The U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats on May 10 that China’s attack threat on Taiwan is “acute” between now and 2030.
Haines said, [quote] “It’s our view that they are working hard to effectively put themselves in a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan, over our intervention.” [end quote]
Chinese authorities are learning from Russia’s halted invasion of Ukraine, but they are still committed to seizing Taiwan.
According to Reuters, China prefers to take over Taiwan through a capitulation of the Taiwanese government, without military action. However, it is preparing militarily for a long-term invasion.
Intelligence agencies are assessing what lessons Beijing might be learning from the Russia-Ukraine war and how that would influence China’s timeline. Some factors in China’s calculations are Russia’s challenges in progressing against a much smaller rival since its invasion on February 24 and the advantages defenders appear to have in modern warfare.
Last year, Philip Davidson, a former commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, said that China could try to acquire Taiwan by the end of the decade. His successor, John Aquilino, stated that China could invade before 2030.
Earlier, CIA Director Bill Burns said that Chinese leaders are considering the lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war. However, he doubted that those lessons would undermine Xi’s desire to control neighboring Taiwan.
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Scott Berrier suggested that the U.S. work with Taiwan’s military and leadership and help them grasp what the Russia–Ukraine war has been about and learn from it. Besides, the U.S. can assist Taiwan in making decisions on where it should invest in defense and training.