Friday, October 12, 2007

China's New Army Aimed at Taiwan

Asian Military Expert Wendell Minnick has a useful review of China's force modernization in the latest Defense News. After a lengthy discussion of all the changes, Minnick notes:

The PLA’s main mission would be to invade Taiwan, employing amphibious and airborne operations. The PLA plan, dubbed the “Joint Island Landing Campaign,” would be a complex logistical, electronic warfare, air and naval support nightmare. The success would depend heavily on all components working successfully. If one faltered, the best analogy would be a house of cards.

China has been increasing its amphibious vessel build program and amphibious beach landing drills but does not appear to have enough amphibious landing craft yet to do the job.

The Army would rely heavily on aerial bombardment of Taiwan’s military bases, radar facilities and airbase runways, first using 900-plus short-range ballistic missiles, Dong Feng 11 and DF-15, and then fighter and bomber precision strikes on key targets that survived.

China might also strike U.S. military bases on Okinawa and Guam with DF-21 and DF-31 ballistic missiles. China is also developing the capability of striking U.S. aircraft carriers with ballistic missiles.

China has also been experimenting with eliminating satellites using both lasers and missiles in the hopes of knocking out the eyes and ears of the U.S. military, and is preparing to field a new mobile DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missile capable for the first time of hitting Washington.

The article is thorough and fact filled. Enjoy.


TicoExpat said...


Do you really think China will definitively attack US bases? This guy makes a compelling arugument, but I am not convinced. Aside from preemptive move value, isn't playing the crying game more effective so far? Even before attacking Taiwan, they are claiming themselves as "victims".

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt the China threat, but I do seem to remember that in 2004 Minnick predicted that China would invade Taiwan in 2006. One has to separate the Tom Clancy hyberbole from reality and military analysts sometimes struggle with that.

channing said...

Maybe a bit of overestimation...the Chinese would have to think long and hard before trying to hit American targets. Long and hard as in another 2 or 3 decades of breakneck development, and I haven't yet considered the possibility of recession.

Tommy said...

I think it is more a question of provocation. I don't think they would attack US bases unless they really thought that the US planes were coming at them beyond the shadow of a doubt. If they think the US will not defend Taiwan, they will probably leave the bases alone. To attack them would just be foolish, since it would definitively bring the US into a war, whether the Americans thought Taiwan would be lost or not, backed by strong popular support at home. That is exactly what officially brought the Americans into WW2.

No I think the Chinese will try to keep it as an "internal matter" until or unless the Americans make a move.