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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 ? 

 Latest news:  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 

economist.com/the-economist-explains/2022/05/23/what-is-americas-policy-of-strategic-ambiguity-over-taiwan


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 

 

Taiwan VS. US's "porcupine"  weapons

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


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

  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.

 

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...

 

 

" 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 PLA  ??
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.

PS:
 
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

PS2:
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).
 ps:
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.com/2021/11/taiwans-defense-plans-are-going-off-the-rails/

 

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.

chinatimes.com/opinion/20211025000040-262110?chdtv羅慶生

 

 

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:


It
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%

news.yahoo.com/china-taiwan-really-simple-guide-142542268.html


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

news.yahoo.com/china-taiwan-really-simple-guide-142542268.html

 

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.1 "Taiwan military" on Bing, 2021-6-4, 2021-6-1; No.2 at 2022-3-30, No.3 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 ??  
  brief
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/
opinion:
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

 


assessments  
 

 

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.
defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2021/03/01/whats-preventing-taiwan-from-preparing-for-potential-war/

  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


 

 personnel

 ( 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/

firepower

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

  China could wipe out Taiwan’s navy and air force ...  Many insiders are accordingly pessimistic about its ability to hold out.  /  Economist,10-9-2020

◆  the PLA could, without invading, destroy Taiwanese military, power and telecom facilities, embargo oil imports, cut cyber connectivity, then take advantage of the psychological impact on Taiwan to press for negotiations   /  Politico,10-8-2020

◆  Today China has more and better conventional forces than Taiwan.   /  Forbes, 6-3-2020

◆  China has nuclear bomb ,Neutron bomb, hydrogen bomb, Taiwan has none of those. / Next TV news, 5-8-2020
◆   Three Taiwanese presidents Lee (李登輝後期)、Chen(陳水扁)、Tsai(蔡英文)  squandering those "bonus for peace" military budget and underestimating the demand of national defense, lead to shortage of arms-deal budget.  /   United Daily , editorial,  6-6-2020
◆ 
Taiwan military strength is ranked No. 26 ,  China PLA No. 3  /  Global FirePower, 2020
◆  A major obstacle is that countries that might sell it the most sophisticated weaponry are increasingly reluctant to do so for fear of provoking China, ... /  New York times,  11-4-2017

military logistics system

◆   The logistics inside the military remain so abysmal ... The army likely has no clue how many tanks or guns actually mission-capable ...      /  Foreign Policy, 8-20-2020 

◆   only 30% of Taiwan's tanks are in running condition with functional weapons.   The outdated hardware stands in stark contrast to China's massive and increasingly modern force /  Business Insider, 10-9-2020

◆  Taiwan  lacks enough supplement of all items of military equipments /   United Daily (聯合報 社評), opinion,   5- 7- 2020

 morale

◆  NY Times, 11-24-2020 says Taiwan's famous politician screams for help: “Taiwan can’t face the might of China alone", ”We can’t fight China on our own".  in spite of Economist, NY Times, and pro-Taiwan senator advised Taiwan not to rely on  the US to intervene ...
◆ 
“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 /  Foreign Policy, 8-20-2020  https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/20/taiwan-military-flashy-american-weapons-no-ammo/

 Taiwan’s preparedness and its will to fight both look shaky /  Economist,10-9-2020

 Policies put forward by the Kuomintang and the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party have left the military understaffed and in a state of low morale... /  New York times,  5-18-2017
Taiwan fears uptick in military threat from China in wake of coronavirus epidemic ... / Financial Times  5-19-2020

 

combat experience

Taiwan’s army has trouble with training across the board. Many insiders are accordingly pessimistic about its ability to hold out.  /  Economist,10-9-2020

 The military combines 4 drills to one per year for battle and propaganda-show, affecting training effect ,  high percentage of military officers hence are not familiar with combat mission. /  ref to China Times, 7-7-2020, opinion   www.chinatimes.com/opinion/20200707004603-262105?chdtv 蘭寧利》; https://www.chinatimes.com/realtimenews/20200707006231-260417?chdtv

discipline

 The practice of judicial system has proved not as good as military criminal code to educate and train the military discipline.  A soldier's 洪仲丘 'torture to death" sparks massive protest around 2013,  the military court was hence no longer to judge the troops .   /  The China Times, 7-17-2020, editorial

budget

  Forbes, 3-8-2021: Beijing now spends 25 times more on its armed forces than Taiwan does on its own military

◆  High personnel expense pushes aside the logistics and maintenance budget,   the govt. needs to plan special budge to purchase arms. /  The China Times, 7-17-2020, editorial

Taiwan would increase Taiwan’s defense budget by 10 percent, on top of a 5 percent increase the year before. That would raise military spending to more than 2 percent of gross domestic product   /  New York times,  8-30-2020

ps

VICE, 7-24-2020:  With increasing Chinese modernization, Taiwan’s advantages decline — and the numbers are telling.
To Taiwan’s 140,000 ground troops, China has 1 million. To Taiwan’s 23 Coast Guard ships, China has 248. Taiwan has no bombers, while China has 450. While Taiwan has 350 fighter jets, China has 1,500.
All in all, China’s defense budget is 17 times the size of Taiwan’s, with much of the former spent on developing the capability of unifying Taiwan with the mainland by force.   The capability to do harm and the intention to do harm. China has both.

 

2021 Military Strength Ranking (globalfirepower.com)  No.1 - No. 10 : USA, Russia, China, India, Japan, S Korea, France, UK, Brazil, Pakistan;  Germany No. 15, Indonesia No. 16, Australia No. 19, Taiwan No.22

     Taiwan's military reform            'Five minutes to midnight' !!?

聯合報, 10-22-2020

 

嚴德發:若總統下動員令 第一時間作戰主力45萬人
 
國軍後備改革,有立委關切台灣後備戰力動員與召集情況。國防部長嚴德發今天表示,若總統動員令一下,約26萬名後備軍人就要報到,加上18.5萬名的現役軍職人員,約45萬人將是第一時間防衛作戰主力
 

 

https://udn.com/news
/story/10930/4954777

募兵

 徵兵


 

Taiwan's military reform (10-22-2020) : active force 185 thousands  +  reservists 260 thousands (call-up training 14 days per year )      enough ?
     
    
   
according to Taiwanese defense minister's saying at end of 2020, it's Taiwan president Tsai's intention not to
mobilize reserve in larger scale, not to expand the length of conscription (now only four months), or not to draft women.   A famous politics-talk TV program "寰宇全視界" says at 2021-5-1 that any political party advocating conscription will lose election.  

 

    ■  Express (UK), 2021-4-8: Taiwan ‘ill-prepared’ for war with China say experts – ‘Facing a gigantic military threat’ Taiwan’s Defence Minister,   Mr Tsai added: "Our national security needs every young man to go to the armed forces, this is a national obligation.”Taiwan should learn from the example of South Korea, SIngapore and Israel where military service is compulsory for more than a year. express.co.uk/news/world/1419775/taiwan-army-china-ill-prepared-invasion-military-news-ont
    
  Taipei Times, 2021-4-12: Easton: Because the threat of invasion is increasingly credible,... Taiwan could invest in an emergency stockpiling effort, make a tenfold increase in reserve force training days   taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2021/04/12/2003755509
     
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
     
  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/
     
DW, 2021-4-5: Taiwan's army 'ill-prepared' for potential Chinese attack / young men usually complete after their studies, was shortened to four months, but ...Taiwan should take a cue from South Korea, Singapore and Israel, where military service lasts considerably more than a year... All the more reason to train reservists regularly dw.com/en/taiwans-army-ill-prepared-for-potential-chinese-attack/a-57102659

        Defense News , 3-1-2021: efforts at defense reform face obstacles from institutional opposition from senior officers ( ... they also against full conscription ) and a lack of time.  the current administration seemingly “unwilling or unable” to compel the ministry to implement it, partly due politically sensitive moves, such as full conscription.

      Financial Times , 2-20-2021: The US has long pushed Taipei to strengthen deterrence against a Chinese attack by bolstering its reserve force and training it to wage urban and mountain warfare should China invade. Defence experts in Washington have complained of a lack of resolve in Taipei to address the issue.   ft.com/content/51f8bfba-bd1f-4dff-af8d-1a5b477d1dc7

       Wall Street Journal, 2-5-2021: “a hard problem for the U.S.” would be much less hard if Taiwan could reliably outnumber any invading force...With 23.7 million inhabitants Taiwan should manage two million, i.e., twice the size of the entire People’s Liberation Army ground force  wsj.com/articles/taiwan-could-defend-itself-more-effectively-11612563552

     Foreign Policy, 10-28-2020: Taiwan needs to do more in boosting Taiwan’s defense capabilities, especially some serious deficiencies - increasing the existing four-month conscription and improving reservist systems are another.  This also means preparing the public for conflict...   foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/28/taiwan-threat-invasion-china/
     Newsweek, 11-5-2020, News Australia, 11-7-2020: expert says Taiwan will need to bring back the draft in order to put up a fight. https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/war-will-come-warns-beijing-after-taiwan-stocks-up-on-usmade-missiles/news-story/41a1d2b2e04e2f5e015c308b5dedd9b9

https://www.newsweek.com/taiwan-would-last-only-two-weeks-war-china-says-ex-navy-commander-1544770

      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    www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/hongkong-taiwan-military/
    
     But Taiwan goes the other way and declares it will cut off the number of 2021's new-entry volunteer service soldiers from 22,000 to 12,000, according to LTN 11-7-2020.  Is it a signal from Taiwan to China while pro-Taiwan Trump losing US election ?  Furthermore, Taiwan only plans to mobilize about 1/10 reservists, Newsweek (10-30-2020) doubts how many reservists may come once the war breakout, because in peace time, only 70% citizens came for 7 days-per-year call-up training.  By contrast, China's
北戴河 meeting set up a goal to mobilize all the people for the war.      

