China plans to take over Taiwan, but it’s not easy. For months now, China has been ramping up flights by fighter jets, staging sophisticated drills, and building up its military power, all in hopes of invading Taiwan. Slowly, China has been building more and more power in preparation for the invasion. Through its invasion, China wants to show the power and force they have. More than that, China is seeking a reunion of Taiwan with mainland China.
The issue between China and Taiwan is often oversimplified. There is often an argument about whether Taiwan is its own country or a part of China. This is because, technically, Taiwan is China (also referred to as the Republic of China), whereas China is referred to as the People's Republic of China. The split between China and Taiwan occurred after World War II when a fight ensued between nationalist government forces and the Chinese Communist Party. When the communist won in 1949, the leader took over Beijing while the nationalist party, the Kuomintang, fled to nearby Taiwan. Some western experts suggest that if China successfully takes over Taiwan, it could threaten the U.S. military bases in Guam and Hawaii since it would be freer to project its power in the western Pacific region. Although China’s military power is one of the biggest, it can reunify with Taiwan in other ways, such as by strengthening the economic ties with each other.
Although this issue has made many concerned about China’s intention to invade Taiwan, China says its intentions are purely peaceful. A possible reason to be concerned could be the vast imbalance between the two military sides. While China has a total of 2,035,000 total armed forces, Taiwan only has about 163,000. This imbalance is causing many to be concerned about how easy it would be for China to defeat and successfully invade Taiwan.
So why hasn’t it happened yet? Many experts have actually suggested that it is easy for China to invade Taiwan because of a couple of issues that would arise on the way to invasion. Primarily, the distance China’s armed forces would have to travel just to reach Taiwan could create a possibility for a potential invasion fleet to be exposed. It would take them hours of sailing on boats which is plenty of time for the Taiwan armed forces to see them coming, which would ruin their plan to keep disguise. Although Taiwan would be facing one of the most dangerous military forces, Taiwan has also been preparing for a scenario where an invasion by China occurs. Taiwan has increased its defense spending by ordering new warships and spending more on Harpoon anti-ship missiles and weapons.
Although Taiwan has been preparing to defend itself against China, it would not be fighting alone. The president of the United States, President Joe Biden, promised to defend Taiwan if China were to invade the self-governing island of Taiwan. The U.S plans to prepare its fleet of warplanes and 20,000 marines located less than a few hours away from Okinawa, Japan. This is also the first time the U.S. has taken the side of Taiwan. In 1996, the U.S jumped in by sending two aircraft carrier strike groups to Taiwan. There are also many ways the U.S could help defend Taiwan against China, sending submarines, which can unleash hundreds of cruise missiles at Chinese targets.
Through Teen Lenses: What are your general thoughts about the U.S.’s promise to defend Taiwan and how the U.S. plans to defend Taiwan if China attempts to invade Taiwan?
“America has a notable relationship with Taiwan, so I understand the sentiment behind defending them. However, we also need to consider its possible effects. China is a powerful country, and going against them would be an uphill battle. Do we have the resources and manpower to engage? If we do, is it in America’s best interest?”
Anonymous, 14, Freshman at TJHSST, VA
“Although this feud between China and Taiwan has been going on for a while, and if the invasion happens, it might lead to a big change not only in the history of China and Taiwan but Also with America. According to President Biden’s promise, if America’s military goes to defend Taiwan, it might ruin the very important bonds that it has with China.”
Anonymous, 12, 8th grade,VA
“Even Though the promise that President Biden made to send America’s military to defend Taiwan against China in case of an invasion would be really helpful for Taiwan, because of the major imbalance between the number of soldiers Taiwan and China have, It might also backfire. Since China has been preparing for the invasion for a while now, with such a powerful military base, although Taiwan has also been preparing, if the U.S. decides to back out from defending Taiwan because of fear of enraging a fight between China and the U.S., China would have a great advantage to the invasion.”
Anonymous, 18, 12th grade,VA