A Possible Strategy for the Defense of Taiwan

This issue brief examines the possibility of a People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) offensive to capture the island of Taiwan from a military perspective. It analyzes the military geography, the threat perception, and the capability of the PLA to launch an expeditionary force across the Taiwan Straits. It looks at the military capabilities of the ROC Defense Forces and suggests a possible military strategy for Taiwan to defend itself from a PLA attack. All this without the direct intervention of the U.S. and her allies in support of the ROC. It concludes that the planning, conduct, and execution of an expeditionary attack, given the present array of forces and indirect support from the U.S. and allies, will not be without significant costs to China. Not only will it cause considerable damage and destruction to mainland China and its military forces, but China risks the possibility of a prolonged slanging match, which may be dear to China’s reputation as an emerging superpower.

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