It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Can China Invade Taiwan

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 07:48 PM
So back on June 2nd, being all of 5 days on this board I posted the exact same thread. It was one of my firsts topics I started and What ensued was a 3000+ post titanic thread that developed a life of its own until it was mercifully closed well over a year later.

However, so much has changed in not only the general readiness of the PLA, but as we are seeing in the South China Seas a general increase in the level of not only rhetoric but actual physical aggression that it seems an appropriate time to take a fresh look.

The thread from 2004

With all the talk about about the US, China, and Taiwan one really has to look at the simple fact. China cannot invade at this time.

1) China lacks the amphibious capacity to move enough troops over
2) Any attempt to airlift in the necessary equipment/troops would in all likelyhood be decimated by Taiwans Pac 2's and thier AF.
3) For all thier thugary, the ChiCom leadership seems to understand that in order to take over Taiwan they would in essence have to burn it down. If they are persuing a scorched earth policy, then there may not be much the US or Taiwan can do to stop them. However, I think they want and need to keep Taiwan viable for thier own economy. Can you imagine the efficiency of slave labor coupled to the quality controll and moderinzation that Taiwan posseses?????
4) The US would not stand by and allow Taiwan to be taken by conventional means. Aside from being a great customer from our planes and weapons systems we also benifit from an economic/industrial standpoint.
5) China can sabre rattle all they want, but can they affort to piss off thier most important trading partner the US?


First off a few assumptions: (I'm not saying this is set in stone, but it helps frame the discussion

1) The Chicoms want Taiwan intact not burned down to the bedrock
2) The battle will cover anything short Nuclear Weapons.

First I want to take a look at my original thoughts

1) China lacks the amphibious capacity to move enough troops over: This remains the same IMHO. While the PLAN (worst Naval name ever btw) has made a huge jump in capacity AND they have added almost 20 ships to their Gator Navy they would have to have near uncontested air superiority as well as surface and undersea superiority to ensure those ships even get close and would face a well trained and dug in Taiwanese Army defending their homes

2) Any attempt to airlift in the necessary equipment/troops.....: This one as above has gone from a done deal to a bit more of a wildcard. Taiwan's ability to run defensive air operations would be hampered by the inevitable missile attacks that would no doubt saturate the Islands defenses. However, the PLA will not be able to simply airdrop troops but will rather have to secure an airfield or two to make it happen.

3) See my initial note. They want the island relatively intact if at all possible

4) The US will not stand by: This is a must IMHO if the US wants to keep being a super power. We need to defend Taiwan as if it were our own.

5) This one is no longer valid: We are in an active trade war with China.

Factors that favor the ChiComs:

A huge massive military. As Stalin said ""Quantity has a quality all of its own" and despite all of the recent headline grabbing J-20's and carriers etc, the bulk of the PLAN, PLAF, and PLA is made up of huge numbers of older equipment with enough moderns planes / tank / ships to make things interesting and as noted posses large amounts of Surface to Surface missiles to help keep the Taiwanese planes on the ground and could saturate the SAM systems etc.

They have improved there A2AD capacity extensively with the US Navy in mind. The addition of the J-20 which reportedly has good frontal stealth gives them the ability to go after high value targets like say and E-3 or tankers etc.

Proximity. Their logistical trail will be very short.

Cyber: The Chicoms seem pretty adept at hacking and cyberattacks. They could and would disrupt not only military operations but civilian infrastructure in the CONUS etc.

Space: The Chicoms have rightfully focused on going after space assets. They will be able to wreak havoc with GPS and Comms world wide

Motivation: they have the money and the type of authoritarian government needed to accept large losses and keep pressing to get things done

Factors that favor the Taiwanese:

They have a professional military that is well trained and dug in. Political pressure has limited their access to weapons but they have a innovative and motivated indigenous military industrial complex.

They routinely practice disbursing their forces and operate from highways etc.

The biggest factor is the United States Navy. The US Navy's Pacific Fleet is more than a match for the PLAN et al. From carriers to the submarines, the PLAN would have a short but exciting life in a shooting war. From its destroyers to the submarine force, the US Navy has the experience as well as the doctrine and tactics needed to put the PLAN at the bottom of the ocean.

