June 2, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9996

Chinese Communist Party Mouthpiece 'Global Times': 'If Taiwan Wants To Use The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict As A Template... To Replicate The Ukrainian Success... It Will Usher In A More Complete Failure'

June 2, 2022
Russia, China | Special Dispatch No. 9996

An article published May 17, 2022 by the Chinese media outlet Global Times stated that the Taiwanese Air Force had learned from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict about the importance of mobile radar. The article, titled "Learning From The Ukrainian Army To Defeat The Strong? The Taiwan Army Is Trying To Find A 'Magic Trick' Against The PLA," added that the Taiwanese military's experience based on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is diametrically opposed to the direction in which the Taiwanese military has been developing in recent years.

Adding that that the gap between the conventional combat power of the Taiwanese Army and that of the People's Liberation Army is growing wider, the article stated: "If Taiwan wants to use the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as a template and try to replicate the 'Ukrainian success,' I am afraid it will usher in a more complete failure."

Below are excerpts from the article:[1]


'Fresh Understandings Drawn From The Russian-Ukrainian War'

"The annual Taiwanese military's largest performance, ah no, it is an exercise - the 'war game' part of the Han Kuang military exercise, officially started on May 16th. Taiwan's military leadership has great expectations for this exercise, because for the first time, it will adopt the 'tabletop war games' strategy and incorporate the knowledge of how 'the Ukrainian army defeats the strong' in the current Russian-Ukrainian conflict, hoping to find a 'magic trick' against the People's Liberation Army.

"Yes, this beautiful dream is quite well made…

"Taiwan's United Daily News reported on Wednesday, May 16, that the 'war game' part of the Han Kuang No. 38 exercise will be held from May 16 to 20, while the actual performance of the Han Kuang exercise is scheduled to take place from July 25 to 29.

"Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense stated that 'the plan incorporates both the enemy's recent situation, as well as fresh understandings drawn from the Russian-Ukrainian war into the war game scenario.'

"The news report emphasized that in the past, the 'war game' part of the Taiwan Army's Han Kuang exercise used a computer system to simulate the actions of the offensive and defensive forces. The computer system also had the function of making tactical judgements, such as whether the attack was effective or not. Therefore, it was necessary to set the flight direction of the fighter jets, the timing of the missile launch, and other parameters.

"Han Kuang No. 38 is the first time that 'tabletop war games' have been used, and the first time a face-to-face mode has been adopted, allowing the participants to 'discuss tactics in a more detailed manner.' Relevant personnel in each combat zone were ordered to enter the command post to conduct war games on tabletop. The participants will be mainly high-level and related officers responsible for combat command; there is no need to use a large number of staff.

"I… want to say that with so few changes, what kind of new game does the Taiwan army expect to play?

"Someone in the Taiwanese military said: 'With the military conducting tabletop war games, since it remains an exercise, there is no victory or defeat.' According to reports, in previous simulations, after the parameters were inserted, the increasing gap in military strength between the People's Liberation Army and the Taiwanese army resulted in victory for the PLA almost every time the war games ended, whereas Taiwanese troops were able to win only once or twice.

"To explain a bit further, the Taiwanese military has done a lot to intervene in the Han Kuang war game process. By modifying parameters such as weapon performance and troop resupply or repair time, the Taiwanese military can easily gain an advantage. This is also the reason why the Taiwanese military is very embarrassed to claim to either 'win' or 'fail' the war games.

'The Russian-Ukrainian Conflict Shows The Importance Of Mobile Radar'

"The current conflict between Russia and Ukraine made the Taiwanese military 'wake up from a dream': according to a comparison of conventional military strength, the data on the Russian army is far stronger than that on the Ukrainian army, and 'if using a computer simulation, the Russian side will always win, and the war will not be the situation it is today.' What serves as a reminder for the Taiwanese army is that the relevant data of the People's Liberation Army is also stronger than that of the Taiwanese Army, and the People's Liberation Army's winning rate is also much higher in the simulation…

"Chiu Kuo-cheng, the head of Taiwan's defense department, said that the 'Han Kuang No. 38' war game was adjusted to the tabletop method mainly because 'the threat of the enemy has become more and more serious in recent years.' From the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the world has also seen profound implications about the changing shape of modern warfare: 'the Strait forms a natural moat making Taiwan difficult to attack but easy to defend, which affects the enemy's combat method and target selection. Therefore, through the method of a tabletop simulation, we can pragmatically study each exercise subject step by step to verify the results of the daily combat, exercises, and training tasks.'

"So how will this affect the Taiwanese military? The Taiwanese army forces said that they have gained many new insights: 'In particular, field air defense has always been an important part of building the army's strength, and after the war between Russia and Ukraine, its importance is even more apparent.' The current combat zone commanders of the Taiwanese military are all former army officers. The Taiwan army forces said: 'We can just use this tabletop war game to have a face to face discussion and study for detailed tactical warfare methods, so as to arrive at a consensus on operations and a unified concept of using troops as well as establish the system of small chiefs in theaters.'

"What the Taiwanese Air Force understands is that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict shows the importance of mobile radar. 'In the future,' says one member, 'if the Taiwanese army's field air defense can be paired with the Taiwanese Air Force's mobile radar, field air defense missiles can play a higher role.'

"Ironically, the Taiwanese military's experience based on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is diametrically opposed to the direction in which the Taiwanese military has been developing in recent years. In order to attract attention, the Taiwanese military has purchased fighter jets, warships, main battle tanks or large air defense systems from the United States in recent years, and the focus of daily exercises has been on the Air Force and the Navy. The number of 'inconspicuous' man-portable missiles purchased has been very limited. At Ukraine's current rate of firing hundreds of man-portable missiles per day, the Taiwanese military's supply could not hold out for more than a few days.

'In The Event Of A Conflict In The Taiwan Strait, It Will Be Much More Difficult For The United States To Assist Taiwan'

"At the same time, military experts of various countries generally believe that the reason why the Russian armed forces did not make good progress in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is because of the full assistance of the West to Ukraine. In addition to substantial military equipment, NATO has also provided the Ukrainians with extensive intelligence support and even sent some people to direct operations.

"From this, it can be inferred that the results of the Taiwan Strait war game held by the U.S. think tank 'Center for a New American Security' in April were very unfavorable to the Taiwanese military. The results of the simulation show that in the event of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, it will be much more difficult for the United States to assist Taiwan than it is for NATO to assist Ukraine. First, the level of unity among NATO countries is higher than that of the United States' allies in the Indo-Pacific; second, Ukraine shares borders with many NATO countries, while Taiwan is an island, and it is more difficult to deliver supplies.

"I… want to say that the gap between the conventional combat power of the Taiwanese Army and the People's Liberation Army is naturally growing wider and wider, but if Taiwan wants to use the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as a template and try to replicate the 'Ukrainian success,' I am afraid it will usher in a more complete failure.

"I don't know if those people on the island who are eager to 'separate from China' still remember the Chinese idiom: in attempting to walk like a swan, the crow loses its own step."


[1], May 17, 2022.

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