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  Menu   Taiwanese military    News  Taiwan vs. Chinese military    will China strike on Taiwan?    US vs. Chinese military    US send troops?     arms deal     Taiwanese willing to fight ? 


New York Times, 2024-7-17: Donald J. Trump said that Taiwan should pay the United States for defending it from China, a remark highlighting the uncertainties — and high stakes — of how he might handle the smoldering Taiwan Strait dispute

The US defends Taiwan ?

TIME, 2024-6-4 Asked by Time magazine whether The US might involve boots on the ground, US President Joe Biden said, "It would depend on the circumstances""we are not seeking independence for Taiwan nor will we in fact, not defend Taiwan if they if, if China unilaterally tries to change the status...Not ruling out using US military force. There's a distinction between deploying on the ground, air power and naval power, etc"

The Telegraph, 2024-5-11: Just recently Beijing manoeuvred 12 ships to within four nautical miles of Taiwan. The United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has a clear list on what you can do inside someone else's territorial waters (less than 12 nautical miles off the coast)   Newsweek, 2024-5-8: Taiwan must embrace a more dynamic defensive strategy that can independently deter, or at least stall, Beijing.  If China establishes a beachhead on Taiwan that can be reliably resupplied, defeat is a matter of time  Asia Times, 2024-3-27 : the government has failed to make military service a viable career choice - Military service is a hard life with low pay, bad housing and no GI-Bill sort of benefits... simply isn't respected in traditional Chinese society...Taiwan's “reserve force” is shambolic and that's being charitable.  There is no “territorial” or militia force, either.  Taiwan also lacks a civil defense scheme.  CSIS.org , 2024-2-13: any conflict in the Taiwan Strait would also quickly spread across the globe and into cyberspace and space. There would also be real risk of a nuclear exchange.     full text

 ◆  the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index, 2023 Edition

  Taiwan China USA Japan Korea Singapore
Military Capability 11th  +2.1   up 21.7 2nd   68.1 1st 90.7 6th   27.4 5th 9th
Resilience 18th   -5.9 down 24.7 3rd   70.4 1st 11th  10th 14th
Defense Networks 16th  down 11.8 7th    23.7 1st
3rd 4th 5th
Asia's Comprehensive Power rankings:  1.US 2.Chn 3.Japan 4.India 5. Rus 6. Aus 7. S. Korea 8. Singapore 9.Indonesia
10.Thailand  11.Malaysia 12. Vietnam 13. NZ 14. Taiwan (ROC)


The Telegraph, 2024-1-26: The PLA is in crisis. That won't stop China invading Taiwan. the US intelligence community and Defense Department have consistently underestimated the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army and its intentions   Defense News, 2024-1-25: China's military has declared it is “ready to fight” after large-scale combat exercises simulating sealing off Taiwan. Asia Times, 2024-1-24: Cato Institute expert says Taiwan's survival will hinge on repelling an amphibious invasion with asymmetric capabilities. first, to survive an initial bombardment, and second, to prevent the seizure of ports, airfields and beachheads during the initial hours of an invasion Washington Examiner, 2024-1-8:  For years, Taiwan eschewed investing in coastal defense and asymmetric capabilities, preferring to spend considerable sums on costly weapons platforms that would easily be outclassed by China. If belatedly, Taiwan has reversed course. Yet, the scope and scale are insufficient. Both urgency and drastic changes are required to deter, and if necessary, defend Taiwan Asia Times, 2024-1-8: As with Ukraine, a proxy war in Taiwan would be waged with “our bullets, their blood,” in the words of one   Oliver North. In fact, the DPP government has already made a decisive step in the direction of turning young Taiwanese into US cannon fodder by extending the period of compulsory military service from four months to one year, beginning in 2024.  That is the “blood” part.     ABC Australia, 2024-1-3: As China flexes its military muscles, everyday citizens in Taiwan are preparing for war.  China has more than 2 million active personnel compared to Taiwan's 170,000 troops, as well as five times as many tanks and six times as many fighter aircraft.  War today might not unfold as it did in the past … nowadays, hybrid warfare blurs the lines between peacetime and wartime.     full text


nBusiness Insider, 2024-1-8:  After then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's whirlwind visit in 2022, Beijing's People's Liberation Army launched unprecedented joint military exercises around Taiwanese airspace and waters.  The danger is that China could go further this year (if DPP Lai wins presidential election in Jan. 2024)
nPelosi visiting Taiwan
Economist, 2022-8-11: It is becoming ever harder to prevent a war over Taiwan.  The danger is that China uses the crisis to set new boundaries for its encroachments into what Taiwan considers its airspace and territorial waterseconomist.com/leaders/2022/08/11/how-to-prevent-a-war-between-america-and-china-over-taiwan
Japan Times (2023-8-4): Pelosi's visit marked an inflection point after which China sharply escalated its gray-zone military operations near Taiwan, eroding the island's security...Taiwan's inability to deter the drills or lessen their impact, ...Nor did the U.S. directly respond to China's provocations. ── some in the CCP likely interpreted the inaction as reluctance to intervene militarily on Taiwan's behalf.  japantimes.co.jp/commentary/2023/08/04/world/taiwan-china-defense/   MATTHEW FULCO
Foreign Policy (2022-8-22): After Pelosi's Visit, Most of the Indo-Pacific Sides With Beijing

Diplomat (2023-8-10): Since the Pelosi Visit, China Has Created a New Normal ──  PLA aircraft could appear above the capital city within minutes thediplomat.com/2023/08/since-the-pelosi-visit-china-has-created-a-new-normal-in-the-taiwan-strait/


nAfter Pelosi leaving Taiwan - China held a drill
 USA Today (2022-8-4): Taiwan says they violate its sovereignty and equate to the "sealing off" of the island "by air and sea.".   United Daily (Taiwan, 2022-8-26) : President Tsai Ing-wen did not dare to utter a word against China.
  L.A. Times: The threat of Chinese military action has loomed for so long that few seem to raise an eyebrow

  N.Y. Times (2022-8-3): Taiwan has grown adept at courting senior lawmakers from major powers.  (But Tsai Ing-wen was so weak or "prudent" as not to take active countermeasure. )


  Report to Congress on Taiwan Defense Military Issues

Advantages  including geography and climate.
Challenges (1)  the PLA now is able, or will soon be able, to execute a range of military campaigns against Taiwan.
Civil-military relations are strained... The archipelago's energy, food, water, internet, and other critical infrastructure systems are vulnerable to external disruption.  Taiwan's civil defense preparedness is insufficient, and Taiwan's military struggles to recruit, retain, and train personnel.  At a societal level, it is not clear what costs in terms of economic security, safety and security, and lives Taiwan's people would be willing or able to bear


  Washington Post, 2023-9-28: Taiwan launches the island's first domestically made submarine for testing

 CNN, 2023-9-28: President Tsai Ing-wen hailed this as a significant milestone. “The submarine is an important realization of our concrete commitment in defending our country”.


 Newsweek, 2023-9-29: Taiwan's former military leader who heads the submarine program said that the slated eight Hai Kun-class boats would bolster the country's defenses to the point that "I don't think we will lose a war.".

BBC, 2023-9-28: National University of Singapore Drew Thompson:  the "centre of gravity" for any China-Taiwan naval conflict would not likely be in the deep waters off the island's east coast, where submarines would be most effective in...Instead, the main theatre of war would be in the shallower waters of the west coast facing mainland China... The submarine is not optimised for a counter invasion role...
NewsWeek, 2023-9-29:  A senior researcher at RAND: The relatively shallow, choppy waters of the Taiwan Strait were well-suited for masking submarines but also harder to operate in.  Policy experts in the U.S.  have urged Taipei to adopt an asymmetric defense strategy based on "lots of small, deadly things—anti-ship missiles, anti-air missiles, etc.—that would make Taiwan a porcupine." Such an approach would become more useful, and submarines less so
The Diplomat, 2023-9-30:  The ODC ( typically utilizes large numbers of cheaper, smaller, shorter-range, and more survivable weapons systems.) appears to have fallen out of favor as a result of institutional opposition, even though the United States has sought to pressure the government to focus on less gold-plated procurement projects.


 19FortyFive, 2023-9-21: China is building a powerful military to beat America in a war over Taiwan; China is readying for war today. China's military has practiced deploying Ro-Ro ferries as amphibious landers;  In the military realm, China's biggest threats reside in their military’s ability to launch disruptive, devastating attacks on the United States in space, across the EM spectrum, and in cyberspace.   The Telegraph, 2023-8-22: China's Taiwan invasion: Battle for the Strait will be a colossal missile duel  The Conversation, 2023-8-16: According to some Taiwanese observers, the people of Taiwan would be unwilling to pay such a heavy price (Ukraine is paying a heavy price in terms of lost lives and a shattered economy) to preserve its political autonomy.  The WarZone, 2023-8-16:  Taiwan's arsenal of counterstrike weapons like the HF-2E would not be sufficient to outright stop an actual invasion from the mainland. The WEEK UK, 2023-8-1: Taiwan's leaders generally believe Chinese efforts to incorporate the island into its political system will be attempted through economic coercion rather than military action.      full text 


Council on Foreign Relations, 2023-8-29   China VS. Taiwan

  China Taiwan
active duty forces 2,035,000 170,000
artillery 9,800 1,200
principle surface combatants 139 57
fighter jets 1900 300
bombers and attack aircraft 450 0
submarines 71 2


 Taiwan into 'powder keg'

♦ 2022-7-19: Mark Esper suggests extending Taiwan's compulsory military service period to ensure combat effectiveness

2022-12-24: The US signs into law the NDAA for the fiscal year 2023, under NDAA, a war reserve stockpile of weapons is to be established in Taiwan

2022-12-27: Taiwan extended the period of compulsory military service to one year

2023-3-24: Former National Security advisor Robert O'brien says Taiwan should familiarize its people with weapons to deter Chinese mainland
2023-4-20: The Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the US and CCP conducts a war game on a cross-Taiwan Strait War, and vows to "arm Taiwan to the teeth" to deter an "invasion"
2023-7-28: Biden Admin. announces a $345 millions weapons package for Taiwan.

chinadaily.com.cn/a/202308/11/WS64d5646da31035260b81b718.html   2023-8-11


  National Interest, 2023-7-16    -   Willing to fight ?

China Taiwan
a study conducted by Adam Y. Liu and Xiaojun Li, 55 percent of the respondents supported “launching a unification war ” while 33 percent opposed it ...  another online survey in ThinkChina and Taiwan Inside, 53.1 percent supported armed unification with Taiwan, while 39.19 percent opposed it among Chinese elites.  Instead of making a commitment to defend their territory, most Taiwanese people have a huge hope to rely on external support, particularly from the United States... extension of the compulsory conscription program received backlash from younger Taiwanese.


  The Diplomat, 2023-6-17:  Taiwan has abandoned asymmetric defense reform in all but name, War on the Rocks: Instead, Taiwan is now planning to deter an invasion by threatening to retaliate with missile strikes against the Chinese homeland and by pitting Taiwanese units in direct combat against the vastly superior People's Liberation Army   USNI, 2023-6-7: on paper Taiwan fields one of the world’s most advanced ASCMs, but we don’t have the data on actual performed real combat.”; Taiwan has not been transparent about how many missiles it can make. there are “rumors [sic] about slow production” related to “hang-ups in the defense [sic] industrial complex” and Taiwan is “struggling to produce large numbers of anything.”;  Taipei has to decide whether to continue dividing resources across two different strategies - a traditional navy or an asymmetric one Bloomberg, 2023-5-31: China could decide to launch a series of actions short of war — seizing one of Taiwan's small outlying islands, say, or interfering with Taiwanese shipping ... without provoking a US military response.    full text 


changes to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait

Atlantic Council, 2023-6-21: Effective deterrence requires credible threats to be matched with credible assurances. The G7 should make clear to Beijing it has no desire to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.  atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/sanctioning-china-in-a-taiwan-crisis-scenarios-and-risks/  Charlie Vest and Agatha Kratz AP (Germany Berlin), 2023-6-22: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned Beijing against using force to change the status quo with Taiwan  news.yahoo.com/germany-warns-china-over-taiwan-103947340.html
Global Times (China), 2023-6-21:  Blinken said "We remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side".  China's Foreign Ministry: the three China-US Joint Communiqués means that the US recognizes the real status quo in the Taiwan Straits, that is, there is only one China in the world, and both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one China. However, the US has unilaterally attached the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances to its one-China policy, these are not consensus reached by both China and the US.  The US is tampering with political commitments on one-China policy.   globaltimes.cn/page/202306/1292976.shtml 

Reuters, 2023-5-20 "war is not an option", Taiwan president says
Washington Examiner, 2023-5-19 The top-line fact in the weapons to Ukraine or Taiwan debate Taiwan's defense spending remains absurdly inadequate. It's also feasible that Taiwan may elect a new government in 2024 that lacks sufficient resolve to fight China. In contrast, Ukraine has shown not just the resolve to fight against overwhelming odds, but the spirit to win.