Much has been made of the various steps in A2AD they have made but their kill chain to take out US flattops is almost insurmountable:

1) You would have to find them and track them. They are not some oil derrick that is stationary and move in excess of 30 knots. The ocean is vast and its not easy

2) you would have to get close enough to launch weapons at them. With all due respect to the DF-21 see point #1. Even if the warhead maneuvers that carrier is still going to be moving about. Subs? Aircraft? Same thing, its going to take alot to get close.

3) Lets say you got close. Then you would deal with the CAP.

4) After the cap you have to deal with Aegis. Most of the ABM ships the US has are in the Pacific Fleet

5) lastly you have the point defense weapons each ship has. The ESSM and RAM systems are an upgrade to the old CWIS, but not viable against all threats

People seem to forget that modern CBG was designed to go up near the USSR and be survivable and its much better equipped generally (except the capacity lost with the F-14 but thats another thread)

Thats just the USN. With the US Airforce you again have a stealthy integrated force that is not only the best at air superiority but also has a legitimate maritime strike capacity. BUFF's will soon be loaded with AGM-158C LRASM which again will make the PLAN's life pretty hard. In addition, they would also be running CAP's to make it harder to find the carriers.

You couple that with long range interdiction and the Chicoms supply chain despite being short will be disrupted not to mention their coastal bases and airfields.

So in conclusion the same conclusion seems to hold today. China cannot invade Taiwan. Destroy? Yes, but invade no.


posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 08:29 PM
I went to Taiwan for vacation before. In all seriousness. China can easily take it over. The question is, is it worth it? If I was leader of China I say it isn't worth it all. Taiwan is actually a volcanic island that can blow anytime. I do not trust Taiwan in anyway at all. It feels like a god dam trap for eastern hell. Just like that Jurassic park movie where all the dinosaurs stuck on the island.
edit on 12-8-2019 by makemap because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 08:31 PM
a reply to: FredT

You also have to take into account the tactics the Chinese (or rather commies since they are both Chinese and both claim to be the legitimate and rightful government of China) may employ, they would probably begin by using assets already within Taiwan such as turncoats and saboteurs even within the ranks of the Taiwanese military and would not be averse to paying those turncoats and bribing them to gain the advantage they would need.

This may be enough to slow down the Taiwanese response slightly and that may be all the Chinese would need.

They may use the old cold war tactic of military transports disguised as or in fact repurposed airliners - not all necessarily launched from within China or taking over the flight path of airliners from other destination's after enacting EM jamming to prevent the real airliners from telling them that they had been diverted by Chinese escort fighters away from Taiwanese air space.

I suppose we have to try to think like the fox to try to stop the fox in it's track's and be prepared and undoubtedly the Taiwanese have plenty of contingency's in place in case the Chinese were to try any of these type of tactics.

The other possibility would be for China to use an EM device to try to disable as much of Taiwan's infrastructure and communications as possible before acting or during there act and then claim that they were acting within there own territory knowing that there are those in the western powers that would drag there feet for day's or even week's - why a strong ally that will act quickly is necessary for Taiwan's survival as otherwise China may indeed act fast as they have already illegally seized international waters and claimed they are there own territorial waters even infringing upon the territory of other - smaller nations.

I think Trump's/the US show of force in the Korea incident despite not having worked there may have been calculated as a regional show of force to let China know rather than NK that the US was ready to act in defence of it's protectorates and indeed it may have slowed but likely not stopped China's ambitions in the region - and beyond they are already making inroads in Africa.

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 09:16 PM
Apart from "what would the US response be" and "how much effort would it take", Taiwan presents the same dilemna as Hong Kong which cannot be ignored: "How do you get the golden egg without killing the goose?"

The tiny island of Taiwan has almost half the GDP of mainland China. That's what makes it desirable. How do you invade and A) not irreparably damage the infastructure, and B) how can it continue to be as profitable under the Chinese command economy?

Tiny finance city Hong Kong was once 27% of China's GDP two decades ago. Now it's down to less than 5%. Part of that is industrial growth in the rest of China, but a lot is that Communist control over HongKong is making it increasingly less attractive as a financial center.

So for the moment, between those factors and the US response, they still stand to lose more than they'd gain. Could they? Almost certainly. I doubt we have the political will to repel a full-scale invasion of Taiwan by the Chicoms. But we could cripple them economically afterward.

