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China has no chance of victory: security chief

China stands no chance of winning in an attempted invasion of Taiwan, National Security Bureau Director-General Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said yesterday.

Chen made the remarks during a question-and-answer session at the legislature in Taipei after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Guei-min (李貴敏) asked him about US Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gilday’s comment on Wednesday that China could attack Taiwan as soon as this year or next year.

“A military invasion of Taiwan will lead to international sanctions and diplomatic isolation, [and Chinese President Xi Jinping, 習近平] would be to blame for sinking any hopes of a great ‘Chinese revival,’” Chen told a news conference.

National Security Bureau Director-General Chen Ming-tong speaks at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Both sides of the Taiwan Strait should respect each other and develop their own countries, he added.

Many scenarios have been put forward regarding China’s “readiness” to invade Taiwan, Chen told lawmakers.

The more recent theories suggesting an invasion date of as early as next year to 2025 might be based on China’s attempts to force Taiwan to the negotiation table by threatening war, he said, without specifying what the negotiations could involve.

This could be carried out through a show of military force, for example by blockading Taiwan, which would be tantamount to war, Chen said.

The nation’s security apparatus has drafted plans to respond to such a scenario, he added.

Due to the ever-changing nature of warfare, it is difficult to predict exactly when a Chinese invasion could take place, Chen said.

The bureau takes note of all suggested timelines and is always on the lookout for any signs of a possible invasion, he added.

KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) cited Ministry of Economic Affairs data showing that in the event of a blockade, Taiwan would only have 146 days of oil, 10 days of liquefied natural gas and 39 days of coal in its reserves.

“If we do not have power, it would not matter if we have Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電),” Chiang said.

Chen said he was not at liberty to respond to Chiang’s remarks.

Asked by reporters about Xi’s remarks during the Chinese Communist Party National Congress on Sunday that Beijing would not give up on the use of force to occupy Taiwan, Chen said Xi’s words were “cliche.”

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