China warns US that its troops ‘could strike any time’ as WW3 fears mount
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China and the USA are edging ever closer to a major military clash over Taiwan.
A stark warning in The Global Times, a Chinese newspaper that’s seen as the voice of the China’s leadership, warns that an attack on Taiwan could come “at any time,” and that US troops would be the first target.
While an uneasy peace has prevailed for the past 70 years, the Global Times says invasion is becoming an "increasingly realistic option".
Since 1949, Taiwan has described itself as an independent nation but the Chinese government maintains that the island – around half the size of Scotland – is a breakaway province.
The 1,000-word Global Times editorial described President Tsai Ing-wen’s government as “separatists” and says “the mainland has the right to carry out military strikes against them at any time”.
It threatens that if the US intervenes it would face “unbearable” losses and warns: "We must make Washington understand that it is playing a dangerous game that is destined to draw fire onto itself and it is risking the lives of young US soldiers.”
The uncompromising editorial said that US special forces stationed in Taiwan amounted to an "invasion" of mainland China.
And "once a war breaks out in the Taiwan Straits, those US military personnel will be the first to be eliminated," it added.
WW3 fears as China vows to 'use nuclear bombs' in ongoing row with Japan
Striking a slightly less warlike note, President Xi Jinping said in a speech earlier today that "Reunification through a peaceful manner is the most in line with the overall interest of the Chinese nation”. Including, he said, the Taiwanese – who he described as “compatriots”.
But, he stressed, "No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled."
Any invasion of the heavily-fortified island, dubbed “Z-Day” by analysts, would be a military operation on a par with the 1944 Normandy Landings.
And China has been warned that an attempted occupation would lead to its own “Vietnam,” with some 500,000 highly-motivated guerrilla fighters conducting a campaign of sabotage and assassination for years.
Ian Easton author of ‘The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia’, says that China’s increasingly aggressive posturing over Taiwan could easily lead to disaster.
“If he is sane, Xi Jinping will think hard before ordering an attack on Taiwan and realise how quickly events could spin out of his control,” he said.
- World War 3
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