 

Western experts'
advices:

number of reservists

western analysts

 advices

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 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 USArmy 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 million  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 million 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 million Asia Times, 12-28-2020  

 

Financial Times (UK, 10-1-2020) reported the number of Chinese military personnel is about 2m,  Taiwanese military is only 163,000.  Guardian UK (6-27-2020) Financial Times UK (10-6-202010-19-2020) reported that if Beijing wanted to invade Taiwan it has been estimated that it would need up to one million soldiers or about 50% of total PLA strength ( Global Times 6-8-2020 : Chinese reservists can be up to 616 millions

Therefore, Taiwanese military should needs more than a million
reservists with strict trainings.  Taiwan's latest military reform plan ( mobilizing only about 1/10 reservists) starting from 2022 obviously is not good and early enough !  How does Taiwan know China will not strike before 2022 ?  Washington Examiner, 11-18-2020:  China will race to expand 'empire' and attack Taiwan during window of opportunity... maybe between now and the communist party congress in 2022.”.    If Taiwan knows for sure China will not make any move on Taiwan, why Taiwan's FM calls on Australia to help prevent China War ? because Taiwan was now "very concerned" ... "the risk of a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait was much higher than before" according to Newsweek 12-1-2020 and ABC Australia 12-1-2020.   Taiwan was criticized by NY Times in 2017 for relying on US military to fight China.

 

◆  Combat skills and will-power  

Voice of America (Chinese version), 8-26-2020: After PLA's landing, Taiwanese military should move to the mountain to fight a Chinese style "Vietnam war’.  But some Taiwan's or Macau's best-known politicians and experts said the war is about to end once PLA landing Taiwan.  Economist,10-9-2020: Taiwan’s preparedness and its will to fight both look shaky...  Washington Post,10-26-2020 : expert of National Defense University opposes US's shift from a policy of “strategic ambiguity” to “strategic clarity” in that Taiwan might use the American pledge as an excuse to “neglect its own defense”. This is exactly Taiwan's image, being dependent and always want to rely on American help , hawkish to its own weak nationals, but being chicken toward foreign powers .

 

◆  SOL:  Taiwan needs to attract more volunteer soldiers or/and shift to mandatory military service with same training period as Singapore's or Korea's as soon as possible    ――   Foreign Policy (10-19-2020) : 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.

 

◆  Core problem
       Taiwan's politicians like to win an election rather than win a war !!

      
Diplomat, 10-3-2020:  Taiwan should lengthen its period of mandatory service to two years.  Such a policy, however, could be deeply unpopular among the young voters courted by the ruling Party (DPP)  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... NCCU professor says that without America's words, Taiwan still slept there doing nothing about reservist reform (寰宇全視界, 2020) 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.  however, the United States may not be up to the task. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/19/china-keeps-inching-closer-to-taiwan/

      

 

 

  US weapons,  good enough for Taiwan !?            'Five minutes to midnight' !!?

   

    

     Foreign Policy, 10-19-2020:Taiwan should devote its limited defense budget to acquiring huge arsenals of mobile missile launchers, armed drones, and mines.  Forbes, 9-29-2020: Washington may need to further strengthen Taiwan’s indigenous capacity to deter by considering the sale of stealthy F-35 fighters, advanced missile defenses, and other weapons not currently contemplated.  Diplomat, 10-5-2020: Taiwan needs mobile systems、long-range surveillance armed drones...

 

    However, here are some problems:

 

◆  too big !?
       
Many US weapons Taiwan bought in recent years are “big ticket”, "symbolic", such as M1 tank heavy vehiclesF16V jet ; SCMP (Hong Kong ,10-15-2020) and Japan Times (7-9-2019): those weapons Taiwan requested "will not alter the basic military balance in the region”  ; A more important issue is : Economist,10-9-2020: China could wipe out Taiwan’s navy and air force ...   Many insiders are accordingly pessimistic about its ability to hold out.  Foreign Policy, 10-19-2020: The Taiwanese and U.S. militaries still consist predominantly of small numbers of 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;  Bloomberg 10-27-2020 has same view. 
        Therefore,
Taiwan should buy "smaller-size",
mobile, lethal, hard-to-target and numerous (for strategic dispersion) practical weapons with maneuverability capabilities (missiles, HIMARS, etc) better for its asymmetrical capabilities.  But Taiwan went the other route.  DW (Germany), 6-6-2019 reported: Taiwan confirms request for US tanks, Taiwan may be seeking to buy 66 more F-16 fighter jets 。 Taiwan expert in Diplomat,11-3-2020 thediplomat.com/2020/11/taiwans-overall-defense-concept-explained/ says the high visibility of conventional systems positively impacts Taiwanese morale and improves public confidence in the military, and those weapons are effective during peacetime.  The problem is:  does Taiwan have enough budget to buy those ?

 

◆  too late !?

         Newly bought US weapons take at least one year maybe 4~5 years to arrive in Taiwan? (e.g., F16V will come by 2026).  Independent (UK, 10-28-2020), SCMP( Hong Kong, 10-27-2020) : Taiwan says newly purchased US arms will help it destroy half of any invading Chinese force by 2025.  However, Defense News (10-27-2020): “I think if there’s anything to be concerned about its how fast we can get these systems to the Taiwan. If this is over the next 5-7 years, ... we shouldn’t be coming out of our seats celebrating. And that’s a political question ...".
        
Even all come early, still not enough !  Voice of America,10-15-2020: Experts Say Taiwan Needs More Homegrown Military Efforts to Counter China.  Reuters (Oct. 2020) says Taiwan is developing and testing new missiles.

         China's mouth-piece Global Times, 10-27-2020:  the mainland might decide to solve the problem before Taiwan get fully armed to become a real "porcupine" ( Independent UK, 10-8-2020: US: Taiwan needed to "turn themselves into a porcupine" militarily,  "Lions generally don't like to eat porcupines.")
               

 

◆  too old !?
       
Forbes, 10-26-2020: Taipei’s growing arsenal of long-range missiles complicates Beijing’s invasion-planning.  Diplomat, 10-31-2020: New Offensive Weapons Package stretches the concept of “defensive” weaponry to its limit .
       
However, Defense News, 10-26-2020: The Harpoon missile (just purchased) is an older technology and travels at sub-sonic speeds, which means it may be more vulnerable to advanced air defenses. ...  Business Insider, 10-28-2020:  Harpoon anti-ship missiles could frustrate an amphibious assault a Chinese military.. expert in Hong Kong says the missiles "will boost Taiwan's attack ability a little bit," but they "cannot survive a real war and can barely make any change to the balance of military power between Beijing and Taipei." Global Times, 10-27-2020: The threat that these Harpoon missiles poses to the PLA is very limited, as they are high subsonic missiles designed in the 1980s, and the current self-defense and anti-missile facilities installed by the PLA on its vessels and land-based bases can shoot them down easily,"   The US has a more advanced anti-ship missile with stealth capability, but it won't sell it to Taiwan, so the latest announced sale is another expensive deal ...
        If Biden is elected, things may even worsen, CNN 10-29-2020 says that
Biden could offer minor concessions to Beijing, like providing Taiwan with less potent weapons.

 

 

◆  Can Taiwan defeat China by US weapons ?

         Taiwan's defense may be not too bad, but there’s little doubt that China would win a war with Taiwan, even if such a conflict would be costly on all sides, according to many analysts in media such as Chicago Tribune, Yahoo News,10-12-2020, Bloomberg, 10-8-2020 China even could destroy Taiwan easily by missiles or fatal weapons if it really wanted.  Forbes, 8-30-2020: Taiwan simply does not have enough firepower to defeat a Chinese invasion without the help of the U.S. military.

