks and was validated by The Drive with the Air Force website, which confirmed its authenticity.

Minihan uses harsh terms. He says Chinese leader Xi Jinping “secured his third term and set up his war council in October 2022”. “The Taiwan presidential election is in 2024, and it will give Xi a reason. The US election is in 2024, and it will give Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, his reasons and opportunities are all aligned for 2025.”

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The military, which commands the entire US air transport and resupply fleet, urged its personnel to be ready for war. He even suggested that they visit “shooting ranges” for training. “Aim for the head,” he wrote.

The leak occurred on Friday (27). On Sunday (29), an influential Republican deputy came out in defense of the general’s conclusion. “I also hope he’s wrong, but I think he’s right, unfortunately,” Michael McCaul, chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Fox News.

“I have already said that China’s economic and political vulnerabilities make such a conflict unlikely, but when a four-star general and one of the few politicians I truly respect says something like that, I am compelled to revise my thinking,” wrote George Friedman, one of the top geopolitics makers in the US on the website of his consultancy, Geopolitical Futures.

“That they both say the same thing, more importantly, suggests to me that someone in Washington briefed them on the matter,” he said. He goes on, for the time being, with his prediction that there will be no war because it would be in nobody’s best interest.

In favor of this reading is the rapprochement between Xi and Joe Biden, who met at the end of last year, and the opening of dialogue channels between the two powers. At the same time, the Chinese maintain a more aggressive rhetoric towards their domestic public, asking for readiness for wars.

Biden may no longer be in the Presidency in 2025, which muddles the guessing game a bit — his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, launched Cold War 2.0 against China’s rise under Xi in 2017.

But the objective factors are in place: both the largest economies in the world are under a period of stress, but analysts point out that the Chinese case is more complex because it involves not a cyclical fall, but probably a structural one.

On Biden’s side of the Democratic Party, there was skepticism. “It worries me when anyone starts saying that war with China is inevitable. Generals should be more careful with what they say,” Adam Smith, former head of the US House Armed Services Committee, told Fox News. .

In China, analysts saw the leak as a message against the possible invasion of Taiwan. “It seems that the American military is using these warnings to state its position day after day: if China intends to attack Taiwan, then the Americans must react with military intervention,” Professor Zhu Feng (Nanjing University) told the South China Morning newspaper. Post.

For him, there is a practical problem: “Such warnings could encourage American pilots to be more aggressive when they encounter their Chinese counterparts on the front lines, increasing the risk of conflicts.”

It could be, although in recent years it has been Chinese pilots who have nearly caused their fighter jets to collide with American spy planes at tension points between the countries, such as the Taiwan Strait or the South China Sea, which Beijing considers 85% its own. and the US claims to be a free shipping area.

Tension between the US and China reached a peak last August, when then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made the first visit by a senior official to Taiwan in 25 years. Beijing responded with exercises simulating an air-naval blockade that precedes any invasion, and has maintained a regime of air raids and other defense tests to a high degree ever since.

Tension spreads across the region. Tokyo has adopted a militarism not seen since World War II, the Quad group (US, India, Japan and Australia) has strengthened and Seoul wants greater integration with US nuclear forces, given threats from Beijing’s ally North Korea.

Furthermore, Xi maintains a close relationship with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who is challenging the West with his war in Ukraine. Joint military actions increased. Biden has already warned the Chinese not to be inspired by his colleague when formulating his Taiwan policy.

Russians and Chinese are expected to meet soon, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Monday (30), perhaps even before the one-year anniversary of the invasion, on February 24.

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