Sun, May 03, 2015 - Page 3 News List

New papers examine Chinese threat

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in Washington

Taiwan faces “imminent military threats” from China, and its current defense posture — “compounded by financial constraints” — will soon become obsolete at dealing with the threats, a paper written by former Taiwanese defense minister Andrew Yang (楊念祖) said.

“The military threat from mainland China has remained a daily reality, as Beijing still holds the option to employ the use of force to achieve political unification,” Yang said in the paper published in the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief journal.

Taiwan must create innovative, asymmetric capabilities that “exploit the enemy’s weaknesses” to fend off a surprise attack, Yang wrote.

The US and Taiwan have a shared concern about the strategic and security “game change” in the East China Sea, with Beijing responsible for provoking and escalating tensions, Yang wrote.

“The US and Taiwan should seek a window of opportunity to reset US-Taiwan defense communication to evaluate Taiwan’s military transformation,” the paper said.

He said that the US Congress should encourage the White House to increase Taiwan’s role in enhancing regional peace and security, and in sharing responsibility for dealing with emerging challenges and contingencies.

“The US and Taiwan should also pay attention to the need of enhancing the experience and professionalism of Taiwanese military officers and personnel,” Yang wrote.

In a second paper in the journal, former US Army attache to Beijing Dennis Blasko said most foreign analysts assume that China’s special operations forces — armed with the most modern weapons and equipment in China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — would be used against Taiwan.

Blasko said that China has an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 special operations soldiers.

Blasko said that China’s special operations units have grown substantially since their beginnings 20 years ago and are likely to continue to receive priority for development.

They are now focused on battlefield tactics in support of conventional units, but they could be used for strategic missions, “provided they can be inserted and supported at longer ranges,” Blasko said.

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