Beijing, May 12 (UNI): China is gearing up its efforts to “reunify” Taiwan with it, but might lack the core assault landing capabilities to conquer the island, military experts have said.
According to a South China Morning Post report on Sunday, the assessment follows an annual report to the US Congress saying China was likely to be preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan by force, while simultaneously deterring, delaying, or denying any third-party intervention on the island’s behalf.
The 136-page report, “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019”, was released last week and listed a number of options, including a blockade to cut off Taiwan’s imports accompanied by large-scale missile strikes and the occupation of offshore islands like Quemoy (also known as Kinmen) and Matsu.
An air and missile attack might aim to destroy important military and communications infrastructure, while a full-scale invasion might start at northern or southern points along the west coast, according to the Pentagon report.
Turning to Taiwan’s defences, the report noted the island’s advantages continue to decline as China’s military modernisation proceeds, with significant problems in recruiting sufficient military personnel. Taiwan also faces “considerable equipment and readiness challenges”, the report said.
Military analyst Collin Koh, from the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said an amphibious operation to take over the island, as outlined in the report, was unlikely due to China’s inadequate sealift capability and inability of its amphibious forces to work in concert with other services.