How Taiwan can defeat China in a war. If that political battle can be resolved in the halls of Washington, the party will not have the power to threaten battle on the shores of Taiwan. They know war would be a terrific gamble, even if they only admit it to each other. Tanner Greer is a writer and strategist based in Taiwan. We will never allow any person, any organization, or any political party to split any part of the Chinese territory from China at any time or in any form.”, This remark drew the longest applause of his entire three-hour speech—but it’s not a new message. Perhaps America could eventually repulse China’s assault on Taiwan. Taiwan should do the same. In the weeks leading up to war, he discovers that his older cousin—whose remittances support their grandparents in the Anhui countryside—has lost her job in Shanghai. Even that, it must be admitted, would be no guarantee that China would never attack Taiwan. Perhaps the wargames underestimate America’s ability to counterattack or overestimate China’s ability to perform the operations. By now, the PLA has put him in a media blackout, but still rumors creep in: Yesterday it was whispered that the 10-hour delay in their train schedule had nothing to do with an overwhelmed transportation system and everything to do with Taiwanese saboteurs. They’ll be attacking aircraft carriers at sea . Any act or treaty the United States enters into should unequivocally have the net result of a more secure America, preserving (or expanding) the country’s ability to prosper. Tens of thousands of vessels will be assembled—mostly commandeered from the Chinese merchant marine—to ferry 1 million Chinese troops across the strait, who will arrive in two waves. Link/Page Citation The magazine Foreign Policy yesterday presented key points from two recent studies which demonstrated ways in which Taiwan could successfully repel an invasion by China. But the authorities are fighting back. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images). China and Taiwan: Can Biden be like Ike? Defeatism is a more dangerous threat to Taiwanese democracy than any … The Chinese leadership has made it clear that resolution of the question of Taiwan’s status by force is still in the cards. They understand what Western gloom-and-doomsters do not. “We have the determination, the ability and the preparedness to deal with Taiwanese independence,” he stated in 2016, “and if we do not deal with it, we will be overthrown.”. Yes, the disparity between the military budgets on both sides of the strait is large, and growing—but the Taiwanese do not need parity to deter Chinese aggression. Concurrently, party sleeper agents or special forces discreetly ferried across the strait will begin an assassination campaign targeting the president and her Cabinet, other leaders of the Democratic Progressive Party, officials at key bureaucracies, prominent media personalities, important scientists or engineers, and their families. Once the beachhead is secured, the process will begin again: With full air superiority, the PLA will have the pick of their targets, Taiwanese command and control will be destroyed, and isolated Taiwanese units will be swept aside by the Chinese army’s advance. Fortunately, there is a superior alternative. ... (Kuomintang) forces of Chiang Kai Shek, whose government fled to the island following its 1949 civil war defeat … American analysts use terms like “mature precision-strike regime” and “anti-access and area denial warfare” to describe technological trends that make it extremely difficult to project naval and airpower near enemy shores. As war approaches, each beach will be turned into a workshop of horrors. Within a week, they will have marched into Taipei; within two weeks they will have implemented a draconian martial law intended to convert the island into the pliant forward operating base the PLA will need to defend against the anticipated Japanese and American counter-campaigns. In my trips to Taiwan, I have made a point of tracking down and interviewing both conscripts and career soldiers. Each of these has already been prepared for a potential conflict. They’ll be attacking our communications links that largely run through space.”. . America would have to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on perpetually maintaining such defenses and constantly be at risk of a new attack. There are only 13 beaches on Taiwan’s western coast that the PLA could possibly land at. Yet events will not work out as he has imagined. At a time when defense budgets are already causing more strain owing to the economic effects of coronavirus, it would cripple America were its defense budget to explode to cover a war with China. Their pessimism is palpable. Recent wargames jointly conducted by the Pentagon and RAND Corporation have shown that a military clash between the United States and China, especially over the Taiwan issue, would likely result in a U.S. defeat. A recent poll found that 65 percent of Taiwanese “have no confidence” in their military’s ability to hold off the PLA. This will give the Taiwanese ample time to move much of their command and control infrastructure into hardened mountain tunnels, move their fleet out of vulnerable ports, detain suspected agents and intelligence operatives, litter the ocean with sea mines, disperse and camouflage army units across the country, put the economy on war footing, and distribute weapons to Taiwan’s 2.5 million reservists. Some transports are sunk by Taiwanese torpedoes, released by submarines held in reserve for this day. Absent a vigorous campaign designed to educate the public about the true odds of successful military resistance, the Taiwanese people are likely to judge the security of their island on flawed metrics, like the diminishing number of countries that maintain formal relations with Taipei instead of Beijing. Few leaders in “establishment Washington” have taken the time to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. France is going to have a harder time selling “strategic autonomy” without the foil of the Trump administration to drive it. In addition to the cost to America in terms of lives lost, ships sunk, and airplanes shot down, the United States would then have the unenviable obligation to build a massive military presence on Taiwan and build up bases throughout the region to secure the country and prevent the next Chinese attempt to retake it.


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