Senior officials at the Pentagon informed Congress on Tuesday that a potential Chinese blockade of Taiwan is unlikely to succeed and that an outright military invasion of the independent island would pose significant challenges for Beijing to execute successfully.
China’s armed forces have increased their actions near Taiwan, a region that Beijing believes belongs to them. The Director of the US CIA, William Burns, has stated that Chinese President Xi Jinping has directed the military to be prepared to attack by 2027.
It remains uncertain whether Mr. Xi will direct the use of force to take control of Taiwan, whether by implementing military tactics such as a blockade or invasion.
According to Ely Ratner, the US assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security Affairs, implementing a blockade would allow Taiwan’s allies to gather resources in support of Taiwan. He also stated that the severe economic repercussions of a blockade would strengthen international determination to oppose Beijing.
According to Mr. Ratner’s testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, attempting this action would most likely result in failure and pose a significant risk of escalating tensions with the PRC. They would have to carefully weigh whether they were prepared to potentially attack commercial vessels.
According to Major General Joseph McGee, Vice Director for Strategy, Plans and Policy of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, implementing a blockade is not very probable due to the difficulties it would present.
According to Mr. McGee, while it is a possibility, it is not a very probable one. When considering military options, it is much simpler to discuss a blockade than to actually implement one. He shared this with lawmakers.
Last year in August and again in April, China conducted military exercises near Taiwan and its troops are present in the vicinity of the island on a frequent basis.
According to Taiwan’s defense ministry’s biennial report, China is increasing its air capabilities along the coast facing Taiwan by permanently stationing new fighter jets and drones at enlarged air bases.
However, Mr. McGee also stated that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), China’s military, would face significant challenges in attempting a direct, amphibious assault on the island. He emphasized that this would not be possible even in a surprise attack.
According to Mr. McGee, in order to send a clear message, they would need to assemble tens of thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands, of troops on the eastern coast.
“He bluntly stated, ‘A PLA invasion of Taiwan is by no means a simple task.'”
The speaker from Reuters stated that a PLA invasion of Taiwan would not be an easy task, as they would face challenges such as limited beaches and a mountainous landscape. Additionally, the population is believed to be ready to resist, making it a difficult mission.