The US intelligence community believes that China is actively attempting to build a military capable of taking over Taiwan — even in the face of US support for the island, top US intelligence officials told Congress Tuesday.
The threat to Taiwan between now and 2030 is “acute,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“It’s our view that (China is) working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,” Haines said, declining to publicly provide further details on the intelligence community’s timeline.
But, she and Defense Intelligence Agency head Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier cautioned, the US doesn’t yet know what lessons Chinese President Xi Jinping will take from Russia’s war in Ukraine and the western assistance that has flowed to Kyiv. How Xi and the Chinese Communist Party interpret the events of that crisis could impact its timeline and approach to Taiwan, the two officials said. Haines and Berrier also noted that the US believes that China would prefer to avoid a military conflict over Taiwan if possible.