PLAN Strategy in the Taiwan Strait


AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Secondly, Chinese military sealife capabilities are only needed to secure the beachhead. Once that has been accomplished, they can make as many round trips as they like with their landing ships to bring in all the reinforcements they want. Hell, at that stage they can use civilian ferries if they want. Let’s not forget that even the British used civilian cruise ships as troop transports and container ships during the Falklands. It really doesn’t matter if you achieve air and sea dominance.

I actually see the US being able to interrupt Chinese air-sea dominance in the Taiwan Straits for some time yet.

The US does have long range antiship missiles that would find ferries, troop transports and container ships worthy targets.

But there is no way the US could target thousands of fishing boats - which could be unloading supplies on Taiwanese beaches.
 

james smith esq

Junior Member
Registered Member
I actually see the US being able to interrupt Chinese air-sea dominance in the Taiwan Straits for some time yet.

The US does have long range antiship missiles that would find ferries, troop transports and container ships worthy targets.

But there is no way the US could target thousands of fishing boats - which could be unloading supplies on Taiwanese beaches.
Yes, a committed USN deployment and response would be quite formidable. A 6 Carrier, 12 Cruiser, 18 Submarine, 36 Destroyer, show of force could be quite an unsettling, and possibly persuasive, demonstration (and very expensive, too)!
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Yes, a committed USN deployment and response would be quite formidable. A 6 Carrier, 12 Cruiser, 18 Submarine, 36 Destroyer, show of force could be quite an unsettling, and possibly persuasive, demonstration (and very expensive, too)!

That is a formidable force, but likely not enough to stop China from taking Taiwan.

And as long as Taiwan is taken, that counts as victory, even if China suffers greater losses in the process.

1. From a political perspective, Taiwan represents an alternative to the legitimacy of the Communist Party as the ruler of China.
Much like how the Confederate States of America would have represented a rival to the legitimacy of the USA

2. From a military perspective, Taiwan is key to any military containment policy enacted by the US.
At the moment, China's military capabilities have been developed with a focus on Taiwan which is just next to China's coast.

But if China has Taiwan, China's military will have access to the Pacific and will refocus its spending on becoming a global blue-water navy.
And historically, the world's largest trading nation builds the world's largest navy to protect its overseas trade and investments.
We saw this with the USA after World War 2, with the British Empire before them, with the Dutch Republic, and the Spanish Empire prior.

3. From an economic perspective, Chinese control of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry would be an economic boon and source of leverage against the USA.

---

Of course, this ignores China's expanding nuclear arsenal.
The US will not be able to initiate a war with China because the result is a nuclear exchange.
 
Last edited:

Gatekeeper

Brigadier
Registered Member
Yes, a committed USN deployment and response would be quite formidable. A 6 Carrier, 12 Cruiser, 18 Submarine, 36 Destroyer, show of force could be quite an unsettling, and possibly persuasive, demonstration (and very expensive, too)!


Yes impressive. But how is that going to stop China taking Taiwan? This armada is going to stay out of range of China's rocket force. As such, how are they going to get boots on the ground to fight?

All the time they stay out of range, they might as well be off the coast of Australia. And if they get near, there's a risk if loosing half is assets before even getting anywhere to fight.

And what about the Joe public at home. Are they happy seeing body bags retiring in droves fighting yet another foreign war with a near advisory that last time they came to blows together they got a bloody nose?
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Well first of all, China has clearly defined the conditions for armed reunification, and both Taiwan and the US knows it. Therefore, until TW actually violates those conditions, peaceful reunification is still on the table.

Second, just because you *can* do something, doesn't mean you *should*. Any armed conflict is risky, and peace is always preferable to war. I'm not sure what part of the video you are referring to, but how exactly do you envision China preventing the US from interfering? Seems to me that this is exactly what China has been working on for the past 30 years with its military modernization!

