China can defeat the U.S. in just a week in the event of a war over Taiwan, a military expert has said. U.S. Air Force strategist Oriana Skylar Mastro made these observations after considering the multiple simulations carried out over the years.

Stating that the U.S. needs to urgently up its preparations, Skylar Mastro, an authority on China’s military, told The Sun that such a scenario would be "hardest for the U.S. to deal with." Some war games show Beijing "running rings" around the U.S. forces. 

According to Skylar Mastro, the war would begin with a "massive salvo of missiles" fired by China that would take out the only effective air base in the region. 

The war would last a week with Chinese forces securely on Taiwan. "An attack on Kadena, on the Japanese island of Okinawa, could see the base disabled in hours with 60 percent of the aircraft lost," Skylar Mastro told The Sun.

This would be followed by a missile attack on Taiwan, targetting air defenses. A main amphibious assault will follow, the strategist added. China will also launch attacks on the political targets of Taiwan to "get the leadership to capitulate."

The PLA will also engage in cyberattacks to disable communications, particularly satellites, so as to keep the U.S. away from defending the island. The first phase of the battle would take just three days. 

Skylar Mastro said Beijing has no intention to fight "a protracted war with a still technologically-superior America which it will lose," but taking Taiwan will represent victory.

"Have they defeated the United States if they take Taiwan before the United States can put up a fight," she said.

Skylar Mastro added that China can still have an inferior military and "defeat" the U.S. "They know that if we are able to prevent them landing for two to three weeks before the full might of the U.S. Pacific forces come into play, then they’re in trouble, then they can lose. If they can get boots on the ground in Taiwan in a week then it’s over," she said. 

Skylar Mastro, who still works as a strategic planner at INDOPACOM, said there is nothing the U.S. can do if Chinese troops land in Taiwan. "We’re not willing to fight a war at a level that’s needed to get them off the island," she told The Sun. 

She said the U.S. suffers from shortfalls in ammunition stocks and failure to persuade allies in the region to allow its warplanes to be stationed there. "At the moment we can’t even persuade the South Koreans to allow us to use US forces based there," she said.

The strategist said Beijing is determined to take back Taiwan. "This is the number one goal of the Communist Party and what it’s the military is designed for. If you listen to the rhetoric and think they’re not going to do this then you don’t know China," she added. 

Taiwan, which Beijing has said it will take by force if necessary, plans to counter China's might in numbers Representation. Taiwan, which Beijing has said it will take by force if necessary, plans to counter China's might. Photo: AFP / Sam Yeh