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This is the Most Likely Scenario for a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan | WSJ

Apr 06, 2024
- What would happen if China invaded Taiwan? (speaks in a foreign language) - What you are seeing are training exercises conducted by the Chinese and Taiwanese armies. (Missile Explosion) Both sides are preparing for a conflict that, if it occurred, would

likely

include the United States in some capacity. Analysts say there are two reasons for concern. One is China's long-standing position that Taiwan is part of China and that it would seek reunification by force if necessary. (speaks in Chinese) - The other is its military development. The severity of a potential war has now become a common debate in the US national security community and raises questions about how a conflict would play out.
this is the most likely scenario for a chinese invasion of taiwan wsj
To answer those questions, experts turn to war games. - Lets play a game? - How can he ask you that? - How about a global thermonuclear war? - Unlike the movies, - What the hell? - In real life, war games are similar to complex board games. In 2022, the think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, developed a war game for a Chinese amphibious

invasion

of Taiwan. Most war games ever made about a US-China conflict have been classified. - Rumors indicate very adverse results, but the hypotheses and mechanics are not well known because they are classified.
this is the most likely scenario for a chinese invasion of taiwan wsj

More Interesting Facts About,

this is the most likely scenario for a chinese invasion of taiwan wsj...

We wanted to do something that was completely declassified so we could speak to a very broad audience. - Separated from China's southeastern coast by 100 miles of sea, Taiwan is a self-governing island that China claims as its own. The Central Intelligence Agency estimates that Chinese leader Xi Jinping has set 2027 as the deadline for his army to be ready to take the island. CSIS based its wargames on a hypothetical Chinese

invasion

of Taiwan that will take place in 2026. The CSIS wargame is a turn-based strategy simulation. After playing each turn, players resort to combat results tables and computer programs to calculate combat results.
this is the most likely scenario for a chinese invasion of taiwan wsj
Today, CSIS Research Assistant Chris Park will help facilitate the game. The players are divided into two sides. The red team represents China. The blue team represents the United States and its allies. Of the 24

scenario

s played, the version you are about to see is the

most

likely

. - When the game starts, the Chinese move their ships around Taiwan and their planes over Taiwan. The United States is responding with its own aircraft, with its bombers to attack the Chinese naval forces and also with its surface ships that have been sent as part of the American effort to deter the conflict.
this is the most likely scenario for a chinese invasion of taiwan wsj
The United States also has submarines on the streets. - The CSIS war game is played with three maps. Two operational maps represent regional operations by the United States and its allies and Chinese forces, respectively. Another land map is used for operations on the island. - The Chinese have now invaded the island. Forces have landed in the south. Strategically it would be better to land in the north. That's where the capital is. That's where a lot of the industry is. The problem is that

most

of the Taiwanese military capacity is also located in the north, making it very difficult to invade there.
Several of our teams try to do that in some of the iterations, but it was too difficult. There were too many defending forces, so most of the Chinese teams decided to land in the south. The challenge there is to occupy the country and take the capital, they have to make their way throughout the island. The campaign is very similar to the Allied campaign in Italy during World War II, bit by bit, over very difficult terrain. Here we see that the Chinese have landed. First we have troops landing on the beach. There are only a handful of good beaches in Taiwan for landing troops.
These are indicated on the map and then around the airfield we have Chinese parachute and air mobile troops, that is, troops arriving by helicopter. And the purpose of doing that is that if they can capture the airfield intact, then they can fly there. Troops and supplies are not dependent on ships and vessels bringing troops and supplies across the beach. - After both sides play their turns, the game is paused for an adjudication in which each side's losses are calculated. - What we see is that the Chinese amphibious units have successfully landed. They moved 10 kilometers inland and eliminated a Taiwanese battalion of the defenders.
Mobile air troops and paratroopers were less successful. That is a much more difficult operation. They landed around the airfield, took out a defending Taiwanese battalion, but lost three of their own battalions. This is a very risky operation and they have not yet captured the airfield. - Once the losses of the last turn are calculated, the second turn is played with dramatic results. - There are not many changes on the American side. Tremendous change on the Chinese side. We'll see. The United States continues to focus on attacking Chinese ships around Taiwan, trying to break through pickets there to reach the amphibious ships.
The submarines are still in the strait. Whoever was in the strait last turn has returned to his base in Japan, Yakuza, to reload. The squadron that was outside the strait has entered and a new squadron has advanced. Now, looking at the Chinese side, we have many changes and the most important thing is that the Chinese have decided to attack Japan. And they have decided to attack on a large scale instead of attacking just one. Basically it was decided to attack all Japanese bases with Japanese planes and American planes. What you are seeing here is the flow of Taiwanese forces from the north, where they were initially stationed protecting the capitol.
Now they are moving down both coasts to confront Chinese landing troops in the south. There are more amphibious units that have crossed the beach here. They are attacking the Taiwanese defenders. There are a few more aerial mobile parachute units that have landed around the airfield. They have surrounded the Taiwanese, who are holding out at the airfield, but both Chinese forces are attacking the Taiwanese. - After playing the second turn, the second round of adjudication takes stock of the losses of both sides. - This has been a huge period. Both sides have suffered heavy casualties. The results are that the Chinese lose a battalion here and the Taiwanese also lose a defense battalion.
Around the airfield, the Taiwanese lose a defending battalion and the Chinese lose an attacking battalion. - Now we fast forward about three weeks to the last turn of the game. - The Chinese have advanced up the east coast, but have encountered Taiwanese units coming down the east coast. That movement has been slowed by Chinese planes, which have been attacking the transportation system, but eventually those troops get there and have formed a pretty solid line on the east coast. The Chinese were able to clear the airport where the Taiwanese were resisting and advanced here. In the center, they have encountered a Taiwanese defensive line and

this

has been reinforced with fortifications.
They have moved to the city here in the south. The reason for moving to the city is to capture the port. - Finally we come to the last adjudication and the end of the game. - This

scenario

concludes with the Chinese established on land, but unable to expand their forces there. Much of the Chinese amphibious fleet has been destroyed. The United States and its partners have been attacking those ships relentlessly, so their ability to bring troops and supplies to the island has diminished. Over time, those forces will weaken. The Taiwanese will push them back. Most of them will end up as prisoners of war.
When we played

this

game, we considered it a minor victory for the American coalition. It was a minor victory because it was going to take a long time and there would be a lot of damage to Taiwan, but it was a victory for the United States and the coalition because the Chinese could not establish themselves in Taiwan and Taiwan resisted as an autonomous and democratic entity. - Although the United States and its allies were victorious in this scenario, the United States was not always successful. - There were some scenarios in which the United States lost the conflict.
A key requirement is the use of bases in Japan. The United States has many bases there. If you can't use those bases, then you have no way to get your fighter or attack aircraft into combat. - Regardless of the scenario, any iteration of the CSIS war games found that the cost to all parties would be devastating. - The big takeaway from the project is that the United States and its coalition partners can sustain an autonomous and democratic Taiwan, but this comes at a great cost to the Taiwanese economy. The United States and its partners lose a lot, but so do the Chinese, enough that the control of the Chinese Communist Party could be in danger. (soft music)

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