Highlighting geography and logistics, the Taiwanese Ministry of Defense reported to lawmakers that it is confident that a full-scale PRC invasion of the island would be very difficult for China to carry out successfully.
First of all, landings on the island would be hard to execute. The ministry’s threat assessment found that securing airports and harbors suitable for PLA Roll-on, Roll-off ships would be difficult as these facilities are heavily defended by Taiwan’s armed forces. Securing these strategic objectives would be both risky and potentially time-consuming.
Second of all, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense casts doubts on China’s ability to supply troops across the Taiwan strait. According to a copy of the threat assessment obtained by Reuters:
“The nation’s military has the advantage of the Taiwan Strait being a natural moat and can use joint intercept operations, cutting off the Communist military’s supplies, severely reducing the combat effectiveness and endurance of the landing forces.”
Finally, the report found that it’s unlikely China would be able to commit all its forces to the invasion due to a need to maintain significant force concentrations in other theaters. The icy relationship with India requires that China maintain a large force near a border spanning thousands of miles. Japanese and American assets in the Pacific would create a similar risk. The PLA would also need to maintain its commitment to disputed areas like the South China Sea.
While world attention has turned towards Russia’s troop build up and speculation about a potential invasion of Ukraine, tensions across the Taiwan Strait remain high. Chinese aircraft have continued to breach Taiwan’s ADIZ nearly every day with December 10 seeing Taiwan report 13 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defense identification zone (ADIZ). Meanwhile, last week, Nicaragua decided to cut ties with Taiwan in exchange for diplomatic relations with China while the German Bundestag voted to expand ties with Taiwan.