Former Japanese general warns: Communist China’s hybrid war against Taiwan has begun 8 sets of possible scripts?

In response to the increasingly serious situation in the Taiwan Strait, Yoshikazu Watanabe, a former Japanese army general, said in a recent interview with Japanese media that he would not be surprised whenever the Chinese Communist Party commits a crime against Taiwan, because it has already launched a hybrid war (over-the-limit war) against Taiwan, and proposed eight sets of possible scripts.

Etsukazu Watanabe, a former Army Self-Defense Force general, told Nikkei Business on the 19th that he believes the CCP’s over-the-limit war against Taiwan has been quietly underway in multiple areas for a long time. The over-the-limit war is a deliberate blurring of the line between military and non-military, i.e., not a head-on battle between the CCP and Taiwan’s regular army, but a form of military and non-military intermingling that raises tensions. He argued that this could be seen as a form of Hybrid Warfare or “all-out warfare.

He pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party has put the most effort in the non-military field of intelligence warfare, including intelligence activities such as surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as political warfare, influence warfare, cognitive warfare, and propaganda warfare.

The social network plays an important role in the influence war and propaganda war, such as the seriousness of the current epidemic of the Chinese Communist Party virus in Taiwan, various fake news to provoke social division and hatred, as well as the propaganda that Taiwan does not use the Chinese Communist Party virus vaccine, resulting in a low vaccination rate, are spread through the social network, some directly using simplified characters and mainland terms.

According to the Central News Agency (CNA), Etsukazu Watanabe has proposed eight possible sets of scripts for such a full-scale hybrid war, depending on the amount of direct military involvement components.

The first is to achieve regime rotation by means of elections and to foster a pro-communist regime. This has been fully demonstrated from the process of Taiwan’s election. And by taking this approach, the international community, such as the United States, has no reason to intervene, and the CCP is strengthening its influence for this purpose by continuing to foster pro-communist factions in the political, economic, media, and legal circles.

Such influence has also penetrated the ROC military. It is reported that the United States does not sell highly advanced weapons to Taiwan, such as the F-35, the most advanced anonymity fighter, and the SHIELD system for missile defense, because it is worried about the leakage of important military technology information to China.

The second type is to launch hacking attacks and other operations that cause social disruption. For example, locking down power plants and causing massive blackouts, paralyzing traffic, etc., so that the ROC government, which rejects the Chinese Communist Party, will be criticized and step down.

The third way is to cause civil unrest and overthrow the current regime, assassination of political leaders is one of the methods. The Chinese Communist Party has already planted many agents in various parts of Taiwan for this purpose.

The fourth way would be to use force. The first way is to invade Taiwan’s outlying islands, such as the Dongsha Islands, Taiping Island, Penghu Islands, and Kinmen Island. Taiping Island is a good place for the Chinese Communist Party to observe how the U.S. military reacts, and is 1,500 kilometers away from Taiwan’s main island, making it difficult to send troops from Taiwan’s main island. The invasion of Taiwan’s outlying islands will not achieve reunification, but it will trap the ruling party in Taiwan, and the opposition party will take advantage of the opportunity to investigate and polarize public opinion, giving the pro-communist faction an opportunity to take advantage of it.

The fifth type is a naval and air blockade of Taiwan’s main island to isolate Taiwan.

The 6th type is to launch a Short Sharp War against Taiwan.

The 7th type is to launch a ballistic missile attack.

The eighth is a full-scale landing war against Taiwan by Chinese Communist forces.

Watanabe said Philip Davidson, the former commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, would have predicted that the Chinese Communist Party would threaten to attack Taiwan within six years, possibly referring to a landing operation of the eighth type. But he believes the eight scenarios he envisions for “something happens to Taiwan” could happen at any time.

Etsukazu Watanabe, a former Japanese army general

Etsukazu Watanabe retired from the Japanese Army in 2013, having served as chief of equipment, 2nd Division commander, and eastern side director general of the Japanese Army Staff. He was a Principal Special Fellow at Harvard University.