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By Anna Edgerton (Bloomberg) A group of US lawmakers gathered around maps spread out on tables in a committee room on Capitol Hill Wednesday night, pretending to advise the president after a hypothetical Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
The members of the House’s new China committee spent more than two hours gaming out possible scenarios, working through the first month of imagined fighting. Representative Mike Gallagher, the Wisconsin Republican who leads the committee, said the war game demonstrated “disastrous economic consequences” for the global economy if China attempts to seize the self-governed island by force.
“We are well within the window of maximum danger for a Chinese Communist Party invasion of Taiwan, and yesterday’s war game stressed the need to take action to deter CCP aggression and arm Taiwan to the teeth before any crisis begins,” Gallagher said in a statement. “Deterring war is the only path to peace and stability.”
The special committee on the Chinese Communist Party is dedicated to focusing on military and economic threats posed to the US by the world’s second-largest economy. A more dispassionate war game by a Washington think tank concluded in January that a hypothetical Chinese invasion “quickly founders” but exacts high costs on Taiwan and the US Navy.
One of the main takeaways from the congressional committee’s exercise was the importance of deterrence, according to a person close to the committee who asked not to be named speaking about the closed event. The lawmakers concluded Taiwan needs to be supplied with whatever weapons it needs before any fighting breaks out, especially long-range missiles.
Another important conclusion was economic. In this war game, the person said, ship traffic in the region stops, supply chains crumble and global markets face almost unimaginable consequences.
Gallagher told his fellow committee members in an opening statement on Wednesday night that the “business community is not taking the threat of a Taiwan crisis seriously enough.” He warned that US companies that aren’t planning for Chinese aggression “verges on dereliction of fiduciary duty.”
By Anna Edgerton © 2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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