China Will 'Unify' Taiwan Within 30 Years: Analyst

China will "unify" Taiwan by mid-century and could do it as soon as "tomorrow," a Chinese military analyst has said amid discussions about Beijing's seemingly ever-shifting timeline.

Wang Yunfei told Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po that China could take Taiwan by force if it felt compelled by the current Taiwanese government or "external forces"—a phrase that generally refers to the United States.

Wang's comments in the pro-Beijing newspaper were published on Tuesday, a few days after China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng was interviewed by The Associated Press.

The official said the Chinese government had "no room for compromise" on what it calls the "Taiwan question."

"We will never allow Taiwan to be independent," he said.

However, asked when China planned to complete its long-stated goal of "national unification," Le did not give a clear deadline, stating only that it was a "historical process."

According to Wang's analysis, however, Le's answer showed there was a clearly defined timetable for Taiwan's "return" to the mainland—and that it would not be "delayed indefinitely."

Wang mentions China's 2005 Anti-Secession Law and appears to reference the controversial Article 8. This allows for the use of "non-peaceful and other necessary measures" to seize the island if it becomes independent, if a major event leads to its independence, or if "peaceful unification" is no longer possible.

"Unification can happen tomorrow" if these red lines are crossed, he said, adding that the goal will be realized by mid-century. This was an apparent reference to 2049, a milestone that marks 100 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Wang explained: "If unification hasn't happened by then, it means the third of the red lines will have been crossed and all possibility of peaceful unification is lost."

He continued: "The Communist Party of China made a solemn pledge to the Chinese people and the world that it will realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation before the end of the century.

"Any great rejuvenation can only happen with unification, so the deadline for this historical process cannot exceed the middle of this century."

Newsweek has contacted the Chinese embassy in Washington for comment.

The Chinese government claims ownership of democratic Taiwan despite having never governed it.

Beijing continues to declare its goal of "peaceful unification" across the Taiwan Strait. However, it has ramped up military pressure and other forms of coercion against the island in recent years as Taipei has grown wary of over-reliance on the Chinese market.

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, led by President Tsai Ing-wen, has sought to diversify her country's international status by engaging more with other nations in the region. But the cross-strait neighbors still remain deeply entwined in a mutually dependent economy.

Last month, two senior U.S. Navy officials told Congress that Beijing was accelerating its goal of capturing Taiwan, and that an invasion could occur within six years.

"Discussions about seizing Taiwan by force are like predictions about the end of the world. You hear 2012, then it's 2020, then it's 2030. It keeps getting postpone," Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chiao-hsin remarked during an appearance on the local television station Era News on Wednesday.

"I think this is how most people feel in Taiwan. Despite the constant flying of [military] aircraft [around Taiwan], it doesn't really feel like there's going to be a war," she said. "The risk has definitely risen, but that doesn't mean there will be a war tomorrow. That's alarmist."

Chinese Children Create Flag of China
A Chinese flag made by children holding up colored boards during Arirang mass games in May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea, on September 6, 2012. Eric Lafforgue/Art In All Of Us/Corbis via Getty Images