The Pentagon Warns of China's Potential Taiwan Attacks in Its Congressional Report
Annual Report Highlights Xi's Recent Aggressive Rhetoric
In the latest U.S. government assessment of Chinese military intentions, the annual Pentagon report suggests that China's military is preparing for a potential attack on Taiwan, aligning with President Xi Jinping's campaign for "national rejuvenation," The Washington Times reported.
The Pentagon report, drawing from declassified intelligence from the Defense Intelligence Agency and various spy services, offers the most detailed public analysis to date of China's plans for military action against Taiwan. A copy of the Pentagon's annual report to Congress explained the findings and comparative research of Xi's rhetoric since 2022.
China regards Taiwan, a self-governed democratic island, as part of its territory and continues to indicate a willingness to use military force against it while professing a desire for a peaceful solution to cross-strait relations, the report noted.
China ratcheted up both political and military pressure on Taiwan in the past year, a trend that has continued into the current year. This includes increased provocative and destabilizing actions in and around the Taiwan Strait, according to the report.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) now possesses a variety of options to coerce Taipei, thanks to its growing capabilities in multiple domains, the annual assessment concluded. One new weapon system identified in the report is a long-range multiple rocket artillery system, tested during war games held near Taiwan in August 2022.
According to military analyst Tom Shugart, this new rocket system allows the PLA to target the entirety of Taiwan from locations along the Chinese mainland coast.
"This means the PLA [army] can hit those key spots with much larger numbers of rockets, requiring less help from the PLA [air force] or the PLA [rocket force] and saving those services’ munitions for targets further afield," Shugart told media. Shugart is affiliated with the Center for New American Security. He further noted that this is just one of several invasion-related capabilities the PLA has been practicing with.
This report certainly adds a new layer to the ongoing discussion about China's military objectives and capabilities, particularly in relation to Taiwan. The increased pressure and overt show of military strength by China in the Taiwan Strait has raised international concerns, making the situation one to watch closely in the coming years.