Taipei: Amidst a tense stand-off with China after reports of Chinese warplanes entering Taiwanese air space en masse, the Taiwanese Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-Keng claimed that China may be capable of launching a military invasion of the island-state by 2025.
"By 2025, China will bring the cost and attrition to its lowest. It has the capacity now, but it will not start a war easily, having to take many other things into consideration," the minister, who also warned of the chance for "misfire" in the sensitive Taiwan straits.
Kuo-Keng told the Taiwanese parliament that this was the most "serious" state of affairs he had seen in the 40 years since he had joined the military service. The minister was also overseeing the parliamentary committee reviewing special military funding of T$240 billion ($8.6 billion) for homemade weapons including missiles and warships.
Tensions have escalated in the four day period since last Friday, with Taiwan reporting the presence of over 150 Chinese planes in its air defence zone. Beijing maintains that the state of Taiwan is Chinese territory while Taiwan asserts that it will defend itself at all costs.