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The Drills Make It Clear: China Is Getting Ready to Invade Taiwan

Rise of China's Navy
Image: Chinese Internet.

Taiwan: In China’s Crosshairs for an Invasion? Since the end of the Second World War, U.S. military doctrine has followed the old Latin adage, “Sī vīs pācem, parā bellum” – translated as, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” 

The problem for the United States is one that has been true throughout human history, namely that not everyone preparing for war actually wants peace. In the past 100 years alone, this was seen with the rearmament of Germany under the Nazis, the military buildup of the Empire of Japan, and more recently, Vladimir Putin‘s concentration of Russia’s forces on Ukraine’s border prior to the invasion of that country.

Another Not-so-Peaceful Buildup

Worrisome this week is that the People’s Republic of China conducted military drills in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. These drills show no desire for peace. Indeed, they may show China’s earnest preparation for an invasion of Taiwan.

“China has used the drills in its military playbook to prepare for the invasion of Taiwan,” Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s foreign minister, told reporters on Tuesday. “It is conducting large-scale military exercises and missile launches, as well as cyber-attacks, disinformation, and economic coercion, in an attempt to weaken public morale in Taiwan.”

Wu offered no timetable for a possible invasion, but his address to the media came after four days of the largest-ever Chinese exercises near Taiwan. The drills included ballistic missile launches, as well as simulated sea and air attacks in the skies and seas surrounding the self-ruled island.

More drills are likely to begin soon. China’s Eastern Theater Command announced on Monday that it would conduct fresh joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations, CNBC.com reported. These latest drills confirm the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing seeks to keep up the pressure on Taiwan’s defenses. The Chinese Communist Party views democratic Taiwan as its territory, despite never having controlled it.

Wu said that Taiwan would not be intimidated, even as the drills often breach the unofficial median line down the Taiwan Strait. 

Since returning from the Far East, Pelosi has defended her trip. On Monday, Pelosi said during an interview with NBC’s Today show that, “We cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan. They’re not going to say who can go to Taiwan.”

Strangling Taiwan

What especially worries some observers is how the military exercises hint that Beijing may not need to actually invade Taiwan. It could instead “strangle” the self-ruled island by cutting it off from the outside world. 

The recent People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drills, which officially began last Thursday, focused on six zones and essentially encircled Taiwan. That restricted access into the area for civilian ships and aircraft.

“Connect the six areas in a line, like a noose, with the knot of the noose right in the southwest direction,” Meng Xiangqing, a professor at the PLA National Defense University, said in an interview with state-run broadcaster CCTV. 

Meng further explained that the six areas were chosen to show how China could cut off Taiwan’s ports, launch attacks on the island’s most important military installations, and then sever access to any foreign forces that come to Taiwan’s aid. 

Despite the pressure, Taiwan has continued to show its vigilance and began its own live-fire military drills in Pingtung County, on the south of the island, on Tuesday. Those exercises, which the Taiwanese military says were previously scheduled, were designed to simulate defensive operations against an attack on the island. 

“China’s continued attempt to intimidate Taiwan will not panic us, nor will they defeat us,” said Wu. “The values of freedom and democracy cannot be taken away.”

To that end, Taiwan would be wise to prepare for war, if it truly hopes for peace. 

A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Stefan Stackhouse

    August 9, 2022 at 6:41 pm

    OF COURSE THEY ARE PREPARING. It would be military malpractice of the first order if they were failing to prepare for their most likely mission. This is something that ALL militaries do, ALL the time.

  2. O

    August 9, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Except the U.S. Military! WE are busy planning the next Gay Pride parade and trans-sexing our personnel into the opposite gender.

  3. Scottfs

    August 9, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Just get Xi on the phone and tell them we’ll jerk Most Favored Nation in a heartbeat, cut trade in half, and if they fire on USA ships or planes, a total boycott.

    I’m sure Biden wouldn’t do anything, but China cannot exist without American consumers.

  4. David Chang

    August 10, 2022 at 2:23 am

    God bless people in the world.

    Many people think that some people will make war suddenly.

    But, the enemy was not gone, and the war is never ended. It was from Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and Communist Manifesto, and expanded to school.

    God bless America.

  5. MaxAmoeba

    August 10, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    Why wouldn’t China invade now…we have a senile Commander in Chief, a Congress obssesed with “getting” the last President, WOKE Generals more interested in diversity and inclusion and the ranks full of transexual soldiers.
    You can’t blame THEM.

  6. Jim

    August 10, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    China will take Taiwan and the feckless leadership in the United States will do nothing. Taiwan deserves better.

  7. Mike B

    August 11, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    One issue may be they just blockade Taiwan. Why a problem? It’s not an invasion as such or military strike, so what do we do? Any actual firing of weapons will initiate actual War. That would prove to be a very sticky situation perhaps.

  8. Mark

    August 15, 2022 at 9:27 am

    China will try to take Taiwan. I do believe that the United States will intervene. But the only thing to keep a win will be nukes.

  9. Pax vobiscum

    August 21, 2022 at 5:38 am

    None of the backers of U.S war for Taiwan, Israel or Ukraine will acknowledge this fact: there is zero public support for the U.S. going to war. After two Iraq wars, 20 years in Afghanistan and the country riddled with domestic problems the public has had enough. Politicians like Nancy Pelosi and other reprobates are expressing the opinion of the ruling class when they promise Taiwan war support, not the opinion of the general public. No one wants to send their sons to die in any of these corrupt politicians’ wars.

    Right now the military is short of manpower by the thousands, all branches. There is also the problem of diversity and equality that has riddled the ranks with unqualified people. This particularly affects the Navy and Air Force which require highly skilled, intelligent men to run their high tech systems. The military also cannot retain enough skilled and experienced people which affects readiness.

    Look for the U.S. Government to try to pass a bill of conscription after the November elections. If a bill of conscription (they will call it “National Service”) passes it will be first time since Jan. 1973, after the Vietnam War that there is conscription. There will be massive civil disobedience and non-compliance this time around. No one wants to die for Taiwan, Israel or Ukraine and everyone knows the wealthy and well connected would be exempt from service anyway.

  10. Hans

    August 22, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    What is the big whoohah, America have been invading other countries without impunity. If ever there are terrorist countries in the world, look no further than US, UK..
    It is the US that have stoked the war in Ukraine and also the possible war in Taiwan

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