China vs Taiwan: what is the real capacity of each army in a possible confrontation

Military capacity of the armies of China and Taiwan (Source: Global Firepower // Infographic: Marcelo Regalado)

“Look at the military exercises and also their rhetoric. They appear to be trying to prepare to launch a war against Taiwan”. Those were the words of the island’s foreign minister, Joseph Wuthe last Monday in front of the Chinese maneuvers of the last time.

The regime of Xi Jinping He has spent months demonstrating his willingness to seize control of taiwan, a self-governing island that -he claims- is part of his territory. Over the days, these expressions of desire have ceased to be mere statements and have become more forceful and frequent facts.

On April 8, the chinese army surrounded taipei in retaliation for the president’s trip Tsai Ing-wen to USAwhere he met with the speaker of the House of Representatives, kevin mccarthythat extended his full support before the advance of foreign intimidation.

A day later, the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command (PLA) of China published a short animation of simulated attacks on Taiwan in which the missiles fired both from the ground and from the sea and air and their range over the island are appreciated -even with two of them exploding into flames when reaching their objectives-.

These samples are in line with the declarations of the leaders of the chinese communist party (CCP) in which they stated have successfully tested their integrated military capabilities in real combat conditions and they have made it clear the level of aggressiveness to which Xi Jinping is willing to resort to take over the island.

However, one may wonder -really- what is the reach of the chinese army and how strong could the response of the self-governing island be. Taiwan is a US ally for a long time now, which has allowed Equip yourself with a military arsenal with a vast air defense system, as well as state-of-the-art maritime parts.

Anyway, In front of the Asian giant, this is somewhat blurred.

The platform Global Firepowerwhich is in charge of analyzing the public information of the armies, has exposed in its last report on the current year that the military capacity of China is located in the third place in the world ranking while the Taiwanese fell far below rank 23. This marks a two position drop given that, in 2022, the island had been number 21 on the scale.

Chinese active personnel is 2 million men against Taiwan's 170,000
Chinese active personnel is 2 million men against Taiwan’s 170,000

This distance is exposed both in land, sea and air resources. An example of this is the active staff that the Xi Jinping regime has, which is around 2 million officerswhile that of taiwan consists of only 170,000.

In addition, China has the broad backing of paramilitary forces -with some 625,000 men– against the 11,500 Taiwanese.

However, one aspect in which Chiu Kuo-cheng’s Defense portfolio is superior is in regards to reserve staff. In this case, T.Taiwan leads China by farusing 1,500,000 officers against the 510,000 of the Asian giant.

Even in December, Tsai Ing-wen announced the extension to one year of compulsory military service for all men born after January 1, 2005, with a view to continue to strengthen its reinforcement forces.

Tsai Ing-wen announced the extension to one year of compulsory military service with a view to further strengthening its reinforcement forces (REUTERS)
Tsai Ing-wen announced the extension to one year of compulsory military service with a view to continuing to strengthen its reinforcement forces (REUTERS) (TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE /)

Anyway, again China he wins in the terrestrial field since the figures in their entirety leave him in a more favorable scenario, without forgetting, either, that its total population is so much larger (1,410,539,758 against 23,580,712 inhabitants) that could have unlimited military corps.

This scenario is transferred in a very similar way with respect to the capacity in sea and air.

Although the taiwanese fleet is endowed with last generation ships provided by Washington, Xi Jinping have ready to attack more than 3,100 military aircraft; from them, a third are fighters. Meanwhile, the island has been able to gather alone 737 aircraft total.

A Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) pilot aboard a Russian Sukhoi Su-30 flies over the Taiwan Strait as part of harassing maneuvers against Taipei (Xinhua)
Xi Jinping has more than 3,100 military aircraft ready to attack; of them, a third are fighters (Xinhua)

in the category naval, Beijing has in his possession some 730 warships, two aircraft carriers that allow you to launch air strikes, 78 submarines and 50 destroyerswhile Taipei is far behind four destroyers and submarines.

Among other weapons, the 4,950 tanks and the more than 174,000 regime combat vehicles against the 1,012 and 40,916 respectively, of the island.

Taiwan - Patriots - United States - China
Taiwan has state-of-the-art weapons provided by Washington, although they are scarce compared to the large Chinese arsenal (AP) (Wally Santana /)

It should be noted that a fact not less than makes up these differences is the military budget that each cabinet allocates to this matter, being the Chinese of USD 230,000,000,000 (the second highest in the world)against him taiwaneseof $18,310,000,000. The army has already assured that they will increase this figure and will focus on preparing their weapons and equipment to reinforce the continuity of combat and be able to face any type of scenario, including a total blockade.

In short, considering the weapons and personnel capabilities, China could win in a war scenario on the island. However, the iron defense of Taiwanese troops -who even expose it in the patches of their uniforms- and whatever support Tsai Ing-wen manages to muster could make a difference and tip the balance in favor of their sovereignty and against the expansionist aspirations of the East.

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