The four scenarios for how China might invade Taiwan range from a drawn-out siege to a 48-hour blitz that would be “so rapid the West has little time to react.”

The invasion would be finished in two days, which is how long it estimates it would take the West to respond, in the most ominous scenario. This would involve a massive land, sea, and air attack.

On Thursday, China started intimidating live-fire drills in the Taiwan Strait. Source: Alamy

Fears of an invasion have increased since China ringed Taiwan with vast amounts of military hardware while engaging in frightening war games.

Invasion drills were conducted by Chinese forces 12 miles offshore.

They are intended as a show of might to the US, but they also aim to weaken Taiwan’s defences and gauge Western determination, according to observers.

Beijing’s strategists are thought to be primarily concerned with whether and how soon US-led allies would rush to aid Taiwan.

Plans for missile strikes and land grabs that stop short of a complete invasion are two of the four hypothetical situations that are being discussed.

Taiwanese are on high alert to repel an invasion by the world’s biggest army

After promising to defend the island, they would put pressure on Taiwan and test Joe Biden’s willingness to go to war.

According to diplomatic sources who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph, if China does decide to annex Taiwan, it may try to do it in “a lightning-fast 48-hour onslaught” that would leave the West unable to react.

The critical window of opportunity to take action has allegedly been identified as a result of Russia’s failure to seize Kyiv and overthrow Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration.

According to the article, Beijing kept a careful eye on the situation in Ukraine and took notice of the fact that it took the Western leaders two days to respond to President Vladimir Putin’s onslaught on February 24.

According to diplomatic sources, President Xi doesn’t want to give Taiwan the same opportunity that Ukraine may have received “substantial” Western support during this period.

Beijing has increased military exercises close to the island as concerns about an impending invasion grow.

Recent days have seen a spike in tensions between the two countries as China has continued to flex its military might by shooting missiles in ominous drills and sending jets into Taiwan’s airspace.

According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, Beijing has practically ringed the island, which it views as a breakaway province, with 68 planes and 13 warships.

Ten warships and more than 100 warplanes have been involved in live-fire military drills recently in the vicinity of Taiwan.

China also sent a disturbing message to Taiwan by releasing video of mock field hospitals, implying that it is geared up for large-scale casualties.

Depending on how the West responds, the four scenarios might play out sequentially or simultaneously, according to experts.

The goal is to prevent war with the US by coercing Taiwan’s leaders into accepting Beijing’s sovereignty.

BLOCKADE

The first scenario begins similarly to the current drills with an ever-tightening squeeze on Taiwan.

If Beijing continued military drills for a longer period of time, the island might suffer severe operational, financial, and economic setbacks.

A successful sea and air blockade would stop crucial exports and prevent the US and Japan from providing assistance.

Even though there would be a global uproar, a stronger reaction is seen to be unlikely.

Chinese soldiers might prepare themselves in the best possible locations for attacks on Taiwan while using exercises as cover.

On Thursday, China began its largest-ever military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan as a show of force that crossed crucial international maritime channels.

After China threatened “retribution” in response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Polosi’s travel to the island this week—the first Speaker to visit in 25 years—Taiwan has been on high alert.

According to Chinese official media, the war scenario drills started at noon (0400 GMT) on Thursday and involved “live-firing.”

There have been reports of tiny missiles shooting into the sky near Pingtan, followed by white smoke plumes and loud booms.

ISLAND GRAB

The handful of tiny islands in the Fujian Province have long been considered a part of Beijing’s jurisdiction.

Some are located fewer than six miles from the Chinese mainland, such as the Matsu Islands to the north of Taiwan and the Kinmen series of islands to the east of Xiamen city in China.

China could easily take control of all or parts of the islands, which are home to 20,000 people, in order to see how the West would react.

Since these islands are considered a part of Taiwan under the US-Taiwan Relations Act, Washington might feel compelled to step in.

However, strategists believe that Biden may not want to risk a full-scale conflict for such little islands.

And any reaction short of military help would give Xi the confidence to act more boldly, similar to how Putin did in 2014 when he annexed Crimea.

AIR BLITZ

As it continues to show off its military prowess, China has already launched hundreds of aircraft into Taiwan’s airspace.

According to the defence ministry in Taipei, Communist forces on Thursday sent the fighter jets rushing across the “median line” that runs down the Taiwan Strait.

And in a terrifying demonstration of might, they launched a salvo of ballistic missiles over the island.

According to observers, Beijing may decide to launch limited punitive airstrikes and missile attacks against Taiwan’s airfields, radar sites, and coastline defences.

Major population centres are said to be avoided, at least initially, in an effort to persuade Taiwan to enter negotiations without igniting Western retaliation.

ALL-OUT OFFENSIVE

Experts warned that China could conduct a huge attack on Taiwan that could be even more destructive than Russia’s strike on Ukraine.

China would try to position troops at key locations across the 70-mile Taiwan Strait in the event of a massive invasion.

In the event that cyberwarfare was used and Taiwan’s communications were compromised, panic would spread throughout the country.

The DF-17 and other hypersonic weapons might be used to strike “moving targets at sea,” according to this allegation.

Military analysts worry that advanced drone swarms, as many as a million soldiers, warships, and bombers may all be thrown into battle.

The Chinese submarines and surface force at sea would aim to annihilate Taiwan’s navy as well as any fast-attack boats that might try to stop the advancing troop carriers or plant explosives in key landing areas.

Additionally, the Chinese fleet would serve as a shield to the north and east, shutting off any prospective US or Japanese reinforcements.

The objective would be to quickly overpower Taiwan’s defenses and break the resistance spirit of the populace.

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