 Washington Examiner, 2023-4-25:  a war over Taiwan is, in the best case, a war the U.S. may still lose... the provision of Javelin anti-tank and Stinger anti-air missiles to Ukraine comes as an undeniable detriment to Taiwan's defensive potential.  Both might decide the outcome of the next war The Hill, 2023-4-19: The battle lines are being drawn for a war across East Asia involving Taiwan  U.S. Naval War College  - China Maritime Studies Institute (Mar., 2023): The US may be able to defeat an attempted invasion landing but will lose when China imposes a blockade on the island...Unless US forces were able to dismantle the PLA-integrated air defense system,  the PLA could sustain the air blockade for months if not years without exhausting its inventory of air-to-air or surface-to-air weapons. (Asia Times)   Reuters, 2023-3-13:  In "anticipation of a total blockade of the Taiwan Strait"... Taiwan says defence spending to focus on readying for 'total blockade' by China  Economist, 2023-3-9: An invasion would almost certainly begin with massive missile and rocket strikes on Taiwan. These would quickly destroy much of Taiwan’s navy, air force and air defences. Taiwan could resist an attack on its own only for days or weeks ◆ Washington Post, ABC news, 2023-2-27: CIA chief:  Xi Jinping has instructed his country's military to “be ready by 2027” to invade Taiwan; China has some doubt on ability to invade Taiwan  EurAsian Times, 2023-2-26:  "No Boots On Ground': Majority Of US Voters' Chicken Out’ From Sending Soldiers To Taiwan To Battle China Japan Times, 2023-2-19:  There is no evidence that China is in a hurry to attack Taiwan, despite a number of U.S. government and military officials citing 2027 or even 2025 as a potential deadline for forcible unification ◆ Daily Express (UK), 2023-2-17: A "proxy war" between China and the US over Taiwan could happen during the Biden presidency  ◆ Washington Examiner, 2023-2-17:  New House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman: Ukraine is capable of fighting on their own if we give them the weapons. Taiwan cannot fight this war alone, even if we gave them the weapons.   New York Times, 2023-2-1: The United States is increasing its military presence in the Philippines , the Philippines is among the most geographically close to Taiwan...is crucial to countering China in the event it attacks Taiwan   US Naval Institute, 2023-2-1:  The US and Taiwan should plan a defense strategy centered on defeating China in an urban war it is possible that using the geography of the island and its urban citadels is the best hope of success in the face of PLA overmatch  Forbes, 2023-2-2: The United States Could Defend Taiwan—At The Cost Of A Lot Of Submarines Forbes, 2023-1-31: China's lack of capacity for amphibious assault as evidence that it will not be ready for war so quickly.  China's use of civilian ferries in military exercises makes it difficult to predict when, and if, China will invade Taiwan. Fortune, 2023-1-29: WSJ: Seth Cropsey warned of a possible war with China over Taiwan.  "If Lai Ching-te, (a fierce supporter of Taiwan's independence) does win (in 2024), Beijing could move quickly to invade". Wall Street Journal, 2023-1-26:  Washington is strategically unprepared for a crisis and Biden's policies are hampering deterrence ; If  Lai Ching-te (a staunch proponent of the island's independence) does win, Beijing could move quickly to invade.  New York Post, 2023-1-14:  the U.S. needs to speed up its military shipments to Taiwan, specifically long-range bombers with long-range anti-ship missiles.    full text 


General's memo spurs debate: Could China invade Taiwan by 2025?    The Hill, 2023-2-2, Fox News, 2023-2-4, USA Today, 2023-2-3

US generals, officials, experts, law-makers China invade Taiwan by ?
CIA Director William Burns  Xi has ordered military to be ready for Taiwan invasion by 2027
Philip Davidson, the former head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (Jan. 2023) China may attack Taiwan — even just its small, outer islands — by 2027
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday (Oct., 2022) Chinese could attack Taiwan before 2024...or a potentially a 2023 window
Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Oct., 2022) on a “much faster timeline” than previously thought.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner (July, 2022) “only a matter of time”
Minihan, the leader of Air Mobility Command 2025
Jacob Stokes, a senior fellow focused on U.S.-China relations at the Center for a New American Security, before 2027,  a crisis or incident that could spiral out of control
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul agreeing with the assessment on “Fox News Sunday.”
Sen. Todd Young (Ind.) 2025
House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith (D-Wash.)  the 2025 timeline for such an event was “not only not inevitable” but “highly unlikely,”
Retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey 2025 ,  a“bad judgment”
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Nov. 2022)  it will be “some time” before the Chinese have the military capability to invade Taiwan.
news.yahoo.com/general-memo-spurs-debate-could-110000282.html     news.yahoo.com/china-says-balloon-flying-over-152021436.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall


 The SUN, 2023-1-14: Taking Taiwan could even require Beijing to muster a force of two million troops, ...US should help arm Taiwan with missiles to DESTROY Shanghai to stop Chinese invasion, says ex-general The Guardian, 2023-1-1: Ukraine is in the headlines now. But a whole new world of conflict is about to eruptTaiwan, North Korea, Iran and Palestine are all potential flashpoints The Hill, 2022-12-30: Mark Esper says Taiwan is “not prepared enough” for a potential Chinese invasion The Guardian, 2022-12-30: Extending conscription may make Taiwan feel safer – but at the cost of alienating its young people    Reuters, 2022-12-28: China slams Taiwan for seeking to use the Taiwanese people as "cannon fodder" by extending compulsory military service from four months to one year  Wall Street Journal, 2022-12-28:  Military conscription is a good start, but leaders in Taipei need to act with greater urgency still  Reuters, 2022-12-28: China's government criticised Taiwan on Wednesday for seeking to use the Taiwanese people as "cannon fodder" by extending compulsory military service from four months to one year starting in 2024     France 24, 2022-12-26: Seventy-one warplanes deployed by China in war drills - the largest reported incursion to date Modern War Institute at West point, 2022-12-19: Taiwan has mostly accepted the need to shift to a “porcupine strategy” ... implementation has been slow. And Taiwan has neglected to cultivate the guerrilla-style resistance forces that will be necessary to counter an occupation.   full text 


NBC, 2022-12-27: Taiwan to extend military conscription to one year, citing threat from China

WSJ, 2022-12-27 a once politically unpalatable move that has become imperative in the face of growing concerns about a Chinese attack and intensifying competition between Washington and Beijing. wsj.com/articles/taiwan-to-extend-mandatory-military-service-11672129529
PBS, AP2022-12-27 The White House welcomed the announcement on conscription reform, saying it underscores Taiwan’s commitment to self-defense and strengthens deterrence...mong the youngest demographic group of 20-24, however,  only 35.6 percent said they would support an extension pbs.org/newshour/world/taiwan-extends-compulsory-military-service-from-4-months-to-1-year
CNN, 2022-12-27  Chinese soldiers can only make an amphibious landing after taking control of the air and the sea...before they land, there will likely be bombing and blockade, and we need people to deliver goods and guide residents to air raid shelters  edition.cnn.com/2022/12/27/asia/taiwan-military-conscription-intl-hnk/index.html
Washington Post, 12-27 It had been a widely debated topic for a long time, but faced with Chinese threats, the government was left little room to be hesitant   washingtonpost.com/world/2022/12/27/taiwan-military-mandatory-service-china/
Mainichi Japan , 2022-12-28 The change is said to have come at the request of the United States
GT (China), 2022-12-27 "a deplorable decision" made under US pressure  /   the DPP authorities might incorporate some conscripts into the "cyber army" to engage in collecting intelligence and conduct information warfare against the mainland, given their relatively weak capabilities on the real battlefield. ...expecting that the US may ask Taiwan authorities to increase the defense budget to purchase more US weapons and ensure the island's military is in line with US strategy. globaltimes.cn/page/202212/1282753.shtml    12-27


 ◆ Wall Street Journal, 2022-11-23:  ...the persistent fecklessness of Taiwanese government's defense policy, whose bottom line is that the island should be defended by others while Taiwan's youth can continue to play video games.◆ Economist, 2022-11-18: Will Taiwan be the Ukraine of Asia? The status quo is breaking down, making war more likely  ◆ National Interest, 2022-12-11: China Isn’t Ready to Invade Taiwan - two major challenges: unfinished military modernization and high casualty potential 1945, 2022-12-12:  the likelihood of a Chinese move to take Taiwan by force is as close to inevitable as it gets. The reason: in China's thinking that the United States has embarked on a course to prevent Taiwan from ever reunifying with China The Atlantic, 2022-12-3: Taiwanese people seem blissfully oblivious of a looming conflict with China. The U.S. can't afford that luxury  Fox News, 2022-11-4: If China conquers Taiwan, it would be huge blow to US national security, economy   SCMP,2022-11-3: China has no time frame for Taiwan reunification, even if US says so  WarOnTheRocks, 2022-10-28: U.S. support for Ukraine and other dynamics have led some to question if the current administration is truly prioritizing Taiwan CNN, 2022-10-27:  A hot war in Asia remains unlikely in the foreseeable future The Guardian, 2022-10-25: Xi Jinping's party purge prompts fears of greater Taiwan invasion risk  Newsweek, 2022-10-21: Beijing has responded to the U.S. Navy's warning of a potential Chinese attack on Taiwan as soon as this year by cautioning Washington against any intervention on the sensitive geopolitical issue Daily Express, 2022-10-21: the 'Weakness' of US could 'encourage' China's efforts to blockade Taiwan; Experts urged the US to stand firm against Beijing The Diplomat, 2022-10-21:  recent polling has indicated over 50 percent of Americans support coming to Taiwan’s defense if an invasion were to occur  New York Times,2022-10-17: China's leader warns of “perilous, stormy seas”ahead Reuters,2022-10-17: Analysis-Xi's new generals face tough military challenges post-congress;  the conundrum for the PLA is the lack of opera tional experience  New York Times,2022-10-16: On Taiwan, Xi Jinping warns against international 'interference' VOA,2022-10-16: Despite Tough Words, Japan Might Not Enter a Taiwan War Washington Post, 2022-10-16: Xi: the party had already created a “new choice” for humanity with its unique path to modernization — a nod to China's emergence as an alternative to Western democracies.  The SUN (UK),2022-10-16:an authority on China's military, recently warned the country is convinced it needs to hit America "hard and early " in a surprise Pearl Harbor-style attack to invade Taiwan. Washington Post, 2022-10-12: Xi's looming third term in China raises threat of war over Taiwan... Taiwan professor:“Before, leaders talked about unification as something to be achieved in the long run. Now, it's number one on the agenda.”◆ Wall Street Journal, 2022-10-10: Mr. Xi may be disinclined to wait, given the risk of a more assertive president in Taipei in May 2024 or Washington in January 2025. Beijing's recent rhetoric has been consistent with this hypothesis ◆ Economist, 2022-10-10:  In Washington, there is talk of intelligence that the pla has been told to be in a position to take Taiwan by 2027...The liberal political order is at stake TIME, 2022-10-5:  Even without a blockade, a Chinese air and missile campaign alone could defang Taiwan's military and shut down the country's economy NY Times, 2022-10-5: If China decides to establish a naval blockade around Taiwan, American ... would offer the least likelihood ...into direct conflict; Cornell prof.: The U.S. has to make clear that the U.S. doesn't have a strategic interest in having Taiwan being permanently separated from mainland China    full text 


Chinese Communist Party Congress  

CNBC, 2022-10-18 Political watchers say the (CCP Congress) speech showed that Xi is not be keen to take Taiwan by force
NY Times, 2022-10-16 China is still exerting what Xi also uses in the speech — ‘strategic patience'
LA Times, 2022-10-16 Chinese Communist Party Congress affords another step for Xi Jinping's consolidation of power

   full text 


  Forbes, 2022-10-3: Defense Secretary Austin: Chinese Invasion Of Taiwan Not 'Imminent'; “What we do see is China moving to establish what we would call a new normal".◆ FoxNews, 2022-10-2: soon-to-be Secretary-General of ASEAN: China 'would not' invade Taiwan if Beijing believes it owns the island  Chicago Tribune, 2022-9-23: if China needs to be confronted militarily (and that's unlikely), Taiwan is precisely the wrong place to try to do that Wall Street Journal,2022-9-19: China Is Capable of Blockading Taiwan, U.S. Navy Commander Says CBS News,2022-9-18: Biden tells <60 Minutes> U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan, but White House says this is not official U.S. policy ◆The Hill, 2022-9-15: The next step would be to enforce a quarantine of the island to undermine Taiwan's sovereignty and slowly strangle their economy until an agreement is reached. ◆ Foreign Affairs, 2022-9-14: (US) military's most promising capabilities to counter China will not be ready until the 2030s...This creates a window of vulnerability for Taiwan, most likely between 2024 and 2027    full text 


No guarantee that U.S. military will hold the same view as Biden to defend Taiwan

♣ Foreign Policy, Politico, 2022-10-2: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined to directly endorse President Joe Biden’s statement that the U.S. military would defend Taiwan   politico.com/news/2022/10/02/lloyd-austin-china-taiwan-biden-00059922
The Hill, 2022-10-3: US defense chief sidesteps questions on Biden’s pledge to defend Taiwan news.yahoo.com/us-defense-chief-sidesteps-questions-200504858.html
VICE, 2022-9-28:  no guarantee that the next U.S. president will hold the same view as Biden, given the lack of a formal commitment by the U.S. military to intervene in the event of an attack by the PLA  vice.com/en/article/m7gp7v/taiwan-defense-china-invasion-conscripts


Diplomat, 2022-9-13: the most fundamental threat Taiwan faces is to its economy and its energy system (imports nearly all of its energy) LA Times, 2022-9-11: China's leaders know their power is about to diminish, and that will make them more likely to take risks in the short run — to invade Taiwan, for example    full text 


Defending Taiwan by Taiwanese ??
some human factors ~

President Tsai I. W. youngsters the public
VICE, 2022-9-28: president's prescriptions have been piecemeal, and there is no national plan to overhaul the military. (developing asymmetric warfare capabilities as US experts advise)

Roll Call, 2022-9-28: ...overhaul its military reservist program — our general public, especially young parents, those people from 40 to 50 and their children, will fight against that policy... “It's hard for the ruling party to do it !" Younger voters are a critical base of support for president Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party.

New York Times, 2022-6-19: politicians have electoral considerations ( military conscription reform)

United Daily (Taiwan), 2022-10-6:  The policy of
lengthening mandatory military service won't be decided until end of 2022 , obviously the admin. is with an eye to presidential election. udn.com/news/story/11091/6665523?from=udn_ch2cate6643sub11091_pulldownmenu_v2

Roll Call, 2022-9-28: Most people do not want to join the military... The March opinion poll : lower levels of support (56 percent) among the 20-24 age group for lengthening Taiwan's mandatory military service to one year.


China Times (Taiwan), 2022-9-28: 81.5% of Taiwanese youth oppose lengthening Taiwan's mandatory military service to one year.   World media wrongly report Taiwanese people are willing to be on the battlefield.   chinatimes.com/opinion/20220927005188-262101?chdtv



PS: By law, all able-bodied men in South Korea must serve 18-21 months in the military under a conscription system; In Israel - men 32 months and women 24 months, minimum.

axios,2022-9-27:  ...the common belief in Taiwan that if China were to invade, Taiwan would have no choice but to surrender immediately.

Economist, 2022-3-5: Taiwanese seem too uninterested to fight to defend their land.  Taiwan's sloth in reforming its defence capabilities ...


Global Times, 2022-10-10: a poll shows that only 41.4 percent gave a definite "yes" to the determination to sacrifice themselves to defend the island, according to Taiwan-based media globaltimes.cn/page/202210/1276853.shtml

Washington Examiner, 2022-9-20: It's one thing to tell a pollster that you're willing to fight and die for your country. It's a different thing to take painstaking steps to prepare for that eventuality. And the hard truth is that far too few Taiwanese are currently taking those steps

Brookings, 2021-1-22: Only 23% thought that democracy was more important than economic development.  16% believed that protecting political freedom was more important than reducing economic inequality.


