Former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Monday warned that Chinese President Xi Jinping is “watching for American weakness” in response to a memo from Air Force General Mike Minihan last week predicting an all-out war between the U.S. and China by 2025.
General Minihan, who leads a 50,000-strong force, wrote, “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”
“Xi secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”
Pompeo addressed General Minihan’s remarks in an appearance on Fox News’ “Special Report,” saying, “I take General Minihan to be serious, in the sense of he’s clearly very concerned that we’re not doing enough to prepare to deter the Chinese Communist Party.”
“I think that’s what he was really getting at – it’s hard to put timelines on any of these things: he says 2025,” Pompeo added, Fox News reported. “But make no mistake about it, Xi Jinping is watching for American weakness. He’s watching for an absence of resolve. And if he sees opportunity, he will seize that very opportunity.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) further weighed in on the warning, saying, “I hope he’s wrong … I think he’s right, though, unfortunately. We have to be prepared for this. And it could happen … as long as Biden is in office — projecting weakness as he did with Afghanistan that led to Putin invading Ukraine — that the odds are very high we could see a conflict with China and Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific.”
Ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee Rep. Adam Smith, however, said that the likelihood of a war with China was “highly unlikely.” “We have a very dangerous situation in China, but I think generals need to be very cautious about saying, ‘We’re going to war. It’s inevitable,’” he said.