Making China Pay if It Attacks Taiwan

Members of Taiwan's armed forces during drills to show combat readiness. (Photo by Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

How far are the United States and its allies willing to go to deter China from attacking Taiwan and sparking war?

U.S. lawmakers and security experts are raising the specter of serious sanctions against China if it tries to seize the self-governing, democratic island of 23 million people. But economic reprisals would take significant preparation and coordination to pull off, and time may be limited. War with China over Taiwan could come in the next two years, a U.S. general and a top Republican lawmaker have said in recent days.

Rep. Michael McCaul, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Sunday on Fox News that the odds of conflict with China over Taiwan are “very high.” He believes Gen. Mike Minihan, head of the U.S. Air Mobility Command, was correct in writing in a new memo that war over Taiwan will happen in 2025—sooner than other estimates

McCaul’s comments underscore how alarm is growing on Capitol Hill. 

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