Returning Taiwan by force may not be necessary


From the very beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, about once every couple of weeks news the tapes throw in screaming headlines: “China reconnaissance aircraft violated Taiwan airspace, air defense put on alert”, “Chinese fleet moves towards the rebellious island”, “If the landing on Taiwan begins, it will be occupied in a matter of days” and the like. Each time it is asserted that this time everything will definitely be.


But, as it is easy to see, in reality, Taiwan has not yet been captured by landing forces from the mainland and has not even been bombed out of spite of global imperialism, despite the fact that allegedly “time is running out” and “the Chinese may not have another chance.”

Is the situation really favorable for an invasion now?

You can't just take it and grab it


Large landing operations - both sea and air - are perhaps the most complex aspect of military art. Even "simply" landing a large number of troops on enemy-free terrain will require careful planning and good coordination in the process, and will still involve great risk. And the landing and assault on the move, the defense strengthened over the years, is even more difficult by an order of magnitude.

It is clear that in the case of a hypothetical "siege of Taiwan" it will be a landing with a fight. In terms of scale, such an operation would be comparable to the landing in Normandy in 1944 (still the largest amphibious assault in history), if not even more.

Here it is worth recalling that then, eighty years ago, the Western allies had many advantages: dominance at sea, in the air, superior forces, and the hostile coast was defended mainly by second-rate units of the Germans (the Soviet Union did not allow the transfer of first-rate units from its front, starting offensive in Belarus).

Does China have similar advantages now? At least in the ideal version of a one-on-one collision, without the participation of the United States and Japan?

Characteristically, in recent decades, both sides have given priority to the naval and air components of their armed forces. According to Taiwan's current military doctrine, the sea is the main line of defense, and a potential aggressor must be defeated there before reaching the coast. Well, for China, achieving dominance at sea is generally one of the many aspects of global dominance. Of course, the possibilities of rivals in building up their power vary greatly.

Where the multiple superiority of the PRC is indisputable is in the number and quality of warships of the main classes: 2 aircraft carriers, 41 destroyers and 43 frigates against 4 destroyers and 22 frigates of Taiwan. Even bearing in mind the need to maintain a presence in the Indian Ocean, through which tankers with Middle Eastern oil lie, China can put up sufficient forces to suppress the fleet of the islanders. An additional trump card will be a powerful underwater fist of 70 submarines (and these are only hunter boats, excluding strategic missile carriers!), which can seriously “complicate life” for Taiwanese surface ships, while they themselves can put up only 4 submarines.

But with aviation, everything is not so clear. Yes, in general, Taiwan can only oppose its 296 combat aircraft to 1665 modern PRC aircraft, but out of the total, only 338 Chinese aircraft belong to the fleet and only (estimated) 48 of them are based on aircraft carriers. Of course, in the event of a hypothetical conflict, "land" aircraft will also take part in it, but one must understand that their pilots have much less specific experience in flying over the sea and using anti-ship weapons. In addition, the "land" aviation has its own big concerns on the border with India, and not all of it can be used to attack the island.

On the other hand, Taiwanese pilots spend most of their combat training preparing to repel attacks from the mainland, both air and sea. The multifunctional F-16 fighters that form the basis of the fleet and their locally developed classmates FCK-1, although they are inferior to the Chinese descendants of our Su-27, are quite competitive.

An additional advantage will be a much shorter sortie shoulder: that is, the Taiwanese will need to spend less time and fuel flying to the battlefield, respectively, they will be able to stay there longer, and this is very important. Finally, the “unsinkable aircraft carrier” in the form of the island itself is equipped with many protected hangars carved right into the rocks, in which Taiwanese aircraft will be completely safe from enemy attacks; some of these shelters are so large that they can accommodate dozens of combat vehicles at once.

Thus, the dominance of China's aviation in the air is a big question. And the experience of the English Channel, only not in 1944, but in 1940, when the Germans were still going to force this strait, says: there is no air supremacy - there is no amphibious assault.

But the latter is indispensable. Taiwan is a very large island, larger in area than the Donetsk or Luhansk People's Republics or, for example, Belgium. Such a territory cannot be controlled only from the air and sea, especially since it is covered with urban agglomerations with a population of 23 million people.

The armed forces of the islanders are recruited by conscription, their land army in peacetime has 130 thousand fighters, and although it is quite seriously losing to the PLA as a military equipment (for example, the basis of the tank fleet is the modernized American M60 tanks), this is a strong enemy that cannot be defeated “with lightning speed”. Even if we assume that the Chinese, like the Russian army in Ukraine, will be able to successfully operate with smaller forces against large ones, they cannot do without landing one and a half to two hundred thousand soldiers.

The logistics of such a large landing would be monstrously stressful. The distance from the mainland to Taiwan is about the same as that covered by the Western allies during the Normandy operation. Then, in World War II, the accumulation of material reserves and the preparation of various special means such as pipe-laying ships and floating harbors took the Anglo-Americans almost two years.

