Despite the difference in military capabilities, weaponry and number of soldiers between China and Taiwan, the Taiwanese forces could overcome their Chinese theory in the event of a confrontation between the two sides of a “new distance”, according to an analysis of the British newspaper “Die Tye”.
military power gap
The autonomous island of 23 million people has been under threat of a Chinese invasion since the two sides separated at the end of a civil war in 1949, according to AFP.
Compared to Beijing, Taipei has less than 0.4 percent of the land area and less than 2 percent of the population, and across the Taiwan Strait 170,000 Taiwanese soldiers face more than two million Chinese People’s Soldiers, but despite that, “China could not swallow. Taiwan,” according to the paper. The Times.
In a tense confrontation that lasted for 73 years, it was “impossible for China to conquer the island”, and Taiwan has managed to repel Chinese invasion since 1949, when the Nationalist army fled there to establish an independent government after it was defeated by the Communists. in the civil war, according to “”The Times”.
But since then, China’s military has transformed itself into a “major military power”, with aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and hypersonic ballistic missiles, raising questions about how best the island can continue to defend itself against Beijing.
China ranks third among the world’s most powerful armies, while Taiwan ranks 21st, according to the Global Fire Power website.
Since last year, the Chinese air force has conducted “extensive air maneuvers” near the airspace of Taiwan, which has a democratically elected and self-governing government.
In August, Beijing responded to a solidarity visit by US Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei by conducting naval exercises in the Taiwan Strait and launching missiles over the island.
On Sunday, the Communist Party of China begins its twentieth congress, and the Chinese president is preparing to consolidate his power by winning a new five-year term at the head of the second largest economic power in the world, according to “AFP”.
Unless it comes as a surprise, the 69-year-old Xi, who has been in power since 2012, will remain in power until 2027 and become the most powerful leader since the regime’s founder, Mao Zedong (1949-1976).
“Taiwan’s reunification, by force if necessary,” is central to Xi’s “China Dream” of “rejuvenation” by mid-century, according to The Times.
Among the most prominent candidates to take over the leadership of the Chinese army is General Lin Xiangyang, who is the commander of the eastern theater and carried out the “dangerous exercises” in August, according to “The Times”.
How does Taiwan face a possible Chinese invasion?
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has complicated the calculations about how China will launch an attack on Taiwan, how it can be repelled and how the rest of the world will react, according to “The Times”.
For decades, Taipei has defended itself by acquiring the most advanced and powerful weapons to deter Beijing, and China may have more personnel, but with high-level training and the latest equipment, Taiwan can counter any potential Chinese threat, according to “The Times”.
And a new strategic trend has emerged in Taiwan that points to the “futility” of trying to match China’s military power, and the island is moving toward a “more realistic and effective strategy” to fight the “asymmetric” war confront, according to “The Times” .
This strategy abandons the pursuit of defeating invaders in the air, land and sea, and instead uses “smaller weapons” to combat the invasion.
And that strategy recently worked in Ukraine, where “the smaller forces defeated the well-equipped occupiers” with relatively light weapons, according to the Times.
Ukraine launched a counterattack in late August against the Russian forces that invaded the country in February, managing to repel them from the northeast and put them under severe pressure in the south, according to “Reuters” .
The “Times” points to the successes of weapons such as the Stinger and Javelin missiles in defeating Moscow’s forces, as well as the “Neptune” missile that sank the Russian cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea, and the “cheap” drones could inflict casualties on the Russians.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s geographic isolation, protected from the mainland by 100 miles of rough seas, gives Ukraine advantages it lacks.
According to the British paper’s analysis, Taiwan could call on “naval mines, land-based anti-ship missiles and hundreds of small missile launchers” to counter large Chinese ships.
“When you really have this kind of capability, you complicate the enemy’s war plan to the extreme,” said former Taiwanese army commander, retired Admiral Lee Hsi-ming. “Our task is not to destroy the enemy completely, but to freeze the invasion plan. .”
A Chinese attack on the island could take several forms, including cyber attack, missile bombing and an extended naval blockade, but if China intends to bring Taiwan under political control, it must physically occupy the island.
This would be a very expensive process “politically and socially”, as China has not fought a war since the border fences with Vietnam in 1979.
Taiwan-based expert Michael Cole says that most of the Chinese soldiers come from families with one child,” adding, “Soon, thousands of (Chinese) families will lose their only son,” according to “The Times.”
In remarks last Monday, President Tsai Ing of Taiwan said that an armed confrontation between Taiwan and China “is not an option at all,” according to “Reuters.”
But she said Taiwan is increasing production of precision-guided missiles and high-performance naval vessels, and is working to acquire fast-moving small arms that ensure its country is fully prepared to respond to “external military threats,” according to “Reuters”.
The United States has maintained “strategic ambiguity” over Taiwan by selling weapons without any commitment to aid, but President Joe Biden has said twice that “the US military will defend the Taiwanese people if China attacks the island.”