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The US Warns China Over Taiwan Invasion

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 08 October 2020

FILE PHOTO: A Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) F-16V fighter jet lands on a highway used as an emergency runway during the Han Kuang military exercise simulating the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) invading the island, in Changhua, Taiwan May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

US National Security Adviser warns China against taking Taiwan by force.

Security, Political // BLUF: The US National Security Adviser has warned China on Wednesday against taking Taiwan by force.

Robert O'Brien had commented at the University of Nevada that China is currently engaged in a massive naval buildup.

O'Brien also commented that there was a lot of ambiguity on how the US would respond to an amphibious invasion by China.

(See Point 1 Below for Further Information)

The Daily Quick-Look for 08 October 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.

1. UNITED STATES, CHINA, TAIWAN - Security, Political: U.S. warns China against Taiwan attack, stresses U.S. 'ambiguity'

FYSA: The U.S. national security adviser warned China on Wednesday against any attempt to take Taiwan by force, saying amphibious landings were notoriously difficult and there was a lot of ambiguity about how the United States would respond. Robert O’Brien told an event at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas that China was engaged in a massive naval buildup probably not seen since Germany’s attempt to compete with Britain’s Royal Navy prior to World War One. “Part of that is to give them the ability to push us back out of the Western Pacific, and allow them to engage in an amphibious landing in Taiwan,” he said. “The problem with that is that amphibious landings are notoriously difficult,” O’Brien added, pointing to the 100-mile (160-km) distance between China and Taiwan and the paucity of landing beaches on the island. “It’s not an easy task, and there’s also a lot of ambiguity about what the United States would do in response to an attack by China on Taiwan,” he added, when asked what U.S. options would be if China moved to try to absorb Taiwan. O’Brien was referring to a long-standing U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity” on the question of whether it would intervene to protect Taiwan, which China considers its province and has vowed to bring under its control, by force if necessary. The United States is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, but it has not made clear whether it would intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack, something that would likely lead to a much broader conflict with Beijing. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

FYSA: All U.S. troops in Afghanistan should be “home by Christmas,” President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, just hours after his national security adviser said Washington would reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 2,500 by early next year. A landmark deal between the United States and the Taliban in February said foreign forces would leave Afghanistan by May 2021 in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees from the Taliban, which agreed to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and a power-sharing formula with the Afghan government. Trump and other officials have said the United States will go down to between 4,000 and 5,000 troops in Afghanistan around November. Beyond that, officials have said that a reduction will depend on conditions in Afghanistan. On Twitter, Trump said: “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!” It was unclear whether Trump was giving an order or verbalizing a long-held aspiration. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

3. COOK ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND - Security (Travel): Cook Islands PM hopes for NZ travel bubble within weeks

FYSA: The Cook Islands could remove quarantine restrictions for people travelling from New Zealand as soon as next week. Prime Minister Mark Brown said cabinet would meet on Saturday to discuss changing the restrictions. Currently, only Cook Islands residents and permit holders are allowed into the country, and they have to undergo two weeks' quarantine. Mr Brown said with Auckland now joining the rest of New Zealand at alert level one things were looking promising from his perspective. "We are reconsidering our position here," he said. "We'll be able to make a decision on when we can resume quarantine-free travel by Friday our time (Saturday NZT)." But that doesn't mean a resumption of tourism just yet. Talks were well underway for a travel bubble between the two countries in July, but the recent outbreak of coronavirus in Auckland burst that.(RNZ. See link in heading for further reading)

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