Xi’s Taiwan invasion strategy torn apart: ‘Not fought a real war’

Expert debunks threat of Chinese invasion of Taiwan

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Taiwan launched fresh military exercises this week to prepare for a Chinese invasion of the self-governing island. Beijing, which views Taiwan as a Chinese province it will one day retake, conducted weeks of daily military drills near its neighbour throughout August. But a military insider has torn apart Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strategy to seize control of Taiwan.

Beijing would face a major struggle if it invaded as it has “not fought a real war” for decades, according to Dr John Callahan, a former US diplomat and State Department official.

Speaking to Express.co.uk he said: “It is hard to say how strong they really are for several reasons.

“One is they haven’t fought a real war since the Seventies and Vietnam kicked their butts in that war.”

He added: “They tried to invade North Vietnam after the Vietnamese had finished with the US, and they made short work of the Chinese.

“And that is kind of crazy because we were operating across half of the globe.

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“We won most of the battles. We weren’t militarily defeated, but they managed to send us off.

“And then China – which is right next door with a giant army – the Vietnamese saw them off too. So that says something.”

Dr Callahan, a military adviser at New England College, has been following the escalating tensions around Taiwan on the edge of the South China Sea.

Beijing ramped up its aggression towards Taiwan in early August as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.

China held live-fire military drills off Taiwan and frequently crossed the median line – the de facto maritime border with its neighbour that runs through the Taiwan Strait.

Since then, tensions have risen further as China has increasingly used drones to antagonise its neighbour, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen claimed on Tuesday.

She said: “In addition to frequent intrusions by China’s aircraft and ships, China also conducted cognitive warfare, using false information to create disturbance in the minds of people, as well as the use of drones.”

On Monday Taiwan’s defence ministry included a Chinese military drone in its daily report on Chinese incursions for the first time.

In recent weeks other Chinese drones have been detected and publicly reported by the Japanese government.

Last week Taiwan also shot down a Chinese drone flying over one of its outlying islands for the first time.

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The shooting followed Ms Tsai’s order for the Taiwanese forces to take “strong countermeasures” against China’s actions.

Amid the current threat from China, Dr Callahan explained how Beijing’s military doctrine still needs further development for Xi to succeed in his aims.

He said: “You go back to the Korean War, and all they knew how to do was launch human wave attacks.

“And I am sure that their doctrine has improved since then.

“But the problem is that until you use the doctrine it is very ephemeral.

“In other words, they may be awesome, but they won’t be awesome at the outset of a conflict.

“Because they’re going to have to learn how to actually implement all the ideas that they have come up with or stolen from the US.”

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