  United Daily (Taiwan, 聯合報), 2022-10-10: The great majority of polls show Taiwanese are not willing to fight for "Taiwan independence".  udn.com/news/story/121823/6674688?from=udn_ch2cate6643sub121823_pulldownmenu_v2

☉ S. Korean presidential candidates have never tried to win the election by shortening mandatory military service (their service days is about 5 times of Taiwan's), but Taiwan's politicians do !   for instance, a ruling party's law-maker Tsai argues what's the reason to
lengthen military service !? (see udn.com/news/story/11091/6665523?from=udn_ch2cate6643sub11091_pulldownmenu_v2   2022-10-6 )
United Daily,2022-10-10: The Defense chief told the US that the mandatory military service can be lengthen up to 2~3 years, but President Tsai decide it'll be just 1 year at present for electoral considerations.(and not to declare until end of election)    brief udn.com/news/story/121823/6674688?from=udn_ch2cate6643sub121823_pulldownmenu_v2


Washington Examiner, 2022-9-12:Xi Jinping would invade Taiwan if authorities in Taipei stop referring to their government as the Republic of China The Global and Mail (Canada), 2022-9-10: Taiwan's long-term survival prospects are much worse than Ukraine's... it would probably take Taiwan five years of defence spending at 5 per cent of GDP, ... a return to several years of conscription and large active reserves in the Israeli model  Foreign Policy,2022-9-8: strategic priorities, budgets, and acquisition limitations, are preventing Taipei from laying in the critical war-reserve materiel it would need to against PLA War on the Rocks, 2022-9-7: In Taiwan, many young citizens concluded that conscription was a waste of time and a tedious chore....those with political connections seek to be posted in cities rather than at the border or in the field. Bloomberg , 2022-9-7: China Invading Taiwan Is ‘Distinct Threat’◆ Weekend Australian , 2022-9-7: Best way to avoid war is to arm Taiwan  NY Times, 2022-9-4: Washington is increasingly wary that an emboldened China might invade Taiwan in the coming years. ◆ Washington Examiner, 2022-9-6: Taiwan sees Bidens political-fears weakening us-strategy to counter china    full text     (中文版 Chinese)    


Biden "U.S. forces, U.S. men and women would defend Taiwan"
Lowy Institute (Australia), 2022-9-27  brutal fact – that as China has grown stronger, the cost to America of defending Taiwan has grown to far outweigh the imperatives for it to do so lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/taiwan-biden-risks-talking-himself-war-he-cannot-win
 CNN (US), 2022-9-20 looks like the US has moved from ambiguity to deterrence...  Biden's remarks don't necessarily equate to how he would behave in a real crisis. edition.cnn.com/2022/09/19/world/joe-biden-taiwan-answer-analysis/index.html  
Washington Examiner (US),
wrong to commit to Taiwan's defense unambiguously,  two key concerns here. (1) Taiwan's defense spending remains ludicrously low in face of the existential threat it faces. (2) It's one thing to tell a pollster that you're willing to fight and die for your country. It's a different thing to take painstaking steps to prepare for that eventuality. And the hard truth is that far too few Taiwanese are currently taking those steps msn.com/en-us/news/world/the-two-problems-with-bidens-taiwan-defense-pledge/ar-AA120KGw
Chicago Tribune, 2022-9-23 At what cost to US national interests? if China needs to be confronted militarily (and that's unlikely), Taiwan is precisely the wrong place to try to do that  chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-opinion-taiwan-china-biden-tensions-20220922-tjd6rxcmozgunew3djsycoodsa-story.html
The Guardian, 2022-9-21 the president's remarks are provocative to Beijing without providing security to Taiwan or the USBiden is conveying anxiety rather than confidence  ... theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/21/biden-taiwan-comments-china-war-independence
 Politico, 2022-9-19 The big question is, what are the costs we're really willing to pay?” Stanford's Skylar Mastro said. politico.com/news/2022/09/19/biden-leaves-no-doubt-strategic-ambiguity-toward-taiwan-is-dead-00057658
Washington Post, 2022-9-19 Yet presidential pronouncements alone can only deter China so much... Congress should provide Mr. Biden and his successors with a stronger set of legislative instructions washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/19/biden-china-taiwan-60-minutes/

Bloomberg, 2022-9-20 “Such comments will do more to feed Beijing's sense of urgency than they will bolster deterrence” Taiwan's leaders could move closer to independence — U.S. allies like Japan or South Korea will almost certainly be made more uneasy... risks pulling them into a war    msn.com/en-us/news/world/biden-s-vow-to-defend-taiwan-makes-us-policy-shift-explicit/ar-AA123qxX
 Japan Times (Japan), 2022-9-20 Cornell prof. called Biden's remarks “dangerous",  this new combo (a pledge to send troops + decisions about independence are Taiwan’s) suggests an unconditional commitment, U.S. is issuing Taiwan a blank check japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/09/20/asia-pacific/politics-diplomacy-asia-pacific/biden-taiwan-remarks-uncertainty/
DW (Germany), 2022-9-19 scholars: "it can lead to very different results than what Biden might be thinking he has the capacity to do,"," US "strategic ambiguity is becoming more strategic and less ambiguous." dw.com/en/biden-us-forces-would-defend-taiwan-if-china-invades/a-63166248
Le Monde (France), 2022-9-19 Alors que l’occupant de la Maison Blanche a tenu des propos forts sur le dossier taïwanais dimanche soir, la Chine a dénoncé « une grave violation de [son] engagement important à ne pas soutenir l’indépendance de Taïwan .   lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/09/19/joe-biden-affirme-que-les-etats-unis-defendraient-taiwan-en-cas-d-invasion-chinoise_6142183_3210.html
 France 24 (France), 2022-9-19  most explicit statement so far on the issue, something sure to anger Beijing.Biden's Asia policy czar, Kurt Campbell, has in the past rejected any move to "strategic clarity" over Taiwan, saying there were "significant downsides" to such an approachmsn.com/en-gb/news/world/biden-says-us-forces-would-defend-taiwan-if-china-invades/ar-AA11YIsO
Daily Express (UK), 2022-9-19 Bonnie Glaser: " if Mr Biden makes such pledges he needs the "capability" to back them up, If President Biden plans to defend Taiwan, then he should make sure the U.S. military has the capability to do so", “"Rhetorical support that isn't backed up by real capabilities is unlikely to strengthen deterrence express.co.uk/news/world/1671100/Joe-Biden-Taiwan-China-Xi-Jinping-CBS-Nancy-Pelosi-White-House-ont
Bloomberg (US), 2022-9-19 Expert Bonnie Glaser: China has long assumed that the US would intervene to defend Taiwan, so these statements don’t change PLA plans, Prof. Lev Nachman: The worry is that this will exacerbate Taiwan's current high-tension moment rather than reduce it.。” Bloomberg     msn.com/en-us/news/world/biden-says-us-would-defend-taiwan-from-unprecedented-attack/ar-AA11Yf55
Global Times (Chn), 2022-2-25  Washington claimed it "stands with Ukraine," and repeatedly promised it would protect Ukraine at critical junctures. But now the one that suffers is still Kiev. Hasn't the world seen enough of the US breaking its promises?   globaltimes.cn/page/202202/1253176.shtml
Modern Diplomacy.eu, 2022-2-25 Under the Budapest Memorandum, the US and UK promised to ensure Ukraine's security, geographical integrity and sovereignty, but, the world has seen that both the US and UK have not fulfilled their promise.  moderndiplomacy.eu/2022/02/25/ukraine-is-betrayed-by-the-us-and-uk/
Washington Post (US), 2022-9-19 Biden’s most hawkish comments on Taiwan yet  /  The implications for that are huge. This is still in the realm of the hypothetical, but it’s a majorly consequential hypothetical that now includes a firm commitment — whether that firm commitment is technically official policy or not    washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/09/19/biden-taiwan-china-defense/
Global Times (CHN) , 2022-9-19 his most explicit answer so far on the question, which analysts believe suggested a shifting process in Washington's decades-long "strategic ambiguity" policy  ...not only his personal views, but also those in his White House team and various political forces on Capitol Hill.  China clearly knows that the US is trying to erode its "one-China policy." If the US moves further toward such "strategic clarity" that is entirely targeted against the Chinese mainland and supports Taiwan's pro-independence behaviors, we will certainly have diplomatic, military and economic countermeasures for them, Xin said.   globaltimes.cn/page/202209/1275600.shtml 
The Conversation  (Australia),
so does this support mean economic aid, supply of weapons or U.S. boots on the ground? China and Taiwan are left guessing if – and to what extent – the U.S. will be involved in any China-Taiwan conflict.    news.yahoo.com/biden-again-indicates-us-defend-181440760.html


Can "silicon shield" protect Taiwan?

TIME, 2022-10-5 Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen recently argued... “‘silicon shield’ that allows Taiwan to protect itself....” That's a highly optimistic way of looking at the situation...
New York Times, 2022-9-9 Taiwan is protected by something far more subtle —The "silicon shield"...If it is clear that China will be better off with a steady flow of chips from Taiwan, peace is likely to prevail
New York Times, 2022-8-29 Analysts debate how much protection China's reliance on Taiwan gives it.  Some argue that calculations over supply chains are insignificant in a decision over war.
 National Interest, 2022-5-15 Taiwan's “silicon shield”—the name for a strategy that entrusts the island's defense to both Chinese and American reliance on its semiconductors—is an outmoded concept that burdens the United States, emboldens Taiwan, and fails to deter China
VOA News, 2021-5-10 Song Hong, assistant general director at the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences  shrugged off the geopolitical implications of Taiwan’s silicon shield, saying that China views Taiwanese issues as domestic affairs and will not be deterred from its goals by U.S. action
AIT (US), 2021-5-22 Taiwan should not regard TSMC as a guaranteed security blanket.  
Fox News, 2022-8-26  Why would the U.S. fight China over Taiwan, Trade is the key reason and the aforementioned importance of semiconductor production is the glue
New York Times, 2022-1-25 75 percent of production takes place in East Asia.  Ninety percent of the most advanced chips are made in Taiwan...China could use economic coercion, cyberoperations and hybrid tactics to try to seize or harm Taiwan's semiconductor industry — Biden promised he would work to bring production of semiconductor chips back to the United States.  nytimes.com/2022/01/26/us/politics/computer-chip-shortage-taiwan.html
 CBS News, 2022-9-25 Blinken said. "[Which is] one of the reasons we're now investing so heavily in our own capacity to produce semiconductors here in the United States. We designed them, but the actual production is done in a handful of places, and Taiwan produces most of them… The effects that that would have on the global economy would be devastating."

Taiwan dominates the global production of computer chips /

BBC, 2022-1-12, source: The Military Balnce, IISS 2021

Taiwan S. Korea China Other
65% 18% 5% 12%




The Hill, 2022-9-6: none of the three governments that could begin a war over Taiwan — those in Washington, Beijing and Taipei — should see war as in its interest...Taiwan will be extremely hard for us to defend ◆ abc news, 2022-9-5: Military reserves, Civil Defense worry Taiwan as China looms ◆ Washington Examiner, 2022-9-5: Xi could use force against Taiwan amid 'challenges from within' ◆Daily Express (UK), 2022-8-29: WW3 looming as 'no good options' remain in 'dangerous' China-US conflict over Taiwan   NY Times, 2022-8-25: China could try to impose a blockade to force the island into concessions or as a precursor to wider military action  NY Times, 2022-8-21: critics argued the tensions over Taiwan showed that Washington needed stronger military and economic strategies. War on the Rocks, 2022-8-22: Some five to nine missiles passed over Taiwan en route to targets east of the main island  Economist, 2022-8-11: America has changed,...it began to doubt that it was worth defending...there is little doubt that America would join a fight over Taiwan today...  Japan ...has indicated that it could intervene in a war...Taiwan must also show more willingness to defend itself NY Times, 2022-8-11: Taiwan, which has struggled with accidents and morale in the face of such a would-be foe as China. By many accounts, Taiwan's forces are poorly equipped and understaffed Washington Post, 2022-8-11: Beijing is now focusing on taking the island by force, not through peaceful reunification  Economist, 2022-8-11: US expert ...assessment is that China could keep Taiwan sealed off for many months, perhaps years, with devastating effect. Economist, 2022-8-10: Ms Pelosi's visit has allowed Beijing to move to a new level of military activity unchallenged, which will make it harder for America to defend Taiwan. ◆ BBC, 2022-8-9: Beijing firing missiles over Taiwan - have become "acceptable" - because they have happened, and Beijing has got away with it. this becomes the new standard  NY Times, 2022-8-8: China's drills near Taiwan is a sign that Beijing will keep up its military pressure on Taiwan, and could be normalizing its presence around the island before gradually cutting off access to its airspace and waters NY Times, 2022-8-7: China’s leader has made it clearer than any of his predecessors that he sees unifying Taiwan with China to be a primary goal of his rule The Hill, 2022-8-6: Taiwan...too economically dependent on China to withstand an economic cold war with Beijing.   full text 


Washington Post, 2022-8-17: if there's a crisis on Taiwan, Americans say~

65 percent support sending additional arms and military equipment to Taiwan
 62 percent support having the U.S. Navy prevent China from imposing a blockade around Taiwan
only 40 percent favor sending U.S. troops to help the Taiwanese government defend itself.
2021 Chicago Council Survey 46 percent of Americans were willing to explicitly commit to defend Taiwan from attack.


Taiwan  vs.  US

Taiwan VS. US's "porcupine"  weapons

The US disagrees Taiwan's requests for big-ticket weapons

Financial Times, 2022-8-19:
Intensified military pressure from China has reinforced Taiwan's desire to acquire large weapons platforms such as warships and fighters...widens gulf on procurement policy between Taipei and its main arms supplier


Economist, 2022-5-10:
These flashier purchases are politically popular... Some of Taiwan’s political and military leaders believe it is more important to counter such “grey zone” attacks than to prepare for an invasion. A full-scale assault has long been hypothetical, after all, while incursions have increased every year
WEEK (UK), 2022-5-12: Taiwan plans to “throw a thousand tanks at the beachhead” in the event of a Chinese invasion that could result in “brutal tank battles”

United Daily (Taiwan), 2022-5-19 : Can the guerrillas of Stinger missiles and Javelin missiles really block the Russian main force in Ukraine?

United Daily (Taiwan), 2022-10-6 : Taiwan military was forced to accept the concept of "asymmetric war", in last year $80 billions Harpoon Coastal Defense Missile systems were forcibly sent to Taiwan ... but missiles are not good for China's gray-zone war at present.  udn.com/news/story/11091/6665520?from=udn_ch2cate6643sub11091_pulldownmenu_v2

The China Times (Taiwan), 2021-10-26 : Urban guerrilla warfare will turn cities into ruins and cause a large number of civilian casualties
Foreign Policy, 2020-8-20 : “Their underlying thinking is that PLA has grown to be too strong for us to fight militarily anyway... Taiwan should just focus on putting up a good show of being tough, buy enough U.S. weapons for display, and pray that Americans come to our rescue

Financial Times, 2022-5-17: Washington was right to push Taipei to focus procurement more on the threat of invasion, but that forcing its hand was counterproductive.



War on the Rocks, 2022-8-22: flashy F-16 sales do little to defend Taiwan from China's missile force. warontherocks.com/2022/08/the-fourth-taiwan-strait-crisis-is-just-starting/

Financial Times, 2022-8-19:Washington is trying to force Taipei to prioritise “asymmetric” weapons — systems that exploit an adversary’s weakness instead of trying to match its strengths.

