War With China Over Taiwan Would End in 'Miserable' Victory: Taiwan Defense Minister

War With China Over Taiwan Would End in 'Miserable' Victory: Taiwan Defense Minister
Chiu Kuo-cheng, the Defence Minister, at a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, on Aug. 2, 2019. (SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Thornebrooke
A war between China and Taiwan would result in a "miserable" victory regardless of the outcome, Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told reporters on March 10.

“If there’s a war, to be frank, everyone will be miserable, even the victors,” Chiu said, noting that it would be best for both sides to avoid overt conflict.

He made the comments as Taiwan’s parliament was set to discuss the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the island nation's national security. Experts believe that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is studying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to inform its own plans for a possible invasion of Taiwan.
Beijing claims that Taiwan and its surrounding territory is a breakaway province, even as the democratic island has been self-governed since the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has vowed to unite the island and the mainland, and hasn't ruled out the use of force in doing so. The situation has led to widespread fears of a war in the Indo-Pacific, and U.S. military leaders have said that such an invasion could take place by 2027.
The CCP has waged an intimidation campaign against Taiwan, sending military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on an almost daily basis. Hours after Russia invaded Ukraine, the CCP sent eight fighter jets and one reconnaissance aircraft through the area.

Despite such efforts, Taiwan hasn't reported any unusual troop movements on the mainland. Chiu said Taiwan remains prepared to defend itself and its continued democratic self-governance.

“We watch the changes calmly and we are prepared accordingly,” Chiu said.

“One really needs to think this through. Everyone should avoid wars.”

Taiwan’s military also has been learning from the invasion of Ukraine, and has reportedly already begun to incorporate new methods of asymmetric warfare into its military planning.
The move toward asymmetric warfare, when relative military power or strategy or tactics of combatants differ significantly, is an essential building block of national defense, and would help the island to inflict significant losses upon an invading force, regardless of its size.

The lessons of Ukraine could be essential to Taiwan, because it must be prepared to defend its territory and people militarily in a situation in which foreign assistance may not be readily available.

“We must defend our own country,” Chiu told lawmakers on March 10.

Andrew Thornebrooke is a national security correspondent for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.