A senior researcher in the United States said China is not capable of taking Taiwan by force if its military can hold off the People’s Liberation Army until US forces arrive.
The PLA would struggle to take over Taiwan should the US step in when hostilities break out between Beijing and Taipei, a US expert on naval and East Asian security affairs said last week.
Roger Cliff, a senior researcher at the Center for Naval Analyses, a federally funded research and development center for the US Navy and Marine Corps based in Arlington, Virginia, told a forum in Washington last Friday that the military balance in the Taiwan Strait was “heavily tilting toward China,” but “China does not currently have the capability to take Taiwan by force or will any time soon” if the US steps in to defend Taiwan.
Cliff, an expert in China’s military modernization, Chinese foreign policy and US strategy toward Asia, stressed that despite the obvious mismatch in personnel numbers and defense expenditure between the two militaries on both sides of the strait, the balance between the US and China still favored the US and would not change in the near future.
However, he told the Taipei Times that “just because the military balance favors the US does not mean a war with China is something that the US would enter into lightly, nor does it mean that it would not be potentially devastating to Taiwan.”
In his address to a symposium called “Taiwan Strait 2018” hosted by the non-profit policy incubator, Cliff outlined four scenarios in which Beijing might consider using force against the self-ruling
- When Chinese decision makers feel that they could keep the US out of the conflict or at least delay its entry long enough for Taiwanese resistance to collapse, it might choose to attack;
- When Chinese officials are convinced that Taiwan lacks the will to resist or that capitulation would come quickly, it might act;
- Alternatively, when Beijing concludes that Washington would not defend Taiwan;
- And when Beijing faces mounting pressure from within that requires it to resort to belligerence or start a full-blown invasion, even if it expects failure.
He urged Taiwan to hold up its defense and win time in the event of the PLA employing “anti-access” or tactic deferral strategies to keep the US out of the conflict zone, to delay the advance of Chinese troops so Washington could marshal forces from Guam and Japan and when crossing the strait from bases along coastal Fujian province is only a 150-kilometer hop, but Guam is more than 2,700km away.
When answering questions from Taiwanese reporters about whether F-35 stealth multirole fighters were a necessary boost to Taiwan’s defense capabilities, Cliff said that any such purchase came with a trade-off in terms of outlay on other equipment and the possession of such equipment “must be weighed against the ability to make optimal use of and proper maintenance” for these advanced fighters.
In a book on US-China relations after the resolution of Taiwan’s status that Cliff co-authored, he noted that the impact of peaceful outcomes, including continued peaceful irresolution, was both more predictable and generally better for relations between Washington and Beijing.
“Both how the Taiwan issue is resolved and the nature of subsequent US-China relations will largely be determined by the nature of China’s government: a democratic or, at least, highly pragmatic Chinese government is more likely to achieve a peaceful resolution…. As China’s military capabilities grow, it will become increasingly difficult, but also increasingly more important to prevent Beijing from using force to bring about unification,” he wrote.
Is the US forever prepare to bear the cost of defending what is not its? The determination from China to recover Taiwan will only increase.
Are these the same people who predicted that Iraq would be a cake walk? That the war would last a few weeks a month or two at most. That Iraqui oil would pay for the war? That the resistance in Iraq was only a few dead enders? You know those guys? The ones drumming for war with Russia and or China, or anyone else that will keep the profits rolling in to the MIC.
Is there where the efforts by Trump to peel Russia away from China are coming from? War with China, but they but they want Russia sidelined first?
I am reminded of that saying " Opinions are like azzholes everyone has one." This guys opinion is just one more hubristic opinion voiced in the US when they are screwing up their nerve to start another failing war. They certainly do love those" rose coloured glasses". They only take them off when they begin losing a war which is usually about a month after they start it and the butchers bill begins coming in.
Thanks to the war in Syria, the world now knows that the U.S. does not defend its "red lines." Taiwan isn’t even a red line for the U.S. What make sense people believe that the U.S. would defend it?
This is what I call comfort food ????????????….
Peter Seo, I think China should also start claiming Outer Mongolia and certain large portions of Russian Far Eastern territories which were ruled by the Qing and Yuan Dynasty as theirs or risk possibly going to war with Russia as well regardless of the possibility of Russia-China all-out nuclear annihilation since these territories are always 100% China’s since ancient times. China should focus more on larger landmasses especially on its colossal Siberian neighbor and initiate a Chinese Operation Barbarrosa as soon as possible instead of concerning about annexing a tiny piece of island like Taiwan, in order to secure more "lebensraum" for the Chinese people and establish a-thousand-year Chinesisches Reich. China should attenpt what Herr Hitler had failed and I’m very convinced that Emperor Xi jinping is a better Führer than its Nazi predecessor.
Same like other Western so-called “experts” who said that Assad’s days were numbered”. Well, Assad is still kicking now, and looks like he is……..the winner.
In your dreams.. ????????????
I am convinced myself that , in Taiwan case, PRC can finish her job within a week . USA should think twice before interferring militarily. China is not so weak this time as she was during 1950s.
It will be foolishness for USA to start war against PRC in the name of democracy in Taiwan. USA has already accepted that Tiawan was a part of China and it will in future as well . Moreover, China’s military power of today is not like that of 1950s , And , what is the use of defending Taiwan being ready to take a great risk of destruction , but if China attacks Guam or Okinawa bases, then , definitely , USA must hit China without any consideration.
If that happens, Taiwan and US need the help of the Philippines as a strategic place to mount a counter offensive on China. Unfortunately there are no US bases big enough to accommodate their forces. Notwithstanding the sentiment of the Phil President towards the Americans. And the big question is will the US Congress approve in declaring war against China
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