An invasion of Taiwan would be a “daunting undertaking” for China, a new US Congressional report released on Thursday said.
Prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the 34-page report titled “The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress” was realeased as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) arrived in Washington for talks with US President Barack Obama.
“Over the past two decades, the main focus of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military planning and short-term operational readiness has been a potential conflict over Taiwan,” the report said.
It said that China has vowed to unify with Taiwan, using force if necessary.
In an unusual footnote, the report said that Beijing “contends” that Taiwan is a province that was seized from it by Japan during a time of Chinese weakness and that Taiwan must eventually reunify with the mainland.
“However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has never ruled Taiwan, which instead has been led by the Republic of China (ROC) government since the defeat of Japan in 1945,” the footnote said. “After losing the Chinese Civil War to the Communists, the Kuomintang (KMT)-ruled ROC retreated across the Taiwan Strait in 1949. Since that time, Taiwan’s political system has evolved from a one-party state under KMT rule into a multi-party democracy.”
Official US documents that mention Taiwan’s status often refer to the “one China” policy and do not usually point out that the CCP has never ruled the island.
The CRS report said that the PLA’s planning for a potential conflict over Taiwan also might deter Taiwan from declaring independence.
“The PLA has a high concentration of forces based in China’s southeast, near Taiwan, especially amphibious and airborne assault units,” it said.
Although the military balance across the Taiwan Strait has steadily shifted in favor of the PRC as its defense spending has dwarfed the ROC’s, the report said “an invasion of Taiwan would be a daunting undertaking.”
“The potential intervention of the US to defend Taiwan would present enormous challenges for the PLA,” it said. “[The] Department of Defense assesses that China continues to develop capabilities that serve to specifically dissuade, deter or if ordered, defeat possible third-party intervention during a large-scale, theater campaign such as a Taiwan contingency,” it said.
The report said that many US China-watchers assert that China’s main reason for strengthening the PLA is to ensure that the status of Taiwan is resolved on terms favorable to Beijing.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it