China is unlikely to attempt an invasion of Taiwan, as defeat would mean the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party, a former Japanese defense official said on Sunday.
China is also facing food security problems and its military strength remains insufficient for an invasion of Taiwan, Tokuichiro Tamazawa, who formerly served as director-general of the Japan Defense Agency, said during a speech at an event held by the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association in Taipei.
In a Facebook post, political commentator Akio Yaita quoted 85-year-old Tamazawa as saying that this week’s visit to Taiwan was aimed at “uniting Taiwanese in the face of Chinese projections of strength.”
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
If Taiwanese show determination to defend themselves, democracies worldwide would come to their aid, Tamazawa was quoted as saying.
Tamazawa said that as China imports 5 percent of its food, and since its Belt and Road Initiative has failed to boost its food security as Beijing had hoped, 70 million Chinese face food security problems.
Those food imports are also being threatened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as China previously had obtained 27 percent of its imported grains from the two nations, he said.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that 60 percent of China’s population eats pork and 1kg of pork requires 30kg of grain to produce, he said, adding that China is also struggling to catch enough fish to meet demand, especially as Chinese fishers are banned from fishing within 200 nautical miles (370km) of Japanese waters.
“Launching a war requires an abundant food supply. If China were to start a war now, it would immediately face food shortages,” Tamazawa said. “You can’t fight a war on an empty stomach.”
He said that the US invasion of Japan in World War II could be used as a reference for how an attempted invasion of Taiwan might unfold.
“The US military had roughly 700,000 troops, 30 aircraft carriers and 300 warships when it initially attempted to take Kyushu, which had a garrison of 200,000 troops,” he said. “Despite its greater numbers, the US was unable to take Kyushu at that time.”
China would need at least 1.3 million to 1.6 million troops to invade Taiwan and it is currently not capable of transporting that number to Taiwan in the timeframe required, he said.
Beijing realizes that an invasion would fail, which is the reason it uses aggressive cognitive warfare tactics against Taiwan, Tamazawa said.
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