But no mistake, the Chinese consider Taiwan their own. A rebel enclave. And it's an emotional issue for them, as well as a prestige thing. As soon as they feel safe doing it, they'll do it. Or conversely, if things get so bad economically that they have little to lose, that starts looking more attractive as well.
edit on 12-8-2019 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 09:26 PM
Right now, USA leadership is so weak that China would probably get away with an invasion of Taiwan

Trump seems very reluctant to take any military action against anyone. I suspect it's because he doesn't understand the military at all, which is why he leaves command of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan up to his generals, instead of taking command himself like a regular POTUS would have done

Trump was hailed for his attack on Syria at the beginning of his Presidency, but I doubt that this was his own decision to attack. If it WAS his decision, he probably thought a strong military response was needed at the start of his Presidency to show that he carries a big stick. He's not done anything like that ever since.

China sees this weakness. While they may not attack Taiwan, the way they deal with unrest in Hong Kong is certainly being watched, but again, will likely end up with very little response from the USA.

World leaders are starting to suspect Trump's impotence on military issues and it likely won't be long before they start to take advantage of the complete lack of leadership.

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 09:31 PM
a reply to: babybunnies

Trump is the first leader in 20 years who might actually respond with disproportionate violence. Taiwan is safer today tha two years ago, zero doubt. Would he? I don't know. More likely than previous administrations.

I don't think people calling his bluff have made much progress. China is already trying to wait him out on trade because they know they can't win that game. We have always, always folded. Until now.

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 09:33 PM
a reply to: FredT

I remember hearing, some time ago, that China's Achilles Heel is their oil reserve.

They'd have to win any major skirmish within 3 weeks or else they'd dry up.

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 10:20 PM
List of US agression

There are others.

Comparison list ... China 'invaded' Tibet in the 50s, regaining control that they have had for much of history.

I will agree that China can not yet project power far from its bases but Taiwan is on the damn doorstep.

If China takes Taiwan it will be so fast that no one will have time to react.

The Hypocrisy in this thread is staggering.

So people, are you willing to light the fuse on WW3 over Taiwan?

By the time the US is ready to respond it would be all over bar the shouting.

As for the US Carriers, you may want to look into China's Hyper-sonic Missiles.

The best solution is a negotiated settlement.


edit on 12/8/2019 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 10:40 PM
a reply to: pheonix358

Yes, I'd go to war over Taiwan because we decided to be the guarantor of their independence. The other option is to fold Britain and France did over Sudetenland and Poland to "avoid a war". That worked out well.

Say goodbye to the harbor terminals and navy if the balloon goes up. I'm sure India and Russia would sit quietly by and never dream to take advantage of the situ in the disputed border zones... Same goes for the countries contesting the Spratly's. Nevermind the economic impact of sanctions and debt cancellation. Doubt it works out well.

Would the People's Republic of Turtles start a world war over Taiwan? Probably not right now. Maybe when their economy contracts enough over their foolish trade war. Six years is a long time to wait, and once industry in Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, etc expands to meet that extra capacity, it will never go back. A couple different ways to go, none od them particularly palatable for the PRCs on the mainland.

posted on Aug, 12 2019 @ 10:49 PM

originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: FredT

I remember hearing, some time ago, that China's Achilles Heel is their oil reserve.

They'd have to win any major skirmish within 3 weeks or else they'd dry up.

Everyone is going to be bombing oil depots in WW3. The ME is going to get hit hard. Nukes will be coming if Chinese can't do land invasion. So its a lose-lose game.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 12:02 AM
Taiwan has advanced fabricators that produce chips for Military and Consumer based applications.

It is absolutely necessary that we fight to protect Taiwan.

We have many assets in the region that could respond quickly and eyes on will give the early warning should we notice a mounting force being assembled because face it, you can't hide that massive force while everybody knows each others business.

So the whole "It'll be quick for China" BS is moot.

Because of our equipment, trade and relationship with Taiwan, it is imperative that we defend them at all times, there is no question about that.

The chinese would have to be really confident about something if they decide on that.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 12:18 AM
a reply to: FredT

The question is less "Can" and more "would".

