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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

How prepared is Taiwan for a war with China?


Taipei, Taiwan – The past month has been busy in the Taiwan Strait.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) made 225 sorties into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) – an area monitored by the island’s military – over 18 days in September and conducted large-scale naval exercises earlier this month.


While these events occurred in international waters and airspace, they were meant to intimidate Taiwan and remind the self-ruled island’s leaders that Beijing has not ruled out the use of force to take control of the territory it claims as its own.

By some estimates, a huge military modernisation campaign could make the PLA capable of mounting an invasion by 2027.

With a population of just 23 million and a military of 169,000 active service personnel, Taiwan is dwarfed by China’s population and military strength. The PLA is the largest standing army in the world with 2 million members and it has much stronger air, naval and firepower than Taiwan, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a London-based think tank.

At the island’s National Day celebrations on October 10, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said it was her dity to protect the freedoms and way of life of Taiwan’s people.

“In the midst of tremendous internal and external pressures, Taiwan’s democracy has grown and thrived… and we have emerged with even greater resilience,” she said.

“The Taiwanese people,” she added, “will be a democratic and free people for generations to come.”

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