Our Bangkok correspondent H. Numan takes an eastward field trip to investigate an urgent issue: the status of Taiwan.
What about Taiwan?
by H. Numan
For the last couple of months there has been a lot of attention over Taiwan. Now even more, with a senile president in the White House. The Democrat Party is busy replacing senior military officers with more party-compliant officers. Biden is mounting the red mule of war. The rhetoric is cranking up. Will China invade Taiwan? Lots of comparisons can be found on YouTube. They compare the strength of China with that of Taiwan. It seems like an invasion is imminent. How can Taiwan possibly defend itself? The answer may surprise you: yes, easily!
First, let’s have a look at a possible invasion. In order to invade Taiwan, China needs a US president busy elsewhere, and preferably a blithering idiot. They couldn’t have asked for a better president. Not only is Biden senile, he is — almost certainly — bought and paid for by China. Remember the laptop you don’t hear about? Biden’s son Hunter also visited China, and did naughty things with young Chinese girls. We don’t know that for sure, as the laptop is ‘under investigation’. Given Hunter’s track record, you can safely assume the Chinese taped everything. Supposing daddy doesn’t comply, it can and will be leaked. This year an invasion is out of the question. Why? You can only attack for part of the year, from May until November. For the remainder of the year the weather doesn’t allow for it. Next year, then?
Don’t be fooled; the People’s Republic of China is not going to invade Taiwan. All comparisons I have seen — a lot! — often forget to mention or take into consideration:
Numbers don’t say much. Yes, if Taiwan had a land border with China, they would have been a Chinese province 72 years ago. Only Taiwan is an island, 180 km away from the mainland. That’s six times the width of the English Channel. The Chinese navy is just as experienced and dangerous as the German Kriegsmarine: not enough to successfully invade. The Germans couldn’t do it across a 30 km stretch of sea; the Chinese can’t cross a 180 km stretch of sea.
You have to know that the most dangerous operations any military can perform are airborne drops or naval invasions in hostile well defended territory. That’s why paratroopers and marines by default are the very best units in the military. They have to be.
Unlike what you often read about the Maginot Line, it did exactly what it was build for: the Germans couldn’t cross it. Their solution was to circumvent it, and attack through the Ardennes Forest and the Low Countries. The commander in chief of France was Maurice Gamelin at that time. He was unwittingly helping the Germans by sending his entire reserve forces towards Breda in The Netherlands. They never got there. On the way they had to retreat back to Dunkirk. When the French government told Churchill they didn’t have any reserves anymore, that was the reason. They were taken prisoner or evacuated at Dunkirk.
Now, Taiwan has been fortified massively for 72 years. You don’t hear a lot about it, but Communist China has tried everything possible to take over Taiwan for 72 years. And failed miserably. There is a problem when you apply maximum political pressure for 72 years nonstop. You can’t apply more pressure. All you can do is invade. Which the Chinese won’t do; it simply can’t be done.
The Maginot Line could be circumvented. That’s not possible with Taiwan. The Taiwanese army doesn’t have the very best military equipment in the world. They don’t even need it (though they often and loudly complain about it). All they need is good enough equipment. They have plenty of that. And lots of more than good enough equipment.
Yes, they have the oldest submarines in service, anywhere on the world. Used primarily for training. But the boat itself doesn’t matter much. It still is fiendishly difficult to find a submarine that doesn’t want to be found. What really matters are the torpedoes and fire-control systems. They are not the most modern, but more than enough to do the job.
The Chinese navy is big, but not big enough to cover an invasion fleet over 180 km of treacherous seas. Of course they can use civilian ships to carry most of the invasion force. China has plenty of those. However, the difference between navy and civilian ships is that navy ships are designed not to sink as fast as civilian ships. They have usually stronger hulls, more redundant systems and more watertight compartments.