China's property sector, a driving force behind the world's second-largest economy, is plunging into a deepening crisis. Major players in this sector are defaulting on payments to lenders, burdened by massive debt. Add the millions of unemployed Chinese youth whose lives are on hold, Gallagher said China is facing an "unprecedented democratic challenge."
There's a growing risk that China's ruling communist party, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, could adopt a more aggressive stance soon, Gallagher told the Epoch Times.
"Perhaps, he expedites his timeline for taking Taiwan by force, partly to divert attention from internal economic problems, and partly because there might not be a better opportunity in the next five years for him," Gallagher said.
"This is why I believe we're in the most critical phase for a potential kinetic conflict with China over Taiwan."
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has never renounced its intention to claim Taiwan, whether by force or other means. Tensions have escalated over the past few years, with Chinese warplanes frequently buzzing the Taiwan Strait.
This escalated even further after a significant number of warplanes were detected on August 19 following the Taiwanese vice president's visit to the United States. (Related: Taiwan to buy 400 American anti-ship missiles as China continues to threaten the island nation.)
Gallagher emphasized that letting Taiwan fall under Beijing's control would be far more disastrous for the global economy than any short-term economic turmoil that the CCP might endure.
Taiwan's role as a "semiconductor superpower" that underpins sensitive U.S. military technology is pivotal. "If the CCP were to seize Taiwan, they could effectively hold the world hostage economically," Gallagher noted.
The geographic significance of Taiwan cannot be ignored. It serves as a cornerstone within a network of U.S. allies and partners, playing a crucial role in safeguarding international norms of navigation freedom across the Indo-Pacific.
These norms are upheld by the U.S.-led security alliance rooted in democratic values.
A successful invasion of Taiwan would empower Beijing to amplify its economic coercion.
Given limited U.S. assistance, Japan and the Philippines, with their proximity to Taiwan, would become more susceptible to the regime's threats, Gallagher noted. He stressed the importance of maintaining economic pressure on China and reinforcing a military deterrent. He expressed concerns that the U.S. is "ill-prepared" for a potential conflict.
The lawmaker highlighted the need to urgently replenish weapon stockpiles, which have reached "dangerously low" levels due to the continuous military aid being provided by the U.S. to Ukraine. This situation could hamper the defense of Taiwan should a conflict arise.
He also emphasized the necessity of preventing Xi from believing that a successful invasion of Taiwan is plausible. "We must go to great lengths to ensure that Xi Jinping never wakes up thinking he can actually pull off a Taiwan invasion," Gallagher said.
In the event China moves against Taiwan, the war would cause a colossal $3 trillion toll on the global economy – nearly equal to Britain's annual output, a report published by the Atlantic Council and Rhodium Group noted.
The U.S. military believes that an invasion of Taiwan would prove to be extremely difficult for the Chinese military. It would likely invite intervention from other militaries, strain the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and create political and military risks for the Chinese leader and the ruling CCP.
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Watch this video as an American-Chinese dissident warns that social and economic unrest is pushing China to invade Taiwan.
This video is from the Worldview Report channel on Brighteon.com.