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Former US admiral clarifies 'China attacking Taiwan within six years' statement

Missile bombardments and naval blockades are all possible

File photo of US Admiral Philip Davidson.

File photo of US Admiral Philip Davidson. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an exclusive interview with Japan’s Kyodo News on Monday (Dec. 20), Philipp Davidson, a four-star admiral and former commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, reiterated his concern that China may try to take Taiwan by force within the next six years.

In March, Davidson said China is the biggest strategic threat to the U.S. and is accelerating its efforts to replace the country as a global superpower. He also predicted Beijing may attack Taiwan within the next six years, according to a UDN report.

This prediction caused some debate in Washington at the time. Davidson stepped down from his post as Indo-Pacific Commander the following month.

Davidson told Kyodo that when he said that China would use force within the next six years, it not only included the possibility of a full-scale amphibious assault on the island of Taiwan but also could entail the People's Liberation Army (PLA) using a missile bombardment or a naval blockade of the country.

“I believe the next six years is going to be a very worrying time for Taiwan, the U.S., Japan, and all of East Asia,” he says. “I still believe that now.”

He said the PLA’s training and war plans for conflict scenarios in the Taiwan Strait all aim at stopping the U.S. from intervening and coming to Taiwan’s aid. Davidson said the U.S. and its allies must let China know that it will pay a huge price if it continues its aggression, including not only in the Taiwan Strait but also in the South China and East China Seas, including around the Diaoyutai Islands.