By William Lowther / July 16, 2016/ Taipei Times
China’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises might be improving Beijing’s ability to launch an invasion of Taiwan, a US expert said.
Reports from Honolulu said that a “big focus” of the naval maneuvers now under way is on how to land attack troops from amphibious ships and via helicopter.
“The American strategy of mil-mil [military-to-military] engagement with China is not only failing, it is a threat to US security interests,” said Richard Fisher, Asian military affairs expert at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
“China is not going to change its path of aggression in the South China Sea or on the Taiwan Strait,” Fisher said.
“The insights it will gain from RIMPAC will only serve to improve its ability to impose imperialist control over the South China Sea and to better undertake a future military invasion of Taiwan,” he added.
Fisher said that this year’s RIMPAC exercise offered “a very disturbing” illustration of US patience-against-hope versus clear-cut Chinese aggression.
He said that during this year’s RIMPAC exercises, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could gain insights from the conduct of advanced amphibious assault operations by the US Navy’s latest and most modern landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship — the USS America.
“The PLA will likely be most grateful as they also intend to build their own LHD of similar size to the USS America,” Fisher said. Read more…