Xi Jinping wants to bring the island under his ‘One China’ policy and will “invade” the islands to regain it, professor Steve Tsang from the School of Oriental and African Studies stated. He told Express.co.uk China is building its military capacity in order to take over the island despite its ties with the US. Prof Tsang said: “The Chinese will seek to punish Taiwan because they can’t punish Americans.
“It’s not as easy as it appears but they will eventually invade Taiwan.
“The invasion will happen within the next 20 years.
“They’re building the capacity to do so.
“Taiwan can’t match China in military terms.
“Within the next 20 years, they will have the ability to do so.”
Mr Azar became the first high-ranking official to travel to Taiwan since 1979.
With his arrival, China warned the US visit now threatened international peace in the region.
China also conducted military exercises near the island in order to safeguard its national sovereignty.
Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu has also warned his country could become the next Hong Kong.
Amid escalating tensions between China and Taiwan, Japan’s self-defence force has revealed it is scrambling jets to combat Beijing’s aggression in the East China Sea.
Japan and China have both claimed sovereignty over the Senkaku islands.
Japan currently administers the islands but fighter jets are scrambled whenever Chinese military aircraft approach the airspace.
Previously Japanese jets were only scrambled in response to a specific threat to the islands.
Although Japan will not look for conflict with China in the region, prof Tsang insisted Japan will not allow Beijing to “walk over them”.
He added: “Japan will take a robust stance on non-provocative and robust positions in the East China Sea.
“They have no intention to let the Chinese walk over them.”