Business Insider, 2022-8-21: expensive equipment such as fighter jets, helicopters, and tanks to prepare against a possible Chinese invasion, defense experts say these would easily be destroyed by an attacker, according to the Journal's report. businessinsider.com/taiwan-learns-ukraine-porcupine-strategy-defend-against-china-2022-8


New York Times, 2022-5-7: US presses Taiwan to buy missiles and smaller arms for asymmetric warfare (Suited to Win Against China);  But some Taiwanese defense officials are resistant.
FoxNews, 2022-5-12: Taiwan may not have military equipment to defend itself against Chinese invasion warns Rep. McCaul
Politico, 2022-5-11: The Biden administration is rebuffing some of Taiwan’s requests for big-ticket weapons,...these expensive items, while fine for peacetime operations, would not survive an all-out assault from the mainland.
Economist, 2022-5-10: expensive conventional equipment such as tanks, battleships and submarines — are hard to hide and easy to strike with a missile a "porcupine" strategist would focus on agile and concealable weapons
Politico, 2022-5-19: the U.S. effort to reshape Taiwan’s military has taken on new urgency since the Russian invasion...the administration would no longer support arms sales for Taiwan “outside their definition of ‘asymmetric’ defense,”
WSJ , 2022-5-8: F-16s Are the Wrong Way for Taiwan to Defend Itself
National Interest, 2022-5-15: One important task has been to tailor the provision of defensive weapons to the needs of Taiwan’s military—procuring Stingers and Javelins rather than Abrams tanks and Seahawk helicopters.
◆ Foreign Policy , 2020-10-19 : Taiwan's leaders have gravitated toward military showpieces
Diplomat, 10-5-2020: Taiwan needs mobile systems,long-range surveillance armed drones...



Wall Street Journal, 2022-8-5: Xi Jinping appears to be preparing for an even more consequential onslaught against Taiwan... it could trigger a conflict that would make the war in Ukraine look minor by comparison New York Times, 2022-8-3: failing to move more naval forces into the region, the United States would be perceived by Mr. Xi as less committed to the region than Mr. Clinton was a quarter century ago. New York Times, 2022-8-2: China is preparing a hostile response of some sort...This is an exceptionally dangerous situation, perhaps more so than Ukraine  New York Times, 2022-7-26: The risks to Taiwan from Chinese aggression have gained urgency since Russia's attacks on Ukraine... a sea-and-air invasion of Taiwan would be difficult for China to pull off in the near term. Instead, it could do so piecemeal NY Times, 2022-7-25: Chinese leaders might try to move against the self-governing island over the next year and a half — perhaps by trying to cut off access to all or part of the Taiwan Strait The Hill , 2022-7-26: The longer the Biden administration continues delaying and stinting its support for Ukraine without enabling Kyiv to halt and reverse Russia's invasion, the more precarious both Ukraine's and Taiwan's positions become ◆ CNN,2022-7-25: Under Xi, a rising wave of nationalism has swept China, and support for "reuniting" with Taiwan  possibly by force  is running high ◆ Washington Post, 2022-7-23: Many Asian leaders have voiced fears that Russia’s effort to take over Ukraine could embolden China to move aggressively into Taiwan le Monde (France), 2022-7-21: China appears determined on using force in Taiwan    full text 


Contrast    Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1996 and 2022

New York Times, 2022-8-5 the U.S. military had ordered the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan to “remain on station” in the region but some distance from the entrance to the Taiwan Strait.... during a crisis in 1996, when President Bill Clinton moved aircraft carriers closer to the strait.  (PS: and conducted large scale drills  zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh-hant/台灣海峽飛彈危機 ) nytimes.com/2022/08/04/world/asia/taiwan-china-military-drills.html
New York Times, 2022-8-4 ... failing to move more naval forces into the region, the United States would be perceived by Mr. Xi as less committed to the region than Mr. Clinton was a quarter century ago.
United Daily (Taiwan) , 2022-8-5 The drill has been conducted under US tacit permission, which shakes the policy of peaceful resolution...  udn.com/news/story/11091/6515486?from=udn_ch2cate6643sub11091_pulldownmenu_v2
  USA Today, 2022-8-6 National Security Council:U.S. would postpone intercontinental ballistic missile test scheduled... reducing the risks of miscalculation and misperception news.yahoo.com/china-halts-climate-military-ties-152347684.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
   Global Times (China), 2022-8-5 the US Navy's Ronald Reagan carrier strike group retreated hundreds of kilometers eastward overnight, after the PLA announced live-fire exercise zones east of the island


China's Missiles over Taiwan  in 2022-8-5

  CNN, 2022-8-4 missiles flying over the island marked a significant escalation
New York Times, 2022-8-3 China's CCTV stated that one of the missiles flew over Taiwan, marking another escalation of Chinese pressure on the island and risking serious miscalculation.
New York Times, 2022-8-25 sending at least four high over the island itself, according to Japan
War on the Rocks, 2022-8-22 Some five to nine missiles passed over Taiwan en route to targets east of the main island 


Raw Story,  2022-8-24

N.Y. Times,  2022-8-25

 Congressman Beyer (D-VA) said. ... now it's every hour there's a Chinese military plane flying overhead of Taipei The exercises...China did not roll out its most advanced weaponry.  It flew planes near Taiwan, not over it.


China's "the largest and most sophisticated military exercises it has ever conducted" (Economist, 2022-8-10)     
WHY ?? 

NY Times, 2022-8-25 They were meant to intimidate Taiwan and the United States   nytimes.com/interactive/2022/08/25/world/asia/china-taiwan-conflict-blockade.html
 NY Times, 2022-8-4 Stanford scholar: “Under the guise of signaling, they’re trying to basically test their ability to conduct complex maneuvers that are necessary for an amphibious assault on Taiwan.” nytimes.com/2022/08/03/world/asia/taiwan-china-military-exercises.html    
 Business Insider, 2022-8-5  "a show of force to respond to Pelosi's visit" and "to exhibit [China's] displeasure" and "presumably to deter the US or other countries from undertaking visits like this ..."  "readiness to respond to Taiwan provocations"    news.yahoo.com/chinas-missile-launches-military-drills-211102958.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall
 AFP (France), 2022-8-6 a former CIA Asia analyst:  main purpose with its military exercises was to change that status quo."The Chinese want to show... that a line has been crossed by the speaker's visit."
American University Professor:
Beijing's message was meant to signal that China can alter the power balance in the region if it chooses. "The Chinese seriously believe that the United States has not been respecting their interests on the Taiwan issue"   news.yahoo.com/us-china-relations-risk-long-215317757.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

 The Times (UK), 2022-8-6

Chinese jets menace Taiwan in an end to diplomacy
BBC, 2022-8-9 this may possibly intimidate South East Asian neighbours which have rival claims to the South China Sea   bbc.com/news/62460809
NY Times, 2022-8-8 not only to intimidate Taiwan and the United States, but also to appease a domestic audience that had seemed disappointed by what it perceived as an insufficiently bellicose posture.  cn.nytimes.com/asia-pacific/20220808/china-exercises-taiwan/zh-hant/dual/

Global Times (Chn), 2022-8-5

Some Taiwan-based media hyped that the mainland's economic punishment could antagonize the public...    "If the mainland opts for economic sanctions, it may terminate the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)"...  Taiwan had a trade surplus of more than $170 billion with the Chinese mainland in 2021.  globaltimes.cn/page/202208/1272245.shtml



Military Balance across the Taiwan Strait, 2022 / Economist, 2022-8-11
  China Taiwan
Personnel 2,035,000 169,000
Reserves 510,000 1,657,000
Main battle tanks 5,400 750
Sub 65 4
Waships 86 26
Attack helicopters 308 96
Other combat-capable aircraft 2,475 474
Defense spending, $bn 270.0 12.1


   Chinese and Taiwanese armed forces / Daily Express, 2022-8-13

  China Taiwan
Active duty personnel 2,035,000 169,000
Ground Force 965,000 94,000
Navy 260,000 40,000
Air Force 395,000 35,000
Reserves 510,000 1,650,000
Tanks 5,400 650
Aircrafts 3,200+ 500
sub 59 4
Naval ships 86 26
Artillery 9,800 2,093
Strategic missile Forces 120,000 0
Strategic Support Force 145,000 0
Other Forces 150,000 0

express.co.uk/news/science/1654612/china-news-putin-squeeze-taiwan-cripple-world-key-metals-ban-stainless-steel-manufacturing   source: The Military Balance, 2022 IISS


Taiwanese people "don't worry"
China's "the largest and most sophisticated military exercises" circling Taiwan island ??


nDaily Express, 2022-8-16: Taiwan's representative to Germany has warned of the risk of an impending attack by China on Taiwan... "They're going to attack us."
Libre (Japan), UDN, 2022-8-16: Taiwanese president Tsai I W: The situation in Taiwan Strait is very tense. and Taiwan is facing huge challenges.
nCNN, 2022-8-8: Taiwan's foreign minister says : "I worry that China may really launch a war against Taiwan," But the mood in Taiwan remained calm, with life carrying on as usual with packed restaurants and crowded public transport.   Independent (2022-8-16) reports Taiwan's poll: 45 % said that they were not afraid at all and 33 % said they were not very afraid

NBC, 2022-8-10:   nbcnews.com/news/world/is-taiwan-worried-china-threat-invasion-pelosi-visit-rcna41964  
many residents say they are used to intimidation by Beijing ..." I don't think China will attack because our rockets can also reach Beijing and Shanghai" ;
 many residents in Ukraine reacted with disbelief to Russia's long-signaled invasion...whether Taiwan is being too complacent.?   people in Taiwan need to take this more seriously, they don't fully appreciate the circumstance they're in,...
New York Times, 2022-8-9:  many watching from outside Taiwan seemed to expect Taiwanese to be “hysterically” stockpiling food and crafting evacuation plans ... a Taiwanese girl says: "Taiwanese people appearing calm in the face of rising tension is not due to ignorance or naïveté, but because this is accepted — even internalized — as a part of being Taiwanese”.

United Daily (Taiwan ) , 2022-8-11:  A poll showed that about 60% of the respondents were not worried about further military conflict between mainland  China and  Taiwan, which surprised foreign media,  Some posts on the net reflect what Taiwanese people's thought, "because China PLA won't attack us", " we are used to it" ," we have been intimidated two or three times per year" ... It appears too many intimidations made our people NUMB !




 Pelosi visiting Taiwan       
potentially triggering the worst cross-strait crisis in decades

NY Times, 2022-7-28 Nancy Pelosi's Trip to Taiwan Is Too Dangerous! The United States and China are on a collision course in the Taiwan Strait  nytimes.com/2022/07/28/opinion/china-us-taiwan-pelosi.html 
 Global Times(China), 2022-7-28  China's defense ministry issues fresh, rare warning: The US should not underestimate the crisis and possible disastrous results it will bring to the Taiwan Straits if Pelosi ultimately makes the trip... if the US does not pull back but keeps challenging the guardrail, the price will be beyond US capabilities to pay"...  The rare expressions "yanzhen yidai" (嚴陣以待),  PLA "will not sit idly by" (不會坐視) were used (in Korea war and Vietnam war).  -  China will not sit idly by if US troops crossed the 38th parallel. globaltimes.cn/page/202207/1271693.shtml
Global Times, 2022-7-28 Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this," Xi said  via telephone,...     globaltimes.cn/page/202207/1271696.shtml
 GT (China), 2022-7-29 it is time for Washington to slam on the brake of its radical moves on the Taiwan question!
 NPR, 2022-7-28 President Biden looks to ease tensions with Xi over Taiwan
 Reuters (UK),  2022-7-29 "So far, there are few indications in Chinese official statements, nor online or domestic media, which would suggest that China is considering more serious military action at this time, although that could change"  news.yahoo.com/analysis-despite-xis-fire-call-003612894.html
Global Times(China), 2022-8-3 It looks like the visit helped the US "score a win," just for now, but in the long run, it will lose more advantages.


DW (Germany),2022-7-22: Japan defense report warns Russia's invasion of Ukraine could encourage China to act against Taiwan Business Insider, 2022-7-21: CIA chief: the Ukraine war likely won't shake China's resolve to invade Taiwan FoxNews, 2022-7-20: CIA director 'wouldn't rule out' near-term Taiwan invasion Asia Nikkei (Japan), 2022-7-20:  Taiwan's ex-defense chief calls for sweeping military reforms FoxNews, 2022-7-7: Chinese diplomat says 'reunification' with Taiwan near   full text 


Washington Post, 2022-7-3:  these steps (asymmetric warfare) may not be enough to repel a far more powerful opponent like China. Taiwan's mandatory military service ... spend more time doing menial labor than learning combat skills. Tactics taught are comparable to those (Gulf War or the Vietnam War) ◆VOA, 2022-6-30: US Believes China Still Hoping to Take Taiwan Without Force Axios,2022-6-28: Taiwan focuses on power projection instead of defense,  and lacks a well-developed security studies academic community... distrust in Taiwan between politicians and the military lingers  ◆ EurAsian Times, 2022-6-27: Bonnie Glaser told Politico: the active-duty military is not willing to work with the reserve force, which is seen as insufficiently trained;  there isn’t much enthusiasm among the civilians to work with the military or the military to work with civilians  N.Y. Times, 2022-6-19: A Looming Threat /  ...Taiwan is a democracy, and politicians have electoral considerations. Extending military conscription, for example, would probably not be very popular NY Times, 2022-6-13: Taiwan’s defenses are, by many accounts, ill-equipped and understaffed... Taiwan military leaders argue that smaller weapons are not useful for standing up to China in visible ways.  Long-range missiles capable of striking the mainland could deter Beijing ...Should China invade, Taiwan's defenses will almost certainly crumble unless the United States and its allies help.  Guardian, 2022-6-15: Tensions heighten in Taiwan Strait as China acts to extend military operations Newsweek, 2022-6-15: China Warns of Taiwan Demise After Official Claims Missiles Can Hit Beijing Taipei Times, 2022-6-11:A survey conducted by Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun and South Korea’s Hankook Ilbo showed that 73 percent of respondents believe China might take military action against Taiwan. AFP, France24, 2022-6-10: China will 'not hesitate to start war' if Taiwan declares independence, Beijing saysWith concerns mounting over China-Taiwan tensions, Japanese Prime Minister issued a stark warning at the summit: "Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow". NY Times, 2022-6-10: American officials ... worry that China's leader, Xi Jinping, may be willing to go to war over Taiwan in the coming years. ◆ CNN, 2022-6-1: China has the power to take Taiwan, but it would cost an extremely bloody price...China is more likely to emulate the "shock and awe" bombardments that preceded the US' invasions of Iraq. Asia Nikkei (Japan), 2022-6-1: Washington fears a possible Chinese invasion by 2027. All for one: U.S. enlists its Asian allies in defense of Taiwan  Daily Express (UK), 2022-5-30: Putin is winning his war, China Taiwan is next and that will be so much deadlier  NY Times, 2022-5-27: A 2018 congressionally-mandated assessment warned that America could face a “decisive military defeat” in a war over Taiwan, citing China’s increasingly advanced capabilities and myriad U.S. logistical difficulties   NY Times, 2022-5-24: the US is trying to walk a fine line between deterrence and provocation... risk pushing President Xi Jinping of China to order an attack on Taiwan NY Times, 2022-5-24: Former presidents have hinted that the United States would fight for Taiwan but have otherwise remained studiedly vague...Taiwan's defense budget... remains scandalously low  Financial Times (UK), 2022-5-17:  US wanted Taiwan to focus on capabilities such as anti-ship missiles, air and missile defences, command and communications, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, and early- warning systems... Taipei also wants to guard against, such as Chinese incursions into its air defence identification zone or a sea blockade    full text 


US military would defend Taiwan by  intervening militarily’   ?

