China is again threatening Taiwan with amphibious attack through a series of live-fire maritime warfare operations. Those military exercises utilized Type 022 stealth missile boats, Type 071 amphibious dock landing ships and landing craft. All of those units operated in tandem to demonstrate assault landing operational exercises.
The exercise, which took place Nov. 18, “could be simulating a mission to land on a large island or a large group of islands and reefs,” a story in the Chinese government-backed Global Times reports.
All of this raises a pressing and interesting question in light of recent Chinese comments about forcible reunification with Taiwan: just how quickly could an attacking Chinese Navy amphibious assault force take over Taiwan? It is certainly a question now commanding a large amount of attention among Taiwanese and U.S. military planners, who might be looking at a number of key dynamics impacting this equation.
First, any kind of Chinese movement toward Taiwan with amphibious attack assets would seen and closely monitored by Taiwanese, U.S. and other allied surveillance assets in the area.
This surveillance would give commanders and those wishing to defend Taiwan an opportunity to plan and respond. Would China be able to make any kind of a successful initial entry or incursion before the U.S. Navy would have an opportunity to react with sufficient defensive power?