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US-China Tensions Over Taiwan
Tensions between China and the US have escalated following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taipei in early August. China views Taiwan as part of its territory and says any country's interaction with Taipei is interference in China's internal affairs.

Senior US General Predicts War With China in 2025, Urges Airmen to Prepare to Come Home in Body Bags

© Senior Airman Tessa CorrickB-52H Stratofortresses from the 2nd Bomb Wing line up on the runway at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 14, 2020. The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions and has been the backbone of U.S. strategic bomber forces for more than 60 years.
B-52H Stratofortresses from the 2nd Bomb Wing line up on the runway at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 14, 2020. The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions and has been the backbone of U.S. strategic bomber forces for more than 60 years. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.01.2023
China-US relations have cooled significantly in the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency thanks to his repeated pledges to “defend” Taiwan against “Chinese aggression,” and to the dramatic increase in US-Taiwanese quasi-diplomatic contacts. Beijing has warned that it will never allow “separatists” to split Taiwan off from the mainland.
China is making preparations to invade Taiwan, and this will lead to a shooting war involving the US, Air Force Mobility Command chief General Mike Minihan claims.
“SITUATION. I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025. We spent 2022 setting the foundation for victory. We will spend 2023 in crisp operational motion building on that foundation,” Minihan wrote in a leaked memo entitled “February 2023 Orders in Preparation for – The Next Fight.”
Multiple outlets citing military sources have confirmed the authenticity of the note, which is addressed to commanders and officers, and outlines an operational game plan for the forces under Minihan’s command and other members of the US military in the coming months.

“Drive readiness, integration and agility for ourselves and the Joint Force to deter, and if required, defeat China. This is the first of 8 monthly directives from me. You need to know I alone own the pen on these orders. My expectations are high, and these orders are not up for negotiation. Follow them. I will be tough, fair, and loving in my approach to secure victory,” Minihan continued, sounding like a character out of a Tom Clancy novel.

The commander ordered forces under his command to go outside their comfort zone in their approach to training, ordering everything short of death, serious injury and “Class A damage” to equipment to “attain higher readiness, integration, and agility.”
The memo also orders all Air Force Mobility Command commanders with weapons training to practice firing “a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most,” in the month of February, with officers urged to “aim for the head.” Minihan requires airmen to update their virtual Record of Emergency Data (vRED). The vRED is an Air Force document containing emergency contact information and beneficiary designations should an airman be killed in the line of duty.
A U.S. soldier walks past parked armoured vehicles and tanks of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and 1st Calvary Division, based out of Fort Hood, Texas, as they are unloaded at the port of Antwerp, Belgium, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. The U.S. military vehicles are on their way to Eastern Europe to take part in the Atlantic Resolve military exercises, in which American troops train together with NATO partners to help ensure stability in Europe. - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2023
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Minihan demands that “all commanders…acknowledge this order directly to me immediately,” and then “report all 2022 accomplishments preparing for the China fight” by the end of next month.
Projecting for March, the commander orders personnel to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared” (to fight and die, presumably), and orders KC-135 transport planes be ready to air deliver 100 “off the shelf-size and type” drones each. He also requests that units report progress on fulfilling the goals reviewed at last year’s AMC Fall Phoenix Rally at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
For April, Minihan orders units to report their integration and operation plans for Mobility Guardian 2023, a large-scale annual drill involving thousands of personnel set to take place July and August.
Minihan is the same commander who gave an eyebrow-raising manifesto-style, rabidly anti-China speech at the US Air and Space Forces Association’s Air Space & Cyber Conference in Maryland last September, where he controversially suggested that “when you kill your enemy, every part of your life is better, your food tastes better, your marriage is stronger.” He also boasted that “the pile of our nation’s enemy dead, the pile that is the biggest, is in front of the United States Air Force.”
One can’t argue with Minihan’s assessment. Millions of Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Yugoslavs, Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, and others have died in US Air Force bombing runs using firebombs, nuclear bombs, depleted uranium bombs, and cancer-causing chemical defoliants known as agent orange between World War II and the post-Cold War period. “This is who we are. We are lethal. Do not apologize for it!” the general urged.
Pro-China supporters step on a picture of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a protest outside the Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China, which quickly announced that it would conduct military maneuvers in retaliation for her presence. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.01.2023
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The leaking of the memo comes amid the escalating strain in China-US relations over Taiwan and the growing militarization of Asia by Washington and its allies. The State Department reiterated last month that China is now the “only competitor” with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological might to challenge US hegemony.
China has spent two years now criticizing President Biden over his provocative Taiwan policy, including repeated pledges to “defend” the island – which Beijing claims as its own, and serious violations of a 1982 agreement requiring Washington to reduce arms sales to Taipei.
Late last year, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced the tripling of the island’s compulsory military service for men from four months to one year amid the growing tensions.
Beijing has vowed to one day return Taiwan to the mainland’s jurisdiction under the "one country, two systems" principle, and indicated that the use of force would be a last resort to efforts by “Taiwan separatists” backed by foreign forces to declare independence. Taiwan’s politics is divided into two main blocs – the Pan-Green Coalition – which includes Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party – which rejects reunification with the mainland, and the Pan-Blue coalition, led by the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), which favors the normalization of ties with Beijing, with some factions even going so far as to support reintegration under the "one country, two systems" model.
Tsai’s party suffered a major defeat to the Kuomintang in local elections in November, and the latter hopes to capitalize on its gains in the 2024 presidential vote, where opinion polls suggest the two main parties are running neck and neck.
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