New York Times, 2022-5-23:
Biden Says U.S. Military Would Defend Taiwan if China Invaded, dispensing with the “strategic ambiguity” traditionally favored by American presidents ...The White House quickly tried to deny ..., Mr. Biden’s unscripted declaration put Japan in a complicated position. nytimes.com/2022/05/23/world/asia/biden-taiwan-defense.html

Guardian, 2022-5-23: Biden's Taiwan vow creates confusion not clarity – and raises China tensions  theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/23/biden-taiwan-china-strategic-ambiguity-us-foreign-policy
Wall Street Journal, 2022-5-23:
“We agree with the One China policy and all the attendant agreements we made. But the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, would just not be appropriate,” Mr. Biden said.wsj.com/articles/biden-says-u-s-would-intervene-militarily-if-china-invaded-taiwan-11653286228
New York Post, 2022-5-23:
White House walks back Biden Taiwan defense claim for third time in 9 months  nypost.com/2022/05/23/white-house-walks-back-biden-taiwan-defense-claim-again/

Politico, 2022-5-23:The president's “strategic ambiguity” backtrack may hasten Taiwan Strait conflict, observers say
Economist, 2022-5-23: the gap between presidential statements and official policy is giving rise to a new form of ambiguity—strategic perhaps; or maybe simply incoherent 


BBC, 2022-5-23:Biden vows to defend Taiwan in apparent US policy shift
TIME, 2022-5-23:president Biden's Vow To Defend Taiwan Is Bold but Incredibly Risky
Bloomberg, 2022-5-23:Biden Misspeaks on Taiwan, Says US Military Would Intervene

AFP, CBS News, 2022-5-23: President Joe Biden said Monday the U.S. would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, in one of the most forceful and overt statements of American government support for Taiwan in decades. Beijing was quick to respond, ... "No one should underestimate the firm resolve, staunch will and strong ability of the Chinese people in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity" .  cbsnews.com/news/biden-china-taiwan-us-military-recession-monkeypox/

Global Times, 2022-5-23: Biden's remarks on ‘intervening militarily’ in Taiwan question not gaffe but signals hollowing out one-China policy......"Sending troops is military interference, offering weapons and military intelligence and conducting rescue can also be interpreted as 'intervening militarily'...  the US... will have no time and no willingness to come to Taiwan's rescue. 
New York Times, 2022-5-24:  Asked if he would send in troops if China attacked Taiwan, Biden said, “The policy has not changed at all.”


FoxNews, 2022-5-10: James Anderson: The PRC roughly has that capability to forcibly retake the island sooner than 2027 Wall Street Journal, 2022-5-4: Since the Chinese economy is 10 times as large as the Russian economy, effective sanctions would be virtually impossible to enforce. Taiwan's lack of preparedness is increasingly dangerous. Washington Post, 2022-5-4:  China insists... has no plans to attack the island it claims as its own.  Guardian, 2022-4-24: ... waiting will only allow Taiwan to improve readiness and build support... The risks of sleepwalking into conflict may well be growing  Economist, 2022-4-20: the main lesson that China will draw from Ukraine is the need for speed—ideally achieving victory within days; Taiwan can learn ...Fighting spirit and the right Western arms may stymie a powerful foe  Bloomberg, 2022-4-21: Putin's Struggles in Ukraine May Embolden Xi on Taiwan...use overwhelming force Taipei Times, 2022-4-25: Richard D. Fisher, Jr.: Xi likely will not repeat Putin’s failure at the outset to use his new very low-yield nuclear weapons to devastate Ukrainian resistance   Wall street Journal, 2022-4-18: Kyiv's successful use of internet to counter Moscow highlights Taiwan's reliance on undersea internet cables that China could cut  Daily Mail, 2022-4-10: China accelerates work on more than one HUNDRED missile silos that could house nuclear weapons capable of reaching U.S. soil -  to deter America from intervening in conflict over Taiwan  ◆  full text 


" Strategic Clarity"  -  US defend Taiwan

"Strategic Ambiguity"

 Independent, 2022-4-19: Japanese former PM 安倍):China are permanent, veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council, the UN’s mediation function cannot be relied upon for conflicts in which they are involved... Ukraine is an independent state beyond any doubt, Taiwan is not....Unlike in Ukraine, Chinese leaders could claim that any invasion of Taiwan that China launches is necessary to suppress anti-government activities in one of its own regions, and that such acts therefore would not violate international law...The time has come for the US to make clear that it will defend Taiwan against any attempted Chinese invasion.

Japan Times
, 2022-4-19: U.S. 'strategic ambiguity' over Taiwan must end! US policy of ambiguity toward Taiwan is now fostering instability in the Indo-Pacific region, by encouraging China to underestimate U.S. resolve...  
The Guardian, 2022-4-24: a switch from “strategic ambiguity” to clarity ... would prompt a major reaction from Beijing and might not enhance deterrence
 Economist, 2022-4-23: Promising to fight for Taiwan, as some advocate, would do little to deter China, which already assumes America will do so. And such a promise would, at the very least, cause a diplomatic crisis...President Joe Biden has said explicitly that America will not join the fighting (in Ukriane) for fear of starting “World War III”.
Foreign Policy, 2022-4-26: U.S. security cooperation is a more powerful demonstration of commitment than any declaration of intent.
 L.A. Times
, 2022-4-23: It will never be in America's interests to join a military confrontation over Taiwan that could quickly escalate to involve the use of nuclear weapons.
PS: What is "Strategic Ambiguity" ??   It's a guessing game.
The U.S. has two obligations to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act: to sell it arms and to maintain the capacity to protect the island.  In essence, it doesn't have to defend Taiwan, but it can.   csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2021/1214/Time-to-be-clear-on-Taiwan-Strategic-ambiguity-faces-test


SCMP, 2022-4-11: Taiwan will have to rely on itself to defend the island from a mainland attack, analysts say   FoxNews, 2022-4-4: "It's not if China moves into Taiwan, it's when"  ◆ Foreign Policy, 2022-3-31: Only 2 percent of respondents (international relations experts at U.S. universities and colleges) supported direct military action against Russia compared to 18 percent in a hypothetical Chinese invasion of Taiwan  Wall street Journal, 2022-3-29: Moves under discussion in Taiwan are still far from the kind of major revamp that some experts in the U.S. and elsewhere say is needed to upgrade Taiwan's military...many younger Taiwanese dislike conscription New York Times, 2022-3-20: If Russia succeeds in overtaking Ukraine, it increases the danger for Taiwan. China has time: Any invasion of Taiwan could be years away  L.A. Times, 2022-3-20: Taiwan hasn't built the kind of territorial defense force Ukraine is using to great effect right now...over much of the last decade, Taiwan moved in the opposite direction: It cut the size of its regular army and reduced the training of its reserves... it will take more than five years to get there. TIME, 2022-3-18: mandatory military service ... is only four months—compared to 18 months in South Korea, and about two years in Israel and Singapore. “We only had basic training"...most analysts say that the island would not be able to stop a full-scale invasion on its own—and Ukraine’s situation has sparked debate over whether anyone would come to Taiwan's aid  Japan Times, Bloomberg, 2022-3-20: Nine in 10 Japanese people are concerned that China may invade Taiwan DW, 2022-3-15: Easton: Taiwan's military now lacks manpower and requires updated and intensified training. legislator: "we are far from ready" Washington Post, 2022-3-15: The war in Ukraine could make China rethink invading Taiwan ◆ Politico, 2022-3-14: Taiwan's military may be rightly criticized for its poorly coordinated forces, and its government has been hesitant to invest in its own defense...PLA would be more motivated than the Russian forces...China’s deep integration into the global economy and the leverage of Beijing's $1,068 billion in treasury bonds would make Western sanctions more painful to implement    Fox News, 2022-3-13: China warns of 'worst consequences' for any country that supports Taiwan militarily   full text 


Is Taiwan willing to fight for itself ?

New York Times, 2021-8-16: Biden: American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.

Taiwanese army L.A. Times, 2022-3-20: over much of the last decade, Taiwan moved in the opposite direction: It cut the size of its regular army and reduced the training of its reserves.
Economist, 2022-4-23: The infantry's strongest skills,... are “painting walls, picking grass and falsifying documents”...
Financial Times (UK), 7-12-2020 : Politicians in Taiwan are even afraid to discuss these issues with the public because they believe Taiwanese are not willing to sacrifice...
 Foreign Policy, 2020-10-19 :  Given these electoral realities, Taiwan's leaders have gravitated toward military showpieces — while hoping that the United States will save the day if China ever attacks.  however, the United States may not be up to the task.
◆  Economist, 2022-3-5: Taiwanese seem too uninterested to fight to defend their land.  Taiwan's sloth in reforming its defence capabilities ...
imported wrong weapons L.A. Times, 2022-3-20: It invested in high-end weapons beloved by military brass, like F-16s and Abrams tanks, instead of more mundane tools that might deter a shipborne invader: antiaircraft weapons, anti-ship missiles and advanced mines.
Foreign Policy, 2020-10-19: Taiwan's advanced aircraft, ships, and tanks operating from large bases—precisely the kind of forces that China can now destroy with a surprise air and missile barrage. 
NBC, 2021-3-27: Taiwan's air force is wiped out within minutes.
Economist 2022-4-23: American critics question the billions being spent on expensive systems, ... many of the high-end weapons will be quickly destroyed or rendered ineffective.
Taiwan needs lots of asymmetric mobile defense weapons.

Taiwan's weapons
Taiwan has been developing some military planes, ships ... udn.com/news/story/7338/6254658?from=udn-catehotnews_ch2
Forbes 2021-4-19: for AIDC, is it worth it to spend extra billions on planes that might get blown up on the ground five minutes after war breaks out? 


  Washington Examiner, 2022-3-13:  the U.S. should immediately and dramatically expand the sale of high-quality anti-air and anti-sea missile, radar, and other defensive systems to Taiwan... a well-armed Taiwan might well defeat a Chinese invasion Hong Kong Free Press, 2022-3-12: Taiwan has significant problems, ranging from the state of the military to the extremely brief conscription term (4 months, by contrast, South Korea and Singapore, at least 18 months long) to the paucity of civil defence programs Breaking Defense, 2022-3-11: Until recently, President Tsai has appeared reluctant to discuss how Taiwanese citizens can help defend their country... the Taiwanese people must understand that a US-led coalition can only come to their aid if Taiwan can hold out for an extended period of time Economist, 2022-3-5: Taiwanese seem too uninterested to fight to defend their land.  Taiwan's sloth in reforming its defence capabilities and strengthening its deterrence Washington Post, 2022-3-4: Taiwan's leaders try to calm fears over Ukraine invasion, but citizens worry their island will be next WSJ, 2022-3-2: many military analysts assume the U.S. would directly intervene to fight on Taiwan's side New York Times, 2022-2-23: With some seeing parallels to Ukraine, Taiwan steps up its defenses


   How many Taiwanese soldiers to fight China's PLA  ??
abc news,2022-9-5(abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/military-reserves-civil-defense-worry-taiwan-china-looms-89335261);
Taipei Times, 2022-9-12
The number of combat-ready reservists — those who could immediately join frontline battles — is only about 300,000
The Defense Post, 2022-5-30

Taiwan has only been able to train 120,000 reservists per year.
The country is seeking to increase its annual training capacity to 260,000 reservists


PS: Yahoo Taiwan, 2020-10-23: Taiwan Defense Minister: 260,000 reservists and 186,000 active force are main force to fight PLA in the first place.

Foreign Policy (10-19-2020) :   Given these electoral realities, Taiwan’s leaders have gravitated toward military showpieces—while hoping that the United States will save the day if China ever attacks.   N.Y. Times, 2022-6-19:  ...Taiwan ... politicians have electoral considerations. Extending military conscription, for example, would probably not be very popular

CNN, 2022-6-1: Taiwan has about 150,000 troops and 2.5 million reservists (NY Times, May 18,'17:  reservists exist in name only)


     How many Chinese soldiers to attack Taiwan  ??
CNN, 2022-6-1 over 1.2 million soldiers
Forbes, 2021-7-26 the PLA might have to send over two million troops -
The likely scale and violence of a Chinese assault on Taiwan “defies human comprehension”, The cross-strait conflict would be “the ultra mega”
Financial Times,10-6-2020 one million
Daily Express, 2022-5-30  China has two million soldiers (and least 500,000 in reserve).
Global Times, 6-8-2020 :
660 millions of Chinese can join the army

The west advices
the number of Taiwan's reservists to fight China

a million

 Daily Express (UK), 10-11-2020 Daily Express (UK), 10-11-2020: PLA troops which did make it ashore would face roughly 175,000 full-time soldiers and one million reservists
a million  Foreign Policy, 10-19-2020 Foreign Policy, 10-19-2020: Taiwan needs ... developing an army that can surge tens of thousands of troops to any beach in an hour backed by a million-strong reserve force trained to fight guerrilla-style in Taiwan’s cities and jungles
 more than a million US  Army University Press
Military Review,
Sept-Oct, 2020
Taiwan has a significant advantage in sheer numbers if it can create a more active, capable reserve element. The U.S. Army can serve as a useful partner in the effort to strengthen Taiwan’s reserve capacity
2.3 millions  Financial Times (UK), 7-12-2020   2.3m reservists the country has on paper, 780,000 were demobilised ... — the military’s metric for whether men are worth mobilising. Of those, only 84,000 are demobilised volunteer force soldiers, the best-trained and most motivated group...

a force that is large on paper but seen as unfit for the task because of a lack of training. 

Easton’s study declared “insufficient to meet the challenges posed by the increasing threat from the PLA

2~3.8 millions New York times,  5-18-2017 The nearly two million reservists exist in name only...   (ps: Baidu , 10-15-2017: 3 million reservists   Wikipedia, May 2020:  reserves reportedly total 3,870,000.  )
2.5 millions Asia Times, 12-28-2020  
2 millions Wall Street Journal, 2-5-2021 Finnish army proportion
2 millions Wall Street Journal, 2021-7-22 Calling up reserves could multiply the size of Taiwan’s active-duty military of under 200,000 by a factor of 10.
every military age man [and] woman is armed Politico, 2022-5-19  
military training to all men ( and why not women, too? )  Economist, 2022-4-23  




 CNN, 2022-2-3: China's leaders may be watching Ukraine with an eye on Taiwan   WSJ, 2022-2-13: Ukraine is a distraction from Taiwan Foreign Affairs, 2022-2-1: the United States is on track to lose a war over Taiwan. The US needs Battle Force 2025. Nikkei (Japan), 2022-1-31: China eyes 'armed unification' with Taiwan by 2027: key academic Guardian, NPR, 2022-1-28: China's ambassador to US warns of possible military conflict over Taiwan New York Times, 2022-1-25: China could use economic coercion, cyberoperations and hybrid tactics to try to seize or harm Taiwan's semiconductor industry — Biden promised he would work to bring production of semiconductor chips back to the United States. Washington Post, 2022-1-24: Defending Taiwan is a worthy goal. But are we ready for heavy casualties? it would be a grave mistake for the United States to promise to defend Taiwan without preparing its public — and its soldiers — for the tough fight they could face ◆ New York Post, 2022-1-21: Rep. Michael McCaul predicts Chinese invasion of Taiwan after Winter Olympics   full text cyber-links 


What Should The US Do If China Invades Taiwan ?   TIPP Poll  2022-3-2 ~ 3-4, 1318 adults, online survey

  come to defense of Taiwan
directly via MILITARY action
economic sanctions combination of military action
 and economic sanctions
allow China to take Taiwan not sure
overall 14% 27% 23% 6% 29%
Democrats 15 33 22 6 24
Republicans 16 27 27 n/a 25
Independents 11 22 24 9 34
Conservatives 17 27 28 6 21
Moderates 12 26 19 6 36
Liberals 15% 32% 25% 5% 22%
19fortyfive.com/2022/04/a-chinese-invasion-of-taiwan-what-response-would-americans-support/     TIPP Insights


Will the US defend Taiwan ??

