Would the Taiwanese army have a chance against the Chinese? It is also questioned in Taipei itself

Soldiers, strategists, and politicians in both Taiwan and America who interacted with reporters from this influential U.S. daily claimed that the island’s forces were plagued by many internal problems.

It is said that for many years the Taiwanese lived peacefully as the economy grew steadily and Beijing’s rhetoric had not yet escalated. Taipei realized that he had been neglected now, as well as the fact that it would be difficult to deter China.

The Chinese Communist Party regards Taiwan as part of a great country, even though the islands have never ruled. There are no signs that the conflict is already here, but Beijing is making it clear that it is determined to control Taiwan.

One of the biggest problems is the poor preparation of the soldiers and their declining fighting mood. About 80,000 troops are called up for the Taiwanese army every year. conscripts, there are still 2.2 million. reservists.

For example, 26-year-old Xiao Cheng-zhi revealed that last year’s four-month basic warrior course was mostly raking leaves, digging grass and rolling old tires. Although there was some learning to shoot at targets, it basically did nothing.

ZUMAPRESS / Scanpix photo / Taiwanese soldiers

The young man called the other conscripts “strawberry soldiers” – the so-called overly pampered children in Taiwan. Xiao Cheng-zhi admitted he did not think Taiwanese would resist Chinese invasive forces.

Acknowledges flaws and promises to patch holes

Both regular Taiwan Army soldiers and reservists in The Wall Street Journal have openly expressed concern about the quality of military courses.

One said he simply had nothing to do during the exercise and watched American war movies. Another read and drew a lot. This is perhaps unsurprising – and polls show that many Taiwanese expect the initiative to take hold in the US in the event of a serious threat.

Two other young people said they ate a lot – to gain weight and not be called up for military service. One of them said he stuffed a huge meal every four hours for a month.

ZUMAPRESS / Scanpix photo / Military exercises in Taiwan

ZUMAPRESS / Scanpix photo / Military exercises in Taiwan

Former U.S. Marine Colonel Grant Newsham, who analyzed the island’s defensive capabilities in Taiwan in 2019, stressed, however, that the elite Taiwanese forces are amazing – as are the pilots and non-commissioned officers.

But Newsham has acknowledged that the Taiwanese military is short of funding and the reserve has simply fallen short. In addition, more military exercises are needed along with U.S. and their allied forces.

The young people said they ate a lot a lot – to gain weight and not be called up for military service. One of them said he stuffed a huge meal every four hours for a month.

The island’s government, by the way, acknowledges that the military lacks a lot – that a lot of work is being done to correct the mistakes. One agency reported in July that some reservists felt like mere “passers-by” and did not take training very seriously, such as the need for innovations such as virtual reality technology.

Young Taiwanese conscripts, as found in a Taiwanese Ministry of Defense investigation, are also frustrated by the excessive bureaucracy. This suppresses their desire to join the island forces.

As mentioned, reforms are promised. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said this Tuesday: “Raising and preparing the army are long-term tasks and missions. We ask for the support of our fellow citizens. “

In September, the ministry had already resorted to some such changes. All new conscripts will be sent to combat units to experience with their own fur what a real war would mean.

China is investing heavily and preparing

Concerns about Taiwan’s readiness to defend itself are growing with China’s increasingly demonstrative muscle exercise. Beijing is hosting more and more military flights to the island, and has crushed democracy in Hong Kong in recent years.

On October 9, Chinese leader Xi Jinping publicly stated that a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan “can be realized and will be done.” Other Chinese leaders do not rule out the use of force.


AFP / “Scanpix” nuotr./Xi Jinpingas

And China is investing heavily and rapidly in its armed forces. The country’s defense budget is 13 times larger than Taiwan’s, and the Pentagon estimates that China now has more than $ 1 million. Land soldiers.

The trends in Taiwan are the opposite. If this island in 2011 had 275 thousand. soldiers in active service, which is now 187 thousand.

China this year launched the first warship from which it is possible to land armored personnel carriers, amphibians; take off and helicopters. The attacks from the beach have already been rehearsed in the exercise, and the missiles are ready to hit targets in Taiwan – all this is announced by the Pentagon itself.

China is investing heavily and rapidly in its armed forces. The country’s defense budget is 13 times larger than Taiwan’s.

