The days when the Taiwanese navy could rely on technological superiority to overcome numerical inferiority are gone, James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara argue
The Taiwanese navy can no longer hope to compete with China for control of the waters adjoining Taiwan and should instead embark on a program that focuses on “sea denial,” two academics argue in a landmark study of Taiwan’s naval strategy.
Calling for a break with Taiwan’s naval power paradigm, Chinese navy experts James Holmes and Toshi Yoshihara of the US Naval War College write that denying the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) use of the waters around Taiwan would be nearly as effective for homeland defense as fighting for outright sea control, as designated in the current strategy.
To achieve sea denial — the naval strategy of the weaker side in a conflict — Taipei would have to “forgo its desire for sea control” and “resist the allure of the high-end ships strong navies use to take command of vital expanses,” they write in the 67-page Defending the Strait: Taiwan’s Naval Strategy in the 21st Century published this week by the Jamestown Foundation, adding that “reconfiguring the fleet and devising inventive tactics would let the ROCN [Republic of China Navy] take advantage of the island’s geography.”
My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.