Senior intelligence officials, on May 10, said that China would like to take Taiwan peacefully. However, it would still prepare for military action in case the U.S. interferes.
As Reuters reported, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “It’s our view that they (the Chinese) are working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention.”
Haines and Lieutenant General Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, spoke about how China may change its approaches as it observes the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They also discussed how world powers should respond in this regard.
Nevertheless, Haines did not expect that China may be prompted to proceed with its intention with Taiwan because of the Ukraine conflict.
Lieutenant General Scott Berrier shared the same view with Haines. He said, “I believe the PRC (People’s Republic of China) would rather not do it by force. I think they would rather do this peacefully over time.”
He added that the Ukraine situation has left Beijing with “some very interesting lessons.” That includes the importance of leadership and small unit tactics and practical training with the right weapons systems and a robust non-commissioned officer force.
Berrier suggested that the U.S. should work with their allies in the Indo-Pacific and Taiwan’s leadership and “help them understand what this conflict has been, about what lessons they can learn and where they should be focusing their dollars on defense and their training.”
About Taiwan, Berrier said, “They have a largely conscript force. I don’t believe it is where it should be.”