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How Difficult Would It Be for China to Invade Taiwan?

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发表于 4-4-2022 10:49:44 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Alex Gatopoulos, How Difficult Would It Be for China to Invade Taiwan? Al Jazeera, Apr 4, 2022.
https://www.aljazeera.com/featur ... na-to-invade-taiwan

Note:
(a)
(i) Click the author's name and you will see "Alex Gatopoulos is a News Editor and Defence Analyst at Al Jazeera English." Nothing more and nothing less.
(ii)
(A) His Twitter profile adds, beside the above, a bit more: "Scottish/Greek Brit. MA grad in War Studies @ King's.  * * * [location:] Doha, Qatar."
(B) There are many King's Colleges in UK alone
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_College
, yet only King's College London has Department of War Studies (in School of Security Studies).
https://www.kcl.ac.uk/warstudies/
The Department includes undergraduate study and postgraduate study. The former offers BA in four fields: "History and International Relations," "International Relations," "War Studies," and "War Studies & History," all of which take THREE years to complete. The latter offers MA in 12 fields: "Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies," "Conflict, Secirity & evelopment," "History of War," "Intelligene and International Security," "international conflict studies," "international peace & Security," "international Relations," "international Relations & War," "National Security Studies," "Sciene & Internatinal Security," "Stategic Communications," "Terrorism, Security & Spciety," "War Studies," and "War, History and Diplomacy," all of which is basically a one-year September-to-Sepember, full-time program with War Stidies "One year full-time, September to September, two years part-time."
(iii)
(A) The article comes with a video, which does not have informative images (for you and me who are in the know) but summarizes the text. So there is no need to view it.
(B) Read only the first half. The second half, about the US and Japan, is familiar.


(b) "Extremely well fortified, the largest islands bristle with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, early warning radar systems and well-trained troops."

My impression, judging from the context, is that "the largest islands" refers to those in Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu -- not Taiwan itself.


(c) "According to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the island's armed forces, 163,000 active service members * * * The ROCAF's planes are now extremely well protected with several underground airfields, buried deep within Taiwan’s mountain ranges. The aircraft take off and land from wide tunnels cut into the mountainside.  The Heng Shan Military Command Center [衡山指揮所; 1992- ; 台北市士林區雞南山] is built under a mountain near Taipei"
(i) International Institute of Strategic Studies
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In ... r_Strategic_Studies
(1958- ; a think tank in London)
is civilian.
(ii)
(A) Prior to today, I was unaware that Taiwan air force's planes can take off or land in airfields underground. I searched the Web in English or Chinese, and found nothing: There are hangars in ecavated mountain sides, bout not runways. The minimal length of runway for a F-16 os about 500 meters. It can be done, but the cost must be astronomical. That Taiwan does not have runways on the mountain sides is manifested in Taiwan's desire to purchase F-35B.
(B) McDonnell Douglas F-15 STOL/MTD
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F-15_STOL/MTD
("a technology demonstrator [not volume produced] * * * Landing on just 1,650 ft (500 m) of runway compared to 7,500 ft (2,300 m [too long for Taiwan; no wonder Japan uses it, but not Taiwan]) for the standard F-15")
(iii) F-16
(A) Fact Sheet: F-16 Fighting Falcon. US Air Forces, undated
https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact ... 16-fighting-falcon/
("In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. * * * In designing the F-16, advanced aerospace science and proven reliable systems from other aircraft such as the F-15 and F-111 were selected. These were combined to simplify the airplane and reduce its size, purchase price, maintenance costs and weight. * * * General characteristics
Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
Weight: 19,700 pounds without fuel (8,936 kilograms)  
Maximum takeoff weight: 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)" )

(d) "There are backup centres too. In the south of the island, jet aircraft are refuelled and rearmed in safety, operating from wide tunnels built into the Stone Mountain 石子山 complex at Chihhang Air Base [台東縣台東市  空軍志航基地].  In the north, the Air Operations Center [(AOC); 空軍作戰指揮部 (台北市大安區公館蟾蜍山)]

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