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China reinforces its Army to invade Taiwan in ten years

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The US does not believe that the Russian failure in Ukraine will deter China from taking the island

Alerts continue to sound about a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the ‘de facto’ democratic and independent island claimed by the authoritarian regime in Beijing.

Despite Russia’s international ostracism and its failure to quickly take Ukraine, a war many like to compare to Taiwan, the United States suspects that China is going ahead with its plans to occupy the island in the coming years.

The last to notify was the director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. “It’s our view that (China is) working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,” Haines warned this week before the Senate Armed Services Committee. In her opinion, the threat is “serious” between now and 2030.

What remains to be seen is the effect of the war in Ukraine on the intentions of China, for which reunification is almost a sacred mission and in recent times has intensified its military harassment of the island with frequent and massive air raids.

It’s hard to say how the lessons it’s drawing from the Russia-Ukraine crisis are affecting China’s timetable, Haines acknowledged.

For Bill Burns, director of the CIA, neither the international condemnation of Putin nor the bogging down of the invasion, which he surely envisioned as quick and easy as Crimea in 2014, have dissuaded Chinese President Xi Jinping from his dream of conquering Taiwan.

“I don’t for a minute think that this has eroded Xi’s determination over time to gain control over Taiwan,” Burns speculated.

Just a few days earlier, the head of the US Strategic Command, Admiral Charles Richard, had warned that China’s purpose is to “achieve the military capability to reunify Taiwan by 2027 if not sooner” and possibly use nuclear coercion to take advantage in the future.

More gun purchases

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Beijing recalled its commitment to “resolve the Taiwan question in the new era”, without giving details about the term it is considering but using the usual denomination to refer to the mandate of President Xi Jinping.

Everything indicates that the deadline will be extended for some time because Xi has maneuvered to perpetuate himself in power during the 20th Congress of the Communist Party, scheduled for this fall.

But the Russian offensive has scared Taiwan, whose defense minister already warned last year that Beijing will have the capacity to launch a “large-scale attack” from 2025.

Given this hypothesis, this island of 23 million inhabitants has increased its arms purchases from the US, its main ally, in order to offer a long resistance in what is expected to be an asymmetric war against the Chinese giant.

In the event of a conflict breaking out, Beijing would only need a lightning invasion that would disable Taiwan’s defensive capacity and allow it to control its territory in a short time.

The key would be to do it before the international community was mobilized, especially, the United States, which in 1979 committed itself with the Taiwan Relations Act to defend the island if it were attacked.

A scenario for which, without a doubt, China must be learning the lessons of Russia in Ukraine.

Image Credit: Getty

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