– The Washington Times – Wednesday, November 17, 2021

China‘s military now is capable of a full-scale invasion of Taiwan and has added new missiles and amphibious ships to the People’s Liberation Army for an attack on the island democracy, according to the latest annual report of a congressional China commission.

Additionally, the standoff between China and Taiwan has become unstable because the ability of the U.S. military to deter a Chinese attack is now in a period of “dangerous uncertainty,” the report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission concluded.

China, which insists Taiwan is part of its sovereign territory, also has rapidly increased the number of intermediate-range missiles targeting the self-governing island state from 30 to 200 over the past several years. New amphibious ships have been added to the Chinese navy and civilian vessels are being prepared to move troops across the 100-mile-waterway in a potential future invasion.

The panel noted that a People’s Liberation Army invasion would be a high-risk operation for Beijing, but it would include cyberattacks, missile strikes and a blockade, with an initial invasion force of some 25,000 troops.

“Given these developments, it has become less certain that U.S. conventional military forces alone will continue to deter China‘s leaders from initiating an attack on Taiwan,” the report said.

The growing danger of a war over Taiwan is among the key findings of the 551-page annual report, which also warns that China‘s rapid expansion of nuclear forces has increased the danger of a nuclear war.

Military pressure on the Taiwan government increased sharply and is increasing the potential for a crisis or conflict, the report’s authors warned.

The Chinese military set 2020 as a milestone for building forces to invade Taiwan and spent nearly two decades preparing for the operation.

“The PLA has already achieved the capabilities needed to conduct an air and naval blockade, cyberattacks, and missile strikes against Taiwan,” the report said. “PLA leaders now likely assess they have, or will soon have, the initial capability needed to conduct a high-risk invasion of Taiwan if ordered to do so by [China‘s] leaders.”