China’s November war plot: Beijing could launch Taiwan invasion while US is ‘distracted’
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Taiwan is wary that China could launch a full-scale invasion of the country duiring a “window of opportunity” later this year. Experts fear that the period between the US presidential election in November and the inauguration in January is when China could take action against Taiwan. This comes as tensions between the two powers intensified after an onslaught of Chinese warplanes flying above Taiwan.
In recent months, Beijing has stepped up its military campaign around the island.
Beijing considers Taiwan as part of China and has never ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its control.
Over the past week, Chinese warplanes crossed the median line, the sensitive and narrow strait separating the two sides.
Chinese expert Dexter Roberts told DW that military conflict between the two sides is more likely than ever before.
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He said: “China is threatening verbally, through state media openly talking about war, and of course in reality with the PLA Air Force doing this onslaught on flights in the Taiwan strait.”
Taiwanese politician Enoch Wu said: “It’s certainly a Chinese Communist Party that is no longer biding its time.”
Mr Enoch recently launched a programme to teach people how to organise shelter in the event of a catastrophic invasion.
He added: “In the worst case scenario, we have this belief that defending Taiwan will take a whole of nation, whole of society approach, especially if you consider the fire power that the People’s Liberation Army has built up, whether that is in the number of missiles or the airstrike payload.”
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Euan Graham, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia, pinpointed the period between the presidential election and the inauguration for a potential invasion.
He suggested that this timeframe, when the US is “preoccupied,” could present “frame a window of opportunity” for China to take action against Taiwan.
Mr Graham said the Chinese attack may not be a “full across-the-beach invasion”.
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The expert suggested that the attack could also take the form of a cyber attack, blockade or assault on Taiwan.
He said: “You can’t dismiss it as bluff and bluster because they are serious that they want to reunify and they have built a world class military that is built essentially for that purpose.”
The Trump administration, one of the island’s biggest supporters, plans to sell billions of dollars in weapons, from missiles to surveillance drones, to shore up Taiwan’s defenses against an attack by Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy has become increasingly aggressive on several fronts, sparking military tensions with the US, India, and in the South China Sea.
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