Days after China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted large-scale joint amphibious landing drills on the Chinese coast, President Trump's national security advisor has issued provocative statements Friday while speaking at an Aspen Institute event.
Robert C. O'Brien, currently Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, urged Taiwan to pursue strategies for deterring a Chinese amphibious landing.
"Taiwan needs to start looking at some asymmetric and anti-access area denial strategies" ultimately to deter a land invasion when the time comes, O'Brien stated.
The comments from such a high level Trump official reveal that the White House sees Beijing as fast approaching a hostile and war footing concerning the Taiwan issue.
"China doesn't have the military strength to take over Taiwan now, but perhaps could 5 years from now," he added in the provocative comments which certainly won't go unnoticed in Beijing.
And further on China, responding to Stephen Hadley, former George W. Bush national security advisor, national security advisor O'Brien said, "I think what the president did with the tariffs is he finally woke up the Chinese..." and argued that the Trump administration has succeeded at "establishing alternate supply lines for rare earths" - though without giving details of precisely how or to what extent this has actually been achieved.
NSA Robert O'Brien is speaking to @AspenSecurity live, virtually from the WH now. Ticking off achievements, says the US is not going to stay in treaties where one side is not abiding by them, like INF... or int'l orgs that are corrupt or China-influence, like WHO pic.twitter.com/tcyuiLBnmx— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) October 16, 2020
The subject of Taiwan in the course of the remote Aspen Institute discussion began with the following comments of O'Brien:
"They're bullying Taiwan, they've taken over Hong Kong lock, stock, and barrel... they've asserted rights to the South China Sea like it's Lake Tahoe or something."
"I don't think the Chinese probably at this point want or likely are prepared for an amphibious landing"... they have massive missiles, but if they strike "They'd lose everything they're hope to gain and become a massive international pariah."
The comments are very timely also considering China at the start of this week kicked off massive amphibious landing drills which are meant to send a "message" to Taiwan over what state-run Global Times calls "rampant secessionist moves".
It also comes as Washington ramps up military weapons sales to the island, something which has come under repeat Chinese condemnation over violation of the 'One China' policy status quo.