Top US spy warns China wants to gain military control of Taiwan

NEW DELHIUpdated: May 11, 2022, 04:00 PM IST
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Taiwan's fighter jets Photograph:(Reuters)

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US intelligence chiefs said on Tuesday that China prefers to take over neighbouring Taiwan without military action, but is working on achieving a position where its military could win even if the United States intervenes.

Avril Haines, Director of US National Intelligence, has said that China is "working hard" to eventually exert influence over Taiwan's military. 

Despite the United States' unwavering backing for the island nation, Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the potential threat is "severe" over the next ten years, CNN reported. She refused to discuss the likely timeline identified by the US intelligence community in public.

The current Russia-Ukraine situation, as well as how Chinese President Xi Jinping and China's governing Communist Party (CCP) perceive the lessons of Western support, could affect the timing, according to the National Intelligence Agency chief.

"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, as quoted by CNN.

According to US intelligence sources, Taiwan is anticipated to acquire some "valuable lessons" as the Ukraine war drags on for another three months, allowing the island nation to defend itself against a Chinese invasion.

"I think they are learning how important leadership is, how important small unit tactics are, how important a (non-commissioned) corps is, and really effective training with the right weapon system and what those systems with the right people would be able to do to thwart that," Lt. Gen. Berrier said, as quoted by CNN.