The Department of Defense (DoD) has revealed in its annual report to Congress the four possible courses of action the Chinese military could take against Taiwan.
DoD published Tuesday its report titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2022.”
The report suggests that China could attempt to impose both air and maritime blockade to cut off Taiwan from the world, Taiwan-based media Focus Taiwan noted. China could also launch missile attacks or seize Taiwan’s islands to force the country to surrender.
The DoD said China could engage in electronic warfare, network attacks and information operations to disrupt Taiwan’s official communication channels and control the narrative of the conflict.
The report also listed a scenario where China could use “limited force or coercive operations” against Taiwan. The DoD said China could initiate “computer network-based of limited kinetic attacks” against the island nation to sow fear and erode Taiwanese people’s trust in their leaders.
Beijing could also order the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to conduct special operations to attack Taiwan’s infrastructure or government officials.
Another possible course of action will be missile precision strikes against the key officials and military targets to “neutralize” Taiwan’s leadership or push away Taiwanese people from resisting.
The defense department suggests that the fourth option for China is to launch a full-scale invasion of Taiwan.
Defense officials believe China would likely adopt the Joint Island Landing Campaign, which envisions beach landings and seizing Taiwan’s western coast before capturing key targets across the island.
But the report said that an amphibious invasion of Taiwan remains “one of the most complicated and difficult military operations,” which opens up a possibility of an intervention from the international community as the Chinese military struggles.
The agency believes that Beijing is already capable of launching amphibious operations that could be used to invade small islands in the East China Sea.
The report did not provide a timeline for when China might attack Taiwan. Still, their goal of accelerating the development of the PLA by 2027 could give them “a more credible military tool” against the island nation.
The DoD released its report a few weeks after President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the first time during the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.
Xi said the topic of Taiwan is the “first red line” that must not be crossed in U.S.-China relations.
Biden, on his part, believes there is no imminent attempt from China to attack Taiwan. The president added he doesn’t believe U.S. and China are entering a new cold war.