United States Identifies Domestic Vulnerabilities in Taiwan's Resistance Against China.

China’s frequent military maneuvers in close proximity to Taiwan are eroding the island’s capacity to assess whether Beijing is gearing up for a potential invasion. A recent analysis by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a research branch of the US Congress, reveals that Taiwan’s ability to thwart a potential Chinese attack could be hampered by internal political and infrastructural challenges. This insight was reported by Bloomberg.

In the fiscal year 2023, Taiwan’s defense budget amounts to approximately $24.6 billion, marking an almost 10% increase from 2020. Taiwan has held the position of the largest purchaser of American weaponry since 2020, and its defense partnership with the US “offers a range of political and military benefits,” according to CRS analyst Caitlin Campbell.

Nevertheless, the report highlights a range of additional concerns that could undermine Taiwan’s resilience.

Furthermore, the response of Taiwan’s populace to Chinese belligerence remains uncertain.

“Critical infrastructure systems such as energy, food, water supply, and the internet on the island are susceptible to external disruptions. Some observers suggest that the readiness for civilian defense is insufficient, while Taiwan’s military is striving to recruit, retain, and train personnel,” the report elucidates.

The Chinese military is gearing up for a multifaceted campaign that encompasses missile strikes, the occupation of distant Taiwanese territories, blockades, and intricate amphibious landings. This comprehensive strategy has been termed the “most precarious and intricate campaign” within the report.

Moreover, Beijing is intensifying its activities within the “gray zone,” a realm characterized by consistent, low-intensity, non-combat operations that analysts contend erode Taiwan’s military advantages and state of preparedness.

One notable concern lies in the potential of Chinese military operations near Taiwan during peacetime to erode the island’s ability to discern whether Beijing is laying the groundwork for a tangible invasion.

“In the event that China employs such operations as a cloak for an impending assault, this could significantly truncate the time Taiwan possesses for a response,” the report underscores. This series of maneuvers affords Beijing the opportunity to train and amass intelligence, experts assert.

For quite some time, China has been implementing a strategy that combines incentives and intimidation in relation to the island nation. This approach involves both raising the specter of military action and cultivating relationships with individuals who are seen as likely to align with Beijing’s stance.

Of notable concern, the Taiwanese authorities are bracing for China’s potential interference in the upcoming January elections by surreptitiously backing candidates who lean toward Beijing. Moreover, the prospect of China resorting to force to annex Taiwan cannot be discounted.