F-35s Are Not A Magic Weapon: Why Taiwan Should Admit Conventional Military Defeat

Could this be the best China defense strategy?

The National Interest
Date: April 18, 2020
By: Nicholas Hanson

Time is running out for Taiwan. Under the leadership of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Chairman Xi Jinping, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been increasingly aggressive in both poaching Taiwan’s few remaining diplomatic allies and using the growing proficiency of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for messaging the inevitable: reunification with the mainland.

Xi Jinping has made it clear that he is the transformational leader that can make it happen. As the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission wrote in its annual report: “In 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping made clear his increasingly uncompromising stance toward Taiwan’s independent status and sense of urgency regarding unification.” Chairman Xi’s enhanced pressure campaign carries significant risks for both himself and the CCP. If the PLA is commanded to seize the island and fails, the legitimacy of Xi Jinping’s leadership and that of the Communist Party holistically, will be called into question. Such a crisis could very well lead to the downfall of both.

A Preordained Outcome

To guarantee victory, the CCP ordered a massive reorganization of the PLA in 2016. Coupled with an aggressive modernization plan designed to be “basically completed” by 2035, this endeavor is intended to put it on track to “world-class” military status by 2049. Part of a broader vision in what Chairman Xi has termed the “Chinese Dream,” this world-class PLA has one goal: surpass the U.S. Military in capability and capacity, and if necessary, defeat it in battle.

This “if necessary” caveat is focused on one issue: Taiwan. As the Defense Intelligence Agency has written:    [FULL  STORY]

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