3 Weapons Taiwan Would Love to Buy to Defend Itself Against China

    Zachary Keck

    Security, Asia

    Thanks to South Korea, India and America. 

    No country is more threatened by China’s growing military and economic power than the island of Taiwan. Beijing has always considered Taiwan a renegade province that it vows to once again control.

    For most of their history since 1949, however, China did not have the military power to conquer Taiwan by force. Indeed, for many decades Taiwan’s military was qualitatively superior to the mainland’s. Furthermore, even after the United States established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, it has promised (somewhat ambiguously) to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion. This was often backed up in action such as when Bill Clinton sent two U.S. aircraft carriers into the Taiwan strait after China tried to intimidate Taipei with missile tests around the island in the mid-1990s.

    The dynamics between Taiwan, China and the United States are changing rapidly as a result of Beijing’s meteoric rise. Making matters worse, President Xi Jinping has taken a much more aggressive stance towards Taiwan since he took power This has included increasingly frequent and intense military exercises around Taiwan.

    After decades of double-digit growth in its defense budget, China’s military is now vastly superior to the Taiwanese armed forces. Nonetheless, conquering Taiwan would not be a walk in the park for China. The reason is simple: Beijing would need to mount an amphibious invasion. Amphibious invasions have always been among the most difficult military operations to pull off, but this is especially true in the era of precision-guided missiles and stealth submarines.

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