U.S. four-star general warns of war with China in 2025

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“I hope I’m wrong,” wrote General Mike Minihan, who heads the Air Mobility Command, to the leadership of its approximately 110,000 members. “My gut tells me I will fight in 2025.”

The letter was dated February 1 but was sent on Friday.

The general’s views do not represent the Pentagon but show concern at the highest levels of the US military about a possible attempt by China to exercise control over Taiwan, which China claims as a territory. Both the United States and Taiwan will hold presidential elections in 2024, potentially creating an opportunity for China to take military action, Minihan wrote.

“These comments are not representative of the department’s view of China,” a US defense official said.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier this month he seriously doubted that increased Chinese military activities near the Taiwan Strait were a sign of an imminent invasion of the island by Beijing.

China has increased its diplomatic, military and economic pressure in recent years on the self-ruled island to accept Beijing’s rule. Taiwan’s government says it wants peace but will defend itself if attacked.

Reuters has reviewed a copy of Minihan’s memo, which was first reported by NBC News.

In response to a request for comment, Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said in a statement that military competition with China is a central challenge.

“Our focus remains on working together with allies and partners to preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Ted Hesson in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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