WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

Britain does not rule out weapons military aid to Taiwan, and experts call on the Royal Navy to assist Indo-Pacific allies to enhance anti-access combat capabilities

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends the G20 summit in Bali. (November 15, 2022)

The “Practice Meeting” that just ended in Bali once again drew a bottom line on the Taiwan issue. The British Prime Minister also said that the possibility of supplying weapons to Taiwan was not ruled out. Some defense experts said that if China attacks Taiwan, the United Kingdom is less likely to directly send troops to assist Taiwan, but it can export weapons and technology to Indo-Pacific allies to build anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities and advance Taiwan’s self-defense capabilities.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in an interview on the plane to Bali to attend the G20 summit on the 15th that China poses a systemic challenge to British values and is the biggest threat to Britain’s economic security. Asked if he would send weapons to Taiwan, he said Britain was ready to support Taiwan at any time.

“We are looking at all of these policies as part of our updated comprehensive assessment. It is clear that our policy towards Taiwan is that there should be no unilateral change of status and that there should be a peaceful solution. We stand ready to support Taiwan as we do against Chinese aggression. Sunak said.

Greg Hands, the UK’s Deputy Minister for International Trade, visited Taiwan on November 7 to co-chair the Taiwan-UK Economic and Trade Dialogue with officials from Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy and meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Chinese mainland State Council Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang urged the British side to abide by the one-China principle and stop sending wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces on the 16th.

John Louth, former director of defence, industry, and society programmes at the Royal United Services Institute and perennial expert adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, told media that the international community must support people who aspire to democracy and hope that the ambiguity of policy toward Taiwan will gradually diminish in the future. 

“If China does try to invade, Western powers should form a community willing to do everything in their power to deter China and reduce its pressure on Taiwan.” In terms of logistics and the provision of equipment, the UK will play a very similar role as in the war in Ukraine. He said.

What would Britain do if China attacked Taiwan?

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned during face-to-face talks with US President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia, on Monday (November 14) that the Taiwan issue is the “first insurmountable red line” in Sino-US relations. Biden said at a news conference after the meeting that he did not believe China had an “imminent attempt” to invade Taiwan.

Japan and the United Kingdom will sign a Reciprocal Access Agreement in December on joint training between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the British military, making joint exercises and logistical cooperation between Japanese and British forces easier and strengthening deterrence of China’s military activities, according to the Financial Times.

MUST READ: ☞  Analyst: Turkey's F-16 order depends on supporting NATO's admission of Finland and Sweden

The newspaper also disclosed on the 11th that the US State Department has shared research reports with European countries, estimating that China’s blockade of Taiwan will cause economic losses of $2.5 trillion. The United States and its partners are beginning to consider how to impose sanctions on China’s attack on Taiwan.

James R. Holmes, a strategy and policy expert at the U.S. Naval War College, told the media that if China launched a war to invade Taiwan, Britain would not necessarily intervene directly, but could play a major role in enhancing Taiwan’s anti-access capabilities.

“I doubt the Royal Navy will be directly involved in the emergency in the Taiwan Strait, but if it can equip Taiwan’s defenders to prevent China’s amphibious task force from landing on Taiwan beaches, then the UK can play a huge role in helping Taiwan.” This is ‘anti-access’. By denying China control of the strait, China will not be able to accomplish its goals, and we will achieve our goals to a large extent. He said.

Philip Shetler-Jones, an Indo-Pacific researcher at the Council on Geostrategy, a British think tank, told the media that in the event of an emergency in Taiwan, the Royal Navy is expected to be integrated into a multinational alliance to deter PRC aggression and destruction of peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

“It is important to take into account that the deterrence of China’s military reunification is manifested not only in activities around Taiwan, but also in important maritime supply routes in the Indian Ocean, the waters of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, and the Gulf of Aden.” 

A survey of 14 countries across the transatlantic region, conducted by the German Marshall and Bertelsmann Foundations, found that most respondents believed that if China attacked Taiwan by force, their own countries should take diplomatic or sanctioned action, and the proportion of support for arms and troops to Taiwan was extremely low, at 4% and 2%, respectively.

Rouse noted that Britain can send weapons and technology to Ukraine by road from countries not involved in the war, such as France, Germany, and Poland. In order to transport equipment to Taiwan, Britain may have to fly across disputed airspace, but in principle, Britain should support Taiwan.

“This makes my proposal more important than ever that we can use the time before China decides to invade to build the (defense) capabilities of Taiwan and regional partners to make the Asia-Pacific region completely unfriendly to this invasion.” Denial bubbles and anti-access capabilities in these areas are becoming increasingly important. ”

How does the U.K. export A2/AD defense capabilities to the Indo-Pacific?

