China is Reportedly Preparing Large Military Fleet to Invade Taiwan — Expert Predicts Invasion Could Conclude Within an Hour

Screenshot: NBC News

China has reportedly been making significant preparations for a full-scale invasion of Taiwan, according to The Telegraph.

This preparation includes not only military vessels but also an unusual incorporation of civilian ferries, hinting at a large-scale invasion strategy.

China carried out a two-day large-scale exercise involving 111 aircraft and 46 naval vessels around Taiwan, signaling a sharp escalation in tensions across the Taiwan Strait, according to VOA News.

It further vowed to intensify its measures until “complete reunification” is accomplished.

According to Taiwan’s National Defense Ministry, this marked one of the most provocative maneuvers in recent years, with 82 Chinese military aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, edging dangerously close to the territorial boundaries defined by Taiwan.

The exercises, described by Chinese state media as a “punishment” for Taiwan’s newly inaugurated president, Lai Ching-te, come amid growing concerns over increased military posturing by Beijing.

Channel News Asia reported:

China, which claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, carried out the military drills on Thursday and Friday, calling them “punishment” after Lai’s inauguration speech on Monday which Beijing called another push for the island’s formal independence.

China has repeatedly lambasted Lai as a “separatist”. Lai rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims and says only Taiwan’s people can decide their future. He has repeatedly offered talks but has been rebuffed.

Speaking at a meeting of his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the southern city of Tainan, Lai called on China to “share the heavy responsibility of regional stability with Taiwan”, according to comments provided by his party.

Just days after China concluded significant military drills around Taiwan, a U.S. congressional delegation led by Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, arrived on the island.

“We are moving forward on those weapons systems,” Rep. Michael McCaul said at a news conference in Taipei. “I’d like to see them faster, but they are forthcoming.”

“President Lai and I have always had a very sobering and yet very direct conversation about the threat that this island faces from its neighbor to the north,” McCaul added.

Earlier this week, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, issued a stark caution to the United States, urging it to “seriously abide by the one-China principle” and avoid facilitating visits by congressional members to Taiwan. Wang explicitly stated that ignoring such directives would lead to “consequences,” according to Sky News.

Now, The Telegraph is reporting that China is reportedly preparing an “armada” of ferries and civilian vessels for a potential invasion of Taiwan.

Telegraph reported:

China is preparing an armada of ferries and civilian vessels to invade Taiwan as Beijing steps up its pressure campaign against the island nation.

While the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) lacks the numbers of amphibious landing craft needed to stage the sort of invasion seen during the D-Day landings, it could bridge the gap with civilian vessels, including dozens of gigantic roll-on, roll-off ferries that can each carry hundreds of armoured vehicles.

“Amphibious landings under fire are among the most difficult of military manoeuvres,” said Ray Powell, the director of SeaLight, a Stanford University project focused on grey zone activities in the South China Sea.

Civilian ferries “would normally be poor choices for such a mission” but could be used to transport troops en masse across the Taiwan strait after its coastal defences are destroyed, or to overwhelm the island’s military “with sheer mass,” he said.

Read more here.

On May 26, 2024, the U.S. Navy’s formidable 100,000-ton aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, assigned to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, has made a significant transit through the South China Sea for “routine operations” as Chinese military activities in the area began to subside.

“The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the South China Sea, May 26, 2024. Theodore Roosevelt, flagship of Carrier Strike Group Nine, is underway conducting routine operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region,”  said an official statement.

NBC News’ Ken Dilanian discussed with a geopolitics expert who suggested that a real invasion might conclude before the U.S. has an opportunity to react.


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