China has finalized a clandestine plan to invade Taiwan in 2020 by launching missile attacks, blocking the nation’s air and sea space, and carrying out amphibious landings, Washington-based think tank Project 2049 Institute research fellow Ian Easton said.
Easton, a former student at National Chengchi University, made the “revelation” in his new book, The Chinese Invasion Threat, released on Tuesday.
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been two different nations since 1949, and most analysts believe that as long as Taiwan does not declare de jure independence, the “status quo” across the Strait would be maintained, Easton said.
However, conflict could still arise no matter what Taiwan or the US does to prevent it given the unstable situation in the Taiwan Strait, just like a levee that has been under enormous pressure and ultimately breaks, he said, adding that Washington should focus on formulating new thinking that would accentuate that Taiwan is a sovereign and free nation.
The US’ arms sales to Taiwan was the biggest factor helping Taiwan to be involved in international politics, but it is unwise for Taiwan and the US to continue increasing arms sales in bilateral relations, Easton said.
US military officials holding a two-star rank or above should make regular visits to Taiwan so that Washington could make useful assessments in the event of a crisis, he said, adding that the two sides should conduct bilateral port-of-call stops, hold joint military drills and engage in defense industry exchanges to streamline efforts in providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief, and in counterterrorism and cyberwarfare.
It would be difficult for the US to maintain a military edge over China in the long term, unless it includes Taiwan in its strategic planning, Easton said, adding that it would likewise be impossible for Taiwan to ensure its security without maintaining the US’ support.
Taiwan’s counterattack capabilities pose a threat to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), but it should expand its arsenal of long-range and shoulder-launched missiles, drones, fighter jets and cannons, and deploy weapons with lower lethality in areas closest to China, he said.
Easton also highlighted the need for Taiwan to understand the complexity of PLA tactics for launching an assault in its outlying Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang islands and for it to boost its abilities to engage in electronic warfare.
The US and China are engaged in a long and tense strategic race in the Asia-Pacific region, in which the US would quickly lose its advantage over China if Beijing’s growing prominence in the region is not curbed, Easton said.
Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) yesterday said the office had no comment on Easton’s assertions that China would invade in 2020, nor does it have any comments on the reliability of his sources.
The Ministry of National Defense has been closely monitoring movements of the Chinese military, Lin said.
“The public can rest assured that the nation’s safety is guaranteed” he said.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ma Wen-jun (馬文君) said the threat of the PLA “liberating” Taiwan by force is ever-present, but added that Beijing’s setting of a time frame for annexing the nation through an armed assault could signal that China’s agenda has changed.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) raised doubts over the time frame Easton asserted, saying that he did not think it is very precise.
China might be ready militarily to invade Taiwan in 2020, but that would not necessarily mean that it would also be “politically ready,” Lo said.
China also needs to assess its chances of launching a successful invasion and the consequences of an attack, which are reasons that there could be variables to a possible invasion, he said.
PAPERS, PLEASE: A digital certificate or a printout would return one of three results: green for ‘pass,’ red for ‘not passed’ or yellow for ‘to be determined,’ the CECC said Starting today, people can download a Digital COVID-19 Certificate, with the government now requiring people at night clubs, karaoke bars and other businesses in “eight major special establishment categories” to be fully vaccinated and present a vaccination certificate. The eight categories include dance venues, massage parlors, hostess bars and saunas. Customers and service personnel at the venues have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, as they can neither avoid contact with people nor strictly observe distancing guidelines, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. As such, both groups are required to be fully vaccinated, meaning that they must have had at least a
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
ORDER OF 66 JETS: Delivering the F-16s faster and enabling Taiwan to develop its fleet into one of the biggest in Asia would be based on ‘risk assessment,’ one official said The US is looking for ways to accelerate delivery of Taiwan’s next generation of newly built F-16 jets, US officials said, bolstering the Taiwanese air force’s ability to respond to what Taipei and Washington see as increasing intimidation by the Chinese military. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they have not yet come up with a solution on how to speed up delivery of Block 70 F-16s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp and equipped with new capabilities. The aircraft are slated to be delivered by the end of 2026. Taipei has privately expressed its wish for a faster delivery
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they