It is likely that China will invade Taiwan in the next decade, and Australia could become a prime target in the conflict that will follow.
This is according to Dr. Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), an expert on defense strategies and capabilities issues.
Dr Davis told the news.com.au podcast, I have news for youThese suggestions suggest that Chinese President Xi Jinping could make a move on Taiwan as early as 2026 or 2027.
“Certainly with the way that Chinese military modernization is done, they will be ready by 2026-2027,” Dr. Davis said.
“2027 is the centenary of the People’s Liberation Army. So 2027, in my opinion, is when you have the greatest period of danger.”
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Dr Davis said the conflict could be a protracted war, and could last for months or longer, and Australia would be the target of the attack.
“It is very likely that in any dispute between China and the United States over Taiwan, Australia will be attacked from the start,” Dr. Davis said.
“Chinese missiles will attack our bases in the far north. We will basically be the subject of an attack.”
The expert added that Australia is not equipped to defend against attacks from China.
“We don’t have an effective missile defense capability,” Dr. Davis said.
“This is something we need to think about as part of our ongoing defense strategy review which is how can we strengthen our forces in the north to make them more resilient?
How can we enable dispersal options so that our forces can be deployed throughout the region instead of concentrating on a few bases?
“How do we protect critical fuel energy and logistics?
“These are all things we need to think about in addition to things like ballistic missile defense”
Last month, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Australia’s position on Taiwan was “clear”.
“We don’t want to see any unilateral change to the status quo,” Albanese said.
“We will continue to work with partners to promote peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.”
Is there a way to persuade China not to invade Taiwan?
The best way, Dr. Davis said, is to strengthen deterrence against China over Taiwan.
This move will involve the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region, including Australia, to raise the potential cost of any military action to levels unacceptable to Beijing.
“It would require, for example, strengthening military support for Taiwan now so that the cost of conducting a cross-strait invasion would be too prohibitive,” said Dr. Davis.
The potential for losses for China is very high.
“This requires a real commitment to military supplies, military aid to Taiwan, in the same way, for example, that Western countries support Ukraine now, we will need to do this with Taiwan.”
Dr Davis said Australia would need an effective campaign of economic sanctions that would impose real economic costs on the Chinese economy.
“After all, what the Chinese Communist Party values most is its hold on power,” he said.
“So, if I can find a way to undermine that grip by making a significant impact through deterrence, they may be persuaded that taking over Taiwan really isn’t worth it.”
You can listen to the full interview with Dr. Malcolm Davis on the I Have News for You podcast
Originally Posted as What Does China’s Invasion of Taiwan Mean for Australia