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A Taiwan fighter jet drops flares during a 2019 military exercise simulating a Chinese invasion. Photo: Tyrone Siu/Reuters

The Biden administration has concluded that China "is flirting with the idea of seizing control of Taiwan as President Xi Jinping becomes more willing to take risks to boost his legacy," the Financial Times reports.                     

Why it matters: An invasion of Taiwan, the self-governed island claimed by Beijing, would force the U.S. to decide whether to go to war with China to defend an implicit ally.

  • The recent conclusion by the Biden administration is based on Chinese behavior during the past two months a senior U.S. official told FT.
  • After a show of force by Chinese bombers off Taiwan just after President Biden took office, the State Department said: "We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan."

Adm. John Aquilino, nominee to head U.S. forces in the Pacific, warned the Senate Armed Services Committee this week that the threat to Taiwan "is much closer to us than most think," CNN reported.

Adm. Philip Davidson, current head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, testified earlier this month that the Chinese military is building up offensive capability, making the threat to Taiwan "manifest during this decade — in fact, in the next six years."

Go deeper

Mar 26, 2021 - World

China flies at least 20 war planes in Taiwan airspace

A formation of H-6K bombers flying over Beijing in October 2019. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

At least 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan's air space on Friday, according to Taiwan's defense ministry.

Why it matters: It is the largest incursion by China's air force since Taiwan's defense ministry has announced almost daily Chinese military exercises into its air space, per Reuters.

Mar 25, 2021 - World

Biden rallies old alliances behind new mission: Challenging China

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Biden has made it his mission to reinvigorate America’s alliances and mobilize them for a new purpose: competition with China. 

The big picture: Biden views U.S.-China competition as the paramount foreign policy challenge of our time, and he considers America’s alliances to be its most significant advantage over Beijing.

Highlights from Biden's first press conference as president

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden fielded questions from reporters for more than an hour on Thursday in his first official press conference since he was inaugurated 64 days ago.

Driving the news: Biden announced at the start of the presser that he was doubling his goal for coronavirus vaccinations to 200 million doses in his first 100 days. At the current 7-day average of 2.5 million daily doses, the U.S. would hit that milestone just before Biden's 100th day on April 30.