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If China were to invade Taiwan today what would happen?

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  • If China were to invade Taiwan today what would happen?

    Would the US aide Taiwan or remain neutral? Would the Taiwanese be able to fend off the Chinese on their own or would the Chinese plow right through them?

    I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong forum.

  • #2
    It's the right forum but someone asks this question about every six months on average. Do a search on "Taiwan" for previous exchanges. Anyone have an update on the military situation they'd like to share?
    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

    Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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    • #3
      I have thought about this question myself, but in two slightly different ways, from a political standpoint:

      1. Are China and the US likely to make some sort of a "trade" where they both work towards Taiwan gradually, peacefully integrating with China, and they both work towards the dissolution of North Korea and the establishment of a neutral Korea, or at least a Korea strictly limited in its deployment of forces?

      2. What internal events in China could push China to become reckless, and invade Taiwan, and/or what events could so weaken the US that China could feel it safe to invade Taiwan?


      PS - Welcome to the forums. This is probably my favorite forum, but not too many people post on it.

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      • #4
        In a military sense, I could see something happening like this:

        China sends in crack airborne terror troops, who would have been trained and would function much as the Soviets did in their invasion of Afghanistan. They would be ruthless in eliminating the political and military leadership. I assume they have people "in country" also, but obviously anyone who blended in in 1949 would be dead (or 80+). After they did this, and assuming it was successful, they would let the general population know that, if they behave, they will do everything then can to not hurt civilians, that they have no gripe with the good people of Taiwan, but with their evil government, etc.

        The Taiwan military of course fights back, but like the Soviets, the Chinese for years have been preparing for this day. The take out tracking radars with special forces troops and with cruise missiles/short range missiles they have been developing. The Taiwanese Navy in port is destroyed, as is their port facilities.

        So at this point, the question becomes, do the Taiwanese people see the mainland Chinese victory or inevitable, or do they take to the hills, etc.?
        And what does the US do? I'm assuming that the US is bogged down still in Southwest Asia, that there is a growing antiwar movement, etc.

        I also assume the US has developed resources over the years to deal with such a potential strategy, and these may include, besides the obvious use of the US Navy as a screen to protect from Seaborne invasion, and the use of USAF air superiority planes. Also I would assume special units of the Taiwanese army have been trained as "counter-commandos", with US help, and that US military intelligence of all services has worked very closely with Taiwan since 1949 up through the present day.

        What I do not see is regular US Army and US Marine Corps units fighting on the ground in Taiwan, I don't believe the American people (or the US leadership) has the stomach for that.
        Last edited by lakechampainer; 28 Feb 10, 09:17.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
          And what does the US do? I'm assuming that the US is bogged down still in Southwest Asia, that there is a growing antiwar movement, etc.
          That is the number one question. How many ships, aircraft and - most importantly - men is the US willing to trade for a non-communist Taiwan weighed against how much political prestige the US would lose if they let it happen?
          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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          • #6
            likelihood of an invasion would be slim none. but an invasion would not start with the military. 4 taiwanese companies produce ALL the computer components in the world. everybody i mean everybody buys from them. if you don't believe me ask any computer expert. now what nobody realizes is all the taiwanese companies have moved thier factories to china for the cheap labor.

            so china 's invasion plan wouldn't require an invasion simply close its borders and nationalize all the taiwanese factories. boom overnight the taiwanese economy is destroyed. so the question i don't have the answer for is what happens to the world economy and especially the computer industry?

            essentially what i'm saying is that china has long ago reclaimed taiwan economically. taiwan is the only country that doesn't know it yet.

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            • #7
              That is the number one question. How many ships, aircraft and - most importantly - men is the US willing to trade for a non-communist Taiwan weighed against how much political prestige the US would lose if they let it happen?
              Rojic, I don't think the trade involves communism or non-communism at all. Theoretically, and anti-US leftist Taiwanese government could get elected. I think the real question is: As long as Taiwan desires to remain independent of the mainland, is it in the U.S. interest to deny Chinese submarines the immediate access to deep water that taking Taiwan would allow them?
              dit: Lirelou

              Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
                What I do not see is regular US Army and US Marine Corps units fighting on the ground in Taiwan, I don't believe the American people (or the US leadership) has the stomach for that.
                What about special forces teams aiding the resistance (that we'd never know about).

