Beijing Accelerating Timeline for Possible Invasion of Taiwan, Expert Warns
By Frank Fang
TAIPEI, Taiwan—The Chinese communist regime is accelerating its plans to invade Taiwan, an expert warns, as Beijing ratchets up military maneuvers against the island.
Twenty Chinese military aircraft—including four nuclear-capable H-6K bombers, 10 J-16 fighter jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and a KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft—entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on March 26, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. It was the largest incursion ever reported by the ministry.
Taiwan’s ADIZ, located adjacent to the island’s territorial airspace, is an area where incoming planes must identify themselves to the island’s air traffic controller.
The incursion caps off a significant increase in hostility by Beijing against Taiwan since 2020. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, re-elected last January, has taken a hard line against threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), while the island has deepened its cooperation with the United States—prompting the regime to escalate its warmongering towards the island.
The CCP sees Taiwan as a part of its territory and has threatened war to bring the island under its fold. The self-ruled island is in reality a de-facto independent country with its own democratically-elected government, military, constitution, and currency.
The Republic of China (ROC)—Taiwan’s official name—overthrew China’s Qing Dynasty emperor in 1911. After the ROC retreated to Taiwan upon being defeated by the CCP during the Chinese Civil War, the CCP established a communist state called the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, while Taiwan gradually transitioned to become a democracy. But to this day, the Chinese regime has refused to recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Last year, the Chinese air force flew about 380 sorties into Taiwan’s ADIZ, the highest number in a given year since 1996. So far this year, the Chinese military has been sending aircraft into the ADIZ on a near-daily basis.
The island’s coast guard on April 1 announced that Beijing has been flying unmanned drones near Taiwan’s Dongsha Island, located in the northern part of the South China Sea. The authority said it could not rule out that Beijing was using the drones to carry out reconnaissance.
Alongside military actions, the regime has sharpened its rhetoric towards the island. Earlier this year, a Chinese defense spokesperson threatened war against Taiwan if it declared independence.
On March 31, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of hawkish state-run media Global Times, wrote on his social media, that he would like to order able-bodied men to go blow up bunkers in Taiwan in the event of war.
An unnamed Chinese pilot, who flew one of the Chinese aircraft crossing into Taiwan’s ADIZ on March 29, said, “This is all ours” after being asked to leave the airspace by the pilot of a Taiwanese interceptor aircraft, according to local media, who obtained a recording of the pilot’s remark from the
Facebook page “Southwest Airspace of TW.”
Preparing to Invade
Beijing’s incursions are part of a series of dry runs in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan, John Mills, the former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told The Epoch Times.
Mills projects that these exercises could culminate in a large-scale dry run in the next two years. These dry runs are necessary, Mills said, given the complexity of amphibious landing operations—as well as how the Chinese military has never conducted a forced landing on a hostile power in a real-life situation before.
Any amphibious assault on Taiwan may also involve swarms of Chinese civilian merchant vessels and fishing boats, Mills said.
He believes that an invasion could come in the next three years—much earlier than the six-year estimate given by U.S. Adm. Philip Davidson, head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, during a congressional hearing in early March.
“If they haven’t done in 10 years, I think [Chinese leader] Xi [Jinping] will probably have been removed from office. I think even six years is pushing it,” Mills said. He added that Xi could come under pressure to attack Taiwan to deflect attention away from internal problems, such as an economic crisis.
Cathy He contributed to this report.
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