Breaking News: Chair Of House China Select Committee States That President Xi Is “Deadly Serious” About The Invasion Of Taiwan
Mike Gallagher, the chairman of the House China Select Committee, spoke to Fox News Digital on Tuesday. He said that Chinese President Xi Jinping is “deadly serious” about invading Taiwan.
Gallagher mentioned that the increase in the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) budget makes Xi’s intentions “abundantly clear.”
On Sunday, China announced a 7.2% increase in its defense budget for the upcoming year for the PLA. The PLA is the military wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has about 2 million members.
China’s military budget sits at the equivalent of $230 billion U.S. dollars. It is up by nearly $16 billion from its budget in 2022 and has doubled since 2013. The spending increase comes as the United States warns of a potential Chinese invasion of Taiwan soon. U.S. officials also warned China against sending aid to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Xi Jinping has made it clear that he has aggressive designs on Taiwan, by force if necessary,” Gallagher told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “As Xi yet again expands the People’s Liberation Army’s budget, it should be abundantly clear, especially in the aftermath of Ukraine, that he is deadly serious.”
Gallagher added, “America and our allies need to put hard power in place to protect Taiwan and deter an invasion before it is too late, including by providing Indo-Pacific Command with the resources it needs, moving quickly to clear the foreign military sales backlog to Taiwan, and ensuring that the CCP’s coercive economic tactics do not undermine our ability to protect American interests at home and abroad.”
The news of an expansion of the PLA budget came from a speech by Premier Li Keqiang, who also addressed the matter of Taiwan.
Li said the government had followed the party’s “overall policy for the new era on resolving the Taiwan question and resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference.”
Gallagher had warned during a previous interview with Fox that a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan could “potentially bring us into kinetic confrontation with China.”
“I believe time is not on our side and that we have entered the window of maximum danger,” Gallagher said.
CIA Director William Burns said last month that Xi has ordered his military to be ready to invade Taiwan by the year 2027.
We know as a matter of intelligence [Xi] has instructed the People’s Liberation Army to be ready by 2027 to conduct a successful invasion,” Burns said on Feb. 3.
“Now, that does not mean that he’s decided to conduct an invasion in 2027, or any other year, but it’s a reminder of the seriousness of his focus and his ambition.”
Tensions rose over Taiwan after Nancy Pelosi visited the island in August 2022.
The Chinese military began conducting live-fire drills for weeks after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
The White House said that communication channels between the United States and the Chinese military have been closed since Pelosi’s visit.
Gallagher and a few other lawmakers recently traveled to Taiwan. He said they believe sending congressional delegations to Taiwan could “improve the chances of peace” in the Taiwan Strait. He also said that Taiwanese officials welcome their visits despite the problems it creates with China.