A US Air Force general has urged US officials to be prepared for a war against China starting in 2025, according to a document cited by the international press.
In the memo, sent Friday to US troops, four-star General Mike Minihan, who heads the Air Mobility Command and previously served as deputy chief of the Indo-Pacific Command, wrote that his “instinct” tells him that a war against China “is imminent” and asked for readiness to shoot “at the target”.
The general believed that the main goal of the US should be to deter and, “if necessary, defeat” China. “I hope I’m wrong, but my gut tells me we’re going to war in 2025,” he noted.
Minihan said China will watch the presidential election in Taiwan in January 2024, as it may be a reason for escalation of military aggression in the region.
Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory, not a sovereign political entity, and has threatened to use force to take control of the island.
Last October, Chinese leader Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and created the war council.
“Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election gives Xi a reason to go forward,” the US general wrote. “Xi’s team, motivation and opportunity are all aligned for 2025,” he summarized.
The general described the United States’ goal to prepare and create a “Joint Force Maneuver Group that is fortified, ready, integrated and flexible” and “ready to fight and win within the first island chain.”
As head of the Air Mobility Command, Minihan has almost 50,000 soldiers and 500 fighter planes.
The letter is addressed to all Air Mobility Command commanders and other operational commanders of the US Air Force.
The general also ordered all personnel to update emergency records and contacts and to “review personal matters.”
Relations between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated rapidly in recent years due to a trade and technology war, disputes over human rights, the status of Hong Kong and Taiwan or the sovereignty of the South China Sea.
The United States is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be the island’s main ally in the event of a war against China.
Last August, a visit to Taipei by former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sparked strong protests from the Chinese government, which saw the trip as a provocation and launched military exercises around the island on an unprecedented scale.