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) released a study titled “The Exoskeleton Force: The Royal Navy in the Indo-Pacific Tilt” on November 8 He pointed out that although most of the UK’s combat assets are invested in the European theater, it can provide the necessary anti-aircraft weapons, sensors, and command, and control systems to assist Indo-Pacific countries in building an “Anti-access/Area Denial” (A2/AD) bubble barrier against the PRC threat.

MUST READ: ☞  White House unveils holiday decoration theme – "We the People"

“The UK must address how to limit China without confronting it – at least in the short term – and how to achieve this through a militarily limited regional presence.” The Indo-Pacific tilt is not limited to Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, support ships, and carrier strike groups, but should also establish a framework for military power claims, state-backed technology development systems, and business strategies, the report said.

The former Johnson administration in the United Kingdom proposed the Indo-Pacific Tilt in its March 2021 Integrated Review, an updated version of which is expected to be released before the end of the year.

The Royal Navy sent the River-class maritime patrol ships HMS Spey and HMS Tamar to the Indo-Pacific last year for a five-year deployment. In August, the British government revealed in the National Strategy for Maritime Security that it intends to deploy the Littoral Response Group in 2023 and the normal deployment of Type 31 frigates in the Indo-Pacific by 2030.

According to a report by “Nikkei Asia” on the 9th, British First Sea Secretary and Admiral Ben Key stressed in an interview that maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region cannot rely solely on the United States, and “Britain has the obligation to protect free and open seas.” Kei said one of the most important recent changes in the security agreement was the Australia-UK-US Trilateral Security Agreement (AUKUS). He also hinted that more British ships would visit Japan in the future.

The Royal Navy can be the Indo-Pacific partner of choice in the following areas: building situational awareness in coastal space, according to the Royal United Services Institute; product development to create exportable versions of relatively inexpensive unmanned effectors and high-end supersonic systems; Building organizational capacity to operate large-scale, dynamically flexible area denial systems; Willing to take risks in the gray zone to clear the way for regional partners.

The report suggests that small Indo-Pacific countries can afford to buy finished weapons but cannot afford to develop them, and the United Kingdom should bear the cost of research and development. The Royal Navy can also use multilateral frameworks such as AUKUS to develop exportable lethality, such as creating an organization similar to Task Force 59 of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and expanding the participation of experimental innovation agencies such as NavyX.

John Louth, one of the report’s authors, told the media that new alliances are forming in the Asia-Pacific region, especially near the South China Sea, and that Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, and other places can be used as targets for British technology exports to deter China’s regional expansion ambitions.

“Technology from the UK, some sensors and reconnaissance technology, targeting technology and specific missile technology would be very useful and not expensive to deter PRC exercises and freedom of movement in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the South China Sea.” With regard to Taiwan, Britain is wise to act on this knowledge. Britain will never match the US in terms of fleet carrier capability and the number of aircraft carriers, but the UK can certainly provide technology to Asian partners to help deter China from doing whatever it wants and jointly deter China. ”

MUST READ: ☞  "What ceasefire?" : Despite Putin's declaration of a ceasefire for 36 hours, the Ukrainian front was shelled

James R. Holmes commented on the US military website “1945” that this is a very wise proposal and that countries with full sovereignty that can provide their own defense will not need outsiders such as Britain and the United States to provide support. Britain, as a medium-sized power, must also save troops in the Indo-Pacific and cannot afford an expeditionary fleet comparable to the U.S. Seventh Fleet.

He told the media that all Indo-Pacific countries that have suffered from China’s gray-zone aggression can be the beneficiaries of this new strategy, such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other countries.

“The strategy offers Asian countries an option to counter China, which currently ranges from minimal to none.” The rapid proliferation of these overlapping anti-access bubbles creates overlapping fire fields where Chinese ships and aircraft must operate to push Beijing’s will. ”

Philip Shetler-Jones believes that the UK’s strategy to export anti-access forces emphasizes continued investment in domestic defence technology and procurement to keep the Royal Navy in a first-class position. It also means a sustained commitment to interoperability with Indo-Pacific partners or allies such as Japan and Australia.

Jones noted that there are signs that Japan is applying some of the same principles when deploying upgraded military capabilities to the southern island chain that connects its main islands to Taiwan’s surrounding area. The Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam will also be obvious candidates for the strategy.

“If the UK makes progress with Japan on the sixth generation fighter and related technology development, it will confirm the model of defence technology partnerships and may lay the groundwork for an expanded circle of cooperation where the countries can pool research and development resources together.” It is a new form of alliance built on the deep trust countries need to share the most valuable advantages of strategic technology. He said.

Leave a Comment

WhatsApp Channel Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now