Wednesday, June 07, 2017

I'd Drop Them on Taipei If I Was Lord of the PLA

China has reorganized their airborne corps into independent brigades. Taiwan is one target.

China's airborne troops can no be deployed more quickly:

In early 2017 the Chinese airborne force, the 35,000 personnel of the 15th Airborne Corps, underwent a major reorganization in which the three airborne divisions and an aviation brigade became a force of nine separate brigades (six airborne, one special operations, one support and one aviation brigade). The airborne divisions no longer existed as the brigades report directly to corps headquarters. ...

Currently the 15th Airborne Corps is a major component in the new rapid reaction forces. China now has enough air transports (Il-76s, Yu-8s, Yu-7s) to move one of the 11,000 man airborne divisions to anywhere in China within 24 hours.

Or the 11,000 troops-lift capacity could focus on the assault elements of the six airborne and one special forces which could be landed first, I imagine, with the rest coming in future waves.

This fits well with a Chinese shot right at Taipei to capture the political capital as the main effort to disrupt organized resistance to a Chinese invasion that is part of a larger invasion .

I think the Chinese marines are mostly a distraction better suited to the islands of the South China Sea (and East China Sea).

So the paratrooper changes are far more relevant to China's threats to invade Taiwan.

On the bright side, Strategypage notes that China faces threats inland that could call on China's airborne forces:

These [air mobile] operations would be a major feature of an attempt to take Taiwan by force or quickly reinforcing remote Tibet in case there were a local rebellion. Another threat is the newly created Indian Mountain Corps that is based on the border and could cross the border unexpectedly in the 2020s, when this new Indian units reaches full strength of 80,000 troops.

Yes, we should want China focused on the interior of Asia to dilute their focus and spread their military out.