How hard would it be for China to invade Taiwan? | Project Force
Al Jazeera English – 4-4-2022
When Russian forces went into Ukraine, concern grew in Taiwan that an attack by China could be next. But how difficult would it be for China to invade Taiwan? @Alex Gatopoulos takes a look, in Project Force.
The most advanced category of mass-produced semiconductors — used in smartphones, military technology and much more — is known as 5 nm. A single company in Taiwan, known as TSMC, makes about 90 percent of them. U.S. factories make none.
The U.S.’s struggles to keep pace in semiconductor manufacturing have already had economic downsides: Many jobs in the industry pay more than $100,000 a year, and the U.S. has lost out on them. Longer term, the situation also has the potential to cause a national security crisis: If China were to invade Taiwan and cut off exports of semiconductors, the American military would be at risk of being overmatched by its main rival for global supremacy.
What lessons is Xi Jinping learning from the war in Ukraine?
The optimistic answer is that the lessons he is learning make an invasion of Taiwan less likely. First, Xi may be wondering how well his untested military would perform if told to invade. Surely the abysmal performance of Russian troops must make Xi, and every other high official in China, wonder what happens if stiff resistance is met. Like the Russian army, but unlike the U.S. military and our allies who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan, the People’s Liberation Army or PLA is simply untried. And Xi must fear that a military defeat could threaten his own hold on power.
Testimony from officials in the State Department and Defense Department this week included subtle but important shifts in the U.S. policy toward Taiwan
The ground shifted under Washington’s policy toward Taiwan on December 8, a shift no less seismic for being subtle and semantic. During a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner asserted that Taiwan is “a critical node within the first island chain (in the Western Pacific), anchoring a network of U.S. allies and partners … that is critical to the region’s security and critical to the defense of vital U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific.”
23 Nov 2020 08:56AM(Updated: 23 Nov 2020 09:52AM) CNA
TAIPEI: A two-star Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday (Nov 22), in a high-level trip that could vex China.
TAIPEI: The US and Taiwan are stepping up cooperation in a newly created economic dialogue, in another move from the outgoing Trump administration to increase official exchanges with the self-ruled island.
BEIJING: China threatened on Thursday (Oct 22) to retaliate against the latest US arms sale to Taiwan, as the island welcomed the weapons package but said it was not looking to get into an arms race with Beijing.
The Trump administration has ramped up support for Taiwan through arms sales and visits by senior US officials, adding to tensions between Beijing and Washington, already heightened by disagreements over the South China Sea, Hong Kong, human rights and trade.
By Adam TaylorOctober 15, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT Washington Post
The U.S.-Taiwan security relationship has been purposely ambiguous for four decades. But amid increasing Chinese threats of invasion, America’s commitment to Taiwan needs to be clearer, the island’s de facto ambassador to the United States said this week.
Washington (CNN)The Trump administration is expected to soon approve another major weapons sale including drones to Taiwan, according to congressional and administration sources. The move comes as the US and Taiwan are strengthening ties and amid mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing.The US is preparing to sell seven packages of weapons systems to Taiwan, a congressional aide told CNN, saying it was unclear when the Congress would be formally notified about the sales, as is required by law.A US official said that the administration will soon formally approve a large sale of MQ-9B Reaper drones. The value of the drones and associated equipment and program support is estimated to be about $600 million.
WASHINGTON: The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China.