 ☉  NY Times, , 2022-5-24: Former presidents have hinted that the United States would fight for Taiwan but have otherwise remained studiedly vague...Taiwan's defense budget... remains scandalously low 
☉Breaking Defense, 2022-3-11: Until recently, President Tsai has appeared reluctant to discuss how Taiwanese citizens can help defend their country...
Foreign Policy, 2020-10-19 :  Given these electoral realities, Taiwan's leaders have gravitated toward military showpieces — while hoping that the United States will save the day if China ever attacks.   It could take a decade to retool the Taiwanese and U.S. militaries to mount an effective defense of the island.... With China’s rapid military buildup, that may be time that Taiwan does not have. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/19/china-keeps-inching-closer-to-taiwan/

The US won't

The US will

Times (UK), 2021-12-10: The US won't fight to save Taiwan or Ukraine
Washington Examiner, 2022-03-10:
The Biden administration may have encouraged China further when the White House walked back Biden’s off-the-cuff commitment that the U.S. would defend Taiwan.
Washington Post, 2022-3-9, Politico, 3-15-2021:Trump indicated (in 2019) America might not come to Taipei’s defense in the event of a Chinese invasion"If they invade, there isn’t a f---ing thing we can do about it."
◆  ABC News, 2022-3-14:
"Taiwan is a major interest of the US but a core interest of China... The loss of Taiwan will cause a complete overthrow of the Chinese regime. Thus, China will fight to win or die, but the US will not."

  FoxNews, 2021-11-17: Hannity: "Basically his weakness guarantees Taiwan will be taken over by the Communist Chinese and Joe won't do a thing."
 washington post, 2021-10-15:  The United States does not want war with China over Taiwan
 Bloomberg, 3-14-2021:  the US will intervene. What reason is there to believe that the United States will sacrifice the lives of its own children to defend Taiwan?
 FoxNews, 2021-8-21:Newt Gingrich: After Afghanistan debacle, Biden ‘can't possibly protect’ Taiwan

CNN, 2021-10-15 :  Biden has also been determined to keep the US out of foreign conflicts.
Washington Post, 2021-10-11 : The problem is: We must have both the force with which to deter the Chinese and the legal authority to employ it. And right now, we do not...Under the War Powers and Taiwan Relations acts, the president has no legal authority, without the express authorization of Congress, to use military force to defend Taiwan...The legal limitations on a president’s ability to respond quickly could all but ensure a Chinese fait accompli. Simply put: The president has no legal authority to react in the time necessary to repel a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and deter an all-out war.
Reuters, 2020-12-10: Newsham says “How do you defend Taiwan? All I can hear is that the United States will intervene,” ... “What reason is there to believe that the United States will sacrifice the lives of its own children to defend Taiwan?”
breaking defense, 2022-3-11:“With the PLA [People’s Liberation Army]’s significant and capable counter-intervention capabilities, the Taiwanese people must understand that a US-led coalition can only come to their aid if Taiwan can hold out for an extended period of time, regardless of a security commitment,” Kanapathy added.
Express (UK) 6-30-2020: China attack on Taiwan will NOT be salvaged by US in major new warning  
Foreign Policy, 2021-4-5Taipei can't rely on a guarantee of U.S. aid
 N.Y. Times ,8-30-2020: "Taiwan cannot count on US as a matter of strategy"
 Economist , 8-30-2020: "The island cannot rely on American help".
The Hill, 2020-8-25: Biden apparently believes the TRA constricted the president’s inherent powers when applied to Taiwan as a U.S. national security concern. In the event of a sudden attack by China on Taiwan, consultation with Congress prior to responding would cause disastrous delay, allowing China to overrun Taiwan. 
Global Times (China), 2021-8-18: The US failed in all its main post-WWII wars in Asia..To maintain the illusion that the US will continue backing the island will finally exhaust Washington as time goes on. Therefore, the US will eventually have to accept the reunification of the mainland and the island of Taiwan...If the US wants to change that new status quo through a war, it will have to bet its national fate. Washington has no reason to do so. 
SCMP (Hong Kong), 2022-04-11
: "almost Zero" chance US would send troops to defend Taiwan if mainland China attacked...

 DW (Germany), 2022-2-28: Nachman says "The US would likely intervene if Taiwan is attacked by China,"...Analyst Glaser says that the US would likely intervene militarily if China attacks Taiwan unprovoked.


 Wall Street Journal, 2022-3-2: many military analysts assume the U.S. would directly intervene to fight on Taiwan's side


 Nippon (Japan), 2022-3-24: Were China to launch an armed attack on Taiwan at this time, the PLA could face a grueling and costly battle on multiple fronts, with the US military springing to the island's defense...


   Guardian, 2021-10-5 :The prevailing mood among Washington insiders is to fight if China attempts to conquer Taiwan. hard reality that fighting China over Taiwan risks an almost-certain military defeat – and gambles we won’t stumble into a nuclear war. The best that could be hoped for would be a pyrrhic victory in which we are saddled with becoming the permanent defense force for Taiwan (costing us hundreds of billions a year and the equally permanent requirement to be ready for the inevitable Chinese counter-attack).


 Brookings.edu , 2021-10-27

“Devise and implement a defense strategy capable of defending the first-island-chain nations, including Taiwan.” This could be understood as meaning that the United States itself would take direct military action to defend Taiwan, instead of just helping Taiwan to defend itself.



  Guardian, 2022-1-14: fear of war dips in Taiwan despite rise in US-China tensions over island; Taiwan professor: Taiwanese were perhaps not aware of the reality Business Insider, 2022-1-1: China's special-operations forces are Taiwan's real problem. In the first phase of an attack, Taiwan would be pulverized by thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles , eliminating its air defenses, hitting runways, and knocking out key communications nodes. France24, NY Post, Daily Mail(UK), 2021-12-30: China warns US will pay 'unbearable price' for backing Taiwan Washington Post, 2021-12-23: assistant secretary of defense suggested that Taiwan must not ever reunify with China. Do Americans really wish to risk war with other great powers, ...If the answer is no, the US should halt the expansionist drift of its post-Cold War policies. Reuters, 2021-12-20: Chinese spies have penetrated Taiwan's military, Even the security detail of President Tsai Ing-wen has been compromised Hill, 2021-12-20: China could obliterate Taiwan. It could seize Taiwan's tiny islands ... impose an embargo... And it could attempt regime change... Foreign Affairs, 2021-12-13:  The Growing Danger of U.S. Ambiguity on Taiwan: Biden Must Make America’s Commitment Clear to China—and the World NY Times, 2021-12-10: As China has built up its military presence, the U.S. has sought to widen its alliances in the region. A major potential flash point is Taiwan Times (UK), 2021-12-10: The US won't fight to save Taiwan or Ukraine   Bloomberg, 2021-12-7: War With Taiwan Would Be a Huge Gamble for China's XiDeaths, economic sanctions and possible defeat are all deterrents Financial Times (UK), 2021-12-5: US defence chief warns of China ‘rehearsals’ for attack on Taiwan; Lloyd Austin cites concern over scale and frequency of Beijing’s military sorties     full text cyber-links 




US   VS   Taiwan

Taiwan's strategy    &    US criticism


US strategy for Taiwan    &     Taiwan's criticism

WarOnTheRocks, 2021-11-18: Taiwan's military seems to be taking its defense preparations less and less seriously;  Taiwan has abandoned asymmetric defense reform in all...   The ministry is now planning to deter an invasion by threatening to retaliate with missile strikes against the Chinese homeland and by pitting Taiwanese units in direct combat against the vastly superior People's Liberation Army. 


But diesel submarines, F-16 jets, M1A2 tanks, and Paladins take a long time to build and field, and Taiwan lacks the surveillance and targeting capabilities needed to accurately strike distant targets.



WarOnTheRocks, 2021-12-6: Taipei is not serious about its own security and instead just wants to free-ride on American troops' livesTaipei has taken the opposite approach.  Its operational planning and acquisitions focus on a relatively small number of high-tech, high-value capabilities — platforms that will quickly be destroyed in the opening salvo of a China-Taiwan war  

NBC news, 2021-7-10: a significant military imbalance between China and Taiwan – increases the possibility and temptation for warTaiwan must rapidly strengthen near-term combat capabilities and defense readiness based on asymmetric warfare nbcnews.com/think/opinion/threat-china-invading-taiwan-growing-every-day-what-u-s-ncna1273386


WarOnTheRocks, 2021-12-6: The U.S. government currently believes that Taiwan's best chance for survival is in a “porcupine strategy” of asymmetric defense.     Taiwan claims it must expend significant political capital and effort to convince its population to fight a prolonged war of attrition.  Asking the Taiwanese people to prepare for a long and bloody war of attrition — one that might become a fool's errand if the US ultimately decides to stay on the sidelines.  warontherocks.com/2021/12/the-counter-intuitive-sensibility-of-taiwans-new-defense-strategy/ 

WarOnTheRocks, 2021-11-18: Voters will not support dramatic measures like conscription or a massive increase in defense spending unless they think the threat is real, but telling voters that the threat is real will cause them to panic and will cost votes.

China Times, 2021-10-26:   the urban (guerrilla) warfare by the reservist-forces will turns the cities into ruins and causes a large number of civilian casualties, and all resources must be invested in order to establish a truly effective asymmetric combat power.  The army has to spend 10 to 20 years on learning the new warfare.




US   VS   China

China's strategy


US strategy

Nikkei (Japan), 2022-1-31: ... keeping U.S. naval vessels out of the waters around China -- and thus refining its ability to launch missile attacks against American forces there...the PLA can defeat any U.S. force within 1,000 nautical miles of the coastline."   asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/China-eyes-armed-unification-with-Taiwan-by-2027-key-academic

Barrons, 2022-1-28:  barrons.com/articles/taiwan-is-not-ukraine-russian-invasion-china-51643385156

War on the Rocks, 2022-1-26: ... policy has emphasized “soft” economic inducements as much as “hard” diplomatic and military pressure to increase influence over Taiwan. warontherocks.com/2022/01/taiwan-is-not-ukraine-stop-linking-their-fates-together/

  Washington Post, 2022-1-24:

tends toward descriptions of long-range air and naval campaigns in which stealthy submarines, fighter jets and cruise missiles use American satellites and intelligence resources to defeat an invading Chinese force... But the PLA is not the Iraqi military.

... without forces that have been placed in advance on the island, ... the defense of the island could be the bloodiest conflict the United States has experienced since Vietnam...

Some hawks are keen to galvanize public support for firm assurances to defend Taiwan washingtonpost.com/outlook/2022/01/24/taiwan-defense-hawks-cost/



  Reuters, 2021-12-3: Blinken says any move by China to invade Taiwan would have 'terrible consequences' NY Times, 2021-11-29:  China is developing advanced weapons, leading U.S. officials to push for the first nuclear talks CFR.org, 2021-11-23: Does Taiwan Have the Right of Self-Defense? it would hinge on its international legal status and the circumstances of the hostilities The Hill, 2021-11-22:  as things currently stand, the U.S. can't deter Beijing ◆ WSJ, 2021-11-17: Beijing’s arms buildup and menacing of Taiwan make U.S. directionlessness dangerous for the world.  Rather than risk a less feckless president after Mr. Biden, Mr. Xi may feel he has three years to act.  WarOnTheRocks, 2021-11-18: Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense has abandoned asymmetric defense reform, Washington ought to step in to get Taiwanese defense reform back on track FoxNews, 2021-11-17: Hannity: China 'bullies' Biden in meeting, "Basically his weakness guarantees Taiwan will be taken over by the Communist Chinese and Joe won't do a thing."◆  NY Times, 2021-11-15: Biden and Xi meet amid tensions in an effort to keep “communication lines open” and avoid military action — American officials remain concerned that the chances of avoiding conflict may be diminishing. ◆  CBS, 2021-11-16:  Biden's virtual summit with China's Xi focuses on "managing strategic risks" like Taiwan...while there had been no major breakthroughs     full text

Taiwanese fear of war,  rise in US-China tensions
Guardian, 2020-1-14    theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/14/fear-war-dips-in-taiwan-despite-us-china-tensions-poll

Huang Kwei-bo, a professor of  NCCU:  Taiwanese were perhaps not aware of the reality
  a survey in May 2021 of 1,000 residents found more than 57% did worry that war was a distinct possibility, shared across party lines and age demographics
a poll, by Taiwan’s Commonwealth Magazine, 2022-1-13 35.4%  were worried about a military conflict within the next year
59.7% do not think Beijing will ultimately use force to take Taiwan, 35+% believed it would.
58.8%  the US possibly would send troops to help Taiwan in the event of war.
aged 40-  hold a more favourable view of the US.  Those older were more concerned about the prospect of war.


