China invasion of Taiwan would be on ‘ultra-mega’ scale and defy ‘human comprehension’
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The scale and violence of a Chinese assault on the island state would defy “human comprehension” and would be “ultra-mega”, according to Ian Easton, an analyst with the Virginia-based Project 2049 Institute. Beijing is determined to reunite Taiwan with the mainland and has made clear that it is prepared to do so by force if necessary. In a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of the Communist party, President Xi Jinping restated his position towards Taiwan in unambiguous language.
“Solving the Taiwan question and realising the complete reunification of the motherland are the unswerving historical tasks of the Chinese Communist Party and the common aspiration of all Chinese people,” he said.
“All sons and daughters of China, including compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must work together and move forward in solidarity, resolutely smashing any ‘Taiwan independence’ plots.”
To stand any chance of retaking the island in a military assault, the People’s Liberation Army would need to seize intact at least one of Taiwan’s ports, Mr Easton argues in his new study.
This would require an amphibious landing on one of the island’s 14 beaches suitable for such an operation.
However, the Taiwanese military has the capability of turning each one of these into a brutal killing-zone.
Mr Easton argues Taiwan could mobilise a defence force of at least 450,000 troops in the event of a Chinese invasion.
He writes: “In theory, the PLA might land as few as 300,000 to 400,000 soldiers, for example, if the Taiwanese president was killed or captured prior to Z-Day and armed resistance crumbled.
“On the other hand, if Taiwanese government leaders survived and mobilized everything under their power in a timely fashion, the PLA might have to send over two million troops to Taiwan, including paramilitaries such as the People’s Armed Police and the Militia of China.”
If the US and its allies then entered the the fray, the scale the intensity of the violence could escalate.
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Moreover, all sides possess long-range, precision-guided missiles “capable of cracking open ships and devastating land targets with precision from hundreds of miles away,” Mr Easton said.
He added: “No one actually knows what such a fight looks like because it has never happened before.”
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