         Many pro-independence Taiwanese actually is short of "will-power",  if they all have "soul of the military" as Japanese army had in WWII , Taiwan's "Tokubetsu Kogekitai" ( とくべつこうげきたい ,「神風敢死隊」, suicide planes) may destroy Chinese only two aircraft-carriers to end the war.   As China Threatens War, Nearly Everyone in Taiwan Wants Peace: Poll  (NewsWeek, 10-28-2020).
          B
oth sides of Taiwan Strait are Chinese, Chinese blood in the veins. 
NBC 10-24-2020: Economically, Taiwan is dependent on Beijing.  Washington Post, 1-2-2017 noted " 83 percent Taiwanese chose bread (China's economy) over romance ("independence").  Hope there's a win-win solution ahead.     originally written at 10-29-2020

 

      

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1345937/world-war-3-china-news-taiwan-news-xi-jinping-median-line-usa  10-11
https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/19/china-keeps-inching-closer-to-taiwan/  
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/opinion/taiwans-failure-to-face-the-threat-from-china.html

www.ft.com/content/92029f49-3e9a-47b7-b967-2af823f185cd

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1204800.shtml

https://news.yahoo.com/taiwan-says-newly-purchased-us-111753710.html 

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/10/26/us-state-department-to-allow-sale-of-hundreds-of-anti-ship-missiles-to-taiwan-amid-diplomatic-row/

https://www.businessinsider.com/sale-of-missiles-to-taiwan-could-frustrate-a-chinese-invasion-2020-10

https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/experts-say-taiwan-needs-more-homegrown-military-efforts-counter-china

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2020/10/26/to-thwart-invasion-taiwan-points-powerful-new-missiles-at-chinese-bases/#439bad0147f6

https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-20201008-grd2fews3ffg7gdc4zyhagafjq-story.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/china/tiny-taiwan-caught-middle-u-s-china-battle-supremacy-n1244521

https://www.newsweek.com/china-war-taiwan-peace-poll-1542735

 

 

 

 

 

 China's strategy & tactics to take over Taiwan -  2021   

 

an

achievement

 that would

put Xi
 on
the same level

within

the CCP pantheon

 as

Mao

Zedong

 

■  The Hill, 2021-3-10: after 2022 (Olympics in China) Beijing's military options: (1) a massive show of force, fighters and bombers closely pass over the entire island  (2) a blockade、 Taiwan's energy and food security could become acute rather quickly (3) amphibious invasion of the Penghu Islands  (4) China’s military command may advocate strongly for the option of an all-out PLA attack on Taiwan, possibly defeating Washington’s interventionist impulse by orchestrating a fait accompli.    thehill.com/opinion/international/542502-beijing-has-a-plethora-of-military-options-against-taiwan-after-2022

 

■  Gzero media, 2021-5-14:  there are significant, ... sleeper cells already embedded in Taiwan society. They would do link up with Chinese special forces.  They would take control of airfields.  They would have an air lift  that would literally leap over the Taiwanese defenses at sea and air.  They would flood the zone with ships and submarines     gzeromedia.com/gzero-world-clips/what-would-a-chinese-invasion-of-taiwan-look-like

 

 Foreign Affairs, Mar., 2021 : Xi’s strategy now is clear: to vastly increase the level of military power that China can exert in the Taiwan Strait, to the extent that the United States would become unwilling to fight a battle that Washington itself judged it would probably lose ... would be terminal for the future of American power, prestige, and global standing...  U.S. allies in Asia, who might conclude that the American security guarantees they have long relied on are worthless—and then seek their own arrangements with China.   https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2021-02-05/kevin-rudd-usa-chinese-confrontation-short-of-war Kevin Rudd

 

■  The Hill, 2021-3-16:   non-kinetic campaign to “win without fighting” — by intimidation and “hybrid warfare.”China’s Central Military Commission promulgated the Three Warfares: public opinion warfare, psychological warfare and legal warfare.    thehill.com/opinion/international/543313-us-should-tell-china-legal-warfare-against-taiwan-will-lead-to-real-war

 

 Maritime Executive, 2-14-2021:  Beijing could involve a series of limited operations: seizure of Taiwan’s offshore islands, such as Kinmen and Matsu, as well as Itu Aba and Pratas islands in the South China Sea; a naval and air blockade around Taiwan; an air and missile campaign; and offensive cyber operations against Taiwan’s critical infrastructure... it might seek to use military force in the grey zone first ... given that control of those islands would be a prerequisite for a successful amphibious assault on Taiwan, it appears likely that Beijing may seek to seize control of them before 2025.   Beijing could try to capitalise on Taiwan being preoccupied with its domestic politics (major elections in 2022, 2024) and calculate that further grey-zone or military operations would have a higher probability of success.   maritime-executive.com/editorials/evaluating-the-pla-navy-s-options-to-pressure-taiwan-and-test-biden

 

 Australian Financial Review, Yahoo, 2-9-2021:  economic pressure or an embargo, via intimidation, dissemination operations, cyber attacks, and covert actions and subversion, to assassination and the limited use of military force   https://au.news.yahoo.com/satellite-images-reveal-chinas-new-weapon-conflict-taiwan-020159990.html

 

 Diplomat, 2-9-2021:  China could follow the U.S. approach to Cuba and try to suffocate Taiwan economically  https://thediplomat.com/2021/02/will-taiwan-be-the-next-cuba/

 

 Guardian, 2-9-2021: “step-by-step coercion of Taiwan” to destabilise Taiwanese society and force it to accept unification talks... potential steps by Beijing could include pressuring Taiwanese investors who invest in the PRC to call for cross-Strait political talks; forcing international airlines to choose between flying to the PRC or to Taiwan; disinformation campaigns and a barrage of sophisticated cyberattacks; and increased military activities closer to the Taiwanese coast.  theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/feb/09/australia-and-allies-must-plan-for-pushback-against-china-over-taiwan-analyst-says

 

 Forbes, 1-29-2021:  rockets and commandos might attack first...embark troops in large container ships flying third-country flags to moor in Kaohsiung [in southern Taiwan] and Keelung [in northern Taiwan] ... and perhaps that day’s ‘commercial’ flights    forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2021/01/29/desperate-to-avoid-a-bloody-beach-assault-chinese-troops-could-try-sneaking-into-taiwan/?sh=4ffe58ed5ac9

 

 

 
 

 
     In world media's eyes, Taiwan is  ~  
   


"conduit (tool)"  /    The LOWY Institute( think tank in Australia ) , 6-16-2020 : treating Taiwan as a conduit to frustrate Beijing imperils Taiwan’s security... and then the United States abandons Taiwan to deal with the consequences.

  "a dog under control"  /  Eurasian Times  7-9-2020: The Tsai authority ... turns to Washington and is willing to be used.  Taiwan Now Under ‘Deep Control’ Of The US.

◆  "a card to play"  /   Foreign Policy, 1-13-2021  "Taiwan Needs Real Allies, Not Opportunists, Not Partisans "  : ... That confirmed the suspicion of many Taiwan analysts that this administration views the island primarily as a card to play against the People’s Republic of China and as a convenient foil to it—or the “free China” per Pompeo’s press release. 

"meat on chopping blocks" New York Times , 9-18-2020: Taiwan has become completely dependent on the United States,... Many people are saying that Taiwan has become the meat on others’ chopping blocks”

 "human bomb"  /  Global Times, 9-8-2020: US sets Taiwan up as a 'human bomb'  ( drive the little to poke the big  )

◆  "a rat" Le Monde diplomatique of France, '16: Taiwan, a trembling sweating rat, doing nothing to approaching huge cat (China), but turning around and  lifting high a banner "$O$" . 

◆  “a ticking time bomb"   /  Brookings, 12-14-2020:  Taiwan should follow suit and take a pragmatic approach, and avoid becoming what Graham Allision described as “a ticking time bomb" that could lead to a tragic conflict

  "food on the menu"  /  SCMP, 10-7-2020: "If you are not at the table, you are on the menu,” When the great powers sit at the geopolitical table, Taiwan has long been on the menu."

  "a bargaining chip"  /  Forbes, 10-5-2020:  It would be a mistake for the U.S. to pursue an FTA as part of its China policy or to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip, and Taiwan has reasons to be wary as well.

◆  " a tradable pawn", "a useful chess piece"  /  Global Times, 8-23-2020: Taiwan is a useful chess piece for the US only because of the US strategy to suppress the Chinese mainland. On the one hand, Washington exploits the Taiwan question to contain China, on the other hand it is inciting tensions and making money by selling arms to Taiwan...Taiwan is a tradable pawn.  Taiwan for the US is only a tradable chess piece, but for the mainland, reunification of the mainland and Taiwan is priceless.
 "cash machine" /  Global Times, 10-27-2020:  the latest announced sale is another expensive deal aimed at taking Taiwan taxpayers' money with low-quality weapons, in other words, the US is still treating the island as a "cash machine" ...

◆   "dispensable  irritant"  /   Asia Times, 11-16-2020;   Washington Post 1-18-2019: Trump abandoned the Kurds in Syria. Could Taiwan be next ?  WP, 7-14-2020: Trump's policies are undermining the security of Taiwan's democracy ...

 

 

 
   

 

 

The People’s Daily, 10-15-2020 , Global Times, 10-15-2020:  “Don’t say we didn’t warn you"  (「勿謂言之不預」)...  

http://www.nexttv.com.tw/NextTV/News/Home/LatestNews/2020-10-17/275597.html

台灣 壹電視 壹新聞, 10-17-2020

The People’s Daily《告台灣情治部門書》full text : http://js.people.com.cn/BIG5/n2/2020/1015/c359574-34350271.html;
Economist 10-22-2020 :
https://www.economist.com/china/2020/10/22/chinas-half-loving-half-threatening-pitch-to-taiwan-doesnt-work
Washington Post, 10-26-2020:  how the us should respond to china's saber-ratting on Taiwan

 

●  China's PRC state council office for Taiwan affairs (國台辦) , 2021-4-28:“Don’t say we didn’t warn you ”(「勿謂言之不預」) - after DPP looses new constitution committee's advocating rectification of country name to be "Rep. of Taiwan" ...

