WASHINGTON: A US congressional war game simulating a Chinese invasion of Taiwan showed the need to arm the island “to the teeth”, the chair of a committee on China said on Thursday (Apr 20), after the exercise indicated the US must boost production of long-range missiles and businesses must brace for economic fallout.
The House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, led by Republican Mike Gallagher, conducted the unusual tabletop exercise on Wednesday evening with Washington think tank the Center for a New American Security, the results showing US resupply of the island would be impossible after a conflict begins.
“We are well within the window of maximum danger for a Chinese Communist Party invasion of Taiwan, and yesterday’s war game stressed the need to take action to deter CCP aggression and arm Taiwan to the teeth before any crisis begins,” Gallagher said in a statement.
The US must clear a US$19 billion weapons backlog to Taiwan, conduct enhanced joint military training and reinforce the US military in the region, he said.
Anxiety about a possible conflict over Taiwan, the self-ruled island that China claims as its own, has become a rare bipartisan issue in Washington. US officials say Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered his military to be ready to invade the island by 2027, but acknowledge this does not mean China has decided to do so.
China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. The US is Taiwan’s most important arms supplier but the island has complained of delayed weapons deliveries.
Taiwan’s de facto embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the war game.
A person close to the committee outlined for Reuters the war game’s conclusions, which included high US losses if Washington did not shore up basing agreements with regional allies, rapid depletion of long-range missile stockpiles, and world markets in “absolute tatters”.
“The business community is not taking the threat of a Taiwan crisis seriously enough,” Gallagher said ahead of the game, warning such an attitude “verges on dereliction of fiduciary duty”.