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China Able to Take on Taiwan, Allies by 2027: MND

Taiwan would respond by improving its defense capabilities, the Ministry of National Defense said in a report to the Legislative Yuan.
Navy personnel stand guard during a drill in Keelung on Jan. 7. Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE
Navy personnel stand guard during a drill in Keelung on Jan. 7. Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE

The Chinese military would be capable of fighting against Taiwan and allied forces by 2027, a Ministry of National Defense (MND) report said yesterday.

China has set a goal of modernizing its warfare capabilities by that year, which is to mark the 100th anniversary of its army’s founding, and it might by then be able to act more aggressively toward Taiwan, said the report, which the ministry submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review.

The ministry did not cite any evidence that China was planning to invade Taiwan by 2027 or provide any intelligence that Beijing had given up on its vow to achieve “peaceful unification.”

China has over the past few years stationed an increasing number of warships along its southeastern coast, as it is seeking to maintain its military advantage in the region and attempting to build a system of intelligence warfare by 2027, the report said.

By 2027, China is expected to possess regional air defense capabilities, and long-range sea and airstrike systems, which would greatly extend its combat range, following the introduction of its aircraft carriers Liaoning and Shandong, a second-generation Type 003 vessel, as well as the mass production of Type 055 destroyers, Y-20 tanker aircraft and J-20 fighters, the report said.

The ministry said Chinese naval and air forces would be capable of projecting power at greater distances from its territory, extending its reach of military operations and enabling it to counter joint forces between Taiwan and its allies.

Taiwan would respond by improving its defense capabilities in joint operations against an invasion through integrated air defense systems and maritime interception, the report said.

The ministry said it would also focus on armed forces development, including plans for mass production of mature weapons, but did not specify a kind of weapon.

The report said that China is continuing to develop its capabilities to counter the US military in the Indo-Pacific region, which remains an integral part of Washington’s strategic focus, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ministry said there could be an intensified US-China standoff in the region by 2027 over issues including cross-strait relations, tensions on the Korean Peninsula and territorial disputes in the South China Sea, which could increase the risk of conflict between the two countries.

Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) last year said that China would be capable of launching a full-scale invasion of Taiwan by 2025, but he did not elaborate on whether it would be able to deal with US involvement in such a war.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley has since last year reiterated that China aims to develop the capability to invade Taiwan by 2027.

However, he last year also said that although China might want to develop that capability, he sees no near-term intent to do so.

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