Of course, modern technology is much superior to analogues of eighty years ago - but the "appetites" of large military groups have grown significantly, especially in relation to fuel. We must not lose sight of the fact that the Chinese, willy-nilly, will have to act in the key of “humane”, dosed use of force against the “fraternal people” (for approximately the same reasons that matter in the Ukrainian conflict), which will inevitably lead to a delay in the operation. Will even the Chinese economy with the supply of an entire army through a 150 km wide strait for several months is, in fact, a big question.

Goat, cabbage, wolf and boatman


That is, even in the most favorable scenario for the PRC, a hypothetical invasion of Taiwan would not be a "kindergarten assault", but a difficult and risky campaign, the failure of which would lead to large material losses and would hurt China's prestige. And in a situation where Taiwan can seriously count on the military support of the United States and Japan, such an operation is unfeasible in principle and will only cross out any hopes for the peaceful reintegration of the island.

That is why the leadership of the PRC has long pushed the military version to the farthest shelf.

The purely diplomatic option of returning Taiwan under Chinese jurisdiction as an autonomy, which has been sounding for the fifth decade, also seems unlikely so far - but the situation may soon change, and without additional efforts on the part of the PRC.

The Ukrainian conflict started the process of disintegration (or rather, self-destruction) of the American-centric world order, of which Taiwan is currently a part. Further loosening of international relations and the collapse of existing blocs can deprive the island "computer factory" of its overseas patron, leaving it to overcome the global political and economic turbulence itself. Then Taiwan will simply have no choice but to sacrifice sovereignty and part of its "democratic values" in exchange for the protection and political influence of its "big Chinese comrade"; which, in turn, will look for this asset to be used in the updated world order.
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  1. Expert_Analyst_Forecaster 30 May 2022 12: 32
    +4
    I have already argued a couple of times here with those who argued that from February 24 there were ideal conditions for a Chinese attack on Taiwan.
    I got downvoted both times. But three months have passed, and Taiwan is still an independent state.
    I especially liked the argument of opponents that the United States from the war in Ukraine will not be able to prevent the PRC from regaining Taiwan.
    1. guest Offline guest
      guest 30 May 2022 13: 34
      0
      And what is wrong, the conditions are really ideal, although perhaps China is waiting for even more ideal conditions that may arise. NWO is like a long time and the west there may eventually get bogged down, which will make it even easier for China to return Taiwan.
      1. Expert_Analyst_Forecaster 30 May 2022 13: 52
        +2
        And what is not so the conditions are really ideal

        What changed? Where does this fairy tale about ideal conditions come from? That Japan and the United States are waging a nuclear war with Russia? What will prevent the US and Japan from helping Taiwan?
        I will answer you. Nothing changed. Nothing interferes. Fairy tale for children of all ages
        Understand. There are no arguments. There are only cons left.
        1. guest Offline guest
          guest 30 May 2022 15: 51
          -4
          All Western weapons are now going to Ukraine, for Taiwan it is unlikely that there will be enough of these weapons soon. A large contingent of American troops is now being transferred to the borders of Russia, and from there they will not be able to protect Taiwan.
          1. Expert_Analyst_Forecaster 30 May 2022 17: 15
            0
            All Western weapons are now going to Ukraine.

            Truth? What US fleet or maybe Japanese warships are in the Baltic / Black Seas? How many US or Japanese military aircraft are in the sky b. Ukraine?
            How many thousands of missiles did the US send to Europe? How many thousands of guns and tanks were deployed to the borders of b. Ukraine?

            A large contingent of American troops is now being transferred to the borders of Russia.

            Big is how much? One hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, three hundred?

            You explore the internet. There you can read how big the US Army is. And there is also data about the Japanese army. Or do you have a problem with numbers? Do you distinguish thousands from billions?
  2. Michael L. Offline Michael L.
    Michael L. 30 May 2022 12: 39
    +1
    Really:

    The Ukrainian conflict launched the process of disintegration (or rather, self-destruction) of the American-centric world order

    Despite internal tensions in the Western bloc, the desire of Sweden and Finland to join NATO suggests otherwise.
    Accordingly: the conclusions of the respected Author about the "voluntary return of Taiwan to its native harbor" seem unfounded!
  3. Expert_Analyst_Forecaster 30 May 2022 12: 40
    -3
    The Ukrainian conflict has set in motion the disintegration of... the US-centric world order of which Taiwan is a part. ... the collapse of existing blocks can deprive the island "computer factory" of its overseas patron, leaving it to overcome global ... turbulence on its own. Then Taiwan will simply have no options but to sacrifice sovereignty ... in exchange for the protection and political influence of the "big Chinese comrade"

    It is unlikely that the United States will peacefully leave its throne. They will probably launch a third world war. And Taiwan may be one of those states that will benefit from this war. Relatively, of course. Because everyone loses, but some more, some less.
  4. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 30 May 2022 13: 24
    +2
    Even if the United States recognizes the doctrine of one China, it means that taxes and customs should be common for this China. And based on this, the PRC can safely deploy a customs fleet along the coast of Taiwan and levy taxes on the sale and purchase of foreign goods by Taiwan. And if anyone in the world disagrees, it means that they are going against the basic laws of the state. Here in the United States, tax evasion is a serious crime. Why should it be different in China?
  5. Expert_Analyst_Forecaster 30 May 2022 13: 28
    -1
    Quote: Bulanov
    Here in the United States, tax evasion is a serious crime. Why should it be different in China?

