Despite military superiority
Why China Can’t Conquer the Small Island of Taiwan
Since the split between China and Taiwan in 1949, Beijing has viewed the island as a breakaway territory that it wants to reunite with the mainland – if necessary using military force. But that shouldn’t be that easy.
Taiwan’s military is rehearsing for emergencies. China keeps threatening to attack.
An invasion of Taiwan would probably not end in victory for China – and result in significant losses for all warring factions.
That is the conclusion of a report published on Monday by the Center for International and Strategic Studies (CSIS) in Washington. According to the report, which is based on 24 war simulations conducted, if China attacks, Taiwan “would remain democratic and independent in most scenarios.” However, the price to be paid would be enormous for all the states involved.
China regards the democratic island republic as part of the People’s Republic, while Taiwan, on the other hand, has long regarded itself as an independent state. Recently, tensions in the region had increased.
3,200 dead US soldiers within three weeks
The report said: “The United States and Japan are losing dozens of ships, hundreds of planes and thousands of soldiers. Such losses would damage the US global position for years to come.”
The Chinese would therefore sink two US aircraft carriers in most of the simulations carried out. In addition, the United States would have to cope with between ten and 20 more warships as a loss. According to the scenarios, 3,200 US soldiers could be killed within just three weeks.
It also said that while Taiwan’s armed forces would not be completely defeated, they would be severely weakened. They would have to defend an island where basic services have collapsed.
Conscription was extended
For China, however, an invasion would result in far greater losses. Not only would the attack fail. According to the simulation, around 10,000 Chinese soldiers could die and tens of thousands could end up in captivity, according to the CSIS report. In addition, according to the estimate, the People’s Liberation Army would lose 155 aircraft and 138 warships. The country’s navy would be “in ruins.”
Taiwan has extended conscription from four months to one year in view of a growing threat from China. “We have decided to reintroduce one-year military service from 2024,” said Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (66) after a national security cabinet meeting in late December. The reason she gave was that China’s “intimidation and threats against Taiwan” are becoming “more obvious”.
Taiwan is under growing pressure from Beijing, which regards the island, which has been seceded since 1949, as a breakaway territory and wants to reunite it with mainland China – if necessary using military force. The visit of senior US politician Nancy Pelosi (82) to Taiwan in August heightened tensions between the US and China. (SDA/AFP/jmh)