Warning of ‘new Cold War’ with China as Xi secretly prepares ‘biggest military build-up in HISTORY’
FOREIGN Secretary James Cleverly will reportedly warn of a new Cold War with China as he urges Beijing to come clean about its “biggest military build-up in peacetime”.
In a set-piece address to be delivered at Mansion House in London today, he will urge Beijing to be open about its intent behind its military expansion, the Telegraph reported.
However, Mr Cleverly will also argue Britain must continue to engage with China and it would be a betrayal of British interests to isolate the nation.
He will say: “At this moment, China is carrying out the biggest military build-up in peacetime history.
“I urge China to be equally open about the doctrine and intent behind its military expansion, because transparency is surely in everyone’s interests and secrecy can only increase the risk of tragic miscalculation.”
He will add: “It would be clear and easy – perhaps even satisfying – for me to declare a new Cold War and say that our goal is to isolate China.”
“Clear, easy, satisfying – and wrong. Because it would be a betrayal of our national interest and a wilful misunderstanding of the modern world.”
China is expanding its nuclear missile silos and the Pentagon believes at current pace it will probably have a stockpile of 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035.
The speech comes amid growing tensions with Beijing over fears it will launch a bid to take over Taiwan, just as Russia has tried to do in Ukraine.
Earlier this month, experts raised fears China had been cutting Taiwan’s internet cables as part of a “dry run” in attempts to terrorise the country ahead of a possible invasion.
Beijing has been accused of deploying its “dark fleet” of spy ships disguised as cargo vessels or fishing boats to carry out the attacks.
The self-governing island is regarded by China as being part of its territory and has vowed to re-unite it with the mainland by force if necessary.
Recent months have seen an upsurge in Chinese military activity around Taiwan with warplanes and ships simulating sealing it off.
But beneath the radar and away from its bellicose threats and sabre rattling, China has been preparing the ground for the isolation and ultimate capture of Taiwan.
Residents of the Taiwanese islands of Matsu, which are just 10 miles from the mainland, recently found that the internet cables connecting to Taiwan proper had been cut – again.
A Chinese fishing boat and a cargo ship seen lurking in the area were fingered as suspects for what would have been the 27th such incident.
Rick Fisher, an expert on China’s military from the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the cutting internet cables is a key part of any invasion strategy.
“In order to achieve an effective blockade of Taiwan and to maximize psychological pressure to force an early surrender, the severing of undersea communication cables would be a very high priority for the early stages of a Chinese invasion.
“Any pre-war cutting of undersea communication cables to Taiwan’s offshore islands would constitute practice for the People’s Liberation Army.
“There is considerable military value for China in cutting undersea communication cables from Taiwan’s offshore islands near the coast of China, as they host valuable Taiwanese intelligence gathering sensors.”
An investigation in 2021 found evidence that China’s state-owned fishing fleet maybe a front for intelligence operations.