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US Secretary of State warns China is capable of attacking Taiwan by 2027


China plans to modernize its military by 2027. But is there also a risk of an attack on Taiwan? US Secretary of State Blinken believes this is possible.

China plans to modernize its military by 2027.

But is there also a risk of an attack on Taiwan?

US Secretary of State Blinken believes this is possible.

Munich/Washington - Xi Jinping leaves no doubt about his goals: China's head of state and party leader wants to "reunite" Taiwan with the People's Republic, if necessary by force.

CIA chief William Burns warned in February that "President Xi's ambitions in relation to Taiwan should not be underestimated".

According to Burns, China could have the military capabilities to attack Taiwan as early as 2027.

A grim forecast now shared by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"I agree with the assessment, yes," Blinken told a Senate committee on Wednesday.

While Russia is currently posing an "acute threat", China is presenting the USA with "long-term challenges", according to Blinken.

It is therefore important to support the government in Taipei with arms deliveries.

China regards the democratically governed Taiwan as a renegade province and repeatedly threatens to conquer the island state militarily.

Recently Beijing had toned down its rhetoric towards Taiwan;

Xi recently stressed that "the peaceful development of cross-strait relations must be actively promoted."

However, experts like Helena Legarda from the China think tank Merics warn against overestimating these mild tones from Beijing.

"A peaceful 'reunification' is becoming increasingly unlikely," Legarda told

IPPEN.MEDIA's Münchner Merkur


Although China does not want a military escalation either, it is deliberately keeping this step "as a last option".

China and Taiwan: That's what the conflict is about

China and Taiwan: That's what the conflict is about

Taiwan invasion schedule?

China plans to modernize its military by 2027

Of course, there is no official timetable for an invasion of Taiwan.

By 2027, however, China wants to largely modernize its People's Liberation Army, which will then celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding.

To this end, Beijing recently increased military spending by 7.2 percent to the equivalent of 211 billion euros.

China's military must work "on conducting military operations, improving combat readiness and enhancing military capabilities" by 2027, China's recently-defunct Prime Minister Li Keqiang said in early March.

According to experts, however, this does not mean that China really wants to give the order to attack Taiwan in 2027.

CIA boss Burns did not want his assessment to be understood that way either: Xi Jinping “has not decided to invade Taiwan in 2027 or any other year”, but is pursuing this goal with “seriousness” and “ambition”.

It is unclear whether the Chinese army would be militarily capable of taking such a step four years from now.

Experts at the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) in Washington, for example, believe that a large-scale invasion of Taiwan is unlikely in the near future.

According to a scenario released last year by CSIS analysts, China would have a high probability of losing an attack on Taiwan in 2026, and would suffer heavy casualties along the way, provided the US and Japan intervened on Taiwan's side.

This is currently considered secure.

Protection against China attack: US supports Taiwan with weapons

In the eyes of many experts, other attack scenarios, such as a blockade of Taiwan or cyber attacks on the island, are more likely than a large-scale invasion of Taiwan.

A salami tactic would also be possible, i.e. an attack on one or more of the small islands that belong to Taiwan and are not far from mainland China.

The possible calculus behind this: If China attacks Kinmen Island first, for example, the US or Japan would not yet get involved in the conflict - the tiny island would not be worth risking a war with Beijing.

China might then feel emboldened to attack more islands and eventually capture the main island of Taiwan.

The US does not maintain official diplomatic relations with the government in Taipei, but supports Taiwan with arms deliveries.

In addition, US President Joe Biden has repeatedly indicated that his country would provide military support to Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

On Thursday, a senior US military official underscored his country's determination to stand by Taiwan.

"Anyone contemplating aggression against the United States is making a very grave mistake," US Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said, referring to China and Taiwan.

But he doesn't see an "imminent threat," Kendall said.

"I hope it never comes to that."

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-03-23

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