Army weighs new strategy as military balance on Taiwan Strait now favors China

FPI / December 9, 2021


At risk of losing a war with China while trying to defend Taiwan, the United States can deter a Chinese takeover of the geostrategic island nation via a strategy of non-military “deterrence by punishment,” the U.S. Army said in a journal report.

Chinese forces practice amphibious landing. / Weibo

The military balance across the 100-mile Taiwan Strait has shifted in communist China’s favor, rendering the current strategy of so-called military deterrence by denial less effective, according to the report in Parameters, a quarterly published by the Army War College.

“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is now powerful enough [that] it probably could overrun Taiwan even if the United States intervened to defend Taipei. Both sides know this — or at least strongly suspect it,” the report states, according to a report by security correspondent Bill Gertz.

The new U.S. strategy calls for threatening to destroy critical assets, such as facilities of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, regarded as the most important microchip maker in the world and China’s most important supplier.

Related — The Taiwan prize: China lusts after island nation’s global semiconductor powerhouse, September 9, 2021

Taking out TSMC “would mean China’s high-tech industries would be immobilized,” in a time of war, the report said.

A China military analyst told the authors of the report that the PLA plans to mount a successful invasion of Taiwan that would take 14 hours – and that the Chinese calculate it would take the United States and Japan 24 hours to organize a defense of Taiwan, according to the Washington Times.

“If this scenario is close to being accurate, China’s government might well be inclined to attempt a fait accompli as soon as it is confident in its relative capabilities,” the report said.

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