Sunday, April 30, 2006

China Cannot Invade Taiwan, US will defend it

A visiting US Admiral said that China could not take Taiwan, and that the US will defend it.

China's military capability is not sufficient to allow it to take over Taiwan by force, the former commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Command Admiral Dennis Blair said yesterday.

He made the remarks in a speech delivered at a forum on national defense hosted by the Institute for Taiwan Defense and Strategic Studies, a private think tank.

Blair said that US officials, including himself, had repeatedly told Chinese officials that it was impossible for Beijing to force unification on Taiwan because of the limited capabilities of China's military, and that the US would not shrink from a cross-strait military conflict.
Blair was in town to watch the Han Kuang No. 22 wargames, which focused on the problem of defending the island if China acquired control of the air. Initial reports actually had the simulation focused on a Chinese occupation of the island, but the final simulation tested how long the military could hold out.

"This year's Han Kuang computer exercise will simulate a cross-strait war breaking out in 2008, with the Chinese military successfully landing [troops] in Taiwan after launching full-scale missile and air attacks on the country, and an intense ground battle breaking out," ministry spokesman Rear Admiral Wu Chi-fang (吳季方) said yesterday.

The simulation envisions the military mobilizing more than 3 million active and reserve service members to confront Chinese ground troops, a ministry press statement said, adding that a simulated battle for Taipei City would be fought.

This year's computer exercise would continue until the Taiwanese military had lost all of its fighting capabilities, the statement added.

The ministry said that through the exercise it would learn how long the military would be able to resist a Chinese assault, and how many military personnel, including reserves, the country required.

I'd love to see the parameters of that exercise. How will the general mobilization be carried out if the nation is under attack? How did China get control of the air? How were the ethnic loyalties of Taiwan's officer corps handled? How were troops moved around the island and how was key infrastructure interdicted? What happened to the local civilian population? The article above also notes:

The Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday quoted an unnamed official as saying that the ministry estimated that the military would be able to hold out against a Chinese invasion force for more than two weeks, or even a whole month, provided the military and the public maintained the will to fight.

But if Taiwanese lack that determination, the country could be in China's hands in three days, the paper quoted the official as saying.

Invading Taiwan is a political act aimed the morale of the local populace and the government.


Anonymous said...

S'pose he has a little more lee-way to say such things as ex-chief of PACOM and a retiree. If he and other officials were loudly proclaiming US intent to defend Taiwan (hmm I need to look up the TRA again) - no wonder some in Taiwan feel that the USN would float into view at the first sign of the PLA Navy.

Haitien said...

Regarding the HK22 exercises... apparently the Taiwanese forces held up fairly well till a communications failure on Day 4 gave the PLA an opening to land on the northern coast. Things kind of went downhill from there.

Interestingly enough, the only local news source I've found so far that tries to paint a rosy picture of the whole thing is The China Times, which ends by claiming that the PRC isn't a threat.

Gee... I wonder why...

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

'How were the ethnic loyalties of Taiwan's officer corps handled?'

What ethnic loyalties? Local people may be swayed by their gangsters, but you've got some funny numbers there. Your baseless implication that 'Taiwanese' support independence and the DPP doesn't account for the fact that 50 percent of a country which is 70 percent 'Taiwanese' voted KMT in the last election.

Michael Turton said...

Your baseless implication that 'Taiwanese' support independence and the DPP doesn't account for the fact that 50 percent of a country which is 70 percent 'Taiwanese' voted KMT in the last election.

I'm sorry. I've only said about 100,000 times that supporting the DPP is not the same as supporting independence, supporting the KMT is not the same as being anti-independence, and being Taiwanese does not mean supporting the DPP. You must have confused my blog with some other.


mah29001 said...

I believe it would be a disasterous mistake for the U.S. to not defend Taiwan against China. China is a brutal dictatorship and will take advantage of Taiwan quite similar how China has done the same with Hong Kong.