China’s Military Can’t Conquer Taiwan Just Yet: Pentagon Report
Beijing does, however, have options for attacking Taiwan that do not involve a full-scale blockade or invasion. “The PLA is capable of accomplishing various amphibious operations short of a full-scale invasion of Taiwan,” the American report explains.
The National Interest
Date: May 4, 2019
By: David Axe
The Chinese military still lacks the ability decisively to conquer Taiwan by way of a full-scale amphibious invasion, according to the 2019 edition of the U.S. Defense Department’s annual report on Chinese military developments.
“An attempt to invade Taiwan would likely strain China’s armed forces and invite international intervention,” the report concludes.
But the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s amphibious capabilities steadily have improved in recent years. It might not be long before Beijing’s forces safely can conduct a major assault across the Taiwan Strait.
“The PLAN is the region’s largest navy, with more than 300 surface combatants, submarines, amphibious ships, patrol craft and specialized types,” the report explains. “It is also an increasingly modern and flexible force. The PLAN is rapidly replacing obsolescent, generally single-purpose platforms in favor of larger, multi-role combatants featuring advanced anti-ship, anti-air and anti-submarine weapons and sensors.”
The Chinese navy’s amphibious fleet has grown and modernized. “China’s investments in its amphibious ship force signal its intent to develop expeditionary warfare capabilities,” according to the American report. [FULL STORY]