China represents the world’s number one challenge of the 21st century. That warning comes from the head of America’s Office of Naval Intelligence as the Communist nation builds its military might across the Pacific.

The tiny island of Taiwan finds itself in Beijing’s crosshairs with continued signs of a possible Chinese invasion. In August, the Chinese military sent a loud wakeup call to the United States and allies in the region with a massive, unprecedented drill simulating a blockade of Taiwan.

“It crossed multi thresholds, and that hasn’t happened in decades,” Dr. Alexander Huang of Tamkang University told CBN News from his office in Taiwan’s capital city. China sent 176 warplanes, 41 navy ships, and dozens of attack and reconnaissance drones to choke off Taiwan’s waters and airspace for 72 hours.


Eleven ballistic missiles also landed in the waters around the island. “China gave one spoon of different dishes to Taiwan and we got the taste of it,” Dr. Huang said. “If they put out the full plate, the whole table, we probably will have big problems.”

Military activities near the island haven’t stopped. A record 1,727 Chinese fighter planes crossed into Taiwan’s air defense zone in 2022, compared to 960 incursions in 2021 and 380 in 2020. And 2023 has been no different.

“The Chinese outward expansionism of influence and presence is scaring and destabilizing an entire region,” warned Rear Adm. Michael Studeman, commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Experts say while Taiwan has a well-equipped military with modern weapons systems, including fighter jets, tanks, and surface-to-air missiles, it lacks the full range of capabilities to defend itself against China.

“Yes, there’s a 110 miles of water between China and the main island of Taiwan and yes, Taiwan is mountainous and is a perfect place for defenders but Taiwan has not invested in its defense, and part of that is because Taiwan’s generals and admirals have bought the wrong equipment over the course of decades,” Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, told CBN News.

In January, a Washington-based think-tank simulated a war game of China invading Taiwan in 2026. In 24 different scenarios, the Center for Strategic and International Studies said Taiwan could likely fend off a Chinese invasion only if the United States came to the island’s defense.


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