Director of National Intelligence John Haynes said that Taiwan’s view of independence has become increasingly “firm” after seeing China’s approach to Hong Kong, and that if the U.S. were to change its policy of war ambiguity and make clear that it would intervene in a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, Beijing would see this as a very destabilizing move, a policy change that could also separate Taiwan from China even more, and would lead to China going around undermining U.S. interests. and would lead China to go around undermining U.S. interests.
As China’s military activities in the Taiwan Strait have increased in tension in recent years and its actions in the region have become more aggressive, there has been much debate in U.S. political and academic circles about whether the United States should change its decades-long policy of strategic ambiguity in the Taiwan Strait, including by President Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations and some members of Congress, who have argued that the United States should adopt a policy of strategic clarity to deter Chinese aggression against Taiwan. is also extremely concerned about the possible consequences of this policy change.
On Thursday (April 29), at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats to the United States, Chairman Democratic Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) asked Director of Intelligence Avril Haines and Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Berrier) to present their assessments.
Reid asked how China and Taiwan would react if the U.S. adopted a clear commitment to Taiwan, given that the U.S. currently maintains a strategically ambiguous approach but there are other calls for the U.S. to change that policy in order to respond to China’s adverse demands on Taiwan.”
Haynes replied, “From our standpoint, if we see the United States move from strategic ambiguity to clarity, as you say, and be willing to intervene when something might happen to Taiwan, China would see that as very destabilizing and as reinforcing that sense in China that the United States is bent on containing the rise of China, including the use of force, and that could allow Beijing to aggressively undermine U.S. interests. That’s our assessment.”
As for Taiwan’s reaction, Reid asked if the shift in U.S. policy “could lead to a greater separation of Taiwan from China?”
Haynes said, “I think it’s possible. I think Taiwan has already strengthened its position to some extent toward independence, and they see what’s happening in Hong Kong. I think that’s an ever-increasing challenge.”
Defense Intelligence Agency Director Beryl offered his view saying, “From a defense intelligence perspective, we understand Xi Jinping’s goal is China’s reunification with Taiwan. We don’t know if he has decided how or when he is going to act. We’ve seen an increase in the People’s Liberation Army’s actions in the past year in the waters around Taiwan and in the air. With everything that’s happening in China right now, such as Hong Kong, Tibet, the Uighur issue, I think that’s one of the key issues that we’re dealing with in China. “
Armed Services Committee Chairman Reid continued to press the question about the reunification timeline, as Adm. Davidson, the not-yet-outgoing U.S. Indo-Pacific commander, made a warning at the Armed Services Committee hearing only last month that China could invade Taiwan within six years, though Haynes said to the chairman’s inquiry that this part would have to be discussed in the closed session of the hearing.
Regarding China’s military activities around the Taiwan Strait, including recent drills by the Liaoning aircraft carrier formation sailing through waters east of Taiwan, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian repeatedly responded to questions during his monthly press conference on Thursday. He said the routine training of the Liaoning carrier formation in the waters around Taiwan and in the South China Sea is to test the performance of weapons and equipment and to enhance the ability of troops to carry out their tasks. As to whether such formation drills will become the norm in the future, Wu Qian said, “The carrier is not a ‘geek’ and long voyages must be the norm. “
In addition, in response to last week’s entry of an amphibious assault ship was said to be China’s “substantial preparations” for the “armed reunification” of Taiwan, Wu Qian said, Taiwan independence forces “seriously endanger the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait “The Chinese government will be fully prepared to “respond to the interference of external forces” and the secessionist activities of Taiwan independence.