The Chinese Regime is Ready to Attack Taiwan
The Chinese regime’s recent activities in the vicinity of the Taiwan Strait have greatly increased and its internal activities signal that they are prepared for an attack on Taiwan.
On March 23, U.S. Adm. John Aquilino said during a hearing over his nomination to become commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) that the CCP could attack Taiwan much earlier than what most people expect.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been making final preparations against Taiwan over the past two years. Still, the timing and the intensity of the attack probably depend whether they believe the United States will fully support Taiwan.
Recently, Chinese fighter jets have frequently entered Taiwan’s southwest air defense identification zone, while China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier battle group entered the Miyako Strait between Okinawa and Japan’s mainland Miyako Island. This corresponds to the CCP’s plan of encirclement. If a war begins, the CCP will probably use the air force as its main force to control the Bashi Strait in southwestern Taiwan to block U.S. forces from the Indian Ocean and Singapore. The CCP will likely use the Liaoning carrier battle group to control Okinawa and to defend the mainland from Japan and the U.S. army.
On Feb. 10, Chinese leader Xi Jinping went to inspect the military base in Fujian, a province on the southeastern coast of China, less than 200 miles (321 kilometers) away from Taiwan. By plane, it would take only a little more than 30 minutes to get to Taiwan from Fujian.
A screenshot of Google Earth: Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian Province, China is only a 30 minute plane ride from Taiwan. (Screenshot via The Epoch Times)
The CCP’s official media, Xinhua, reported that Xi arrived at the Second Mobile Corps of the CCP’s Armed Police Force in Fujian and delivered a speech, stressing the importance of the military base’s combat readiness.
The mission of the Armed Police Mobile Corps is different from that of the general provincial Armed Police Corps. It is equipped with more powerful weapons and equipment. The armed police mobile units are generally equipped with armored vehicles, infantry vehicles, rapid-fire guns, grenade guns, unmanned aerial vehicles, or helicopters. An official said that the nature of the task of the mobile corps is to “undertake the handling of rebellions and riots, counter-terrorism and stability maintenance, cross-regional support operations, handling group fighting, and urban special operations.”
The officers and soldiers of the armed police mobile unit are all elites of the armed police, and the level of actual combat in daily training is very high. In wartime, the armed police mobile units focus mainly on providing support to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in carrying out defense operations.
In addition to armored vehicles, infantry vehicles, and other mobile vehicles, the armed police mobile corps is also equipped with helicopters. The Second Armed Police Corps has a total of more than 50 helicopters.
Needless to say, the target of the Second Mobile Corps of the Armed Police Force is most likely Taiwan.
Sailors with the Chinese navy stand on the deck of a missile frigate in Manila on April 13, 2010. (Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images)
The general military strategy of Taiwan is as follows. If you attack Taiwan, the PLA Rocket Force will take the lead. The Rocket Force is China’s special service responsible for nuclear and conventional missiles. The Rocket Force will be followed by the Air Force, which will be followed by the Navy and the Assault Force. Once offensive troops establish a beachhead position in Taiwan, or use airborne to gain control of a certain area, the next wave will be the Second Mobile Corps of the Armed Police. They are responsible for repairing or expanding the airport terminal and providing conditions for subsequent troops to enter.
It is also important to note that in October last year, Xi visited Chaozhou, Guangdong, mainly to inspect the Fourth Marine Brigade, which is headquartered in Jieyang, Guangdong. The CCP has a total of seven marine brigades and two marine brigades in the Eastern Theater Command, one in Fujian and one in Guangdong. The Eastern Theater is the main force in the war against Taiwan, so the Marine Brigade in the Eastern Theater is stationed in the Southern Theater—the Chaoshan area of Guangdong—which is very close to Taiwan. The mission of the Fourth Marine Brigade is to raid the southern part of Taiwan or to seize Dongsha Island, so the unit was known as the assault force to seize the island.
Why is Taiwan so important to Xi and the CCP?
Xi is very interested in Taiwan and has a deep understanding of the self-ruled island, which lies about 100 miles (161 kilometers) off the coast of southeastern China, across the Taiwan Strait.
Xi was once an active soldier in China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA). After Xi left Tsinghua University in 1979, he first served as secretary in the Office of the Central Military Commission of the CCP. In 1983, Xi left the army to serve as secretary of the Party Committee in Zhengding county, Hebei Province. Two years later, he was transferred to Xiamen, Fujian Province as the deputy mayor. From then on, he began his 17-year political career in Fujian.
In public speeches, Xi stated that one of the signs of the re-emergence of the Chinese nation is the reunification of Taiwan. In his view, even if China becomes a dominant power as the second-largest economy and becomes a world power, without Taiwan unified into China, the CCP cannot be regarded as a success. In the eyes of second-generation Party leaders like Xi Jinping, Mao Zedong’s legacy was seizing the power of China and Deng Xiaoping’s legacy was leading China into a track of rapid economic growth. The legacy of the third generation must be to unify China. If Taiwan is not reunified with China, the legitimacy and historical status of the third generation of CCP leaders is at risk.
Preparing for War
Of course, real victory in war is never won in combat alone. Logistics, transportation, and internal control are also extremely important factors that lead to success in war operations. In these areas, the Chinese regime has also been busy making preparations.
Last year, the CCP began to purchase a large amount of grain, oil, and various minerals from overseas. Their behavior regarding the purchase of food raises serious concerns. The CCP officially claimed that China’s domestic grain output hit a record last year, and yet the government’s purchase of grain from overseas has increased by about two times.
There is also the problem of internal control.
Recently, news came out from Shanghai that all non-Shanghai residents entering Shanghai must register within 24 hours, or else offenders would be fined 5,000 yuan. The function of the city is trading.
As China’s largest city, Shanghai is also China’s largest commercial trading center. Commercial transactions mean a large number of migrants, so almost everyone is troubled by Shanghai’s policy that all non-Shanghai residents, even Chinese citizens, must register to enter the large city.
However, considered from the perspective of war or a pre-war preparation period, it becomes reasonable. If the CCP attacks Taiwan, it is very likely to launch a missile raid on Taiwan’s cities, and Taiwan will take countermeasures. In addition to military goals, once the war escalates, Shanghai is likely to become a target. It is estimated that other cities in East China and South China, especially those with important traffic routes, will not be spared.
Therefore, judging from these superficial signs, the CCP has already made or is making preparations for a large-scale attack on Taiwan.
In the past two years, the United States’s cooperation with the Taiwanese military has been an excuse for the CCP’s war preparations, which have been proceeding at an accelerated pace. At present, the U.S. Asia-Pacific NATO has not yet taken shape, and a large number of advanced weapons sold to Taiwan have not yet arrived for deployment. It will take about five to six years for the entire United States to complete its deployment to Taiwan. This is why senior U.S. generals worry that the CCP will attack Taiwan within six years.
For the CCP, these six years are a precious window of time. China may lose the opportunity to control Taiwan if the following events occur: mainland China’s economic growth slows down; China’s military technology development begins to lag; China is contained by the United States and its allies such as Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia.
If the CCP is inclined to take risks, it may take Taiwan by force in the next one to two years, while the window of opportunity has not yet closed. Otherwise, the opportunity may be lost forever for this third generation of Chinese Communist Party officials.
Alexander Liao is a columnist and journalist in research on international affairs in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia. He has published a large number