Taiwanese people were asked if they agreed that "There will be war between China and Taiwan eventually"
 / BBC, 2022-1-12, source: Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation, research at Oct. 2021

strongly agree 7% strongly disagree 23.7%
partly agree 21.1% don't know/no opinion 7.6%
partly disagree 40.6%


The Guardian, 2021-11-16: Biden-Xi virtual summit: leaders warn each other over future of Taiwan ...the US is increasingly nervous about the rapid development of Chinese conventional and nuclear military forces.
Reuters, 2021-11-11: U.S. and allies would 'take unspecified action' if Taiwan attacked - Blinken New York Times, 2021-11-10: Europe’s economic interests in China are huge, and the focus on Taiwan is still a minority effort. Europe is both reluctant and badly equipped to get involved militarily in the Indo-Pacific in the face of Washington’s intense focus on deterring China from attacking Taiwan. TIME, 2021-11-3: The U.S. Risks Catastrophe if It Doesn't Clarify Its Taiwan Strategy  Brookings, 2021-11-1: the asymmetric approach has been stretched beyond recognition in recent years by a recalcitrant MND  Hill, 2021-11-1: Now there is real danger that, encouraged by Biden's recent shift toward a more conciliatory approach  toward China, Xi will move against Taiwan Wall Street Journal, 2021-10-27:The Fight for Taiwan Could Come Soon


Chinese and Taiwanese armed forces / BBC, 2022-1-12, source: TrendForce 2021

  China Taiwan
Active duty personnel 2,035,000 163,000
Ground Force 965,000 88,000
Navy 260,000 40,000
Air Force 395,000 35,000
Strategic missile Forces 120,000 0
Strategic Support Force 145,000 0
Other Forces 150,000 0



Global Fire Power  /   globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.php?country_id=taiwan

  China Taiwan
world rank 3 of 140 21 of 140


Brookings, 2021-10-27: The “U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” “Devise and implement a defense strategy capable of defending the first-island-chain nations, including Taiwan." could be understood as meaning that the U.S. itself would take direct military action to defend Taiwan ◆ WSJ, FoxNews, 2021-10-25: the island's military is riven with internal problems...Among the most pressing concerns are poor preparation and low morale among the roughly 80,000 Taiwanese who are conscripted each year and the nearly 2.2 million reservists. Defense Post, 2021-10-26: some military strategists have suggested that Taiwan implement a conscription system similar to Israel's New York Times, 2021-10-22: American presidents have spent decades trying to sidestep the question of how forcefully the United States would come to the aid of Taiwan if China invaded it or, more likely, tried to slowly strangle the island in an effort to force it back under the control of the mainland. Reuters  2021-10-23 : analysts dismissed the president's remark (US has a commitment to defend Taiwan) as a gaffe. it was "patently not true". "A confused US policy weakens deterrence" Daily Mail, 2021-10-22, POLITICO :

  ABC News, 2021-10-17: How US-China relations continue to play out in the coming months and years will ultimately determine Taiwan's future.    full text  


 pic.: No.3 "Taiwanese military"on Bing, 2022-9-22; No.2 "Taiwan military" at 2022-3-30,  No.1 "Taiwan military" on Bing, 2021-6-4, 2021-6-1 No.3 "Taiwanese military" at 2022-9-10, No.3 "Taiwan military" at 2022-5-29





 pic.: No.1 "Taiwan military" on ecosia (Berlin Germany), 2021-6-5, 2021-2-7; No.2 at 2022-3-30, 2022-3-7, 2022-1-19, 2022-1-3, 2021-5-12, 2021-4-26, 2021-3-27, 2021-3-4







Fox news, 2021-10-17 :War games run by the U.S. military show it’s almost impossible to stop a mass amphibious invasion by China, unless American forces and allies are already on scene.  five crucial steps to deter China:1. Tripwire forces 2. Recognize Taiwan 3. Speed up arms sales 4. Call out China's nuclear build-up 5. Give up the go-slow appeasement   CNN, 2021-10-15 : China isn't about to invade Taiwan. But the two sides are on a dangerous path CNN, 2021-10-15 :  Biden has also been determined to keep the US out of foreign conflicts. China, Taiwan tensions spark debate inside Biden admin. 2027 , a key year in which Beijing could try to take Taiwan by force if peaceful unification has not yet been achieved POLITICO, 2021-10-14 : Taiwan increasingly becomes a powder keg, a mishap or miscalculation could lead to confrontation while Chinese and American ambitions are at odds.  Taiwan’s own strategy  — delaying China long enough for the U.S. and its allies to show up in force.◆ Washington Post, 2021-10-11 : The problem is: We must have both the force with which to deter the Chinese and the legal authority to employ it. And right now, we do not. Congress must untie Biden’s hands on TaiwanCNN, 2021-10-11 : China: Taiwan president's speech "incites confrontation" Financial Times, 2021-10-11 :  The public mood in both China and the US, which will influence the choices that the two countries’ leaders make, seems increasingly bellicose NY Times, 2021-10-9 : "starting a fire" : US and China enter dangerous territory over Taiwan... with potential to ignite military conflagration and reshape the regional order Guardian, 2021-10-10 : Joe Biden’s wavering over what to do about China’s ambitions are fuelling its president’s dangerous swaggering BBC, 2021-10-6 :China-Taiwan military tensions 'worst in 40 years' TIME, 2021-10-8 : U.S. Troops in Taiwan Add Even More Fuel to the China-U.S. Tinderbox WSJ, 2021-10-7 :U.S. Troops Have Been Deployed in Taiwan for at Least a Year Financial Times (UK), 2021-10-7 : US special forces secretly training Taiwan’s military; rotations had been occurring for at least a decade... the disclosure could further raise tensions. “Making this public will compel the Chinese to react Guardian, 2021-10-5 :The prevailing mood among Washington insiders is to fight if China attempts to conquer Taiwan. hard reality that fighting China over Taiwan risks an almost-certain military defeat – and gambles we won’t stumble into a nuclear war. Reuters, 2021-10-5 : experts say the island could likely only hold out for a few days in the event of a Chinese attack unless the United States quickly came to its aid CNN, 2021-10-5 : Biden says he and China's Xi agree to abide by Taiwan agreement CNN, 2021-10-5 : latest PLA flights represent the largest concentration of Chinese military aircraft ever operating that far from their home bases   war news cyber-links 

Politico, 2021-10-5 : while a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is not imminent...We should think of China’s approach to Taiwan not as a bifurcated decision between war and peace but instead a continuous pressure campaign that can take various lethal and non-lethal forms New York Times, 2021-10-3 :
Beijing sent a record number of planes near the island, ...a display of strength that underscored Chinese demands for unification Forbes, 2021-10-4 :Easton:“Deterrence could be failing already"  “That indicates something big is going on.”. Beijing might initiate an aerial battle in a deliberate way. The Hill, 2021-10-4 :Taiwan preparing for possible war with China  CNN, 2021-10-4 :professor in Switzerland: "As long as Taiwan doesn't take irreversible steps toward independence/greater autonomous presence on the international scene," combat is unlikely Global Times, 2021-10-4 :Time to warn Taiwan secessionists and their fomenters: war is real◆ FT(UK), 2021-9-16 :Washington keeps scolding Taipei over its supposed lack of preparation against an ever mightier Beijing, Taiwan is failing to reorient its military towards an asymmetric strategy, US defence experts are growing exasperated over the Taiwan military’s reluctance to decisively act on their instructions. ◆ Guardian, 2021-9-22 : a four months basic training course ... is often derided as a “summer camp”... the military at large has also been described as dysfunctional and “in crisis”◆ WSJ, 2021-9-16 :deterring China from a catastrophic invasion of Taiwan must be the Biden administration's principal national security objective◆ New York Times, 2021-9-13 : if China has any hope of winning a war across the Strait, its military would have to move fast, before the United States has time to respond... the Chinese economy would suffer more ◆ Nikkei Asia (Japan), 2021-9-10 : Will Xi move on Taiwan? History warns he might◆ Guardian, 2021-9-6 :There is growing speculation over the likelihood of Beijing, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, deciding to move on Taiwan ... general consensus that the risk is higher now than it has been for decades ◆ TIME, 2021-9-3 : In the case of conflict, China’s best chance of success would be a quick knockout before the U.S. can rally to Taiwan’s aid.  An initial cyber and electronic blitzkrieg could be mounted against Taiwan’s financial system and key infrastructure, as well as U.S. military communications... blockade Taiwan’s coast ◆ Reuters, 2021-9-1 :Taiwan says China can 'paralyse' its defences, threat worsening ◆ VOA, 2021-8-28 : Survey: Most Americans Support Defending Taiwan if China Invades ◆ Financial Times, 2021-8-23: Anti-Beijing sentiment is growing but the government has done little to prepare the public for war...The majority of Taiwanese do not believe there will be conflict with China...Taiwan is avoiding ‘the underlying reality ◆  Taiwan battle CovID-19 outbreak    war news cyber-links 

WSJ, 2021-8-23: Will America Fight to Save Taiwan? Will the Taiwanese? President Xi Jinping may decide the time has come to eliminate that troubling democracy in Taiwan Politico, 2021-8-19:The fundamental challenge to the U.S. commitment to Taiwan is the growing tension between maintaining bilateral strategic stability with China and fighting China over Taiwan in a violent military conflict that has every potential to escalate into an all-out major power war FoxNews, 2021-8-21:Newt Gingrich: After Afghanistan debacle, Biden ‘can’t possibly protect’ Taiwan CNBC, 2021-8-19: President Joe Biden will likely remain ambiguous about whether it will defend Taiwan if Beijing uses force against the island FoxBusiness, 2021-8-19: China’s Xi Jinping is forecasting he will invade Taiwan, the US better listen Reuters, 2021-8-19: President Joe Biden appeared to suggest the United States would defend the island if it were attacked Global Times, 2021-8-16: Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow ? US treachery scares Taiwan DPP Defense One, 2021-8-18: Taiwan proposed sale is stark proof that far from undertaking long overdue defense reforms with a sense of existential urgency, Taiwan is acting like it is business as usual. American analysts and think tanks have instead tried to get Taiwan to adopt an asymmetric force posture —weapons like drones, coastal defense missiles, naval mines, portable air defenses, and mobile ground forces. National Review, 2021-8-18:Asia-watchers are understandably concerned that a Chinese invasion has rapidly become more likely Global Times, 2021-8-18:  the US completely unsure of a victory in a cross-Straits war. In fact, the US military and academic communities are pessimistic about the result of a cross-Straits war   New York Times, 2021-8-5:  Xi vowed it would be accomplished by 2049, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It would undo the hundred years of national humiliation China had been subjected to by foreign powers.  “Hong Kong today, Taiwan tomorrow” had turned from a chant to a harbinger   Washington Post, 2021-7-21:The risk of a war over Taiwan is growing Forbes, 2021-7-26:The likely scale and violence of a Chinese assault on Taiwan “defies human comprehension”, The cross-strait conflict would be “the ultra mega” Wall Street Journal, 2021-7-22:The best way to forestall a catastrophic Chinese invasion of Taiwan is to raise the costs for Beijing. A new American legislative proposal aims to bolster Taiwan’s deterrence by improving the island’s ability to call up its (2 millions) reserve forces in case of an invasion New York Times, 2021-7-13: Japan, while still wary of being drawn into the rivalry between the United States and China, ...as Washington and Beijing have ramped up both their rhetoric and military presence around Taiwan, Japanese white paper warned that China’s rapid expansion of its military threatened to ... undermine peace in the region ◆  Taiwan battle CovID-19 outbreak    war news cyber-links 

Global Times (China), 2021-8-12: We have repeatedly warned that if the US and the island of Taiwan cross the red line, the PLA fighter jets will fly over the island Reuters, CNN, 2021-7-13: Japan warns of crisis over Taiwan, growing risks from U.S.-China rivalry NBC news, 2021-7-10: The Chinese military has already begun gray zone operations. An all-out attack on Taiwan looms if Beijing continues to escalate...  it is impossible to accurately predict when China might attempt a full-scale invasion of Taiwan. Given the complexities involved, even Xi may not have a definitive timeline , Yahoo, 2021-7-7: China's Taiwan ambitions could drag Japan and US into war with Asian power Nikkei Asia, 2021-7-7: Kurt Campbell: US does not support Taiwan independence CNN, 2021-7-5: As Beijing steps up its military propaganda and warns Taiwan to "prepare for war," experts say the bigger threat to the island and western democracies is the large-scale cyberattacks that could potentially paralyze physical infrastructure and business simultaneously Washington Post, 2021-7-2: ‘Strategic ambiguity’ is no longer a prudent U.S. policy on Taiwan Foxnews, 2021-7-1: China’s Xi warns Taiwan on independence, sends message to West USNI, 2021-6-23: Milley: China Wants Capability to Take Taiwan by 2027 Financial Times (UK), 2021-6-18:Top US general Mark Milley dismisses warnings of imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan  Washington Post, 2021-6-17: the world’s top democracies were less vocal about the ever-increasing Chinese threats to Taiwan...Lawmakers increasingly believe, he said, that Beijing is moving toward compelling reunification, perhaps not through military invasion, but through various other coercive and covert means   Chn-TW war news cyber-links 

New York Times, 2021-6-16: how deeply entrenched the long-running conflict across the Taiwan Strait has become, with a degree of mutual distrust that not even a global medical emergency can allay Sunday Guardian (UK), 2021-6-19: Instead of invasion, China is trying soft power action, including cyber warfare, psychological warfare, media warfare by penetrating Taiwan to influence, mislead and divide the population Business Insider, 2021-6-16:"Joint Blockade Campaign"...Taiwan could quickly run out of both military and non-military necessities Wall Street Journal, 2021-6-7: U.S., Taiwan to Launch Trade Talks...risks aggravating tensions with China Foreign Affairs, 2021-6-3: Washington would need to persuade a large coalition of allies to commit to a coordinated economic, political, and military response to any Chinese aggression. And that, unfortunately, remains a remote possibility New York Times, 2021-5-5: The more the United States and Taiwan formally close the door on reunification, the more likely Beijing is to seek reunification by force Financial Times, 2021-5-5:Washington shies away from open declaration to defend Taiwan NBC, 2021-5-5:Taiwan fears quieter Chinese threat as U.S. warns of invasion Economist, 2021-5-1: Taiwan - The most dangerous place on Earth.  America and China must work harder to avoid war over the future of Taiwan Economist, 2021-5-1: All-out conflict may not feel imminent, but nor is it unthinkable Brookings, 2021-4-28: Now, the government... need to develop a better integrated, asymmetric strategy for protecting Taiwan Foreign Affairs, 2021-4-28: Glaser: for the declining power, the best option may be ... letting go of Taiwan, and accepting that the U.S. is no longer the dominant power it once was in the region Forbes, 2021-4-26: ...Beijing with growing reason to doubt the credibility of the U.S. deterrence message,” RAND’s experts National Interest, 2021-4-26: Beijing could use a blockade to slowly strangle Taiwan into submission while avoiding or overcoming any realistic American military response Guardian, Reuters, 2021-4-25: Australian defence minister says conflict over Taiwan involving China ‘should not be discounted' WSJ, 2021-4-22: U.S. Concerns About Taiwan Put Focus on Island’s Defensive Weakness Asia Nikkei (Japan), 2021-4-22: now that Taiwan has usurped North Korea's dubious honor as Asia's top geopolitical flashpoint  ◆ FoxNews, Washington Examiner 2021-4-20: Trump said China is testing Biden’s resolve about protecting Taiwan...It looks very serious, going on with Taiwan Australia NEWS, 2021-4-19: China declares war is preferable over closer Taiwan-US ties; An expert has warned the risk of a full-scale war is increasing which an Aussie general says would be “disastrous” Reuters, 2021-4-17: US.-Japan statement refers to "peace and stability in Taiwan Strait"    war news cyber-links 

