Taiwan could copy Ukraine asymmetric warfare against China
TAIPEI, March 9 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s military strategists have been studying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the country’s resistance, for the island’s own battle strategy in the event its giant neighbour China ever makes good on its threat to take them by force.
While Taiwan’s government has not reported any unusual activity by the military in China, which views the island as its own territory, Taipei has raised its alert level.
Russia’s use of precision missiles, as well as Ukraine’s tactically well thought through resistance despite being outmanned and outgunned, are being carefully watched in security circles in Taiwan, whose own forces are likewise dwarfed by China’s.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has championed the idea of “asymmetric warfare”, to make its forces more mobile and hard to attack, with for example vehicle-mounted missiles.
Ma Cheng-Kun, director of the Graduate Institute of China Military Affairs Studies at Taiwan’s National Defence University, said Ukraine had used the same concept with mobile weapons to stymie Russian forces.
“Ukraine’s military has been making full use of asymmetric warfare, very effectively, and so far successfully holding off Russia’s advance,” added Ma, a government advisor on China policy.
“That’s exactly what our armed forces have been proactively developing,” he said, pointing to weapons like the lightweight and indigenously-developed Kestrel shoulder-launched anti-armour rocket designed for close-in warfare.
“From Ukraine’s performance we can be even more confident in our own.”
Taiwan has been developing other missiles which can reach far into China.
Last week, the defence ministry said it plans to more than double its yearly missile production capacity to close to 500 this year, including the upgraded version of the Hsiung Feng IIE missile, the longer-range Hsiung Sheng land-attack missile which military experts say is capable of hitting targets further inland in China.