The Chines PLA could successfully blockade Taiwan Island but not be able to wage an all-out war against Taipiei, a Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (MND) report said.
The China Military Power Report 2020, which the MND yesterday submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review, said the PLA still lacks landing vehicles and logistics required to launch a full-scale incursion into Taiwan via the Taiwan Strait.
“If Beijing were to wage a war now, its combat plans could take the form of military intimidation, blockades, firepower strikes and landing operations,” the report said as quoted in Taipei Times.
The PLA could intensify its military exercises, or sail warships to waters within 24 nautical miles (45km) of Taiwan in an attempt to generate fear among Taiwanese, it said.
It could cut off Taiwan’s supplies and demand surrender by blocking Taiwan’s major ports and maritime transportation, it said. The PLA could also launch missiles that target Taiwan’s command systems, economic and political locations, or symbolic objects, as part of efforts to gradually disintegrate Taiwanese morale, it said.
Forceful occupation of Taiwan’s outlying islands by the PLA might take place during this stage, it added.
If the PLA had achieved air supremacy, command of the sea and electromagnetic spectrum dominance, and had wrecked most of Taiwan’s armed forces, its next move would likely be to send sea, air, land and rocket teams to conduct a series of attacks, such as decapitation strikes, raiding Penghu and ultimately invading Taiwan, it said.
However, its current capabilities for an all-out invasion of Taiwan are still limited, the report said, citing a lack of landing vehicles and logistics.
Beijing’s aim to ensure that it would have the capability to defeat Taiwan in any battle by the end of this year is clear, the report said.
China has also strengthened its response mechanism to US scout planes when they fly near its coastline, the report said. The PLA performs daily exercises in the skies and waters off the west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait, it said.
Besides attempts in February and this month to send warplanes through the median line to gauge Taiwan’s reaction, the PLA could dispatch aircraft to circulate in the skies southwest of Taiwan on a regular basis to squeeze the Taiwanese military’s airspace.
With its fighters equipped with sophisticated precision-guided weapons, and supported by unmanned combat air vehicles, it is believed that the PLA would be able to deploy both soft-kill and hard-kill measures with its space weapons, the report said. It has acquired the preliminary qualities required to control the skies, sea and Taiwanese countermeasure systems in battles against Taiwan, it added.