A confidential memo from a US four-star general tells of his belief that World War 3 will break out between the US and China some time in 2025.
The memo, which was not intended for publication was written by General Mike Minihan, the head of the US Air Mobility Command.
Discussing Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s plans to reclaim Taiwan, Minihan wrote:“I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”
READ MORE: US Navy can't match China's fleet if WW3 breaks out over Taiwan, expert predicts
Elections in both Taiwan and the US could provide the opportunity to strike while both new administrations were still finding their feet, he said.
The leaked memo is just one of many predictions that war would break out over the South China Sea.
Taiwan’s defence minister and the director general of its security ministry have both predicted Chinese invasions – in 2025 and 2023 respectively.
Other predictions of Chinese attacks centre on significant anniversaries from the history of the ruling Communist Party.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, didn’t specify a date but spoke of China’s intention to repossess Taiwan was moving “on a much faster timeline”.
Blake Herzinger, a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute thinktank, was dismissive of General Mike Minihan’s predictions.
China holds 'live fire' military exercise near Taiwan amid rising tensions with US
“The most charitable interpretation of Minihan’s comments was that he was aiming them at his own organisation to spark change,” he told the Guardian.
“The part that doesn’t make sense is releasing a memo with this sort of inflammatory language, unclassified, basically guaranteeing it would leak.
“I cannot imagine it was something the [Biden] administration was happy to see.”
China has already responded to the Minihan memo by warning the US against “inflaming tensions” over Taiwan.
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Sam Tangredi, a specialist in Future Warfare Studies at the US Naval War College, said recently that if war were to break out in the South China Sea, America would lose.
It’s simply a matter of numbers, he said.
The US fleet currently has less than 300 ships, and the Pentagon has plans to increase its strength to 350 by 2045.
But China already has at least 340 vessels, with a rapid expansion plan expected to take that figure to around 400 within the next two years.
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