An anti-submarine missile blasts off from a frigate during a military drill near Hualien in Taiwan in May 2019 [Tyrone Siu/Reuters]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. national security adviser warned China on Wednesday against any attempt to take Taiwan by force, saying amphibious landings were notoriously difficult and there was a lot of ambiguity about how the United States would respond.
Robert O’Brien told an event at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas that China was engaged in a massive naval buildup probably not seen since Germany’s attempt to compete with Britain’s Royal Navy prior to World War One.
“Part of that is to give them the ability to push us back out of the Western Pacific, and allow them to engage in an amphibious landing in Taiwan,” he said.
“The problem with that is that amphibious landings are notoriously difficult,” O’Brien added, pointing to the 100-mile (160-km) distance between China and Taiwan and the paucity of landing beaches on the island. “
It’s not an easy task, and there’s also a lot of ambiguity about what the United States would do in response to an attack by China on Taiwan,” he added, when asked what U.S. options would be if China moved to try to absorb Taiwan.
WNU Editor: I would have used more forceful language. And I would not have used the word “ambiguity”.