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Four-star US general warns of war with China in 2025

WASHINGTON: In a note, a four-star US Air Force general declared that his gut told him US will battle China in the next two years, sentiments that Pentagon officials said were inconsistent with American military assessments.

“I pray I am incorrect,” Air Mobility Command Commander General Mike Minihan wrote to the command’s nearly 110,000 personnel. “My intuition says I’ll fight in 2025.” The letter was dated February 1 but was delivered on Friday.

The general’s views do not reflect those of the Pentagon, but they do reflect worry at the highest levels of the US military about a hypothetical Chinese attempt to establish authority over Taiwan, which China claims as a province. Both the United States and Taiwan will conduct presidential elections in 2024, which could provide an opportunity for China to intervene militarily, according to Minihan.

“These remarks do not reflect the department’s perspective on China,” US defense official said.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned earlier this month that increased Chinese military activity near the Taiwan Strait did not portend a Chinese invasion of the island.

In recent years, China has increased diplomatic, military, and economic pressure on the self-governing island to accept Beijing’s control. Taiwan’s government has stated that it wishes for peace but will defend itself if attacked.

Minihan’s memo, which was first published by NBC News, was examined by Reuters.
Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder stated in a statement in response to a request for comment that military competition with China is a major challenge.

“Our priority remains to engage with allies and partners to maintain a peaceful, free, and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

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