Land invasions are not really in China's nature. They cause too many problems. Taiwan is too big a trading partner and invading would cause too many diplomatic problems. China would more likely attack Taiwan economic subvert their government.

The west really just stop thinking that its still the 1950s. Large nations and land wars are a thing of the past. E,felt for very specific cases like India and pakistan. They are yesterday's techniques.

Besides, China believes that it already has Taiwan. Why invade your own terretory? It would be like America invading Ohio.

China would simply seem to reestablish control over a wayward province by ensuring that the local government was more compliant. Sanctions, diplomatic pressure, political subversion, are all! Better tools than war.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 12:21 AM
The ChiComs Achilles heel to a small extet is oil but thats true for the rest of the world. They also have the ability to basically shut down everything and conserve. Plus if we are in a shooting war, its not like the factories that make our cheap Sprawlmart stuff will keep open in the short term

No there biggest weakness is food. Plus a huge percentage of their arable land is protected by the massive 3 Gorges Dam. While you may not be able to blow holes with conventional weapons in the dam itself, the spillways are usually the vulnerable part.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 12:55 AM

originally posted by: makemap

originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: FredT

I remember hearing, some time ago, that China's Achilles Heel is their oil reserve.

They'd have to win any major skirmish within 3 weeks or else they'd dry up.

Everyone is going to be bombing oil depots in WW3. The ME is going to get hit hard. Nukes will be coming if Chinese can't do land invasion. So its a lose-lose game.

Yeah , I saw that same sc-fi movie .
And , let us not forget the Fallout series.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 05:33 AM
Even the most stubborn seed when planted, just might grow into a strong oak. It isn't magick. It's just time and patience.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 08:32 AM
You raised one very important fact... they want to take it intact

They are taking it intact, they’re taking it politically, I can’t count the amount of
Taiwanese who claim they’re Chinese, it appears only the Taiwanese government claims to be Taiwanese, the majority or at least half of the islanders now
Pledges loyalty to the Chinese mainland, this could be another factor you’ve missed here, what if the Chinese invade and the public help oust the Taiwanese government? I think this is the most likely outcome, and the only way to combat this is to hammer Chicoms economy thus weakening its geopolitical power in the region with a health dose of propaganda offensives

China is possibly the most intelligent enemy the US has ever faced, they absolutely won’t fight the USA until they’ve surpassed the USA with its technological advancements and economic power, they’re not quite there yet but they would have been had Trump lost the 2016 election

The globalists were only loyal to profit, which lead to the decimation of western economy’s and the rise of China, reversing this course and economic nationalism is the only way short of a few million dead troops
edit on 13-8-2019 by TritonTaranis because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 09:04 AM
China would be surrounded by enemies very fast but it does have the numbers to put up a fight if that was to happen, I can't imagine anything short if a full-blown regional war. Maybe even a world war.

But let's say it all goes well for China, they take the island in less that 3 days... What happens then?

The US has a lot of capability in the area though I'd be doubtful it could do more than harass the Chinese if they took the island, to actually retake the island the US would need to do some mass mobilization and that takes time. Anything else and you'll suffer massive losses, I think that's inevitable anyways given the situation would be fighting the Chinese at home pretty much.

Which is why I always understood the Taiwanese situation as a one of holding out for as long as possible and making a successful invasion total hell for the Chinese.

So yeah I'd say they can invade but they'd be better off waiting. However they could take full advantage of a time sensitive situation. Like say the US invading Iran, A Pakistani and Indian war or other regional conflicts. Otherwise a long drawn out war would probably ensue with it's neighbors. China cannot hold Taiwan in the long run though.

If China ever did invade I don't think their end game would be territorial gain, it's not a fight they can win and to be frank Taiwan will be gone by the time they'd invade successfully anyways. Taiwanese are crazy, they will not make it easy... They'll happily go down in flames if needs be.

So to summarize, I don't see China invading any time soon. Unless global politics takes a drastic change.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 09:21 AM
a reply to: FredT

Taiwan can field and army in the hundred thousands if the mobilize. China can at the very best hope to land 5 light airborne and naval divisions. Aint happening.

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 09:31 AM
a reply to: RAY1990

So you think they're amassing troops and armor for fun then?

posted on Aug, 13 2019 @ 09:40 AM
a reply to: Wayfarer

Are they? Where?

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in