Chinese invasion of Taiwan may come sooner than expected

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TAIPEI, Taiwan — The timeline for a potential Chinese attempt to take Taiwan by force seems to be getting shorter.

Driving the news: Chinese President Xi Jinping warned President Biden not to “play with fire” over Taiwan on Thursday, according to the Chinese readout of a call between the two leaders.

  • That contentious exchange comes with Beijing threatening “serious consequences” if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi follows through on a planned visit to the self-governing island.
  • Pelosi’s plans and the bellicose response from Beijing have renewed speculation that Taiwan could become a military flashpoint sooner rather than later.
  • The Pentagon has briefed Pelosi about its security concerns around the trip, and Biden has said publicly that the U.S. military thinks it’s “not a good idea right now.”
  • While all that was happening, the Taiwanese military was conducting a five-day exercise to simulate a Chinese invasion, part of a regular schedule of defense drills conducted each year.
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