    I will reveal a secret to you. It's called double standards.
    The gentlemen live by the same rules, the rest - by the rules that the masters have established for them.
    1. Michael L. Offline Michael L.
      Michael L. 30 May 2022 13: 42
      0
      Does it happen ... blockade "customs fleet"?
      In this case, he will illegitimately levy not taxes, but trade duties.
      It does not apply to criminal non-payment of taxes within the country!
  6. Indifferent Offline Indifferent
    Indifferent 30 May 2022 13: 38
    0
    It's easier for China to strangle Taipei with a blockade! With such a fleet, it is not difficult. And the "penguins" will not climb! They are afraid of a nuclear conflict. .
    1. Michael L. Offline Michael L.
      Michael L. 30 May 2022 13: 44
      0
      This is like: how did I. Stalin blockade West Berlin?
  7. Expert_Analyst_Forecaster 30 May 2022 14: 35
    0
    Instead of dreaming of a Chinese war over Taiwan, it would be more useful to take care that Japan plans to increase the army and military budget. According to the media - twice.
  8. Jacques sekavar Offline Jacques sekavar
    Jacques sekavar (Jacques Sekavar) 30 May 2022 15: 38
    0
    Is the situation really favorable for an invasion now?

    1. On the eve of the XNUMXst Chinese Communist Party Congress, there is absolutely no reason to launch a special military operation in Taiwan.
    2. Taiwan is a monopolist in the production of microelectronics in the world, and therefore it is preferable for China to solve the problem of unification peacefully and have everything safe and sound, and even with the entire staff of highly qualified world-class specialists.
    3. The victory of the Kuomintang party in the elections will predetermine the reduction of tension and economic cooperation, and there it will be possible to return to the theme of one state - two systems, similar to Macau and Hong Kong

    With a high degree of probability, the main events will unfold after the end of the party congress, which will outline a strategy for the further development of China, as well as after the completion of the Russian military defense in Ukraine and studying the experience of the economic opposition of the Russian Federation to the Western blockade and sanctions.
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  10. Vox Populi Offline Vox Populi
    Vox Populi (vox populi) 30 May 2022 20: 08
    0
    That is, even in the most favorable scenario for the PRC, a hypothetical invasion of Taiwan would not be a "kindergarten assault", but a difficult and risky campaign, the failure of which would lead to large material losses and would hurt China's prestige. And in a situation where Taiwan can seriously count on the military support of the United States and Japan, such an operation is unfeasible in principle and will only cross out any hopes for the peaceful reintegration of the island.

    Quite right, as already mentioned in the comments earlier: the leadership of the PRC is not prone to adventures!

    The Ukrainian conflict started the process of disintegration (or rather, self-destruction) of the American-centric world order, of which Taiwan is currently a part. Further loosening of international relations and the collapse of existing blocs can deprive the island "computer factory" of its overseas patron, leaving it to overcome global political and economic turbulence on its own.

    But this controversial statement, which is rather an attempt to wishful thinking! For now, at least...
  11. Vox Populi Offline Vox Populi
    Vox Populi (vox populi) 30 May 2022 20: 11
    0
    Quote: guest
    And what is wrong, the conditions are really ideal, although perhaps China is waiting for even more ideal conditions that may arise. NWO is like a long time and the west there may eventually get bogged down, which will make it even easier for China to return Taiwan.

    stop Where is the logic? If the NWO is for a long time and the West gets bogged down, won't we get bogged down all the more?!
  12. Opozdavshiy Offline Opozdavshiy
    Opozdavshiy (Sergei) 30 May 2022 23: 17
    +3
    ... in exchange for the protection and political influence of the "big Chinese comrade"

    From whom can Taiwan get protection from mainland China??
  13. cooper Offline cooper
    cooper (Alexander) 31 May 2022 17: 41
    0
    Come on. China will take back its Taiwan by military means. And he put a big bolt on the agonizing NATO, and the so-called. the army of the S (yet) SHA. In the short term.
  14. Denis Chernov Offline Denis Chernov
    Denis Chernov (Denis) 1 June 2022 01: 32
    +1
    The worst thing is that the NWO in Ukraine makes the United States a beneficiary. Any outcome for the Americans is winning in one way or another. China also gets goodies by not participating in the conflict.