China’s growing ambition to invade Taiwan was made clear in a recently published footage of a PLA beach landing exercise. However, U.S. Army officials believe China is still a long way from successfully doing so. They added that what the U.S. should do now is to boost Taiwan’s asymmetric capabilities in order to deter any offensive action by China.
Chinese state media CCTV released footage of a PLA beach landing exercise, the target obviously being Taiwan. At a think tank discussion on Tuesday, U.S. Army General Charles Flynn said that crossing the Taiwan Strait is not as easy a feat as China may think. Also at the event, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth says that even Chinese leader Xi Jinping may have reservations about a successful amphibious invasion of Taiwan.
US Army Pacific Command
The complexity of a joint island landing campaign is not a small matter. You have to be an incredibly professional, well-trained, well-led force. And they’re working on it, but I will tell you that from my perspective, they’re not ten feet tall. They have work to do.
US Army secretary
So I would imagine President Xi may have questions about how successfully the PLA could do that. I personally am not of the view that an amphibious invasion of Taiwan is imminent, but we have to obviously prepare. When I think of the Army’s role in the Indo-Pacific, I really focus on deterrence.
Wormuth said the best way to avoid land war is to boost Taiwan’s asymmetric capabilities and help Taiwan become a porcupine that can deter an invasion. Meanwhile, at a webinar hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns said his country has a unique responsibility to help Taiwan deter any Chinese offensive action.
US ambassador to China
The United States has a unique responsibility here due to the Taiwan Relations Act. It is our obligation, obviously, to maintain our own military strength in and around Taiwan in this part of the world to make sure that the Taiwan authorities have the ability to deter any kind of Chinese offensive action. It’s also, I think, our responsibility to galvanize the rest of the world to make sure that the Chinese cannot get away with coercion or intimidation against Taiwan itself.
Burns added that the U.S. and its allies want to see Beijing respect the status quo of the Taiwan Strait, and underscored the necessity of a peaceful solution to cross-strait differences.