Veteran CIA Analyst: No ‘Strategic Surprise’ If China Invades Taiwan

If China decides to invade Taiwan in the future, it wouldn’t be a “strategic surprise,” a veteran CIA analyst said Monday, as a nationwide buildup would likely be noticeable several months to a year in advance.

According to John Culver, who spent 35 years at the agency and three as its top intelligence officer for East Asia, the fact that the U.S. intelligence community has not revealed an intensive Chinese military mobilization is evidence that Beijing has not yet begun the necessary preparations to invade the island nation.

Culver downplayed speculation about the likelihood of an impending conflict in the Taiwan Strait in commentary for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank.  The scenario was raised by senior U.S. officials and President Joe Biden pledged in September to intervene in a potential crisis.

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