When discussing the possibility of an attack by the PRC on Taiwan, people don’t seem to say a whole lot about Taiwan’s own army. Usually, the discussion is framed in terms of whether the US or Japan would have to enter the fray and what that would mean. This (via Simon) isn’t a blog I’m familiar with, but the writer seems to know what he’s talking about, and what he discusses is, precisely, how ready is Taiwan to defend itself against the PRC? His conclusions ring true based on the societies he’s describing. The PRC army is run the way you’d expect it to be: corruptly, nepotistically, back-scratchingly, and patronage-ly. The ROC army has morale problems because it’s conscription-based and, apparently, plagued by a sense that it would lose in a war with the mainland:
The primary difference between the two forces is the quality of training. The training of the Chinese military has been described as ranging “from spotty to poor.” Taiwan’s forces, on the other hand, train to Western standards under a cadre of American educated and trained officers and NCOs. They are generally considered to be proficient at the application of military force with the exceptions noted above.
I wonder whether Taiwan has ever asked Israel for guidance on these things. Israelis serve mandatory IDF stints, and they’re surrounded by enemies who think the land is rightfully theirs. Maybe commitment is better in Israel precisely because it is attacked regularly? In any case, MeiZhongTai (spelled 米中台, says the author, for obvious reasons) has provided an interesting read on the topic.