> Beijing’s incursions are part of a series of dry runs in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan, John Mills, former director of cybersecurity policy, strategy, and international affairs at the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, told The Epoch Times.
> Mills projects that these exercises could culminate in a large-scale dry run in the next two years. These dry runs are necessary, Mills said, given the complexity of amphibious landing operations—as well as the fact that the Chinese military has never conducted a forced landing on a hostile power in a real-life situation before.
> Any amphibious assault on Taiwan may also involve swarms of Chinese civilian merchant vessels and fishing boats, he said.
> He believes an invasion could come in the next three years—much sooner than the six-year estimate given by U.S. Adm. Philip Davidson, head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), during a congressional hearing in early March.
> “If they haven’t done it in 10 years, I think Xi will probably have been removed from office. I think even six years is pushing it,” Mills said. He added that Xi could come under pressure to attack Taiwan to deflect attention away from internal problems, such as an economic crisis.
> U.S. Adm. John Aquilino, the nominee to replace Davidson as head of INDOPACOM, at his confirmation hearing in March declined to endorse Davidson’s six-year estimate, but said the threat of a Chinese invasion is “much closer to us than most think.”