Economist,10-22-2020: The People’s Daily, (CCP’s mouthpiece《人民日報》), carried a commentary... using a phrase—“Don’t say we didn’t warn you (ps: Taiwan intelligence)” — that has preceded Chinese military action against other countries in the past
●  Washington Post, 10-26-2020: ... jingoistic editorials in China's state-run press — have raised concerns in the West that Xi is readying China for a new war. The target in this case would be Taiwan
●  After China's mouthpiece, People's Daily or XinHua editorial issued a severe warning "Don’t say we didn’t warn you" in 1962、1967、1978,Chinese PLA started military operations against Indian and Vietnamese troops respectively.
 The People's Daily in Nov. 2019 sent a warning  "Don’t say we didn’t warn you" to Hong Kongers, in the next year China cracked down HK, and passed a national security law on Hong Kong.
 This time the People’s Daily put its warning to Taiwan's intelligence in "opinion/commentary" , instead of "editorial" column as before, and on "7th edition" instead of 1st~4th edition as before, ...  therefore, it's serious but not as severe as before, probably a warning for coercion or "gray zone" actions such as blockage or economic intervenes, or pressuring Taiwan into giving up ... those sort of psychological war.
● 
SCMP (HK), 10-20-2020: ... unusually strong language in a recent commentary in People's Daily invoking the phrase “don’t say we didn’t warn you”, serves as a reminder, which was targeting a big rise in the number of Taiwanese intelligence agents active on the mainland, but was aimed at a much wider audience.

●  Washington Post (7-22-2020) :  In 2019, Xi (Chinese president) offered an ultimatum to Taiwan to come to the table for unification talks or face annexation by force.  Soon later PLA's warplanes crossed the Taiwan Strait "median line" ( "the de facto cease-fire line") first time ever since 1949, according to Newsweek 8-12-2020, and the PRC deliberately ratcheted up tensions till now. 
 

 

 
  
   PS: The
commentary also criticizes Taiwan intelligence's "green terror" and monitoring the public, which is good for Taiwanese people

   PS2: Global Times, 12-5-2020:  there are eight obstacles in the way of achieving peaceful reunification which are legislature, education, elections, rising populism, US-led anti-China sentiment, conflict of interests business, culture conflicts and passive attitude of political parties. 
   PS3: CGTN 11-26-2020:
Understanding the one-China policy: Taiwan is a part of China, but was ceded to Japan in an unfair treaty in 1895. The year of 1945 marked the end of the 50-year Japanese occupation of Taiwan. In 1949, the Kuomindang (KMT) party lost the Chinese Civil War to the Communist Party of China, and subsequently the Republic of China ceased to exist as a legitimate government. Chiang Kai Shek, the then KMT leader, fled to Taiwan and the island was given military protection by the United States, preventing formal reunification from taking place. ­In 1971, UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 set out that the People's Republic of China (PRC) constituted the only lawful representative of China and thus the PRC obtained the seat of "China" at the United Nations previously occupied by the Republic of China.In line with this, Beijing has requested other countries to accept the one-China policy as a prerequisite for diplomatic relations. Most countries have already accepted this principle and respected the one-China position. However, the Taiwan issue hasnot yet been resolved.

 

 

Military Review    Sept. ~ Oct. , 2020    /   USArmy University Press
www.armyupress.army.mil/journals/military-review/english-edition-archives/September-October-2020/

 

brief

 

 Military Review paints a  picture  China's PLA will attack south-west coast of Taiwan, and land weaker-defense area - eastern Taiwan, southern Taiwan 

 

 

 

 

    Why Would China Not Invade Taiwan Now?  /   Tim Willasey-Wilsey  

Why Invade Now ? Why Not Invade Now ?
The Trump administration has no appetite for overseas military adventures. Trump is not going to war with China, and not over Taiwan. He is far more interested in trade wars and economic advantage. whether PLA is capable of achieving a quick victory over Taiwan.
There may never be another moment when the whole world is focused on managing an event of the scale of the coronavirus pandemic。 Though the Chinese are quintessentially patient, they are also demonstrably opportunistic a huge gamble for armed forces which have not been employed in combat during the careers of even their most senior officers.
China could hardly be more globally unpopular than now. Much of it may be unfair but there will be plenty of time to improve diplomatic relations
once Taiwan has been safely reunified
The aircraft carriers and amphibious landing ships are still relatively new.
A lot could go wrong
Taiwan Relations Act fell far short of a guarantee to come to Taiwan’s assistance. Even President “Six Assurances”  made no mention of U.S. military intervention.  The Taiwanese will fight and fight hard.
once reunified, pro-Western countries, like Japan and South Korea, will be more humbled and less likely to believe in the U.S. defense umbrella. the U.S. won’t want to get into a war over Taiwan; but there are many military options in cyber, South China Sea strikes, special forces, and other means
unify the country in time for the centenary of the CCP in 2021 and long before that of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 2049. China has much more to lose internationally from economic sanctions
 little chance that the U.S. would sail a carrier strike group into or near the Taiwan Strait now that the PLA Navy (PLAN) is equipped with quiet submarines the Chinese will crack down on Hong Kong, build their fleet, economy, and cyber for another decade, and make their move then against Taiwan—not now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Time Horizons Drive Potential Taiwan Cross-Strait Conflict   /   David An

 a state will act based on its intentions, capabilities, and opportunities, time horizons。 converging time horizons drive China to be more aggressive toward Taiwan, shortening the timeline for unification, while at the same time driving the United States to be more willing to stand up to China’s aggression

 

U.S. intervention to assist Taiwan ? No intervention
security—Taiwan has been a loyal partner to the United States  not want to sacrifice its troops in another foreign conflict
economics—Taiwan usually ranks as the tenth largest trading partner of the United States  avoid a direct kinetic conflict with nuclear-armed China
regime type—Taiwan is a liberal constitutional democracy could escalate to frightening levels
audience cost concerns ―  Japan, South Korea, and Australia will be more skeptical of U.S. commitment to them?  unit-level characteristics ― 
the personal views of the U.S. leaders toward China and Taiwan at the time
others that could intervene to assist Taiwan would most likely include Japan, South Korea, Australia, and possibly the other NATO allies of the United States. Russia and North Korea might step in to help China

 

 

 

 

 Deterring  the Dragon Returning U.S. Forces to Taiwan / https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/September-October-2020/Mills-Deterring-Dragon/

 If the United States wants to maintain credible conventional deterrence against a PLA attack on Taiwan, it needs to consider basing troops in Taiwan.

Ground forces based in Taiwan would not only be important for repelling a PLA invasion, but more importantly, they would act like what RAND calls a “tripwire”; that is, “smaller numbers of ground forces stationed to ensure that U.S. forces quickly become directly involved in a potential adversary invasion.”53 A small force would be economical and minimally antagonistic toward mainland China especially if it was only a rotational force.

 

 

 

 Drive Them into the Sea  https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/September-October-2020/Dunn-Drive-Into-Sea/

 

Large-scale amphibious invasion is one of the most complicated and difficult military operations. Success depends upon air and maritime superiority, the rapid buildup and sustainment of supplies onshore, and uninterrupted support. An attempt to invade Taiwan would likely strain China’s armed forces and invite international intervention. These stresses, combined with China’s combat force attrition and the complexity of urban warfare and counterinsurgency, even assuming a successful landing and breakout, make an amphibious invasion of Taiwan a significant political and military risk.

 what does America do when its forces arrive? Arriving in time to enforce a cease-fire is simply a means to delay losing. Just the credible threat of a U.S. Army corps capable of being deployed to Taiwan might deter China from starting an invasion; China might no longer be confident that the main effort will remain one between the PLA and the Taiwanese ground forces. And if deterrence fails, the corps will drive the enemy into the sea

 

 

 

 

 

 New Opportunities amid Increasing Threats  https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/September-October-2020/Setzekorn-Taiwan-US-Army/

 

Due to the PLA downsizing and streamlining into a force of roughly 1.3 million ground force personnel, not all of whom can be deployed, 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

 

 

 

 

 US Naval Institute, Proceedings,  2020-August ;  Forbes, 8-24-2020 
 Chinese military vs. Taiwanese military  

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2020/august/war-never-was

brief

 

(1)  The 2021 U.S. political transition would be an even more vulnerable time than usual for U.S. decision-making.  The PBSC decided in mid-December (2020) to place in motion Operation Red Province — to bring Taiwan back into China.

(2)  Non-government voices on Taiwan, orchestrated as a deception operation by Chinese intelligence services, now called for full independence, creating a predicate for Beijing to move on its legal claim.  The PRC deliberately ratcheted up tensions and then commenced a major military exercise along its east coast in early January.

(3)  Two days before U.S. presidential inauguration, a message was transmitted to Taiwan’s leaders that they had the option of immediate peaceful capitulation or armed coercion... China’s own “little green men” — emerged to take control of key facilities and sabotage military facilities.  A host of cyberattacks crippled Taiwan’s public media and took down key elements of the power grid. 

(4)  PLA seized several islands claimed by Taiwan, including Quemoy, Matsu, and the Penghus.  Peoples Liberation Army Navy submarines deployed to close the northern and southern entrances to the Taiwan Strait, and also deployed east of Taiwan to prepare for potential action against U.S. Navy ships.  An immediate sea and air blockade of the island was announced.

(5)  China’s “Wolf Warrior Diplomats” sent messages: “Don’t join in any international rebuke of China or suffer the consequences of reduced Chinese trade and investment.” Stock markets across the globe crashed on 19 January.

(6)  the National Security Advisor said, “This is not about whether we stand behind Taiwan—we do—but it looks like we may have been outmaneuvered. I don’t like it,"

 

 

 

 China-Taiwan War/Tension :
 China sent numerous aircraft close to Taiwan and crossed the sensitive median line  during two days of drills   
 by Reuters (UK) 
 9-21-2020

https://uk.reuters.com/article/instant-article/idUSL3N2GI0KE

 

brief  

WHY IS TENSION RISING NOW?
two US top officials visits in as many months, and the US  is planning major new arms sales to Taiwan.

