US Commander Warns of Invasion, Expresses Confidence

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US Commander Warns of Invasion, Expresses Confidence

A Rehearsal for Invasion?

The recent military exercises conducted by China around Taiwan have raised concerns about a potential invasion. US Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral Samuel Paparo, in an interview with Nikkei Asia, stated that the drills "looked like a rehearsal" for such an event.

Paparo's comments come just days after Lai Ching-te was sworn in as Taiwan's President. China responded with two-day-long military drills, surrounding Taiwan in what it called "punishment" for so-called "separatist acts."

As the top military official in the Indo-Pacific Command, Paparo is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of US joint forces in the region. He emphasized that the US is committed to helping Taiwan increase its self-defense strategies and capabilities, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act.

The US defense forces have closely monitored and analyzed the Chinese drills. "We watched it. We took note. We learned from it, and they helped us prepare for the future," Paparo stated.

He expressed confidence that the US and its allies would "prevail in a conflict" if shooting were to break out in the region. However, he also warned that China continues to "build capability at an alarming rate."

The report also mentioned that Japan will establish a joint operations command within the Self-Defense Forces by 2025, facilitating closer coordination between the US and Japan's military.

Regarding the rising tensions in the South China Sea, Paparo stated that the US is monitoring the situation and stands ready to assist its treaty ally, the Philippines. He also highlighted the efforts of the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany in enhancing deterrence in the region.