If the Chinese Communist Party invaded Taiwan U.S. commander: war fears to expand outside the Indo-Pacific region

U.S. Marine Corps Commandant David Berger said Tuesday (May 18) that war between the United States and China is not inevitable, but the rivalry between the two countries will continue. He also said that if the Chinese Communist Party chooses to attack Taiwan, the conflict could expand to all areas and extend beyond the Indo-Pacific region, and the United States should be prepared for it.

Speaking Tuesday at a video forum hosted by the Brookings Institution, General Berger said he has been studying China for the past decade. He said he does not believe war between the United States and China is inevitable. But competition between the two countries will continue.

“I do think it’s going to be an active daily competition for the foreseeable future. They are expanding.” He said, “We’re trying to sort out — how do we reconcile but not allow any country to rewrite a set of rules that have worked for everybody for 70 years …… Certainly, it’s a dilemma. “

The website of the United States Naval Institute (U.S. Naval Institute) published a report on Berger’s above statement. According to the report, U.S. Marine Corps officials emphasized that the department’s force design efforts — including making the force “lighter” by shedding heavier equipment so the Marines can move easily between islands in the Pacific — is designed to keep pace with the needs of the National Defense Strategy. The strategy emphasizes concern about potential conflicts with countries such as China and Russia.

Some of the recent rhetoric about confronting the Chinese Communist Party in the Indo-Pacific region includes the Communist Party’s ambition to control Taiwan. Phil Davidson, former commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, recently told Congress that he believes the Chinese Communist Party could take action to invade Taiwan within the next six years.

Berger described the Taiwan issue as an “asymmetric problem” and noted that Taiwan must defend itself, so the U.S. should find a way to assist Taiwan in doing so.

“If you want to talk about global competition or strategic competition, you can’t talk about Taiwan and the surrounding region without mentioning it. But I think at this point it would be too simple to look at Taiwan, China and the United States through a symmetrical lens.” He said.

From a security perspective, he said, “it’s an asymmetrical issue and it’s not limited to the region, so one has to be open-minded to think that it’s not just a matter of how much firepower they (the Chinese Communist Party) have against us, against Taiwan, it’s not that simple.”

Berger said that once the Chinese Communist Party chooses to seize control of Taiwan, it is time for the United States to prepare for the possibility of the conflict expanding into all areas and beyond the Indo-Pacific region.

“The old-fashioned approach of how you contain, how you prevent Taiwan from being seized will probably not apply in the future, because there are capabilities in other areas that didn’t exist before.” He warned.

He continued, “I think we have to – we are – adjusting the way we look at any potential Taiwan conflict. And I agree with you 100 percent that it has to be considered in all areas, well beyond the military, well beyond the level of the United States against the Chinese Communist military. It has to be a much broader topic than that.”

Berger believes that in order to fully accomplish the mission of deterring the Chinese Communist Party or ultimately defeating it if war breaks out, the United States must be based on uniting regional allies, a role for which the Marine Corps is well suited.