US-China specialists warn that a war would be a “bloody affair for both sides.”

YouTube NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! Defense experts told Fox News Digital that any confrontation between the U.S. and China would be expensive for both sides and settle depending on a few crucial factors rather than necessarily in America’s favor.

According to James Anderson, the acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during the Trump Administration, Taiwan would come out on top, followed by the South China Sea, the Senkaku Islands, and then the rest of the world. He also noted that the Sea of Japan could become a focal point for conflict with China.

In May, President Biden reaffirmed this position when he informed a reporter that Taiwan’s defense, including with force, was “the pledge we made.”
Former defense officials and specialists were interviewed by Fox News Digital.


President Biden meets with China's President Xi Jinping during a virtual summit from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Nov. 15, 2021. Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Beijing would have a substantial advantage because of its close proximity to China, much to how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gained speed once it narrowed its supply lines to concentrate primarily on the areas in the Donbas region just outside its western border.

Next week will mark the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Xi since the war in Ukraine.

The issue, according to Anderson, is that China can concentrate its military resources more as you go closer to it in the Indo-Pacific Theater. Ballistic missiles and the possibility that China has hypersonic weaponry in advance of us are particularly worrisome for the United States and its allies because they may allow China to strike aircraft carriers and other surface ships quickly and violently.

Although it has this edge, Dr. John Lee, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former senior national security advisor to Julie Bishop of Australia, warned the conflict would be “a very nasty affair for both sides.”

Members of the Chinese Navy stand on the deck of the guided-missile destroyer Suzhou of the escort taskforce at a military port on May 18, 2022 in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province of China.

According to Lee, the United States and its allies have been largely inactive over the past 20 years, which has allowed the People’s Liberation Army to dominate the air and sea in this theater. However, “they” are now taking seriously the development of hypersonic, long-range, and asymmetrical attack capabilities as well as a variety of non-military options, such as devastating economic and financial sanctions.

In conclusion, he said, “the United States and its allies have many strong and effective choices to make sure the military and strategic balance is in their favor.

This week, a Senate committee will meet to discuss a bipartisan Taiwan defense bill.

Additionally, Anderson praised the US military’s capability to intercept missiles. However, “saturation strikes,” which essentially try to cover a target with missiles and strain defending efforts, reduce the significance of that capacity.

In order to overcome the military gap with China, the U.S. has also concentrated on trying to reinforce Taiwan through the “porcupine policy,” which would see countries supply the island nation with a significant number of anti-tank and anti-air equipment.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (R) listens while inspecting reservists training at a military base in Taoyuan on March 12, 2022.

According to Brookings Institution, China has a larger army than the U.S., with 2.8 million soldiers, but a naval and air combat campaign would significantly curtail that advantage.

China currently dominates the Taiwan Strait in terms of air and sea power, but it is unable to safely deploy troops on Taiwan, according to Lee. “China will view the military option as a more attractive one if it achieves the capacity to do so.”


China’s goal will largely determine its coordination and deployment, according to Matt McInnis of the Institute for the Study of War: Any attempt to seize islands in the disputed waters and straits would probably choke point the Chinese forces, leaving little purpose for troop deployments.

According to McInnis, “Depending on your objectives and what they aim to achieve through naval and air forces, you would potentially have some use for Marines to hold certain smaller pieces of territory and some smaller islands.” He added that Beijing would only launch an invasion when it felt at least somewhat confident that American forces could not be sent to the area quickly enough.

While acknowledging that China has “the largest number of ships in the world today,”

Taiwan is staging military exercises to show its ability to resist Chinese pressure to accept Beijing's political control over the island.

Anderson pointed out that the U.S. still has the advantage in terms of quality, and the same is true of a “superior” U.S. Air Force. China has narrowed the gap in other military domains, but has not yet surpassed the U.S.

The United States can also rely on regional allies. In contrast, China has few allies and relies heavily on nations like Russia to “deflect” the economic pressure from the United States and its allies, according to McInnis.


There will undoubtedly be economic fronts of effort, and I’m confident China is considering in the long run how Russia and important energy suppliers like Iran may assist them in mitigating the effects of a confrontation with the United States on their economy. But I don’t believe we’re at a place in the relationships between nations—certainly including North Korea—where they would automatically supply operational support or lethal aid to China.

Lee thinks that since China announced its “broader aspirations” to “dominate East Asia” and gave away its cards, it has made the U.S. and its allies more confident in their ability to thwart China’s plans.

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