 

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

1)  Taiwan and China do not have an official dialogue mechanism, which could quickly spiral out of control.
2)  China may quickly overwhelm Taiwan with missile and cyber attacks before the US even has a chance to respond, though it is an open question whether Washington would, or could, come to Taipei’s aid.

 

HOW DO THE ARMED FORCES OF THE TWO SIDES COMPARE?

Taiwan’s military is  dwarfed by China’s People’s Liberation Army

 

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN A WAR BETWEEN TAIWAN AND CHINA?

missiles and air attacks,  cyberattacks , naval blockade to force surrender

 

 

The Scary War Game Over Taiwan That the U.S. Loses Again and Again  8-17-2020  
 by Real Clear Investigations 

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/08/17/the_scary_war_game_over_taiwan_that_the_us_loses_again_and_again_124836.html 

 

  1) Taiwan Defense Act questions are hotly debated among military specialists and within the Pentagon, which have received scant notice in the mainstream press.

2)  The days of unfettered American military superiority in the Western Pacific are over.

Chn. attacks Taiwan  

(1)  China's strategy would be to get an invasion fleet across the Taiwan Strait before the U.S. could come to rescue. “And once that happens we'd face an Iwo Jima situation”

(2)  A standing Chinese force of 220,000 might directly attack Taiwan ;  China's A2/AD would prevent American forces from being able to penetrate anywhere near Taiwan.

(3)  American side would initially counter with Patriot anti-missile missiles.  Hundreds of the sheer number of Chinese missiles would reach their targets.

(4)  American  submarines around 20 or 25, each armed with about 12 torpedoes and 10 or so Harpoon missiles, would be able to sink some Chinese ships,  but not nearly enough to overcome China's flood-the-zone strategy

(5)  Vertical envelopment by parachute and by helicopters, and amphibious assault (old school) would be 15, maybe 20 different landings on the island, east, west, north, and south, all at once, some frogmen, some purely airborne troops

(6)  The Chinese would seize several beachheads and airports.  Their engineering prowess would come into play in deploying specialized floating dock apparatuses to ensure a steady flow of supplies and reinforcements — a key element.

(7) Taiwan would fold in a week or two.

 

US defends Taiwan  

(1) The key to defending Taiwan would require stopping China’s ability to transport a large occupying force the 90 miles across the Taiwan Strait.  American long-range anti-ship missiles, LRASMs, can be fired from ships as far as 600 miles away. Turning back invading Chinese in this way "comes down to sinking about 300 Chinese ships in about 48 hours”
(2)   A second component of a Taiwan defense would be space-based reconnaissance using artificial intelligence to locate enemy targets, which the LRASMs would hit; a third would be an American version of flooding the zone, with unmanned undersea drones that could fire torpedoes at Chinese landing craft.

(3)  If the United States can succeed in building its alliances in Asia, that would be a powerful deterrent, because China can't afford to go to war with Asia.”

 

PS 1 )  an array of economic, diplomatic and cultural considerations inform a country's military decisions and actions.

2 ) Despite China’s often warlike rhetoric  – most analysts think it does not want to use military force on Taiwan.

 

 

The Diplomat , 9-13-2020
 
 https://thediplomat.com/2020/09/the-end-of-strategic-ambiguity-in-the-taiwan-strait/     The End of Strategic Ambiguity: Back to the Future by The Diplomat , 9-13-2020 

brief  

 The most likely course of action is increased political warfare against the Taiwan democratic system. Previously,  influence operations designed to persuade, with a focus on developing Taiwanese businessmen in China into a CCP-friendly constituency. While the overall emphasis has shifted to destructive subversion.  infiltrating   local civic organizations, the media, and the military,  to create paralysis and unrest to justify, and then assist with, an invasion.

The most dangerous course of action an invasion, achieving a fait accompli of securing Taiwan capitulation prior to U.S. intervention.  To achieve this,  the first is an extension of political warfare techniques into the kinetic realm: system destruction warfare, meant to paralyze the opponent’s leadership,  the second is the integration of AI and algorithms into operations.   “Intelligent operations,” with an “algorithm game” to “quickly and accurately predict the situation on the battlefield” and seize the initiative.

 

If China invades Taiwan ...
 responses from
US president Trump,  state secretary Pompeo

FoxNews,  Newsweek, 9-22-2020 In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Trump too talked tough on the flashpoint, but declined to specify how he planned to respond to the recent Chinese military activity in the Taiwan Strait

"They know they've got some big problems, OK?" the president said. "If they play around, if they want to play the game, they've got some big problems."

FoxNews,  8-23-2020, Q:

1) it seems to be "getting more important because of technology and economic aspects that a company in Taiwan is a world leader in semiconductors."
2) “If China, and it looks like it's getting more belligerent, tries to either invade Taiwan or effectively take control of it and its important industries, would you let them get away with it?

Trump :

1)  They're coming to this country.  

2) " I think it’s an inappropriate place to talk about it, but China knows what I’m gonna do. China knows,”  “I think this is an inappropriate way to talk about it. You know. I don’t want to say I am gonna do this or I am not gonna do this"  "This is just an inappropriate place to talk about it"

It is a very big subject. It is a very powerful subject, but I think China understands what I am gonna be doing

 

Australia MirageNews, 8-11-2020 Pompeo: this is obviously a very sensitive issue. The President has talked about this a great deal. We have a series of commitments and a series of understandings, commitments that we’ve made to China as well. We thoroughly intend to uphold our obligations and commitments with respect to the historical understandings between the United States and China on Taiwan. The Secretary’s visit is – Secretary Azar’s visit is wholly consistent with those commitments, and we’ve told both the Chinese and the Taiwanese that we are going to continue to abide by that set of understandings. It’s enshrined in U.S. law as well, so it’s an obligation that we do so. I am confident that we’ll continue to keep up those promises.

https://www.miragenews.com/secretary-pompeo-with-sean-spicer-of-newsmax-tv-s-spicer-co/   Australia's authoritative media platform based on firsthand sources

FoxNews,  6-1-2020

 

   QUESTION: Will the U.S. back Taiwan should China go into Taiwan? 

  

      SECRETARY POMPEO: Maria, there is a long history there. You know the story. Each time I speak with my Chinese counterparts, we make clear the commitments that we’ve made to them that have been made as far back at the Reagan administration and that we stand by those commitments. The good news is the Chinese Communist Party has told me directly they will as well. We have every expectation they will live up to those commitments. 

https://www.miragenews.com/secretary-pompeo-with-maria-bartiromo-of-fox-news-sunday-morning-futures/

 
 
 washingtonexaminer, 10-7-2020
in response to a direct question by NIKKEI Asia Review (Japan) about whether the U.S. military would intervene
 SECRETARY POMPEO: “if China unilaterally attacks Taiwan,” Pompeo avoided a direct response at first but warmed to a deterrent theme.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/pompeo-us-will-be-a-good-partner-for-security-if-china-attacks-taiwan

 

Washington Examiner, 10-17-2020:   Pompeo:  U.S. would be a “good partner for security” to Taiwan in the event of an attack   https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/us-tells-taiwan-to-fortify-itself-to-repel-invasion-from-china

 

 

 

 

  NEWS ~ NEWS

 

Financial Times (UK), 2021-3-27: US fears China is flirting with seizing control of Taiwan Reuters, Axios, 2021-3-27:Taiwan reports largest ever incursion by Chinese air force Forbes, 2021-3-26: Many observers believe the moment when the option “reunite”Taiwan by force is exercised is fast approaching. One time-tested solution would be to station about 5,000 soldiers plus supporting artillery and air defense units as a “tripwire”, without an early U.S. ground presence the invasion might well succeed Washington Post, 2021-3-26: Xi might be in favor of a risky push for reunification — especially if China continues to believe that a weakened America isn’t ready to fight back DW, 2021-3-25: B. Glaser sees a China military attack on Taiwan as unlikely 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 WSJ, 3-22-2021: Chinese President Xi Jinping has made clear that retaking Taiwan is a priority, and China's military is building a force capable of a quick-strike Bloomberg, 3-21-2021:  I see a very dangerous situation. The U.S. commitment to Taiwan has grown verbally stronger even as it has become militarily weaker... the reluctance of the Taiwanese themselves to treat their national security with the same seriousness that Israelis take the survival of their state Australian, 3-22-2021: Unfortunately for Taiwan, its future grows increasingly uncertain as Beijing’s military expansionism continues unabated... 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 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." Bloomberg, 3-14-2021: the Council on Foreign Relations report cautions against an explicit U.S. pledge to commit its own forces in the event of a Chinese invasion... 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? AFP, France24, 3-11-2021: the US was losing its military edge to China in the Pacific Guardian, 3-10-2021: China could invade Taiwan in next six years, top US admiral warns Forbes, 3-8-2021:Taiwan Aims To Sink Half Of A Chinese Invasion Fleet—It Could Take Years To Buy Enough Missiles NBC, 3-8-2021: CCP has threatened to invade if Taiwan declares formal independence or delays talks on uniting with the mainland...Biden should roll back the “dangerous practice” of showing support for Taiwan     Chn-TW war news cyber-links

