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China prepares for possible military invasion of Taiwan

Beijing: The presence of the People’s Liberation Army is increasing in China’s southeast coast as it prepares for a possible military invasion of Taiwan, according to the defense observers cited by the South China Morning Post.

Media reports indicate that China has accelerated deployment of cutting-edge missiles and other heavy-duty weaponry on its southeast coast in preparation for a possible invasion of Taiwan.

According to an article in the South China Morning Post, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may have deployed the DF-17, a highly advanced hypersonic missile with a maximum range of 2,500 km, to the region. “The new missile has a longer range and is able to hit targets more accurately,” a source inside China was quoted as telling the newspaper.

Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his country’s elite Marine Corps to focus on “preparing for war”, triggering intense speculation in global media about Xi’s intentions at a time when China has ramped up tensions with both India and Taiwan and just weeks before the United States elects its new president.

Beijing considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province, one that will be eventually ‘united’ with the country. But many Taiwanese consider themselves to be a separate nation, even though Taiwan has not declared official independence.

In terms of active combat troops, Taiwan is no match for China. Compared to 165,000 Taiwanese military personnel, China’s active PLA force is 2 million-strong, making it the largest army in the world.

China in recent years has also increased military drills around Taiwan, with almost 40 Chinese warplanes crossing the median line between the mainland and Taiwan on September 18-19 — one of several sorties the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen called a “threat of force.”

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