A full Chinese invasion of Taiwan with troops landed and ports and airports seized would be very difficult to achieve due to problems China would have in landing and supplying troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in its latest threat assessment.
In a report to lawmakers, the ministry said as China’s transport capacity is limited, it would not be able to land all its forces in one go, and would have to rely on “non-standard” roll-on, roll-off ships that would need to use port facilities and transport aircraft that would need airports.
“However, the nation’s military strongly defends ports and airports, and they will not be easy to occupy in a short time. Landing operations will face extremely high risks,” the ministry said in its report, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters.
Photo courtesy of the Military News Agency via CNA
China’s logistics face challenges, too, as any landing forces would need to be resupplied with weapons, food and medicine across the Taiwan Strait, it added.
“The nation’s military has the advantage of the Taiwan Strait being a natural moat and can use joint intercept operations, cutting off the communist military’s supplies, severely reducing the combat effectiveness and endurance of the landing forces,” the report said.
China would also need to keep some of its forces in reserve to prevent any foreign forces joining in to help Taiwan and to keep a close watch on other fractious areas of China’s border, such as with India and in the South China Sea, the report said.
“US and Japanese military bases are close to Taiwan, and any Chinese Communist attack would necessarily be closely monitored, plus it would need to reserve forces to prevent foreign military intervention,” it said. “It is difficult to concentrate all its efforts on fighting with Taiwan.”
Experts say that China has other means at its disposal to bring Taiwan to its knees short of a full invasion, including a blockade or targeted missile attacks.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is overseeing a military modernization program to make Taiwan harder to attack, making the military more mobile and providing it with precision weapons such as long-range missiles to take out an attacking force.
The government is planning to spend an extra NT$240 billion (US$8.63 billion) over the next five years mostly on weapons and new warships for the navy.
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