China Vs Taiwan

Military Comparison: China Vs Taiwan

Taiwan remains in hot water even as a belligerent China keeps up the pressure to occupy it through coercive means despite US support to the island nation. Can Taiwan defend itself against Chinese attack?

Taiwan’s military capabilities far behind Chinese

China has a strong army of two million soldiers while Taiwan has only 170,000; China possess 5,250 tanks while Taiwan has only 1,110. China has 3,285 aircrafts which far outnumber Taiwan which has only 741 jets. Taiwan’s naval strength is no match to China. China has a fleet strength of 777 with Taiwan only having 117 vessels.

Does Taiwan has any edge over China

Yes, Taiwan has over 1.5 million reservists while China has only 500,000. Also Taiwan will have a defender advantage in case of the outbreak of war. It means it only has to deny China a quick victory even if cannot win outright.

Taiwan’s biggest strength is its geographical position which separates it from the mainland by 100-mile wide strait. Though it has been argued that incase of a war, Taiwan is dependent for resupply and rearmament on sea and air unlike in case of Ukraine which has long borders with five European countries.

Taiwan and China increasing their defence budget

Amid the escalating tensions both mainland and the self-governed island have increased their defence budget. China announced that it will raise its defence expenditure by 7.2 percent to $225 billion, which is the sharpest rise since 2019. Then-premier Li Keqiang warned that “external attempts to suppress and contain China are escalating”.” The armed forces should intensify military training and preparedness across the board,” he added.

Meanwhile, Taiwan surged its defence budget to $19 billion which is 15 percent higher than the last year. It is apparently aimed at making enhancements to air and naval combat systems to counter China’s incursions.

Taiwan’s support in international community

Taiwan’s biggest supporter is USA which has always reiterated to defend Taiwan. The two countries have a pact dating back to the 1954 Sino-American Mutual Defence Treaty. Amid the Chinese belligerence the US President Joe Biden reiterated the US’s “commitment” to defending Taiwan.

Last week the US administration announced it would provide a further $345 million in military aid, including “defence articles”, military education and training. Washington has already approved in recent years, including an $8 billion deal to deliver 66 F-16 fighter jets by 2026.

Japan is also a formidable ally of Taiwan and it has signalled on many occasions the need to protect the democratic island nation. Despite its unwavering support Japan will get embroiled in an open warfare.

Recent report by RAND corporation echoes caution for Taiwan

A report by the RAND Corporation released last week stated that the island nation, which China claims sovereignty over, does not spend enough on defence, and what it does goes on “antiquated systems”.

While it said Taiwan’s leaders generally believe Chinese efforts to incorporate the island into its political system will be attempted through economic coercion rather than military action, it insisted an invasion still “poses an existential risk”.

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Military Comparison: China Vs Taiwan
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