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                • #9
                  special forces are good. but not that good. taiwanese forces, conventional and unconventional, are very well trained already. i don't think they need any more "training". any aid would come in the form of more hardware (ie anti-tank, anti-air weapons etc).

                  by the way, i dont think an invasion is likely. but given that it does, i don't understand what lakechampainer writes china as using "crack airborne terror troops", and them being "ruthless in eliminating... leadership". i mean, if you're going to wage war, you'll have to be ruthless. otherwise just stay home. also, i've heard of crack troops, airborne troops, and crack airborne troops, but i've never heard of crack airborne terror troops. or do you mean crack airborne troops will be used to strike terror? or what?
                  "We have no white flag."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wilhelm_Scream View Post
                    What about special forces teams aiding the resistance (that we'd never know about).
                    I agree with you, I assume that would happen.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GMan88 View Post
                      special forces are good. but not that good. taiwanese forces, conventional and unconventional, are very well trained already. i don't think they need any more "training". any aid would come in the form of more hardware (ie anti-tank, anti-air weapons etc).

                      by the way, i dont think an invasion is likely. but given that it does, i don't understand what lakechampainer writes china as using "crack airborne terror troops", and them being "ruthless in eliminating... leadership". i mean, if you're going to wage war, you'll have to be ruthless. otherwise just stay home. also, i've heard of crack troops, airborne troops, and crack airborne troops, but i've never heard of crack airborne terror troops. or do you mean crack airborne troops will be used to strike terror? or what?
                      I'm not going to argue over a word. This isn't an English writing class in which we exchange work and discuss the use of adjectives, etc.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lirelou View Post
                        Rojic, I don't think the trade involves communism or non-communism at all. Theoretically, and anti-US leftist Taiwanese government could get elected. I think the real question is: As long as Taiwan desires to remain independent of the mainland, is it in the U.S. interest to deny Chinese submarines the immediate access to deep water that taking Taiwan would allow them?
                        That is a pretty valid point about the submarines that I hadn't considered. I guess my thinking on the "Taiwan question" is stuck back in the cold war era. I always thought that it was a political line in the sand rather than a strategic military one.
                        Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                        That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                        • #13
                          I agree. This isn't an english class where we have to define nor argue over definitions. What this is, though, is a forum where we post our ideas and opinion on certain issues. And when you use the word "terror", specially in conjunction with other words, you really should be open to the idea of other people trying to get clarification on what you mean. Otherwise, don't say this isnt an english class; just say you don't want to clarify and leave it at that.
                          "We have no white flag."

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                          • #14
                            To get back on topic, would Taiwan be able to fend off the Chinese (mainland)? Initially, maybe. Ultimately, no.


                            Would the US aid Taiwan? If the conflict drags on long enough, yes. But if the conflict is over and done with in a very short span of time, no i don't think so.

                            Do i think it's likely for china to "invade" taiwan? No.
                            "We have no white flag."

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                            • #15
                              To get back on topic, would Taiwan be able to fend off the Chinese (mainland)? Initially, maybe. Ultimately, no.
                              The answer to the first part demands the reasoned opinion of someone with recent experience observing and evaluating Taiwan's armed forces. The last time I was there, 2006, the opinion of a 48 year old ROC veteran was that today's ROC Army is no longer what it was in terms of the warrior spirit. I have no idea how valid that observation is.

                              As to the implied inevitable PRC victory, I would not rule out the unforeseen element. Taking on an island nation of 19 million across 100 miles of rough water is no easy task if the population is dead set against being taken. We must not rule out the 'Falklands factor'. The people of China have been weaned on the image of the invincible PLA. A serious defeat, especially at the hands of the 'Republic of China', could have serious unintended consequences for China's leadership.

                              They are certainly building toward the day when they can take Taiwan by force, but I expect that their actions will be a bit more conservative than their rhetoric. After all, friendly relations will convince more Taiwanese than confrontation, which simply reinforces why the ROC left the mainland in the first place.
                              dit: Lirelou

                              Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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