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"PRC may invade Taiwan ? Naaah !" Topic


19 Posts

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759 hits since 6 Apr 2021
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Comments or corrections?

Legion 406 Apr 2021 7:26 a.m. PST

"Experts" always seem to be wrong lately… so …


link

Eclectic Wave06 Apr 2021 7:38 a.m. PST

Great, now you jinxed them. Thanks.

Thresher0106 Apr 2021 8:56 a.m. PST

Yeah.

The reason the US admiral gives them 6 years or less is that 6 years coincides with the 100th Anniversary of their founding in 1927.

I suspect that Taiwan doesn't have that much time, and will be surprised if an invasion, or other method of forced "reunification" doesn't occur in the next 3 4 years.

Given their continued and escalating expansion in the South China Sea, increasing belligerence in the East China Sea near the Senkakus, increasing interventions into Taiwanese and Japanese ADIZs, tactics they've used in Hong Kong, and against the Uighirs, as well as their brazen actions against the Indians in the Himalayas, they are clearly just beginning to hit their stride.

Thresher0106 Apr 2021 9:13 a.m. PST

China's now conducting carrier ops near Taiwan, and saying this will now be a regular practice:

link

Just to keep things interesting, the US Teddy Roosevelt just reentered the South China Sea a couple of days ago too:

link

Augustus06 Apr 2021 9:35 a.m. PST

Here we go…

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2021 11:42 a.m. PST

I think they're trying to gauge what the Biden administration would do in case they would attack Vietnam or Taiwan. They're pretty much absorbing the Philippines economically and they want to avoid confronting Japan for as long as possible. That leaves Vietnam and Taiwan as the most likely candidates for expansion. The issue for them at least is will the U.S. and other allies in the region come to the defense of either. Seems unknown at this point.

Thresher0106 Apr 2021 11:57 a.m. PST

The Chinese are being pretty aggressive on the Indian front, in the Himalayas as well.

Legion 406 Apr 2021 4:05 p.m. PST

Probing to see what the US Gov't will do I'd think …

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2021 11:54 p.m. PST

"Just to keep things interesting, the US Teddy Roosevelt just reentered the South China Sea a couple of days ago too"

Time to worry will be when Chinese carriers are patrolling the Caribbean :)

Legion 407 Apr 2021 8:38 a.m. PST

Just a matter of time …

Arjuna07 Apr 2021 8:49 a.m. PST

They should be encouraged.
It can't be that hard.

If they screw up, it would be a major blow to the New Kid on the Block.
Which is, by the way, a rather ancient child…

And the chances to screw up are not bad.
It might even destabilize the regime.

The Taiwanese will fight.
Especially if the U.S., or rather its current government, supports them.

Defeat would be a disaster for China.
They know that.
They have already waited more than 150 years for their inevitable comeback.
They can wait much longer.

Maybe not for the Taiwan affair, but in some way, 2039 would be a better date, historically.

Thresher0107 Apr 2021 9:58 a.m. PST

I'm convinced they will, if Taiwan will not concede to their demands.

Of course, before that, they could just impose a naval and air blockade, which if the USA and others did not help Taiwan break, would result in Taiwan's capitulation, since they apparently import almost all their energy needs to the island nation, and I imagine a lot of other things too, like food, etc..

On the flipside, the loss of Taiwan to China for the USA, and the rest of the world would be very significant too, since they provide more than 50% of the world's computer chips, which are now used in many things besides computers, e.g. cars, trucks, aircraft, drones, and many other things, in addition to all of our high-tech weapons systems too.

Arjuna07 Apr 2021 11:05 a.m. PST

I don't know.
That would probably be the biggest amphibious operation since… D-Day?
And the biggest military operation for them since… Korea?

Do they really have the capacity and capability?
How much experience do the Chinese armed forces have?
And they cannot expect large parts of the Taiwanese population to change flags overnight without resistance.
Especially not after the incidents in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

Of course they're testing the US.
Their younger in China are hungry and eager.
But hopefully there are still enough of the old ones in charge in Bejing.

Legion 407 Apr 2021 3:12 p.m. PST

I don't know if it will be as big as some WWII invasions or Inchon ? But it would be sizable …

Hopefully we'll never have to find out …

arealdeadone07 Apr 2021 4:29 p.m. PST

I'm convinced they will, if Taiwan will not concede to their demands.

PRC will only invade Taiwan if Taiwan declares independence.

The Taiwanese will fight.

Not sure. Taiwanese military is struggling to maintain numbers due to:

- Loss of prestige of military service. In fact military service is viewed as a dead end and unnecessary burden.
- Ageing population (42.5 years).
- Like most western states, its young population is increasingly unfit for military service which impacted on conscription.

Then issues within the military:

1. Conscription was reduced to mere 4 months training (which is beyond pointless).

2. Ageing equipment (some of which is museum worthy eg half the subs are WWII vintage, the navy is 1970s vintage, you still have M48 Pattons, M41 Walker Bulldogs, F-5E/F Tiger IIs and MIM-48 Chapprals in service).

Even more modern equipment is often not in great condition eg French supplied Mirage 2000s which struggle with serviceability or doesn't offer much real capability (French Lafayette frigates).

Modern systems are in existence but even here might not offer much resistance to Chinese – eg F-16s are being updated to Block 70 standard but its questionable if they can operate effectively against Chinese Flankers and more critically new J-20 stealth fighters.