News (Australia) , 3-6-2021, NZ Herald (New Zealand), 3-7-2021:  Taiwan is in ‘imminent danger’ of being forced to unify with China Nikkei Asia (Japan) , 3-3-2021:  H.R. McMaster : the period of greatest danger for Taiwan is from 2022 onward, after the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Chinese Communist Party's twice-a-decade national congress. "Taiwan is the next big prize" for China and is "the most significant flashpoint" that could lead to a large-scale war Taipei Times , 3-1-2021: "Either we arm Taiwan or die trying" 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) Defense One , 3-1-2021: A SALAMI  Slice for Taiwan's Security, act boldly to “home-port” an American warship at a Taiwanese port 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 Guardian , 2-21-2021:Xi is forced to bargain with internal party figures to seek a third term...Taiwan is probably the best tool to do that... China is probably a decade or a bit longer from building up sufficient capabilities to feel it can confidently do so (military takeover of Taiwan )... Kinmen will fall early Economist , 2-20-2021: In reality America’s ability to deter an invasion over Taiwan is crumbling... the hardest part of deterring China involves building robust coalitions that are ready to challenge Chinese aggression...If China ever believes it can complete the task at a bearable cost, it will act  New York Times, 2-12-2021: Analysts warned : Beijing may resort to war if the Kuomintang is unable to reclaim power or if the Communist Party feels it no longer has a dialogue partner on the island  news cyber-links

Guardian, 2-9-2021: the Taiwan Strait could become a flashpoint ..the pivotal reason peace had endured for 70 years had disappeared, ... Australian, 2-8-2021: China to take over Taiwan using "all means short of war" as early as 2024 Financial Times, 2-9-2021: Taiwan on alert after subtle shifts in tone from Biden administration Wall Street Journal, 2-1-2021: Taiwan Defense: A Hard Problem for the U.S. / American carrier battle groups within hundreds of miles of the Chinese coast would have difficulty surviving a coordinated attack by many hundreds of Chinese missiles...Will the extremely war-weary American public stand by for this unnecessary slaughter? NY Times, 1-30-2021: a war with China probably won’t happen. Yet if it does, it might begin in Pratas or Kinmen... it is a considerably greater risk than it had been for decades Washington Post, 1-28-2021: Taiwan Is the Biggest Risk for a U.S.-China Clash SCMP, 2-2-2021: Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Most US opinion leaders back military defence of Taiwan if China invades, But intervention is opposed by the majority of the American public, though support has increased in recent years Reuters, FoxNews, 1-28-2021: China warns Taiwan independence ‘means war’ Nikkei (Japan), 1-28-2021: White House spokeswoman : the Biden administration will maintain its predecessor's tough line toward China for the time being ... Taiwan makes up one of its fronts FoxNews, 1-27-2021:Unlike Trump in 2017, China is 'not afraid of Biden' NY Times, 1-24-2021: China sent warplanes into the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, a show of force to the Biden administration that signals Beijing’s plans to maintain pressure on Taiwan even as it calls for a reset with the US Wall Street Journal, 1-24-2021: China sent strategic bombers, jet fighters and a turboprop near Taiwan, a likely warning to the new administration over its support for the island   news cyber-links

Global Times (China), 1-25-2021: the juxtaposition of the three China-US joint communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act and the six assurances mentioned in the US statement this time differs from the Trump administration's refusal to mention the three joint communiqués in his later period...Only with the one-China principle in place can the Taiwan Straits avoid miscalculation Washington Examiner, 1-24-2021: The United States does not recognize Taiwan as an sovereign country, but U.S. strategists regard the island as a crucial link in a chain of islands that restrains the Chinese Communist military’s ability to threaten U.S. forces Washington Post, AP , 1-24-2021: We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives Foreign Policy, 1-22-2021: Taiwan seeks assurances from Biden admin., but Biden and his team are likely to resist using Taiwan as a cudgel against China the way Trump did Reuters, 1-20-2021: Blinken : would uphold its commitment to ensure that self-ruled Taiwan has the ability to defend itself New Zealand Herald, 1-14-2021: A US national security document stamped "SECRET" has been declassified : the superpower would defend Taiwan against an attack from China WSJ, 1-11-2021:China has launched one of the greatest military buildups in the history of the world across the straits from Taiwan. Coupled with the artificial islands and military buildup in the South China Sea, it’s clear Beijing has been systematically seeking to create the conditions for a successful invasion of Taiwan.  This is anything but a secret; the gradual decline of America’s ability to forestall an invasion of Taiwan is well understood by governments around the Pacific.    news cyber-links

 

        RAND:  Implementing -  Restraint Changes in U.S. Regional Security Policies to Operationalize a Realist Grand Strategy of Restraint   

 

RAND

Jan. 22, 2021

brief

 

When the US would use force ?   ... not suggested that the United States should launch a preventative war against China, even if it becomes more powerful.   It is unlikely that advocates of restraint would support an armed intervention by the United States in response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act calls on the U.S. President to “maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan,” and, traditionally, the United States has indicated that it would defend Taiwan in the case of an unprovoked invasion by China.   Calls by advocates of restraint for the United States to downgrade its relationship with Taiwan rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA739-1.html

South China Morning Post (SCMP), 2-2-2021: Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Most US opinion leaders back military defence of Taiwan if China invades, survey finds, but intervention is opposed by the majority of the American public, though support has increased in recent years.  scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3120239/most-us-opinion-leaders-back-military-defence-taiwan-if-china

Newsweek, 1-6-2021:  China Wages Cognitive Warfare To Topple Taiwan Government  WSJ, 12-28-2020: The loss of democratic Taiwan’s independence against its will would be a geopolitical earthquake. The Pacific balance of power would shift decisively in China’s favor   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 NY Times, 11-24-2020: Biden Faces Pressure from Democrats and Republicans to Stand Up to China by Embracing Taiwan... He will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues ... won't use Taiwan to poke Xi Jinping in the eye and make him look weak National Interest, 11-20-2020: Would China really invade Taiwan? Maybe ! But the costs would be nuts Washington Examiner, 11-18-2020: China will race to expand 'empire' and attack Taiwan during window of opportunity (~2022), experts fear WSJ, 11-15-2020: An attack on Taiwan, the top chips manufacturer, would roil industry and the world National Interest, 11-15-2020: Geography and history dictate that the American defense policy and the security of Taiwan are one and the same—and it cannot be decoupled DW (Germany) ,11-10-2020:The Biden administration will have to make it quite clear from the outset whether it is ready to go to war for Taiwan's sake NY Times, 12-14-2020: Pound for Pound, Taiwan at the center of the battle for global technological supremacy is the most important place in the world, As the Cold War between China and the United States intensifies, that importance will only continue to grow
 

 

  Only with the one-China principle in place can the Taiwan Straits avoid miscalculation
Biden administration should sent out a clear political signal
/ Global Times (China), 1-25-2021   

 

Biden's "signals"

Washington Examiner, 1-24-2021 : The United States does not recognize Taiwan as an sovereign country, but U.S. strategists regard the island as a crucial link in a chain of islands that restrains the Chinese Communist military’s ability to operate away from the Chinese coast and threaten U.S. forces and other allies.
Bloomberg, 1-24-2021: The State Department statement indicated a desire by the Biden administration to preserve the longstanding ambiguity about Taiwan’s status. The U.S. pledged to stand by existing agreements with China and spoke of the interests of the “people on Taiwan,” rather than the people “of Taiwan.”
Washington Post, Associated Press, DW, 1-24-2021: “We urge Beijing to ... engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives," spokesperson Ned Price said in the statement.  (PS: CTV 1-29-2021 20pm ~: experts comment using "Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives" to name "Taiwan president" and officials etc  )
Reuters, 2-4-2021: U.S. State Department says U.S. "one-China" policy has not changed.

Reuters,11-12-2020:WHO says faces 'onslaught' of cyberattacks as Taiwan complains of censorship Express UK,11-10-2020: Due to Mr Biden’s less-severe tone on China in the lead up to the election, and has no specific policy for deepening ties with Taiwan, Taiwan officials fear a Biden administration would be more conciliatory towards Beijing at the expense of Taiwan Reuters,11-9-2020: Taiwan lawmakers described Biden as “China-friendly”, and others pointing to Biden’s opposition to a bill to strengthen Taiwan’s security in 1999 News Australia,11-7-2020: 'War will come’ warns Beijing after Taiwan stocks up on US-made missiles Newsweek,11-4-2020: Taiwan Would Last 'Only Two Weeks' in War With China, Says Ex-Navy Commander  Japan Sankei Shimbun ( 產經新聞),10-29-2020:Japan's DM 岸信夫: Given military imbalance of both sides, anything can happen, Taiwan must be very cautious Yomiuri (Japan 読売新聞), 10-30-2020: Japan will hold military drill the largest ever since 35 years ago to avoid engaging in a possible China-Taiwan war ("14万人演習…陸自「台湾有事」波及を警戒") NewsWeek, 10-28-2020: As China Threatens War, Nearly Everyone in Taiwan Wants Peace: Poll 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.  Given present trends, 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. Financial Times, 10-19-2020: Mr Xi has already demonstrated that he is willing to take military risks and repressive actions that antagonise the west and scare China’s neighbours.  Political turmoil in Washington (ps: US election) may open a window of opportunity for Beijing Newsweek ,10-20-2020: GT:  whether to use the reunification-by-force option is no longer a question; the only question is when and how to use it Washington Post, 10-15-2020: Would the US protect Taiwan from China? Taiwan's new envoy hopes for 'clarity.' ... “I have not considered at all the possibility of too much support for Taiwan,” VOA, 10-17-2020: Taiwan Should Prepare to deter Chinese any sort of amphibious invasion or even a gray zone operation ( isolating the island economically, coercive and provocative actions short of the use of military force) WSJ,10-13-2020:  continued ambiguity in the face of Xi's escalating rhetoric and provocative movements by his armed forces in the Taiwan Strait presents the greater risk of a confrontation as dangerous  as the Cuban Missile Crisis VOA,10-15-2020: Taiwan Needs More Homegrown Military Efforts, expand its military reserve, to Counter China Forbes,10-26-2020:To Thwart Invasion, Taiwan Points Powerful New Missiles At Chinese Bases       news cyber-links

 

 

 

news

 

 

 NewsWeek, 7-21-2020

 

Once military conflict breaks out -  

A slight plurality of 31 percent

assigned blame to

Chinese President Xi Jinping,

while 30 percent of respondents

said they believed both Xi and

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen

were responsible

and 24 percent blamed Tsai.

