Despite warming cross-strait ties, the government does not rule out the possibility of China launching an all-out attack on Taiwan in response to political developments across the Taiwan Strait or to achieve its ultimate goal of unification, according to the Ministry of National Defense’s latest analysis on the military capability of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The report, which has been submitted to the legislature for review, said there is a strong possibility that China would resort to military force to achieve unification once its objective of enhancing its combat capability to a level sufficient for a general invasion of Taiwan is fulfilled by 2020.
However, as China does not yet possess the capability to do this because of its lack of amphibious transport vehicles, it could, for some time yet, remain dependent on intimidation, blockades and threats of artillery barrages should the cross-strait situation deteriorate, the report said.
It said such approaches would aim to create panic in an attempt to coerce Taiwan’s government into suing for peace.
“Once China paralyzes our army, it might instantly mount a triphibious attack on Taiwan and take control of the country before any parties could have a chance to intervene,” the report said.
The PLA has clearly not scaled down its military ambitions toward Taiwan and has continued preparations for an invasion, the report said, citing China’s military drills last year that featured simulated attacks on Taiwan and its navy’s training missions near the Bashi Channel, as well as in the seas off the eastern and northeastern coasts of the country.
Turning to the PLA’s Second Artillery Force, the report said that the tactical ballistic and cruise missiles the force has deployed across the Strait threatens much of the country and have the ability to precisely hit individual targets.
“Additionally, the force has developed its Dong Feng-21D medium-range ballistic missiles that are designed to destroy aircraft carriers and prevent a third party from intervening in the event of a cross-strait military conflict,” the report said.
Worries over a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan were also expressed in a US Department of Defense report on the Chinese military released on May 7, which said that “there have been no signs that China’s military disposition opposite Taiwan has changed significantly” and that “the PLA has developed and deployed military capabilities to coerce Taiwan or to attempt an invasion, if necessary.”
The National Security Bureau has also expressed concerns over massive cyber attacks from China.
“The bureau was hit by 76,371 and 57,779 unsuccessful cyber attacks last year and in the first half of this year respectively,” the bureau said. “Luckily, these malicious assaults were caught and blocked in time.”