Great Britain

Australia could be 'collateral damage' in all-out war with China over Taiwan, says MP

US and China: Jim Molan reveals 'collateral damage' fear

Tensions over Taiwan have continued to increase as Beijing doubles down on its aggressive actions towards the island state. Recent months have seen a ratcheting up of militant rhetoric and continued incursions of Taiwan's airspace by Chinese fighter jets. Just last week, Beijing threatened Japan with a nuclear response and full-scale war if it interfered in Taiwan.

China's belligerent behaviour has many experts worried that a war over Taiwan is now inevitable.

However, a leading Australian critic of China fears that the US may back away from military confrontation and allow Beijing to reclaim its prize.

Liberal Senator Jim Dolan told Sky News Australia that the US has doubts about it ability to protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack, having lost most of its recent wargames over such a scenario.

Asked whether he was confident that there would be a full scale war in the Indo-Pacific led by China, Mr Molan replied: "It is possible because everyone is armed.

China

China (Image: Getty)

China

China (Image: Getty)

"It's likely and becoming more likely because so much is going on but it is not inevitable.

"My fear is that a war between China and the US may occur and we get caught in collateral damage or even more frightening the US - because it hasn't won a war game in the last couple of years over a Taiwan scenario - is that they don't engage and Taiwan falls.

"That is the big problem."

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China

China (Image: Getty)

The US military has suffered sobering defeats in recent simulated combat scenarios involving a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

The war games have seen Taiwan's airforce wiped out in minutes, US airbases across the Pacific coming under sustained attack and American warships and aircraft held at bay by China's vast missile arsenal.

David Ochmanek, who helps run war games for the Pentagon at the RAND Corporation, told NBC News: "Even when the blue (US) teams in our simulations and war games intervened in a determined way, they don't always succeed in defeating the invasion."

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China

China (Image: Getty)

Concerns are growing that China has gained a military edge over the US military in recent years, which may embolden it to launch an attack sooner rather than later.

In March, the outgoing head of the US military's Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson, warned senators that Beijing could try and size control of Taiwan by force by 2027.

He told the Senate Armed Services Committee: "We are accumulating risk that may embolden China to unilaterally change the status quo before our forces may be able to deliver an effective response."

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