Concerns are building in both Taipei and in the US — the unofficial guarantor of the island’s security — that China could be moving closer to launching the attack which it has been threatening for 70 years.
“Militarily, the other side has been doing [its] homework for a couple of decades. The threat is real,” says Enoch Wu, a Taiwanese former special forces officer who is running for parliament in Saturday’s election. “The [People’s Liberation Army] will achieve a certain credible capability to give that option to Beijing and say, here is that button you can push.”
While US officials do not yet consider it likely that China would use military force, they say the prospect is becoming less remote.
In the past decade, the PLA has dramatically expanded its presence and capabilities, undermining the US military’s freedom to operate in Asian waters and airspace. This has been accompanied by more aggressive rhetoric from Beijing.
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