TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — David Axe, a military analyst for Forbes magazine, said in an article published on Monday (July 12) that Taiwan should anticipate a Chinese attack from all directions.
In the commentary, titled “To capture Taiwan, Chinese forces might attack from several directions,” Axe says the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) can now strike Taiwan at several places at once, making it difficult for the democratic nation to defend itself. The analyst said the PLA Navy is forming a fleet of eight Type 071 landing docks and three Type 075 assault ships, which can hold approximately 25,000 marines. With the addition of other transport vessels and aircraft, the PLA could be able to bring thousands of troops to Taiwan’s shores, he added.
Axe cited Brookings Institution analysts Bates Gill and Michael O’Hanlon as saying that Taiwan had enough airpower to potentially wipe out an entire Chinese amphibious fleet in one go back in 1999. However, that is no longer possible, as the Chinese Air Force now greatly surpasses Taiwan’s in both size and technology.
The expert also said that the PLA plans to surround Taiwan and come in from the east, as that is a prime location where the Chinese Navy’s new aircraft carriers can operate.
Axe said that Taipei is revising its defense strategy based on the possibility a Chinese attack could come from more than one location. He noted that Taiwan’s current plan is to launch a barrage of missiles at incoming Chinese warships, adding that the U.S. approved Taiwan's purchase of 400 coastal defense missile systems in October 2020, which would add to the nation's arsenal of projectiles.