The F-16 (and M2000 and IDF F-CK-1) also need big long runways which limits number of airfields they can operate from. Taiwanese airbases are extremely hardened but then so were Iraq's and Serbia's (Yugoslavia was a world leader in hardened airbases).

Thus the PRC can use precision guided long range missiles as well as traditional saturation missile strikes to neutralise ROCAF airforce on the ground.

3. Politicised procurement processes which focused on economics and politics, not defence capability.


4. An antiquated navy which is set up for a battle in open seas versus a 1970s style Soviet fleet.


5. Taiwan's military is in free-fall in terms of numbers 275,000 in 2017, 165,000 in 2020.

6. Reserve and mobilisation systems are not functioning properly anymore.


Basically modern westernised young people are no longer fit for military service nor are interested in it.


Then the political side of it the Kuomintang are still dedicated to reunification and by some reports would probably side with China if independence was every declared.

To be honest the modern Chinese Communist Party is now closer to the original KMT ultranationalist Chinese.

arealdeadone07 Apr 2021 6:01 p.m. PST

Just on Taiwanese air force and airbases (they key to maintaining control of the island is air superiority).

ROCAF strength
144 F-16A/B Block 20 being updated to F-16 Block 70. Another 66 new build on order (assuming Biden doesn't kill the order). Not all based in Taiwan some are deployed to US for training at Luke AFB.

Equip 4th (3 fighter squadrons) and 5th Tactical Fighter Wings (3 fighter plus 1 recce squadron) plus 21 Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB

54 Mirage 2000-5 to be replaced by 66 new F-16 Block 70

Equip 2nd Tactical Fighter Wing (3 fighter squadrons)

125 F-CK-1 domestic fighter. Performance wise it sits somewhere between an upgraded F-5 and a mid-1980s F-16.

Equip 1st (3 fighter squadrons) and 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing (2 fighter squadrons)

60 F-5E/F mainly used as Lead In Fighter Trainer. To be partially replaced by new build F-16 as well as indigenous trainer.

Equip 7 Flight Training Wing (3 squadrons) and 12 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron

6 E-2K AEW&C aircraft

Airbases (17):

Hardened (5)
Chiayi home of 4th TFW (F-16)
Hsinchu home of 2nd TFW (Mirage 2000)
Hualien home of 5th TFW (F-16) extremely well hardened including under mountain hangars.
Tainan home to 1st TFW (F-CK-1)
Taitung/Jhihhang home to 7th FTW (F-5). Not sure if it can handle larger aircraft ala F-16.


Nonhardened (12)
Dongshao on Pratas Island SC Sea
Gangshang home to Air Force Academy
Longtan army helo base but has a short concrete runway
Magong On Magong Island in Taiwan Strait can handle F-CK-1 fighter deployments.
Pingtung North- can handle fighter deployments. Home to maritime patrol wing equipped with P-3C Orion
Pingtung South transport base (6th Wing). Also home to E-2K
Sinshe army helos but has short concrete runway.
Taichung home to 3rd TFW (F-CK-1) has a small number of Hardened Air Shelters but certainly not enough for a full wing! Main purpose is international airport.
Taipei/Songshan home to VIP fleet. Another dual purpose civilian/military base
Taiping in SC Sea.
Taoyuan dual purpose base. Handed over to Navy.
Zuoying currently naval helos only.

There are some other large airports in Taiwan but these are civilian only.

As can be seen with only 5-ish hardened fighter bases, the Taiwanese will struggle to defend against concerted Chinese attacks.


ROC air defence is a mix of ultra modern and archaic. It's not as extensive as it should be. The indigenous systems are nowhere near as good as American ones but increasingly form bulk of the force due to difficulties in obtaining American ones as well as budget constraints (and usual political grandstanding).

The anti-ballistic missile capabilities are limited (Patriot PAC-3).

Medium-long range systems include:

MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 : 9 batteries
MIM-23 I-HAWK 19 batteries (being replaced by indigenous Skybow III
Skybow III 12 batteries.
Not sure if any Skybow I-II systems are still in service. These are fixed units and thus highly vulnerable..


Short range units include:

MIM-72 Chappral (obsolete) 40 units
M-1097 Avenger 74 units (approaching obsolescence)
Skyguard combo 35mm AAA/RIM-7 Sparrow 24 units (obsolete)
Sky Sword II/Antelope indigenous unit with missile similar to 1980s vintage AIM-9L Sidewinder performance. Apparently similar in design to MIM-72 Chappral in terms of targeting.

arealdeadone07 Apr 2021 6:06 p.m. PST

Another issue with Taiwan's AD is that it is still dedicated to defending fixed installations which makes the system vulnerable.

Really good analysis is found here (though it needs updating as it is from 2016):

PDF link


The article doesn't take into account new developments regarding drone warfare (and in particular small UCAVs and loitering munitions hunting air defence systems as occurred over Nagorno Karabakh, Libya and Syria – again noting Taiwan's short and medium range systems stand no chance here due to obsolescence).

Arjuna08 Apr 2021 2:14 a.m. PST

Asked as a side note,
how likely do you think it is that the affair in the Ukraine and the Chinese muscle-flexing in the South Pacific is
aligned between Russia and China?
Not on a strategic, but on a political level?

Legion 409 Apr 2021 10:47 a.m. PST

The current news here has alluded to a "renewed" Russian-PRC/CCP "relationship". They both see, like classic predators, go after the weak … I think the same way, actually. 'Nuff said …

Basically modern westernised young people are no longer fit for military service nor are interested in it.
That may be why the these young ones in many cases are developing/working on robots, AI, etc. 🤖

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