How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine’s Defense. What is Porcupine Strategy?

How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine's Defense. What is Porcupine Strategy?
How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine’s Defense,” suggests that the article will discuss how Taiwan is taking lessons from Ukraine’s defense strategy. The second part of the sentence, “What is Porcupine Strategy?”

Ever since Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, China has been hell-bent on showing the world that it can invade Taiwan anytime it wants by showing its military power, doing exercises, firing missiles near Taiwan costs, Sending Aircraft in the Taiwan ADF zone, continually threatening Taiwan, U.S.A. and some of the other countries.

And what Russia did with Ukraine, it seems unsure that China wouldn’t do this. It can and is fully capable of invading Taiwan.

So what happens when China invades Taiwan? Will it be able to defend itself against a superpower like China? Ukraine has been able to protect itself against Russia so far. Well, not entirely, but it can cause significant damage to China. 

How so? Let’s find out.

Taiwan Could use the Porcupine Strategy.

How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine's Defense. What is Porcupine Strategy?

These are some of Ukraine’s smaller weaponry, which have proven successful against Russia’s larger and more powerful weapons. Military strategists say these lighter tools can help an underdog army become more like a porcupine. 

Alastair Gale, Asia security correspondent for Wall Street Journal, defines The porcupine strategy as when a smaller military attempts to defend itself against a larger army, which is the attacker, by employing several smaller weapons.

This tactic has prompted Taiwan and even its president to reconsider how to protect themselves against China, a much stronger foe. Beijing views Taiwan as a part of its territory and a potential source of conflict.

Taipei is taking clues from Ukraine to prepare to fight China’s powerful army. Taiwan has prioritized costly equipment such as fighter jets, helicopters, and tanks for decades in preparation for a potential battle with China.

This threat has become heightened as tensions have soared to the highest point in Taiwan in more than two decades. 

How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine's Defense. What is Porcupine Strategy?

Nancy Pelosi Visit

After U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Taipei, Beijing started days of military exercises that surrounded the island by firing rockets and ballistic missiles and sending navy ships and warplanes close by.

Defense experts say that if China invaded, Taiwan wouldn’t be able to stop it on its own because a stronger army would quickly destroy its expensive weapons. Taiwan has a lot less active military personnel than its neighbor China, which has the largest active personnel in its army in the world.

Given the disadvantages, that’s where the so-called porcupine capabilities come in. Much Like the animal, it tries to inflict so much pain on the larger rival that it stops the attacker.

How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine's Defense. What is Porcupine Strategy?

One way to inflict a lot of pain is through hand-held anti-tank and anti-aircraft equipment such as javelin missiles and stinger missiles used by individual soldiers.

Since the conflict broke out, the United States has sent thousands of stinger and javelin missiles to the Ukrainian front. Lesser armies can benefit from these weapons because of their outsized effect on their opponent.

Despite the Russians’ use of massive invading forces equipped with tanks and airplanes, the Ukrainian resistance has been able to counterattack using this smaller weaponry successfully.

An open-source website that keeps tabs on military equipment losses estimates that hundreds of Russian tanks and Aircraft have been lost due to these weapons since the conflict began in February. That success has driven some Taiwanese leaders, including the president, to embrace these anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. 

A motion to increase training, maybe with portable missiles like the javelin and stinger, was accepted by the legislature in Taiwan earlier this year. However, the range of these hand-held missiles is somewhat short, at around 2.5 miles. That’s why Taiwan, like Ukraine, is also getting longer-range weapons like these mobile rocket launchers called H.I.M.A.R.S. 

In Ukraine, HIMARS allowed the army to send missiles up to 53 miles past Russia’s front line. The U.S. agreed to sell Taiwan its first weapons in 2020, and Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it wants to buy more.

How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine's Defense. What is Porcupine Strategy?

The attack drone is another relatively small weapon that can impose heavy losses from very far away.

As a result, attack drones can be extremely helpful for smaller forces since they allow them to wreak significant damage behind enemy lines. Ukrainians have destroyed Russian tanks and convoys entering the country.

The attack drones have also been successful in targeting Russia’s navy. Ukraine published video footage of what it claimed were drone strikes on two Russian ships in the Black Sea in May. However, Russia didn’t comment on the Ukrainian claim.

Experts in the military say that a Chinese invasion would involve a lot of ships coming over the Taiwan Strait. This type of attack from the sea could happen in Taiwan. So, the island has been making drones like this one on its own. The U.S. has also agreed to sell some drones, and Taiwanese lawmakers have been pushing to purchase four of them.

The government of Taiwan isn’t just making weapons. Its people are also doing something. So, some people are taking shooting lessons, just like the Ukrainians. This kind of public support is also an essential part of the porcupine strategy.

Things in Ukraine did not progress as rapidly as the Russians anticipated. One of the reasons for this is the Ukrainian people’s motivation and willingness to take up arms and defend their country.

So, to prepare its citizens for war, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry is debating plans to extend military conscription for up to a year. And a survey found that more than 70% of adults favor a longer service time.

While Taiwan can learn much from Ukraine’s experience, it also faces specific problems. Ukraine borders several countries, allowing its military to continue obtaining weapons and supplies regularly.

How Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine's Defense. What is Porcupine Strategy?
Taiwan Island

However, Taiwan is an island, and receiving weaponry from other countries may be difficult if the Chinese invade, especially if the Chinese build a blockade around the island.

As a result, it must have enormous stockpiles ready for a confrontation. As a result, stockpiling has become a top priority. The government allocated an additional $8.7 billion for military equipment this year.

The United States has committed to assisting Taiwan in defending itself and has been selling military equipment to Taipei for decades. Following her visit to the island, Pelosi stated that America would not abandon its commitment to the island.

Taiwan isn’t the only country keeping a careful eye on the Ukraine conflict. According to military experts, China is also taking notes. One of them is that if you want to take over one of your neighbors, you must use overwhelming force.

And this has been demonstrated during China’s live-fire exercises, demonstrating its ability to blockade Taiwan effectively. If one of the world’s most powerful conventional militaries were to attack Taiwan with everything it had, that would be a formidable challenge.


The article discusses the potential consequences of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, drawing parallels between Taiwan’s defense strategy and Ukraine’s resistance against Russia. It highlights Taiwan’s adoption of a “porcupine strategy” involving smaller, more agile weaponry to counter China’s larger military capabilities.

The article also emphasizes the importance of US support for Taiwan’s defense, as well as the role of public support and military conscription in strengthening Taiwan’s defense capabilities.

However, it acknowledges the challenges Taiwan faces as an island nation, particularly in terms of receiving external support in the event of a Chinese invasion. Overall, the article underscores the situation’s complexity and the need for Taiwan to adapt and strengthen its defense capabilities continuously.