Tue, Oct 10, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Author rejects report of 2020 invasion by China

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer

Project 2049 Institute researcher Ian Easton has rejected media reports that quoted his book, The Chinese Invasion Threat, as saying that China will invade Taiwan in 2020.

The reports from Taiwan and the US did not accurately reflect the content of the book, the author said on Wednesday in an interview with Voice of America.

Asked whether China is likely to invade Taiwan and risk a US military intervention, Easton said that Chinese military internal assessments show that it is “deeply pessimistic” about its chances of prevailing in such a scenario.

“The Chinese military has conducted detailed analyses of Taiwan’s defensive capabilities and the tactical capabilities of US military units that are deployed in Asia. It has concluded that it is probably completely incapable of invading Taiwan in the present circumstances,” he said.

“This is their long-term objective, but the current situation is that they cannot do it,” Easton said.

The book’s source for the Chinese military plan to invade Taiwan in 2020 was derived from a Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense white paper from October 2013, Easton said.

“The point of the passage is that during those years, [then-president] Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was conducting cross-strait policy in a very careful and conservative way, but China was still preparing to attack Taiwan at any moment. This is still true of today,” he said.

His book aims to urge the US government to deal with China’s threat to Taiwanese and US national security through an appeal to the US public, he said, adding that the US could do more to bolster Taiwan’s defenses.

Although the US government appears to be preoccupied by the developments in North Korea and international terrorism, China’s threat to Taiwan is its most dangerous international issue, he said.

Insufficient arms sales to and military exchanges with Taiwan are significant contributors to the erosion of the military balance between Taiwan and China, he said.

More effective cooperation between Taiwan, the US and Japan is needed to guarantee regional peace, and counter China’s growing military capabilities, which will become significant in five years, he said.

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