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KAHOSIUNG CITY, Taiwan – China may invade Taiwan. Its military dwarfs that of the island nation, but any invasion is likely to look more like the brutal Allied landings in World War II in Normandy than the quick victory of Operation Desert Storm in the first Gulf War in 1991. .
Rough 100 miles from China and the size of Maryland, the island of Taiwan is not only surrounded by a protective moat, but is an island with geographic features that make it an extremely poor candidate for invasion—no matter how powerful an invasion force may be. .
Observers note that in 1944 US military canceled Operation Causeway, a plan to invade Taiwan (then a Japanese colony called Formosa) because it was deemed too costly. American military planners concluded that an American amphibious force of half a million men would be needed to invade and hold Formosa. The Pentagon calculated the expected US casualties from the invasion and subsequent fighting in the mountains, jungles and cities, and the figure they came up with was a staggering 150,000.
Taiwan has been preparing for an invasion since the 1950s, and therefore has a robust intelligence apparatus, troops trained on the single mission of repelling Chinese troops, a wealth of powerful modern military equipment, and huge defensive installations along every possible drop zone. Due to the hilly terrain, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops will face firepower raining down on them from well-fortified defensive positions.
Observers find it unlikely that China would not simply bomb Taiwan to force it into submission; however, while cruise missile strikes against Taiwanese military targets are a real concern, it is believed that Beijing would prefer to keep Taiwanese infrastructure, especially anything related to the semiconductor industry, relatively unscathed.
Semiconductors are vital parts of everything from weapons systems to cars, and Taiwan is the largest manufacturer on the planet. Market research firm Trend Force Reports that “Taiwan dominates the global semiconductor manufacturing industry, controlling 48% of the foundry market and 61% of the world’s 16-nm (nanometer) or better manufacturing capacity.”
Also, while useful as a scare tactic, China’s military leadership is aware that indiscriminate bombing will inevitably result in civilian deaths. Such killings could easily turn generations of Taiwanese into mortal enemies rather than people who might, however reluctantly, accept a return to the “arms of the motherland.” In addition, Taiwan also has missiles, some of which Taipei says could hit Beijing.
Kitsch Liao, a military and cyber consultant at Taipei-based Doublethink Lab who has also studied Chinese invasion scenarios, told Fox News Digital that apart from the terrain and the fact that there is only a relatively short window when the Taiwan Strait is fairly calm. for a reasonably safe navy crossing, people often overlook simple logistics. “Typically, any military unit has no more than three days of supplies with them,” says Liao, “which means that they need to either replenish or collect everything that is possible from the field.
Liao points out that ammunition is heavy, bulky, and runs out quickly. The PLA cannot, except in isolated cases, use munitions captured in Taiwan. “That means they have to bring in a huge amount of equipment,” Liao says.
“A successful landing would be a Pyrrhic victory for China. Landing craft far from their mission would potentially need to go back and forth across the Taiwan Strait (becoming extremely vulnerable and lucrative targets) to provide coastal forces with supplies. Liao said.
Just because an invasion of Taiwan would be a painfully bad idea doesn’t mean China won’t try, but some observers believe the reality of an invasion is probably the last option, not the first.
Many military experts and observers of China agree that “suffocation” scenarios such as a lockdown would be far more effective than putting to death perhaps hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers and then sending perhaps a million soldiers to pacify Taiwan. .
“Xi Jinping may suffer from a god complex who does not see the dire risks involved in invading Taiwan. A rational strategic leader would choose a different course of action, such as a long-term coercive campaign to isolate and blockade Taiwan,” said Taiwan expert Yang Easton.
When asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should visit the island nation, Easton told Fox News Digital that the US should not be intimidated by Beijing’s threats. “It is very important that American leaders visit Taipei and make it clear that the United States stands in solidarity with democracies at risk,” he said.
“Upcoming visits in the face of coercion will play into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Easton – Senior Director and Fellow in Virginia Project 2049 Institute and wrote the book The Threat of Chinese Invasion.
His book gives examples of the literal and figurative minefields that the People’s Liberation Army, Navy and Air Force could fall into if they try to liberate Taiwan. Easton and others further note that there was certainly no possibility of surprise; preparations for an invasion cannot be hidden.
Islands are often associated with coastlines or sandy beaches, but there are surprisingly few of them in Taiwan. In addition, according to National Geographic magazine, about 75% of the island is covered in mountains, with more than 200 of Taiwan’s peaks reaching over 9,000 feet.
Easton lists 14 beaches in Taiwan that could be invasion options, but writes, “Unfortunately for the Chinese generals…Taiwan’s 770-mile coastline is completely unsuitable for amphibious operations.”
Another problem is the Taiwanese-controlled Matsu Islands, and especially Kinmen (formerly known as Quemoy), both located off the coast of China. These mini-fortresses would not be easy to destroy, but had to be captured before any attack on the Taiwan mainland.
Pelosi’s trip to the region began on Sunday. She will lead delegations to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but Taiwan is not on her officially announced schedule.