Maj. Gen. Richard Coffman, director of the US Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team, saw the remarks as a clear admission war was “inevitable”.
He said: “The top uniformed soldier in China, chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, stated that war with the United States is inevitable.
“That is the first time China has made that statement publicly.
“If you are the head uniformed general in the Chinese military and you say ‘it’s inevitable,’ what does that mean?
“I think that means that you are willing to strike first because, if it’s inevitable, why would you wait for your adversary to strike first?”
Maj. Ge. Coffman also argued for more military spending, suggesting any war with China would be fought on land as well as sea.