Taiwan not a place suitable for modern defensive warfare, not capable of sustaining a war
Monday marked the third day of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s drills in all directions around the island of Taiwan. No country in the world has strongly opposed the military exercises. This is because the provocation – the meeting between Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – took place first. Military exercises from the Chinese mainland have long been anticipated by international public opinion. Therefore, thanks to the two foolish politicians, the PLA has gained another opportunity to carry out a comprehensive rehearsal of actions against the island. Otherwise, Western public opinion would have burst out in an uproar about the drills.
The PLA’s exercises have created a strong sense of deterrence, which will eventually compress “Taiwan independence” into a hopeless black hole. Taiwan’s “political prosperity” is already a game in a birdcage. The self-entertainment about so-called democracy on the island, and interactions among loud foreign lawmakers, politicians, and fake officials on the island are doomed to be a self-amusing show in a narrow and limited period, which will one day be wiped out by history.
The current “main task” of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority is to extend the life of Taiwan’s secessionist regime. Buying more US weapons and seeking “international support” is the way to extend this life. They are increasingly afraid that if they take one step wrong, it will really trigger a war across the Taiwan Straits and lead to the collapse of the secessionist regime on the island.
Because they know that Taiwan island could not afford to fight, and that once a war breaks out, it means “it’s all over.” The military strength of the Chinese mainland has far outweighed that of Taiwan island. The cramped terrain of Taiwan leaves no room for defense. The main island measures only 35,808 square kilometers, an area much smaller than the battlefields of Pingjin or Huaihai Campaigns. Moreover, the central part of the island is the rugged mountain range of over 3,000 meters in height, with only limited flatland around the mountains that carries Taiwan’s living space.
In Taiwan, all the water flows should be called streams. There is no river in real sense. For instance, the famous ZhuoShui River is a short waterway formed by mountain torrents. In addition, all the major cities in Taiwan are located on the west side facing the Chinese mainland, where its economic and military capabilities are clustered. In such an environment, how can Taiwan carry out “strategic defense?”
This time, Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong was spotted around 200 nautical miles east of Taiwan island. In case of a war, the PLA will certainly be deployed in large numbers nearby to deter any US forces that may come to aid. Apart from the maritime forces in waters east of Taiwan, the Dongfeng series, typically abbreviated as “DF missiles,” will be mighty to strike down any US forces before they even see the island of Taiwan.
The intention of China’s military exercises is not to rehearse saturation attacks on military targets in Taiwan or carry out rehearsal of airborne troops. However, if a “general offensive” is launched, all of these are bound to be on display. Taiwan is such a small territory that it is honestly not big enough for the mainland to deploy all of its “ultimate weapons.” Therefore, the PLA’s military drills are pretty restraint, far from entirely showing the full trump cards of the Chinese mainland.
As a veteran, I observed the whole island in the eyes of a soldier when I went to Taiwan island 20 years ago for interviews. My conclusion is: Taiwan is not a place suitable for modern defensive warfare, but it is a good place to live. The Taiwan authorities are just playing some fancy political games to win the elections and retain power, those who attempt to turn Taiwan into a “country” and resist unification by force are going too far into the game. As the saying goes, a thing turns into its opposite if pushed too far. “Hong Kong independence” forces were once rampant for a while, but where are they now? If the “Taiwan independence” forces can’t recognize the tendency, they will not be far from total annihilation. Once the island of Taiwan is free from the radical control of the “Taiwan independence” forces, Taiwan will be a more livable place with eternal peace.
The writer is a commentator with the Global Times