Former Australian defence head of China analysis Paul Monk says it’s unlikely that China would attack the United States as a preliminary operation against Taiwan.

“It would be an extraordinary step for China to take, it would require that the PLA and Xi Jinping were very confident not only that their strikes in the first instance would be very effective, but that the US would then cave,” he told Sky News host Catherine McGregor.

“It’s impossible, in my imagination, to believe that the United States would say, ‘oh well, we’ll roll over’.”

He said the US public would be “up in arms” and the situation would be far worse than 9/11, which has “got to be in the minds of strategic thinkers in Beijing”.

“In my view, what (China’s) hoping is that by keeping their rhetoric unbending, by keeping up the hazing and threatening and pressure on Taiwan, they hope they can win without going to war.”

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