Escaping China’s Ballistic Missile Trap
July 19, 2021

Hostile Harbors: Taiwan’s Ports and PLA Invasion Plans

(President Tsai Ing-wen reviews a Marine Corps battalion in Kaohsiung, July 2020. Source: “Office of the President, Taiwan (ROC)” / “Wikimedia Commons.”)

By: Ian Easton |

The scale of an all-out Taiwan (Republic of China, ROC) invasion by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) military—the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)—defies human comprehension and would likely eclipse any historical comparison. In this important contribution to the field, Senior Director Ian Easton analyzes Chinese military studies frameworks and internal PLA documents to answer pressing questions that will help Taiwan and the United States both understand and better plan for potential crisis scenarios. He highlights the centrality of ROC port facilities—and Taiwan’s ability to defend them—in the PLA’s potential invasion plans for Taiwan, illustrating likely operational strategies explored by PLA leadership. In addition to postulating ports likely targeted in a PLA invasion, he provides recommendations that the Taiwanese government could undertake to ensure its port infrastructure security, as well as recommendations for the United States on how to be a supportive partner to Taiwan in that effort.

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