By calculating the amount of fuel oil required by the Chinese navy and air force in a large-scale attack across the Taiwan Strait under high-tech conditions, it becomes apparent that such an assault could not be sustained for an extended period.
For an attack on Taiwan, China would likely mobilize 10 fighter divisions of the PLA Air Force. In fact, only one to two regiments under each division are armed with third generation fighter aircraft. According to reliable sources, the total number of Su-27, J-11A and Su-30 fighters now stands at 281.
Each Su fighter can carry up to 9.4 tons of fuel, with a maximum combat radius of 1,500 kilometers. Since the Su series are mostly deployed at second-front airports, it can be roughly estimated that each sortie would consume about 9.4 tons of oil. As a result, sorties by the full third-generation fighter fleet would consume 2,641.4 tons of fuel. In a high-intensity confrontation, if China launched two rounds of large-scale air raids, fuel consumption by the Su aircraft alone would likely double to 5,282 tons.....
After calculating the amounts China's air force, army, and navy might need, the article concludes:
What is the total annual fuel consumption of the Chinese armed forces? A report published by the PLA General Logistics Department in 2007 says that the PLA forces saved 55,000 tons of oil in 2006, approximately 5.1 percent of their total consumption. Based on this figure, the total would be over 1 million tons, about 2,954 tons on average per day. It can be concluded that fuel consumption in a 15-day large-scale assault operation would surpass 20 percent of the annual total consumption of the Chinese military.
The hard fact is that China has only 7 million tons of oil reserves available for a period of conflict. The country has set its 30-day oil reserves at 10 million tons for civilian consumption, an average of 330,000 tons per day. During a 15-day assault, the country would require 4.96 million tons. The conclusion is that China's current oil reserves could sustain a high-intensity assault operation against Taiwan for no more than 15 days.
Thought-provoking? Your comments welcome.