A determined China could launch an invasion sooner than the five, ten, or twenty years that some have projected, though it would be unlikely to succeed if it made the attempt today. A phased, stepping-stone invasion would force Taiwan to decide whether to absorb casualties fighting in preliminary invasions or to conserve resources for a final stand on the main island.
Wood, Piers M. and Ferguson, Charles D.
"How China Might Invade Taiwan,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 54
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol54/iss4/5