Publication: China Brief Volume: 2 Issue: 19

By Li Thian-hok

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Annual Report on the Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, released on July 12, pointed out Taiwan’s growing vulnerability to China’s pre-emptive, multipronged blitzkrieg. In acquiring advanced weapons from Russia and frequent large-scale joint-force military exercises, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been steadily developing a credible capacity to coerce Taiwan into submission through a strategy of “rapid war, rapid resolution,” which will preempt any chance of third-party intervention. The U.S.-China Security Review Commission’s report to Congress, released on July 15, predicted that in three to five years the PLA will have the military capability to pursue a forceful absorption of Taiwan.

So why is the military balance of power shifting so rapidly in the PRC’s favor?