Taiwan, tunnels, archipelagos and bases protected against invasion by China

Tension around Taiwan remains very high. During yesterday's massive exercises by the Chinese army, Beijing's planes and ships exceeded the point of no return, i.e. the midline of the strait that divides the island from China, 4 times. A Chinese invasion is therefore no longer just a science fiction hypothesis, but something that could really happen at any moment.

However, beware of thinking that everything can be easy for Beijing and its soldiers (as we already said in our first part of the analysis). The morphological as well as military dangers are innumerable.

The approximately 90 Penghu islands are part of Taiwan, some little more than rocks but an obstacle to any naval invasion force. Extremely well fortified, the larger islands are equipped with anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, early warning radar systems and well-trained troops that would easily detect the presence of a large invasion fleet and be able to report on its movements and inflict damage on slow transport convoys before they even reach the beachheads. Which is why these islands should be taken by China at the very beginning of any conflict.

Taiwan's main arms supplier, the USA, has so far sold only defensive weapon systems to Taipei, which is why the island has had to fortify itself by creating shelters and protected communication systems, but after ratification by the Senate for $4.5 billion in armaments could also acquire modern weapons systems capable of engaging Chinese forces for months.

Cyber ​​warfare would be of great relevance, playing an important role in neutralizing Taiwan's defenses by actively targeting the country's command and control and infrastructure. But even with infrastructure blinded, Taiwan would still be able to defend itself by blocking Chinese cyber attacks thanks to an autonomously developed network that uses its own technology.

During Taiwanese military exercises last September, the air force trained to operate from highways, a useful practice in case a potential attack knocked out airport runways. The air force (Rocaf) is small but efficient, made up of 400 combat aircraft, almost half of which are F-16s modernized in avionics and the other half French Mirage 2000 fighters. Some of these are well protected in shelters underground areas buried in the depths of the island's mountain ranges with tracks also created on the sides of the slopes.

The base of the Heng Shan Military Command Center, the strategic command center, is built under a mountain near Taipei and is designed to house thousands of people, allowing them to work, live and fight during any attack. The underground complex also has direct contact with the US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii, feeding and receiving vital data from early warning radars, surveillance aircraft and satellites.

If it fell into Chinese hands, backup centers would also be activated in the south of the island in the large tunnels built in the Stone Mountain complex, near the Chihhang air base. These underground bases are all connected by tunnels and wired communications. There are multiple redundant locations, so if one complex is destroyed others take over and continue to play a role in the battle. Taiwan's advanced ultra-high frequency early warning radar can detect missile launches and flight paths well before neighboring nations. Any missile launched against US targets such as Andersen Air Base on the island of Guam, which lies 2,700 km to the southeast, would have to fly over Taiwanese airspace, which would warn allies of the attack.