If China invades Taiwan, will they succeed?

Ukraine has shown how challenging it can be for a larger power to take over a smaller one that really doesn't want to be taken over and has the support of the West. Will the same thing happen to Taiwan?

Resolves YES if Taiwan becomes unambiguously a part of China due to forceful takeover by China. Resolves NO if Chinia attempts to invade Taiwan and is rebuffed. Resolves N/A if China or Taiwan stop existing in their current forms. (Other than Taiwan being incorperated into China by force. If Taiwan votes to join China voluntarily, resolves N/A.)

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A blockade that results in Taiwan under duress agreeing to be ruled by the CCP would count as "forceful takeover" even though it's not a duration, right?

@Enlil I think it should, yeah.

@Daniel_MC please don't spam markets, I just got five different notifications from you

bought Ṁ100 YES

Presumably Xi is making the same conditional calculation. If the chance of success is below 70-80%, does he go for it? I'm very doubtful. He's a not perfect Bayesian computer, but he would require a high degree of confidence from military and intel analysis. The only scenario in which China invades without a good chance of success is if they are "forced" into it by risky actions taken by Taiwan, but I do not think that is likely either.

What about Penghu and other outlying islands? Do they count as Taiwan for the purposes of this question? Let’s say the PRC takes over Kinmen as a show of force and is successful at that but stops there. I suspect it does not resolve YES, right? A different scenario: the PRC takes over the main island (Taiwan proper) but not Penghu. There is historical precedent of this with Penghu staying under Dutch control while the main island was not. Is that enough to resolve YES?

@mariopasquato Minor outlying jurisdictions don't count.

predicts YES

@IsaacKing Penghu’s population is 0.4% of Taiwan’s total so it’s certainly minor in this respect. Thanks for the clarification.

If there is no invasion attempt, I assume that also results in an N/A resolution?

@IsaacKing Oh, are we just leaving this one open forever? All right :D

@EvanDaniel It remains open until they invade or either country ceases to exist, yeah.

@makoyass US tend to overestimate China's economy, military, etc. The Russians know much better than the Americans.

bought Ṁ7 of YES

@XComhghall Well this market is conditional on the PRC deciding to attempt an invasion, as opposed to asking whether they would succeed if they invaded right now. This could be 20 years from now.

Russia has 9x the gdp of Ukraine (12x the military spending pre-invasion), but China has 23x the GDP of Taiwan (17x the military spending). Taiwan is more technologically advanced than Ukraine, and it could easily restart its nuclear weapons program and get usable nukes within a year. In terms of area, Taiwan is 16x smaller, but much more mountainous and the mountains would provide a large defensive advantage, like Switzerland in WWII not being worth the effort to invade. Switzerland is similar in size to Taiwan.

@JonathanRay Population and economic activity is mainly on the northwest coast though.

predicts NO

But the mountains are ideal for guerilla resistance that, with western support, would continue indefinitely even if China captured Taipei

@JonathanRay Similar situations where the coastal regions of an island were under control while guerrilla/resistance persisted in the mountainous central areas: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeju_uprising (~1 yr before full eradication) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Rebellion_of_1817%E2%80%931818 (again ~1 yr but arguably centuries before that if we count the kingdom of Kandy’s survival after the coasts were taken by European powers). Differences between then and now: intensity of external support (one superpower against another), technology (e.g. ability to supply rebels by air).

predicts NO

@mariopasquato advances in weaponry since then mostly favor the weaker side in asymmetric warfare

'Resolves YES if Taiwan becomes unambiguously a part of China.'

What if there was no military conflict but was peaceful? Coup? Or Taiwan persuaded to be willing 'to be taken over'? And for the definitions of words, Hong Kong was and is 'unambiguously a part of China', internationally recognized and without controversy, right?

'Resolves N/A if China or Taiwan stop existing in their current forms.'

If China's political structure changes? Either to monarchy or democracy? No longer Communist dictatorship? Or wdym?

@XComhghall Ah my bad, I've added in "by forceful takeover". Taiwan democratically voting to become a part of China would not count.

No, jut changing political structure isn't enough, since presumably they've still be similar culturally. I meant something more extreme, such as both being conquered by a third party.


Hong Kong was and is 'unambiguously a part of China', internationally recognized and without controversy, right?

Is there disagreement over this?

@IsaacKing No disagreement, just to confirm that if Taiwan enters into a situation like what happened to Hong Kong in 1997, it would count. This however, only applies with your previous wording without the addition of 'by forceful takeover'.

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