Donald Trump says what was Nancy Pelosi 'doing in Taiwan'
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Beijing has announced it will halt military drills near Taiwan that have been taking place for the last week. However, further “training and war preparation” will continue, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command spokesperson said on Wednesday. Beijing views Taiwan as part of China and aims to reunify the island nation with the Chinese mainland. It reaffirmed this objective on Wednesday in a white paper in which it said it would not rule out the “use of force” to seize Taiwan.
Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, has warned that China is plotting an invasion following a series of military drills off its coasts in recent days.
The live-fire exercises, which have involved fighter jets and warships, were largely interpreted as a protest against US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island last week.
Amid the flurry of military activity, China’s “incredible capacity for destruction” has been laid bare by a US expert.
Dr John Callahan is a former diplomat and State Department spokesperson who now works as a military adviser and a dean at New England College in the US.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he told of China’s wide-ranging military capabilities, noting: “We cannot be dismissive of China because they have incredible capacity for destruction.”
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China vastly outmatches Taiwan on the battlefield in terms of troop numbers and military hardware.
The PLA’s military might, which has been on display over the past week, includes more than 3,200 aircraft.
Taiwan possesses just 500 aircraft, and is also outnumbered on the seas, with only four submarines compared to China’s 59.
There have been calls for foreign powers including the UK to send arms to Taiwan to bolster its defences, as they have done with Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion.
However, Dr Callahan pointed out that while weapons may help Taiwan defend itself, arms are not the only factor in a potential conflict.
The military expert compared Ukraine with Taiwan, explaining how the island nation’s geography gives China the opportunity for a quicker takeover compared to Ukraine.
He said: “The difference between Taiwan and Ukraine is that the Ukrainians have space to trade for time, which they are doing.
“They were not pushed out of any of the locations in the last few weeks, like Severodonetsk or Luhansk.
“They pulled out. They weren’t pushed out. And they have an ability to trade space for time, because they are a big country and Russian logistics are terrible.
“Taiwan does not have that luxury. And so, part of this is that the West’s response would need to be very quick.
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“Even a fumbling bear could swallow up Taiwan, because it is small, before there was a chance to do much about it.”
Despite the immense military personnel China boasts, Dr Callahan suggested that the army’s quantity is not matched by quality.
He said: “You go back to the Korean War, and all they knew how to do was launch human wave attacks.
“And I’m 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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