Former top US officials say China could take Taiwan in 3 days in early 2021

They claim Xi Jinping will attempt invasion 'to distract population from its mounting anger and anxiety'

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China's leader Xi Jinping reviews troops aboard ship.

China's leader Xi Jinping reviews troops aboard ship. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In an essay published by the U.S. Naval Institute, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Michael Morell and former Admiral James Winnefeld warn that Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) will "bring Taiwan back into China" in mid-January 2021.

With the West distracted by the U.S. election and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the authors believe the "operation" will be completed in just three days.

Morell and Winnefeld paint a worst-case scenario in the article, published by the private, non-profit U.S. Naval Institute. They predict the operation will unfold quickly, "beginning on the evening of 18 January," prior to the U.S. presidential inauguration.

At the same time, China will carry out cyberattacks to cripple the country by disabling the national power grid and other important utilities. This will be followed by a swift sea and air blockade, with several People's Liberation Army (PLA) submarines joining in the action.

The authors imagine the blockade will pave the way for the landing of PLA amphibious forces. Meanwhile, China would send stern warnings not to intervene to the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Australia, and other Taiwanese allies.

On the second day, global stock markets will crash due to the turmoil. World leaders will make statements condemning the attack, but nothing more. Bogged down by multiple issues, Washington will be unable to react.

On the third day after the attack, Morell and Winnefeld believe it will be too late for Washington to reverse the damage. Xi would then whitewash the invasion by telling the world that the "Chinese Dream" has been fulfilled and "welcome the people of Taiwan home."