14 Dec 2017

Will China Invade Taiwan?


Ian Easton says China hasn’t got the ability to do it right now, but the long-term ambition is there.

A Chinese diplomat in Washington recently threatened that China would invade Taiwan if the U.S. Navy sent a ship to visit the democratic island, something that Congress has called upon the Pentagon to do in 2018. Is this just empty rhetoric? Or does it reflect Beijing’s actual intentions? It’s actually a bit of both. …

China’s rapid military buildup is focused on acquiring the capabilities needed to annex, or conquer, Taiwan. Chinese publications euphemistically call this “achieving national unification.” The war plan for fighting a Taiwan invasion campaign is tattooed onto the PLA’s corporate memory. It is something that has been indoctrinated and encoded into the minds of all top-level officers. For them, the interests of the regime, not the people of China, are paramount, and their “main strategic direction” (supreme objective) is to end Taiwan’s life as a de facto independent country.

The good news is that the Chinese military almost certainly could not prosecute a full-scale invasion of Taiwan today and succeed. Even if a few hawkish generals were prepared to roll the dice, the costs and risks entailed by the war would be enormous and potentially fatal for the regime. PLA strategists know they still have a long way to go before they will be able to achieve their objective. The bad news is that China’s leaders recognize the roadblocks in their path and will continue to invest heavily in strategic deception, intelligence collection, psychological warfare, joint training and advanced weapons. Barring countervailing efforts, their investments could result in a world-shaking conflict and an immense human tragedy.


3 Feedbacks on "Will China Invade Taiwan?"


I have to disagree with the “experts”. China could easily invade and successfully occupy Taiwan and I think they could do it in 24 hours. It would take little more than one ship killer missile per U.S. ship to take us out of the equation and a substantial bombardment of the Island of Taiwan followed by a couple hundred thousand Chinese ground troops under orders to kill every man on the island would seal the fate. That simple!

What is unlikely is that China wants to engage U.S. warships at least unlikely while the world is at peace. China will bide their time. One day they will indeed invade Taiwan and they will indeed kill every Taiwanese male citizen and take back the island. But not while the U.S. is very strong and ready to defend Taiwan.


I’m as anti-Communist as anyone can be, but do not understand why this is something we should give a rat’s ass about. It’s between the Chinese and it’s up to them to sort it out.

bob sykes

The claim is absurd. China right now enjoys conventional military superiority over the US and its allies all along its coast. Right now there is no point to an invasion because everyone has agreed that Taiwan is in some sense a part of China. China will not pull the trigger on an invasion unless that somehow changes.


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