Finally, like you said, the key point to all of this is US intervention. The idea that a quick war will prevent US intervention is 90's thinking, and that was because China didn't have any better options. Today, the goal is to prevent the US from interfering even if they wanted to by building weapons systems that will clearly defeat any US intervention. LSTs don't appear to be a priority right now most likely because they don't contribute toward that objective.

Yes.

If China can maintain air and maritime superiority over the Taiwan Straits, it's over.

Any ship can be used for resupply to Taiwan, and the defenders on Taiwan will be isolated because they are always being watched from above.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Vast majority of the US military analysts and policy analysts acknowledge that China has the clear advantage over the US militarily during a Taiwan contingency. Essentially, the US military intervention is unwinnable against China. But more than a few of them now point out supposedly the main Chinese deficiency in launching an all out invasion of the island of Taiwan: lack of landing ships.

Leave aside whether this is true or not (I disagree strongly, as I have argued elsewhere at SDF), this argument feels a bit surreal. You're talking about clearly one of the areas of strength for China: shipbuilding. Ships of all sorts, that is. LPD, LHD, LST, LCAC are not something difficult to build, not for China anyway. They're also not like aircraft carriers or nuclear submarines, which are expensive and take a long time to build. Chinese shipyards can churn out all kinds of landing ships like sausages in no time if that's really the issue.

I suppose that putting up lack of landing ships as the excuse that China can not launch a successful invasion and landing of Taiwan is really just another way of admitting that militarily Taiwan is a lost cause, with or without US military intervention.

So the barriers for China to finally take over Taiwan lie elsewhere, which would be a subject for a different discussion.

I think even LSTs are overkill for the Taiwan Strait.
The Type-072 is just too juicy a target at 4800tonnes. It has a range of 5000km and even has a helicopter pad.
It's only 200km from Mainland China to Taiwan, so helicopters can fly directly from Mainland China to Taiwan.

---

A smaller LSM like the 800ton Type-074 looks more suitable for the Taiwan Straits.
They can still carry 10 vehicles each.
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
Yes they are putting economy before reunification and they are in delusion if they believe they can achieve reunification by peaceful mean. It is not going to happened and I don't see they make serious preparation to invade Taiwan. Maybe it is not their priority? you tell me. As this video clearly said they have to capability to prevent US from interfering in any Taiwan invasion but the didn't do it . The only conclusion I get is they don't have the gut!

I actually see the construction of 230 nuclear missile silos as the trump card.

It will persuade the USA that war with China is no longer an option.
 

Tse

New Member
Registered Member
well historically China's policy was always against naked all-out assaults... in Xinjiang it was resolved entirely with negotiations, and for Tibet, the CPC was careful to leverage the Panchen Lama's defection, attempted to negotiate with the Kham anti-Lamaist revolutionaries and the Lhasa Lamaist regime, and after 2 short skirmish in Dengke and Chamdo they immediately stopped hostilities and went back to negotiations: for the first decade the Lamaist authorities were allowed to continue ruling virtually untouched. In the South China Sea there was again no overt conflict, just endless movements and negotiations. During the Paris Peace accords, Mao also pushed strongly, against Ho Chi Minh's objections, to partition Vietnam to de-escalate the Korean war. Same policy for the Himalayan border: in 1962 the PLA advanced and then quickly withdrew. Since then it's just been endless maneuvers. Any Taiwan scenario will likely be the same: pressure, a few skirmishes, more negotiations and so on, followed by something like the first 23 years of 1C2S, except even more drawn out.

I'm half-expecting reclamation of island bases in the middle of the straits as a response to some standoff, or a Cuban-style "quarantine of offensive material" after a big arms shipment
 

AndrewS

Colonel
Registered Member
You probably heard of Lyle Goldstein or read one of his articles.


Yup.

But fishing boats has been something I've mentioned for years now.

One of things I can see happening is the Taiwan Straits being blocked off with fishing driftnets.
That would prevent any attempt by submarines to sneak in.
 

Top