 

 

 

◆  Eurasian Times
 7-9-2020:

 

The Tsai authority knows that

Taiwan  cannot compete with

the mainland on its own,

and therefore turns to Washington

and is willing to be used.
Taiwan Now Under ‘Deep Control’

Of The US.

 

Reuters, Japan Times, 9-8-2020:  Eyeing China, Taiwan urges alliance against 'aggressive actions'

 

●   NHK Japan, 7-20-2020:Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has warned that the island will face intensifying pressure from China.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200719_18/

 

●  Washington Post 7-22-2020: the Taiwanese fm : urging "extreme caution" in the island's dealings with a Chinese
 leadership in Beijing that he described as both increasingly emboldened and insecure.

 

●  Daily Mail, 7-22-2020:  Foreign Minister Wu:  'The threat is on the rise' !! 
 
intrusions 'happened almost every day' in June and were 'much more frequent' than what the government had disclosed to the public.
 China has also made several 'simulated' military attacks on Taiwan.  ( ps: media didn't report it's on an almost daily basis since Jun.  )

 

 

 CNN 2-19-2020 exclusive interview with Taiwanese president Tsai I. W. : "What we are expecting is, after withstanding

the first wave of Chinese attacks ourselves, the rest of the world would stand up to exert strong pressure on China" .... 

"Taiwan as an underdog facing down the growing might of Beijing" ...  

Therefore, Taiwan's fears soar as
China repeats threat to INVADE the small island nearby.

 

 

 

  ◆  Washington Post (7-22-2020) reports:  
In Jan. 2019, Xi (Chinese president) offered
 an ultimatum to Taiwan to come to the table for
unification talks or face annexation
 by force.
  However, Taiwan's government was
 
tight-lipped about this ultimatum, otherwise pro-Independence Tsai I. W. may not continue in
presidential office in 2020, because,
according to
National Interest (6-16-2020):

more than 60.3 percent of the respondents
 opposed Taiwan's independence

if it is followed by
China’s military invasion...
 

 

 

CNN 9-17-2020  interviews with Taiwan FM : Taiwan is trying to avoid being "the next Hong Kong"

 

China-Taiwan war

 

 

 

 

FoxNews, 9-9-2020 (9-10-2020 Taipei time) :
Taiwan unveils US-backed fighter jet hub as tensions with China build

https://www.foxnews.com/world/will-taiwan-become-the-next-hong-kong  China military show of force near Taiwan has experts asking if island could be the 'next Hong Kong'

 

 

 

pic.: No.1 "Taiwan military" on Microsoft Bing, 11-14-2020, 9-26-2020, 9-3-2020, 8-22-2020, 8-8-2020, 8-2-2020 ( upper items are ads. )

 

  No.1 "Taiwan military" on US Bing,  11-14-2020, 9-26-2020, 9-3-2020, 8-22-2020, 7-26-2020, 6-28-2020, 6-3-2020, 5-30-2020

 

 

 

◆  pic. : No.1 "Taiwan military" (Chinese version"台灣軍隊") on Bing,  11-14-2020, 9-26-2020, 9-3-2020, 8-22-2020, 8-8-2020, 6-27-2020, 6-15-2020, 6-8-2020, 6-2-2020

ps: TTV 7-3-2020: a marine amphibious landing craft (similar to pic. above) was overturned in an exercise

 

 

 

 

  Taiwanese military  VS.  communist China's military [ People's Liberation Army ]     


Forbes, 1-29-2021: Desperate To Avoid a Bloody Beach-Assault, Chinese Troops Could Try Sneaking Into Taiwan ( in large container ships flying third-country flags to moor in southern Taiwan and northern Taiwan ... and perhaps that day’s ‘commercial’ flights )  forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2021/01/29/desperate-to-avoid-a-bloody-beach-assault-chinese-troops-could-try-sneaking-into-taiwan/?sh=4ffe58ed5ac9

Forbes, 1-28-2021: China’s Future Stealth Bombers Could Clear A Path Through Taiwan’s Defenses  forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2021/01/28/chinas-stealth-bombers-could-clear-a-path-through-taiwans-defenses/?sh=12c1363c4a06

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), 1-29-2021: ‘It’s a red line’: Taiwan defence chair urges Australia to act over China war threats

 

 

  How long can Taiwan resist PLA attacks ? 

 

media

brief

Foreign Affairs, 2021-6-3  ... result in a U.S. defeat, with China completing an all-out invasion in just days or weeks
Reuters, 2021-4-7 Taiwan Foreign Minister : will fight to the end if China attacks
The Hill, 2021-3-10 PLA now has the capabilities to subdue Taiwan in a matter of weeks, if not days.
Taiwan's minister of Defense 邱國正 ( Mar. 2021) : We will  be on the field no matter how many days PLA can attack
("不要問國軍能撐幾天,要問中共能打多少天,我們全程奉陪"!)
previous Taiwan's minister of Defense - 李傑: 2 weeks,馮世寬: more than 1 week  ,嚴明: one month,高華柱: more than 1 week
Global Times, 2021-4-8, chief editor It's a miracle if Taiwan can resist PLA for 48 hours (台灣堅持48小時,就是奇蹟)
 N.Y. Times, 8-30-2020 President Tsai :  24 hours  to resist 1st wave attacks then awaits int'l interfere ... 
 Newsweek,11-5-2020;  NEWS (Australia), 11-7-2020  2 weeks
The Naval Institute, Proceedings, Aug., 2020  3  days
Forbes Advocate, 8-26-2020, Forbes, 8-24-2020  3  days
National Interest, 8-6-2020  a few days ~ a few weeks
Bloomberg, 7-30-2020 not too long ...

Real Clear Investigations  8-17-2020

one ~ 2 weeks probably
Financial Times, 10-21-2020  there is little doubt that China could overtake Taiwan by force in 10 days
民視(FTV) 2-25-2019  Taipei mayor : Americans told him 2 days at most
Forbes, 7-17-2020  soon or weeks
自由時報( Liberty Times) , 7-29-2020   more than 72 hours /   林保華專欄
 壹新聞( Next News)  5-20-2020  9:10pm  "鑑船知識" :  24 hours ?
 Global Times (China) , Mar 2018  estimates 100 hours
New York times,  11-4-2017  2 weeks
 中視 (CTV news), 12-18-2016  Taiwan minister of Defense: more than 1 week                      

 

    China VS Taiwan 

personnel  (active)

Tanks

Artillery pieces

Aircraft carriers

China Taiwan China Taiwan China Taiwan China Taiwan

1,030,000

88,000

6300 800 6300 1100 2 0

Destroyers

Frigates

Tank landing ships

submarine

China Taiwan China Taiwan China Taiwan China Taiwan
32 22 49 22 37 14 56 2

Fighters

Bombers/attack

Transport aircraft

  

The Queensland Times,  2021-2-6

https://www.qt.com.au/news/xi-and-putins-aggressive-master-plan/4192130/

 

China Taiwan China Taiwan China Taiwan
1500 400 450 0 400 30

 

 China is building an invasion force                  

Type 075  Assault Carriers
 
can deploy attack helicopters, transport helicopters, and landing craft
Type 071 Landing Platform Docks
 
Carry large numbers of troops with supporting landing craft and helicopters
Carrier Battle Group 2 aircraft carriers supported by guided missile destroyers and frigates 
Landing Ships Tanks (LST) Landing craft and ships taken up from trade land reinforcements
Zubr Hovercraft Can quickly carry troops and light vehicles from shops to shore
ZTD-05 Amphibious Tanks Can swim from a ship to fight  for control of a beach

                                                                                                                              The Queensland Times,  2021-2-6         

      

China's Military Power Report /  annual Report to US Congress (2020)

                Military and Security Developments involving P.R.C. 2020 
 

 US Department of Defense 2020 report, 9-1-2020 /  Chinese military VS. Taiwanese military

the military balance in the Taiwan Strait is stacked firmly in China's favor

 

https://media.defense.gov/2020/Sep/01/2002488689/-1/-1/1/2020-DOD-CHINA-MILITARY-POWER-REPORT-FINAL.PDF

contrast

 

Taiwanese military vs. Chinese military

   pic. left :   Ground Forces - Taiwan vs. China ;      pic. right :   Naval Forces - Taiwan vs. China 

 

 

Forbes 9-2-2020 fig.: https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2020/09/02/the-military-imbalance-in-the-taiwan-strait-in-2020-infographic/#2aeed4fc4ca5

China has also made huge progress building amphibious assault ships and tank-landing vessels that would be essential in launching a successful invasion of Taiwan.

 the China Military Power Report estimates that China's warhead stockpile is now in the low 200s and that number is expected to double to at least 400-500 by 2030

 

   pic. left :   Air Forces - Taiwan vs. China ;      pic. right :  China's Rocket Forces

 

TW
Defense
 

TAIWAN’S DEFENSIVE CAPABILITIES 

(1)  China’s multi-decademilitary modernization effort has eroded or negated many of the military advantages that Taiwan has historically enjoyed the context of a cross-Strait conflict.