Of course, Taiwan also has an advantage: the harsh coastline would make it difficult for the Chinese to deploy troops here. And there is no doubt about the capabilities of Chinese soldiers – the last time the Chinese fought in Vietnam was in 1979.

Reuters / Scanpix photo / Chinese forces during exercise simulating invasion of Taiwan

Reuters / Scanpix photo / Chinese forces during exercise simulating invasion of Taiwan

But an annual assessment of the Chinese military’s power, published by Taiwan’s defense ministry, warns that Beijing would bet a lot on cyber-attacks that would paralyze Taiwanese strategists.

In that case, the Americans would not rush to the rescue immediately, which means that in the first days or hours of the conflict, very much would depend on ordinary Taiwanese soldiers.

Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng recently stated that Chinese forces will be able to wield a powerful Taiwan attack as early as 2025 and suffer only minimal losses.

Headaches for Americans

The U.S., by the way, has no commitment to defending Taiwan, although many defense analysts believe it would help.

Last Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden even said twice in one event that America would defend Taiwan.

However, the White House later announced that the US position would not change – Americans would continue to pursue a policy of “strategic ambiguity”. This means that the US is seeking to prevent a conflict from arising, but at the same time does not make a clear commitment to reveal what it would do if the unrest nevertheless erupted.

„Zuma Press“ / „Scanpix“ nuotr./Joe Bidenas

„Zuma Press“ / „Scanpix“ nuotr./Joe Bidenas

Some U.S. foreign policy experts would like America to make it clear that it will not stand idly by if China invades Taiwan. But others fear that even subtle Washington signals will provoke Beijing to act and drag the U.S. into another overseas conflict.

So far, the U.S. is largely supported by arms and other military equipment sold to the island. In addition, the U.S. Special Forces and Marines have been helping to train Taiwanese forces for at least a year.

There are strategists who believe that Taiwan needs to follow the example of Israel. The country has more than twice the population of Taiwan, but Israel spends nearly $ 22 billion annually on defense. USD, while Taiwan is only $ 13 billion.

Military service in Israel is performed by both men (two and a half years) and women (almost two years). The same length of service was previously established in Taiwan, but now there are only four months left – then conscripts become reservists.

Israel has more than twice the population of Taiwan, but Israel spends nearly $ 22 billion annually on defense. USD, while Taiwan is only $ 13 billion.

According to experts, Taiwan needs to pay more attention to the acquisition of weapons such as sea mines and coastal cruise missiles, which would increase the chances of defending against amphibious invasion and win the island several important days in case of conflict.

Taiwan, it is true, is increasing defense spending, although such actions are not very popular among the population. In September, the government proposed allocating a special $ 8.7 billion. A U.S. budget for missiles, warships, and other weapons systems.

The legacy of Chiang Kai-shek

Ronan Fu, a researcher at the Taiwan-funded Sinica Academy Institute of Political Science, doubts whether the island’s youth at all have a strong sense of duty. He admits, “Adult Taiwanese men just don’t want to fight.”

In 2019, one poll showed that about half of Taiwanese would fight for the island. But research also shows that many people on the island don’t think they’ll ever have to fight at all.

Many young Taiwanese consider the military to be a legacy of Taiwan’s authoritarian past. The forerunner of the island’s forces is the forces of former Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek, who lost the civil war to communist Mao Zedong.

Scanpix Photo / Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Rosevelt and Winston Churchill

Scanpix Photo / Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Rosevelt and Winston Churchill

In the late 1950s, these soldiers fled to Taiwan, where Chiang Kai-shek’s party introduced a state of war.

As Taiwan became democratic, the military began to lure volunteers who had to replace conscripts. But with wages rising in all sectors, military service has just begun to look unattractive. Now military service for conscripts takes just four months.

“There is no profession you can master in four months,” said Wang Yi, one of Taiwan’s army aviation and special forces commanders.

But 31-year-old film producer Harry Goo, while stressing that he would fight and prevent Taiwan from turning into another Hong Kong, gained extra weight back in 2012 and avoided conscription. His own father told him it was better to find a job than to waste time in the army.

Conscription is also being avoided because of the prevailing view that China will not invade Taiwan, as the invasion would severely damage the country’s international reputation, and countries such as the United States are expected to intervene.

“If China dares to cause problems, would the rest of the world not impose sanctions on it?” Asked 25-year-old insurance broker Ian Su.

Source: 15min.lt – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt.

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