(Washington) Taiwan is very vulnerable to a potential Chinese air attack, which would also be more difficult for American intelligence to detect because of Beijing’s new tactics, according to leaked Pentagon documents, the Washington Post revealed on Saturday.

US officials fear that Taiwan’s air defense will not be able to “accurately detect missile launches” and respond to them effectively and quickly, according to these confidential texts which AFP could not verify authenticity independently.

Just over half of Taiwan’s air force would be usable in combat and moving some of those aircraft to shelters could take a week, the Washington Post says based on these sources.

They are part of a series of secret US documents released on the internet, a leak that embarrasses Washington. A 21-year-old soldier suspected of being behind it was charged on Friday.

According to documents cited by the Washington Post, new tactics deployed by Beijing, such as the use of civilian ships for military exercises, have “eroded” the ability of US intelligence to detect an attack on Taiwan before it occurs. .

They also question the effectiveness of Taiwan’s military exercises in preparing for an actual attack.

Tensions around Taiwan, an autonomous island that Beijing claims as one of its provinces, have increased in recent weeks.

The Chinese army has just organized large-scale military exercises after a meeting between its president Tsai Ing-wen and the third figure of the American state, Kevin McCarthy, speaker of the House of Representatives.