Could China invade Taiwan in early 2021?

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China threat: Taiwan aims US missiles at Beijing after imminent invasion plot exposed

MILITARY tensions between China and US escalated further today, after a strong ally of President Xi warned that Beijing would invade US-backed Taiwan “early next year”.

By OLI SMITH
PUBLISHED: 12:10, Sat, Jul 18, 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19, Sat, Jul 18, 2020

China will invade Taiwan early next year, according to a leading hard-liner in Beijing who is strongly tied to senior figures in the Chinese Communist Party. Li Su, the president of the Modern Think-Tank Forum, told ITV News that China “doesn’t care” what Taiwan thinks about a Chinese invasion. Earlier this week, Taiwan conducted military drills preparing for a Chinese invasion in the territory’s biggest ever annual live-fire exercise.

Taiwan aimed its US-made tanks and missiles at Beijing during the five-day drill, which tests how Taiwan’s armed forces would repel an invasion from its neighbour.

The simulation involved fighter jets, warships and ground troops fighting back an enemy attempt to land on a beach in the central city of Taichung in an operation involving 8,000 soldiers.

The annual drills simulating a Chinese invasion have taken place every year for the past 36 years.

However, this year the drills come as China has stepped up its military and navy activity around the island. 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1311201/China-World-War-3-WW3-US-Taiwan-military-drills-invasion-Beijing-latest-news

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“If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will … take all necessary steps to resolutely smash any separatist plots or actions,” Li said.

By REUTERS   MAY 29, 2020 07:27

BEIJING – China will attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, one of the country’s most senior generals said on Friday, a rhetorical escalation between China and the democratically ruled island Beijing claims as its own.

Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of the Anti-Secession Law, Li Zuocheng, chief of the Joint Staff Department and member of the Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force.

The 2005 law gives the country the legal basis for military action against Taiwan if it secedes or seems about to.

“If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to resolutely smash any separatist plots or actions,” Li said.

“We do not promise to abandon the use of force, and reserve the option to take all necessary measures, to stabilize and control the situation in the Taiwan Strait,” he added.

Li is one of China’s few senior officers with combat experience, having taken part in China’s ill-fated invasion of Vietnam in 1979.

https://www.jpost.com/International/Attack-on-Taiwan-an-option-to-stop-independence-top-Chinese-general-says-629662

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Time may be ripe for China to invade Taiwan

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https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/chinas-worrying-military-exercises-near-taiwan/

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https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2020/04/09/2003734256

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Time may be ripe for China to invade Taiwan

Pandemic has left a US security vacuum around the self-governing island China has oft-vowed to ‘reincorporate’ with the mainland

By BERTIL LINTNER
APRIL 28, 2020

Has the Covid-19 pandemic created the strategic conditions for a US-China clash over Taiwan?

China has recently provocatively deployed fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers near the self-governing island Beijing considers a renegade province that must be reincorporated to the mainland.

On April 23, Taipei announced that China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier and five accompanying warships sailed through the channel between Taiwan and the Philippines in an overt show of force.  

Tit for tat, US warships have sailed twice this month through the narrow Taiwan Strait between the island and mainland, including in recent days the USS Barry guided missile destroyer.

The US Seventh Fleet’s spokesman, Lieutenant Anthony Junco, said the deployment was a “routine” transit and that it’s presence in the waterway demonstrated America’s “commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to news reports.  

Those deployments and pronouncements have no doubt bid to dispel notions that a strategic vacuum has opened in the South China Sea and near the Taiwan Strait as the US grapples with a Covid-19 outbreak that has taken nearly 60,000 American lives.

They also come amid heightened US-China tensions, seen in American opposition to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, support for a pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, unresolved trade disputes, and now with each side blaming the other for starting the pandemic.

The self-governing island remains a crucial link in the string of military partners that the US has assembled around China’s eastern flank, along with Japan, South Korea and, until recently, the Philippines. As such, the US has provided Taiwan with vital military material over the years for its self-defense.

Still, analysts say it’s not clear if Taiwan would be able to withstand a Chinese invasion attempt. In the past, Taiwan’s defenses were more modern and sophisticated than China’s. But a military build-up in China means that the strategic balance may have tilted in Beijing’s favor.

China watchers believe that Chinese president Xi Jinping has set an undeclared deadline of this year for a final decision on whether to invade Taiwan, but opinions vary as to whether that is truly his intent.

In a January 2019 speech, Xi said that Taiwan would have to abide by the one country-two system formula now governing Hong Kong. He said he wanted a peaceful “reunification” but also reserved the right to use force.

Some analysts argue that Xi could seek to stir nationalistic fires and launch a foreign military adventure against Taiwan to distract from the country’s sudden economic problems and attendant rising unemployment.

Meanwhile, 40,000 American troops and 20,000 National Guard members are currently bogged down in the Covid-19 fight at home.


https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/time-may-be-ripe-for-china-to-invade-taiwan/

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