The Pentagon's new estimate that China could have up to 1,000 nuclear warheads by 2030 is just part of the Asian nation's goals for world dominance, and the country could start making its move by March, just after the Beijing Olympics wrap up, former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland told Newsmax on Thursday.
"They're very open about their goal," McFarland, who served in the Trump administration, told "National Report." "They want to replace the United States as the dominant world power within a decade. They want to do it militarily economically, technologically, politically."
The Pentagon increased its estimate Wednesday on China's arsenal, saying in its annual report to Congress that Beijing could have 700 warheads by 2027 and 1,000 by 2030.
The Pentagon said last year, China would have 400 warheads by the end of the decade, but it increased its estimate based on the country's aims to modernize, diversify, and expand its nuclear forces.
China has also started the construction of at least three intercontinental ballistic missile silo fields, the report added.
McFarland pointed out a hypersonic missile that was tested in recent weeks had been built with the use of American technology that the Obama administration decided was "too provocative" to use.
"So what do the Chinese do?" she said. "They took the technology. They built the weapon. Now they're building nuclear weapons. Their goal is to first get America and the West out of the South China Sea, the world's most important maritime trade route, and then from there to take over the world."
And, she said, Beijing sees an opening now after President Joe Biden's showing in Europe and will have a chance after the Olympics.
"They have just watched President Biden come back from Europe, looking weak, confused, and in clear cognitive decline, and they see an opening right now, and they know this is the moment to strike," McFarland said. "Washington's dysfunctional. The American economy is sputtering. The president is not going to get any kind of agenda. He's in fact, all lame duck. So now is when they're going to make their move."
It is also telling China had no representation at the global climate summit meetings this past weekend, either in Rome or Glasgow, Scotland, McFarland said.
For one, China and President Xi Jinping did not want to answer questions on the country still building coal-fired plants, but there is "something even more telling in" their nonparticipation, she contended.
"The Chinese think that the last couple of centuries have been just a blip on the radar screen," she said. "They think that they, for 5,000 years, have been the most powerful country in the world. They don't have to go to international meetings. They don't have to treat other countries as equals.
"They plan like all the emperors in the past, and China, they stay in China. They stay in Beijing and world leaders come to them and kowtow and bring tribute."
But this moment should be a wake-up call for the Biden administration, which is "still worried about pronouns when they should be worried about hypersonic weapons with nuclear warheads on them," McFarland said.
However, she added, China does not have the will to launch a military attack on Taiwan and probably will not, because it does not need to go that far.
"They have just shown by the weapons they have developed and by the military exercises, that if it did come to a military engagement with Taiwan, they win," McFarland said. "They win very quickly before anybody responds, and the Chinese leadership has been whispering to Taiwan, 'Look, America's abandoned their own allies in Afghanistan. They left Americans behind. They're not coming to your aid. You better cut the deal with us while you can.'"
But the move against Taiwan will be economic, potentially a blockade or a massive cyberattack, she predicted.
"They want Taiwan to kind of fall in their lap without having to do much about it," she said. "They want Taiwan for national pride purposes. Taiwan, they claim, has always been Chinese territory."
The major reason China wants Taiwan, though, is because if it seizes the country it will control the entire South China Sea, she added.
The United States will suffer greatly if China takes over Taiwan, she added, because the country controls the world semiconductor market.
"Ninety percent of American manufacturing depends on semiconductors made in Taiwan," said McFarland. "If we think we have problems now, imagine what it would be like if China controls that market."
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