The Taiwanese government made it clear to Newsmax last week that when and if China makes its increasingly-anticipated attack on their island nation, they will hit back hard and inflict considerable damage on the invading forces of the Communist colossus.
"If they do something to us, we’ll be ready to return fire in a big way," a senior government official from Taipei told Newsmax last week.
Under the promise of anonymity, the official spelled out to Newsmax why Taiwan expects a strike from the Chinese in the not-to-distant future and what they would do to respond.
Overwhelmingly outnumbered by their mainland enemies, the strategy of the Taiwanese armed forces would be, we were told, to be prepared to inflict severe enough damage on any invading force so as to discourage further waves of Chinese troops, ships, and jets.
Much of the anticipation of and preparation for an attack by China stems from that country’s strongman President Xi Jinping, who last month vowed "reunification" with Taiwan.
In reference to the Taipei government, Xi warned that "[t]hose who forget their heritage, betray their motherland, and seek to split the country will come to no good."
Although similar utterances about Taiwan have been made by Chinese leaders since Mao Tse-Tung in the 1950’s, Xi’s words are taken especially at face value because, as our Taiwanese source put it, "Xi thinks he’s bigger than Mao."
This view was also voiced recently by retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, who pointed out that Xi feels his country was humiliated by the Japanese before World War II and is the first leader since Mao to have his name in the Chinese constitution.
"He wants to see Taiwan reunited with the mainland while he has time to do it," said Alexander, adding that China could possibly launch its strike in two years.
Xi’s appetite for an invasion is reportedly fueled by Air Force General Xu Qiliang, currently senior vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and someone who has the president’s ear.
Several sources say that while Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin meets with General Wei Fenghe (who was named defense minister in March 2018), it is Xu Qiliang who has the influence with Xi on national security issues.
As for the scenario of a strike, Taiwan does not believe China can pull a sneak attack because any incursions will be detected immediately by the high-tech apparatus in Taipei.
"If they do something, we’ll know about it and return [the fire] immediately," said our source, noting that every time a Chinese sortie flies over Taiwan, the military knows about it. So far this year, there have been 693 flyovers by Chinese aircrafts and 149 from Oct. 1-4.
No one argues that the Taiwanese Army of roughly 80,000 could defeat the Chinese army estimated at 2 million — not to mention the People’s Liberation Navy (PLAN) with 300,000 active personnel, 540 ships, and 600 aircraft.
But the Taiwanese official who spoke to us pointed out that China cannot simply send its entire armed forces from 90 miles to seize the island nation of 24 million. Rather, it would have to send much smaller waves of troops, ships, and fighter planes for a first strike.
"And we would annihilate 70% of the invaders," the official told us without hesitation, noting that such a response might discourage Xi from sending further waves,
Taiwan, which purchased 66 F-16V jets from Lockheed Martin in 2020, will soon be able to boast the largest fleet of advanced F-16 fighter jets in Asia.
Moreover, the Taiwanese have a highly sophisticated missile force that includes the supersonic Hsiung Feng III (Brave Wind) anti-ship missile — which can take out targets at least 40 nautical miles away.
Top-ranked military officials are especially proud of their country’s army of about 80,000 men and women, who comprise 15% of the armed forces. Taiwan has had an all-volunteer army for years and its soldiers, our source told us, "have a high degree of professionalism and education."
Any speculation about a Chinese invasion of Taiwan usually concludes with a discussion of whether the U.S. or other allies of the island nation will come to its rescue.
Last month, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen revealed that U.S. troops were in training excercises in her country. Newly-minted Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also sent out a strong signal he will stand with Taiwan, with Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, telling reporters: "Instead of simply monitoring the situation, we hope to weigh the various possible scenarios that may arise to consider what options we have, as well as the preparations we must make." It was reportedly the first time a government official had spoken publicly of Japan’s involvement in the 70-year-plus China-Taiwan feud.
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