(2)  Taiwan is taking important steps to compensate for the growing disparities – building its war reserve stocks, growing its defense-industrial base, improving joint operations and crisis response capabilities,and strengthening its officer and noncommissioned officer corps – these improvements only partially address Taiwan’s declining defensive advantages.

(3)  The modified strategy stresses enhanced asymmetric capabilities, as well as suggesting greater reliance on Taiwan’s Air Force and Navy.

(4)  The transition (active duty forces to all-volunteer force ) has slowed due to severe difficulties recruiting volunteers.

(5)  Taiwan has stated that it is working to develop new concepts and capabilities for asymmetric warfare. Some specific areas of emphasis include offensive and defensive information & EW,high-speed stealth vessels ,shore-based mobile missiles  rapid mining and minesweeping  unmanned aerial systems and critical infrastructure protection.

 

Chn.
attacks
CHINA’S COURSES OF ACTION AGAINST TAIWAN

These circumstances PLA would use forces have included:
1. Formal declaration of Taiwan independence; 2. Undefined moves toward Taiwan independence; 3. Internal unrest in Taiwan; 4. Taiwan’s acquisition of nuclear weapons; 5. Indefinite delays in the resumption of cross-Strait dialogue on unification; 6. Foreign intervention in Taiwan’s internal affairs;  7. Foreign forces stationed on Taiwan.
 

(1) China could pursue a measured approach by signaling its readiness to use force or conduct punitive actions against Taiwan. The PLA could also conduct a more comprehensive campaign designed to force Taiwan to capitulate to unification, or unification dialogue under China’s terms.
(2) China would attempt to delay and defeat intervention in an asymmetric, limited war of short duration. In the event of a protracted conflict, China might choose to escalate cyberspace, space, or nuclear activities in an attempt to end the conflict, or it might choose to fight to a stalemate and pursue a political settlement.
(3) China has a range of options for military campaigns against Taiwan, from an air and maritime blockade to a full-scale amphibious invasion to seize and occupy some or all of Taiwan or its offshore islands.

  Blockades  ―  kinetic blockades of maritime and air traffic, including a cut-off of Taiwan’s vital imports, to force Taiwan’s capitulation. Large-scale missile strikes and possible seizures of Taiwan’s offshore islands would accompany a Joint Blockade in an attempt to achieve a rapid Taiwan surrender, while at the same time, posturing air and naval forces to conduct weeks or months of blockade operations if necessary. China will also likely complement its air and maritime blockade operations with concurrent electronic warfare (EW), network attacks, and information operations (IO) to further isolate Taiwan’s authorities and populace and to control the international narrative of the conflict.

   Limited Force or Coercive Options  ―  a variety of disruptive, punitive, or lethal military actions in a limited campaign against Taiwan, probably in conjunction with overt and clandestine economic and political activities supported by a variety of IO to shape perceptions or undercut the effectiveness or legitimacy of the Taiwan authorities. Such a campaign could include computer network or limited kinetic attacks against Taiwan’s political, military, and economic infrastructure to induce fear in Taiwan and degrade the Taiwan population’s confidence in their leaders.
 Air and Missile Campaign   ―   China could use missile attacks and precision air strikes against air defense systems, including air bases, radar sites, missiles, space assets, and communications facilities to degrade Taiwan’s defenses, neutralize Taiwan’s leadership, or break the Taiwan people’s resolve.
  Landing Campaign  ―  The most prominent of these, the Joint Island Landing Campaign, envisions a complex operation relying on coordinated, interlocking campaigns for logistics, air, and naval support, and EW. The objective would be to break through or circumvent shore defenses, establish and build a beachhead, transport personnel and materiel to designated landing sites in the north or south of Taiwan’s western coastline, and launch attacks to seize and occupy key targets or the entire island.

(4) The PRC appears willing to defer the use of military force as long as it considers that unification with Taiwan could be negotiated over the long-term and the costs of conflict outweigh the benefits

 

PS

Forbes, 9-2-2020: the U.S. Defense 's  annual guide to the Soviet military 1981 ~ 1991 is naked propaganda chock full inaccurate or misleading data, unfair comparisons and outright lies, the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign continues, its China's Military Power Report  mostly portrays China as a seemingly unbeatable martial monolith with limitless resources and ambitions and few viable rivals, and  ignores Taiwan’s missiles. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2020/09/02/wad-up-the-pentagons-propagandistic-china-report-and-toss-it-in-the-trash/#768072865437  

 Global Times, 9-2-2020: Chinese Defense Ministry: the Pentagon report  is "full of zero-sum game and cold war mentality," and apart from stigmatizing China's national defense expenditure and nuclear policy, it's also creating tensions between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, which is a terrible mistake, China expresses firm opposition to it.  The report also said"China is already ahead of the United States in certain areas," such as "shipbuilding," "land-based conventional ballistic and cruise missiles," and "integrated air defense systems."  it's an old trick to ask for a big budget, because when Congress learns that "China is doing better than the US, they will get nervous and pass the budget easily."     https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1199731.shtml

 The Hill, 9-3-2020: Taiwan needs to take advantage of asymmetric defense options, using its natural urban and mountainous terrain to deter Chinese attack, and Small, mobile and lethal systems such as Stinger surface-to-air missilesJavelin anti-tank missiles, naval mines, and unmanned underwater vehicles, in conjunction with Taiwan’s indigenous HF-3

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/514481-how-taiwan-with-us-assistance-can-deter-chinas-overt-aggression

 

  Forbes, 7-17-2020  the Taiwanese military plans to let the Chinese get close  —  then lob thousands of missiles at them.  Taiwan's objectives are to deter and delay potential invasion ... https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2020/07/17/if-china-invades-taiwan-could-target-shanghai-and-beijing-with-cruise-missiles/#438bd91230ff

   Bloomberg, 9-22-2020:  Taiwan president Tsai does have one major problem: The Communist Party is threatening her life, with its Global Times newspaper saying over the weekend she would be “wiped out” in a war if she violated China’s anti-secession law.   www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-21/china-s-war-rhetoric-pushes-taiwan-to-boost-u-s-economic-ties

 

●  The Hill, Hudson Org., 9-17-2020:  an assault on Taiwan would not end in a quick victory. Taiwan’s armed forces draw from a robust reservist pool; it knows its territory far better than its adversary and will receive unimpeachable civilian support in a conflict. To win, China must occupy and subjugate the entire island — and an insurgency, based in Taiwan’s mountainous center, is to be expected. While this is a fight China considers winnable, it must bring to bear all its capabilities.  China’s military is built to fight a short war, relying on long-range missiles and progressively layered defenses to isolate areas near the Chinese coastline. By raising the costs of American intervention, China seeks a political-military solution to its central strategic problem

https://www.hudson.org/research/16381-the-u-s-election-could-be-a-danger-for-taiwan-an-opportunity-for-china

●   Economist,10-9-2020:  China could wipe out Taiwan’s navy and air force ...  Taiwan’s preparedness and its will to fight both look shaky.  Many insiders are accordingly pessimistic about its ability to hold out.  

 

●   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.  Given present trends, 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.

 

●   Bloomberg, 10-8-2020:  Ian Easton: “It is possible to envision this ending in an all-out invasion attempt and superpower war. The next five to 10 years are going to be dangerous ones.” “Taiwan ... could make Beijing pay a terrible price, at least several hundreds of thousands in casualties,”  “But that may be a price Xi Jinping is willing to pay. We underestimate the CCP’s capacity for radical decision making at our peril "

 

●   Politico,10-8-2020: Taiwan’s not ready to defend itself...lack of defense capacity and their lack of depth...What’s next for Taiwan: Conflict is a “real risk.” It could happen “even four or five years out”

 

  Financial Times (UK),10-6-2020:  If Beijing wanted to invade Taiwan it has been estimated that it would need up to one million soldiers. China has a different playbook - coercion

 

●  Hong Kong Apple Daily ( 《蘋果動新聞》), 10-9-2020 :  China's PLA will attack Taiwan by Blitzkrieg or  lightning war to seal off and cut off the transportation (communication) way between Taiwan and Japan to avoid Taiwan's high-ranking officials running away and foreign country coming to rescue ; The better landing place for PLA large force will not be narrow Tamsui River or west coast, instead, very likely weak-defense east coast such as 宜蘭(YiLan) .  Once main force came, Taiwan is almost finished.  https://tw.appledaily.com/international/20201009/3HGWOL27GJDTZGS7GGYLDOJB3A/  by 台灣國防安全研究院國防資源與產業研究所長蘇紫雲、中正大學戰略暨國際事務研究所兼任助理教授林穎佑,以及澳門軍事評論員黃東

 

 Global Times , 10-9-2020: Taiwan’s military drills ‘a futile cover-up show’ against PLA operations.  The PLA has overwhelming military advantages over the island in terms of combat readiness of the troops, the advanced level of technology for weapons and equipment, numbers, tactics and strategies   https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1202977.shtml

 

  Wall Street Journal 8-30-2020: Fearing Hong Kong’s Fate, Taiwan Moves to Bolster Its Military Against China