Le Monde (France), 2021-4-16: parmi leurs nombreux différends, la question taïwanaise est la plus sensible. C’est celle qui présente le plus grand risque de déboucher sur un conflit armé Washington Post, 2021-4-15: The confrontation with China over Taiwan approaches. The U.S. must make its position clear Bloomberg, 2021-4-15:Taiwan should raise defense spending and get more serious about training its soldiers Foreign Policy's China Brief, 2021-4-14: The chance of actual Chinese invasion still remains small Bloomberg, 2021-4-11:  Blinken Warns China on Taiwan Encroachment, Russia on Ukraine New York Times, 2021-4-9: "military conflicts often seem unlikely until the moment they begin", The Atlantic : a Chinese invasion “could happen at any moment” and that Biden should be prepared New York Times, 2021-4-8: the Biden administration might manage to deter China without provoking it through more forceful warnings that stop short of an explicit promise to defend Taiwan  NPR(USA), 2021-4-8: the people of Taiwan already are sober to the risks of pursuing independence. Don't Help China By Hyping Risk Of War Over Taiwan Newsweek, 2021-4-8: U.S. Can 'Resist' Chinese Force or Coercion Against Taiwan: State Department Reuters, 2021-4-7: Taiwan says will fight to the end if China attacks... "they (the US) clearly see the danger of the possibility of China launching an attack against Taiwan" Foreign Policy, 2021-4-5: the state of Taiwan’s own forces does not bode well. If Chinese forces actually land, ... This would require well-trained conscripts and a reserve force—both major problems for Taiwan right now . The government has adamantly refused to expand the length of conscription, which is only four months, or to draft women DW (Germany), 2021-4-5: Taiwan's army 'ill-prepared' for potential Chinese attack Bloomberg, 2021-4-1: The U.S. also makes no iron-clad guarantees it will come to Taiwan’s defense if China makes good on threats to invade, only agreeing to help the separately ruled economy maintain its capacity for self defense National Review, Yahoo, 2021-4-2: Beijing knows that the U.S. can impose heavy costs on the PLA, but if it sees a possibility of success, it is likely to act nonetheless CNN, 2021-3-27: China is about to become a nation with a full nuclear triad, US needs to field weapons and capabilities to deter China "in the near term and with urgency." Japan Times, 2021-3-28: Will the U.S. end its ambiguity over Taiwan? Aquilino's answer was ominously ambiguous NBC, 2021-3-27: A war over Taiwan remains a worst-case scenario that officials say is not imminent. China's growing firepower casts doubt on whether U.S. could defend Taiwan;  Taiwan needs lower-tech weapons (mines, drones and mobile anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles) to fend off a potential Chinese invasion, and that big-ticket items like fighter jets and Patriot missiles (they've invested a lot of money in) are going to die in the first few hours of the war    war news cyber-links

           Will Japan defend Taiwan ??  
Voice of America, 2021-4-24: officials in Tokyo reportedly clarified that Japan would not send troops but could offer logistical support to the United States in the event of a conflict.

SCMP(HK), 2021-4-21: Japan troops won’t get involved if China invades Taiwan, PM Yoshihide Suga says

The Hill , 2021-4-20:  Japan shies away from joining with the United States in an open commitment to resist Chinese aggression.  The joint ambiguity simply encourages Beijing to keep pushing the military envelope — with a strategic miscalculation or accident just waiting to happen
Japan Times, Kyodo News, 2021-4-25: Under the security laws, the SDF could provide transport and supply operations and related logistics support to the U.S. military and partners in the first scenario, while Japan would be allowed to practice collective self-defense in the second scenario. If a conflict expanded to a direct attack on Japanese soil, such as on the Yonaguni or Senkaku islands in Okinawa — the latter of which China claims and calls Diaoyu — the SDF would be mobilized to defend Japan and engage in combat operations.

Nikkei Asia (Japan), 2021-4-18:  For Biden wanting to take a stand on China and Suga not wanting to burn all bridges with Beijing,  the US-Japan joint statement used bland language devoid of "adjectives and adverbs.",   shunned more specific language like 'defend Taiwan' to avoid unnecessarily provoking China" ...

Global Times (China) , 2021-4-24: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the Japan-US joint statement "does not presuppose military involvement at all." I believe this is wise.

読売新聞(Yomiuri Japan), 2021-4-18: 台湾有事が勃発すれば、米軍は台湾防衛のために反撃すると考えられる。この場合、まず想定されるのは; 在日米軍基地を含む日本への武力攻撃が発生したか、発生する「明白な危険が切迫している」場合は、政府は「武力攻撃事態」に認定し、個別的自衛権に基づく武力行使で反撃することが可能だ。yomiuri.co.jp/politics/20210417-OYT1T50374/
Taiwanese government should maintain a large-scale conscription system, conduct longer-term military training for reservists, draft women, and to buy asymmetric and high-tech weapons needed from the US, and most important, to give up animosity
and to engage in meaningful dialogue with mainland China to find a way both side feel comfortable.



  (中文版 Chinese)  

  pic.:   No. 1 "comment Taiwan" on US Yahoo, 2022-1-1, 2021-10-




  pic.:   No. 1 "comment Taiwan" on US Google, 2022-3-3, 2022-1-3, 2021-10-9, 2021-9-23, 2021-9-7, 2021-8-31, 2021-8-23



  pic.:   No. 1 "comment Taiwan" on US Google, 2022-1-1, 2021-10-8, 2021-9-23, 2021-9-7, 2021-8-31, 2021-8-23



 pic.: No.1 "Taiwan military" on SwissCows (Switzerland), 2021-6-5, 2021-5-12, 2021-3-27, 2021-3-4, 2021-2-7





 pic.: No.1 "Taiwan military" on Microsoft Bing, 2021-6-1, 2-7-2021, 1-11-2021, 1-1-2021, 12-15-2020, 12-2-2020, 11-20-2020, 10-28-2020N; No.2 at 2022-3-30, 2021-5-12, 2021-4-30, 2021-4-26, 2021-4-18, 3-27-2021, 3-5-2021







   Taiwanese military

Taiwan military   vs.   China military




N.Y. Times, 2022-6-19: A Looming Threat /  ...Taiwan ... politicians have electoral considerations. Extending military conscription, for example, would probably not be very popular
NY Times, 2022-6-13: Taiwan's defenses are, by many accounts, ill-equipped and understaffed...

 L.A. Times, 2022-3-20: over much of the last decade, Taiwan moved in the opposite direction: It cut the size of its regular army and reduced the training of its reserves.
 Breaking Defense, 2022-3-11: Until recently, President Tsai has appeared reluctant to discuss how Taiwanese citizens can help defend their country... the Taiwanese people must understand that a US-led coalition can only come to their aid if Taiwan can hold out for an extended period of time
Economist, 2022-3-5: Taiwanese, seem too uninterested to fight to defend their land.... Taiwan's sloth in reforming its defence capabilities...(brief)
Washington Post, 2022-1-25  Taiwanese military has limited-to-no experience.


WSJ, FoxNews, 2021-10-25: the island's military is riven with internal problems...Among the most pressing concerns are poor preparation and low morale among the roughly 80,000 Taiwanese who are conscripted each year and the nearly 2.2 million reservists.  foxnews.com/world/taiwans-military-against-china-us-military

Military balance across Taiwan Strait 2020,  Economist, 2021-5-1

  China Taiwan
Ground-force personnel 1,030,000 88,000
tanks 6,300 800
warships 131 26
military aircrafts 2,500 460
source: US dept of Defense, SIPRI

Foreign Policy, 2021-4-5: the state of Taiwan’s own forces does not bode well. If Chinese forces actually land, ... This would require well-trained conscripts and a reserve force—both major problems for Taiwan right now . The government has adamantly refused to expand the length of conscription, which is only four months, or to draft women foreignpolicy.com/2021/04/05/taiwan-covid-19-success-china-military-threat/
DW (Germany), 2021-4-5: Taiwan's army 'ill-prepared' for potential Chinese attack   dw.com/en/taiwans-army-ill-prepared-for-potential-chinese-attack/a-57102659

Weekend Australian, 2021-5-8: Taiwan has not done enough to make itself an unbearably costly prize.   theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/thinking-the-unthinkable-about-china-and-taiwan-is-part-of-deterrence/news-story/0eee328f13d7864fe702a27faacbe2e5

NBC, 2021-3-27:  Taiwan needs lower-tech weapons (mines, drones and mobile anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles) to fend off a potential Chinese invasion, and that big-ticket items like fighter jets and Patriot missiles (they've invested a lot of money in) are going to die in the first few hours of the war nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/china-s-growing-firepower-casts-doubt-whether-u-s-could-n1262148

  Bloomberg, 3-14-2021: Taipei’s current capabilities do not offer a credible deterrent to a surprise assault from the mainland

Diplomat, 3-20-2021:Taiwan’s government, however, has met entrenched opposition to these reforms from some senior commanders. Moreover, military effectiveness is limited by unmet recruiting targets, insufficient training of both conscripts and reserves, and ammunition and spare parts shortages thediplomat.com/2021/03/rumors-of-war-in-the-taiwan-strait/
Economist, 2021-5-1:Taiwan must start to devote fewer resources to big, expensive weapons systems that are vulnerable to Chinese missiles and more to tactics and technologies that would frustrate an invasion. economist.com/leaders/2021/05/01/the-most-dangerous-place-on-earth
Forbes, 3-8-2021:Taiwan Aims To Sink Half Of A Chinese Invasion Fleet—It Could Take Years To Buy Enough Missiles

  DefenseNewss , 3-1-2021: Taiwan’s military is not yet “optimally manned, trained, equipped and motivated to defend against an attack” by China...efforts at defense reform face obstacles from institutional opposition from senior officers ( symmetric response, expensive and high-end platforms are limited utility in an actual conflict, they also against full conscription ) and a lack of time (weapons acquisition and development plans years away from delivery).  the current administration seemingly “unwilling or unable” to compel the ministry to implement it, partly due  politically sensitive moves, such as full conscription.

  Diplomat , 2-26-2021: evolution of Taiwan’s military was being hindered by bureaucracy and inefficient procedures.
The army’s military preparedness has come into question from both domestic and international experts

Reuters , 12-10-2020:Taiwan is suffering a serious and worsening decay in the readiness and training of its troops, particularly its army units... crucial element is dramatic reform of the reserves and civil defense units, creating urban and guerrilla warfare units... but " It is almost as if fighting to defend the country is somebody else’s responsibility,” expert says
Foreign Policy, 10-19-2020: Taiwan needs huge arsenals of mobile missile launchers, armed drones, and mines; developing an army that can surge
tens of thousands of troops to any beach in an hour backed by a million-strong reserve force trained to fight guerrilla-style in Taiwan’s cities and jungles.
 it could take a decade to retool the Taiwanese and U.S. militaries to mount an effective defense of the island. 
With China’s rapid military buildup, that may be time that Taiwan does not have

New York times,  8-30-2020:  Taiwan's Lawmaker said Taiwan’s military needs to improve a lot
  Forbes, 8-30-2020: Taiwan simply does not have enough firepower to  defeat a Chinese invasion without the help of the U.S. military



 ( soldiers, officials )

  Taiwan’s Military Is a Hollow Shell.  US Defense Department officials have privately expressed dismal assessments regarding Taiwan's current force level and reserve system.
armor, mechanized infantry, and artillery units are always in desperate shortage of enlisted soldiers
  few front-line units have more than 80 percent of their positions filled  /  Foreign Policy, 2-15-2020; https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/15/china-threat-invasion-conscription-taiwans-military-is-a-hollow-shell/
Taiwan's active force down to under 200,000 (the exact number is classified). The nearly two million reservists exist in name only... /  New York times,  5-18-2017
   Any political party advocating full conscription will loss election (youngsters refuse to join the army)寰宇全視界 2021-5-1
  The ROC (Taiwan) Armed Forces number approximately 300,000, and reserves reportedly total 3,870,000.   /  Wikipedia, May 2020

◆  Taiwan began to phase out mandatory conscription for all young men, which was deeply unpopular, in favor of an all-volunteer force; 4 months of compulsory service ... training is "insufficient to meet the challenges posed by the increasing threat (RAND, '17)  /  New York times,  8-30-2020  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/world/asia/taiwan-china-military.html

◆   Only 310 thousands out of 770 thousands of qualified reservists were called up for short-term military training, from 2015 to 2017, 61 thousands of those escaped the duty  / Formosa TV news, 8-3-2018, storm.mg 10-15-2019
◆  only 84,000 are demobilised volunteer force soldiers, the best-trained and most motivated group  /   Financial Times, 7-12-2020

◆  Taiwan’s military is also not in the most optimal state.  For instance, Taiwanese males serve only four months of conscripted military service, in comparison to over 20 months for Singaporean men and at least 18 months for South Korean men.  /   Hong Kong Free Press 7-15-2020

◆  Reserve force is short of both officers and sergeants, their speciality far match the position  /  United Daily, 10-2-2020 


strategy ◆  Defense News, 3-22-2021: Taiwan’s military will prioritize deep-strike capabilities ...Taiwan plans to shift its focus from being able to destroy enemy forces landing on its beaches, and instead ... annihilate an enemy at sea prior to making landfall.  Taiwan’s asymmetric systems must be small, mobile, stealthy and numerous for strategic dispersion, taking advantage of the deployment of anti-ship missiles in coastal areas, rapid reaction forces and mine laying at sea defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2021/03/22/heres-what-to-expect-in-taiwans-new-defense-review/

◆  To against the threats of cyber warfare, cognitive warfare, and ‘unrestricted’ warfare from China , we ( Taiwan ) work to bolster our defense capabilities, future combat capacity development will also emphasize mobility, countermeasures, and non-traditional, asymmetrical capabilities (unconventional arms)” /  Taiwan president inauguration speech, Voice of American, 5-20-2020
◆  so called asymmetrical capabilities in Taiwan is only at surface-level    /   United Daily , editorial,  6-6-2020    (ps:  the US should work with Taiwan to develop asymmetric military capabilities  /  Foreign Affairs, 7-8-2020  )

◆  a weirdo strategy:  Facing PLA's attacks, Taiwan's warplanes stay inside tunnels, warships leave Taiwan, once the US military comes to Taiwan's rescue, they will return and join the war  / Apple Daily, 8-14-2020 tw.appledaily.com/headline/20200814/KDQ5JJAYQUR5JLE6EIIXK5VJM4/


Defense One, 2021-3-24 More missiles will not guarantee Taiwan’s survival by themselves.  Taiwan must still prioritize urgent reforms of its ground, air, and naval defenses.  But helping Taiwan acquire a much larger inventory of ground-based, short-range missiles is a realistic and relatively quick way to improve cross-Strait deterrence

France forced Taiwan to withdraw its request to upgrade 20-year-old Mirage fighters ...  F-16 A/B and  F-CK-1 fighters are  growing tired; 60 or 70 new fighters and a few missiles won’t really change the balance of power. And heavy tanks – especially if they lack trained crews – won’t do much to stop a Chinese invasion / Forbes, 8-30-2020
◆   A whole lot of Taiwan’s weapons don’t work.   /  Forbes, 9-4-2020  forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2020/09/04/which-of-taiwans-old-weapons-still-work/#340d2ee156a2
◆   only 30% of Taiwan's tanks are in running condition with functional weapons. / Business Insider, 10-9-2020