CHINA would need two million troops to invade Taiwan and could fail like Vladimir Putin did in Ukraine, experts have said.
Communist Party forces are deployed around the island in massive war games believed to be rehearsals for an invasion.
Tensions were stretched to the breaking point after a visit from senior US politician Nancy Pelosi, third in the White House row.
China has never been shy about admitting that it wants to conquer Taiwan – which is heavily backed by the US.
And while Beijing may be preparing for a blitzkrieg to storm the Taiwan Strait and seize the island, experts have said the war could be far from quick.
With rugged beaches, rocky terrain, drilled defenders, and an unforgiving sea, China could face the same brutal, attrition war that Russia faces in Ukraine.
China expert Ian Williams said Beijing needed an estimated two million men to have any hope of conquering Taiwan.
He wrote in the Sunday Times: “[Ukraine] has shown how a determined outsider can thwart the ambitions of a much larger and more powerful rival, and it is being investigated on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Beijing has deployed warships, warplanes and missiles over the past week, effectively surrounding the island in a blockade.
Describing this as a “militarized tantrum,” Williams said such a show of force does not lead to a successful or easy invasion.
Taiwan has accused China of conducting assault drills on the island, while Beijing’s state-controlled media has touted the drills as rehearsals for the “reunification operation.”
It is a chilling echo of the language Putin used prior to his invasion of Ukraine, when Russia referred to his invasion as a “special operation.”
Of course, the main difference between Taiwan and Ukraine is that the former is an island – which means that any enemy forces must succeed in an amphibious assault or massive airdrop.
And the notoriously rough and windy Taiwan Straits that separate the island from the mainland is known as the Black Trench.
It is believed that there are only 14 beaches on the island suitable for an amphibious landing on the scale required by China.
Taiwanese strategists have likened the waters separating them from China to the road to Kyiv, where the Russian army was repelled
Strategists also believe there are only two realistic time windows for such operations, late March to April or late September to October.
“Taiwanese strategists have likened the waters separating them from China to the road to Kyiv, where the Russian army was repelled,” Williams wrote.
Putin had expected his attack on Ukraine to end in quick victory – he launched a massive operation towards the capital in the early days of the war in February and March.
Russia sent fleets of helicopters and columns of tanks to Kyiv – only for these attacks to be repelled or deadlocked.
Staggering casualties marked the early days of the war for Russia.
And bold predictions that Putin would win the war in days proved embarrassingly wrong as the heroic Ukrainians stood their ground.
Ukraine and Russia are now locked in a slow, attrition war heading for a bleak winter.
There are even fears that Putin is trying to break the stalemate by using nuclear weapons.
China and Taiwan could follow the same path, with pundits previously describing such a war as Xi Jinping’s very own Vietnam.
Yesterday, China sent 20 warplanes and 14 warships to threaten the island – and crossed the Taiwan Strait dividing line.
In response, Taiwan’s military mobilized air and land patrols and deployed land-based missile systems.
Meanwhile, the US, Australia and Japan all called on China to immediately halt military operations around Taiwan.
The three powers accused Beijing of threatening “international peace and stability” in the region.
Pelosi’s visit last week sparked anger as Xi’s regime views any engagement between Washington and Taipei as US endorsement of Taiwan’s independence.
But an increasingly belligerent China claims the island is theirs – and has vowed to retake Taiwan by 2050.
Beijing’s state media boasted about the drills, which showed how China could attack the island by first unleashing a wave of cross-strait missile attacks.
And it then boasted of missile launches showing how Communist forces could also attack any “foreign” aircraft carriers that might try to “intervene from the Philippine Sea.”
The “foreign” ships referred to are clearly a barb against the US – with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and her strike force operating in the Philippine Sea just days ago.
The White House said the Reagan “will remain on station in the general area to monitor the situation.”
Washington has always refrained from directly supporting Taiwan independence or promising to support it in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Instead, it has maintained a policy of so-called “strategic ambiguity” aimed at not provoking Beijing and has declared that it supports the idea of ”One China.”
But recently, Joe Biden broke with convention and replied “yes” when asked if the US would come to the aid of Taiwan if the island was attacked by China.
Pelosi is a vocal supporter of Taiwan — and her trip to the island earlier this week made her the longest-serving US politician to visit Taiwan in a quarter-century, infuriating China.
During her trip, the speaker of the House of Representatives expressed America’s support for Taiwan and appeared to have called Beijing’s bluff after it suggested it could shoot down her plane.
It is feared that China is increasingly viewing an invasion of Taiwan as inseparable from a war with the US.
The Communist Party yesterday cut ties with US officials on a number of key issues – and many nations condemned China’s military exercises around Taiwan.
And it has warned that Beijing could launch a series of Pearl Harbor-style attacks on US forces in the Pacific should it decide to proceed with “forced reunification.”
Chinese operations early in the war were designed to attempt to eliminate US forces from responding to prevent China from gaining a foothold in Taiwan.
The strategy game would be an attempt to stop a major war – just like Japan had hoped when it attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and dragged the US into World War II.
Chinese military doctrine requires they try to “paralyze the enemy in one fell swoop” — and they warn, “until then [US] ready to fight, the war might indeed be over”.
Chinese nationalists fled to Taiwan after the communists won the mainland’s civil war in 1949 — and the island has remained self-governing ever since.
Beijing has always aggressively insisted that Taiwan is theirs by rights – and has promised to reclaim the island by 2050.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5947970/china-two-million-soldiers-taiwan-russia/ China needs “TWO MILLION troops to invade Taiwan and could be just as devastated as Putin’s failed Russians in Ukraine”