A study by RAND noted the vulnerability of submarine cables to undersea attacks by hostile forces in order hamper communication links to the United States. Using Taiwan as an illustrative case, the study said the following:
As seen in Table I.2, a recent survey of the number of international submarine cables reaching Taiwan is particularly disconcerting. Four out of five undersea fiber optic cables reaching Taiwan do so at either Fangshan or Toucheng (the fifth, a “self-healing loop” reaches Taiwan at both, meaning that both cables would have to be damaged for Taiwan to be cut off). Two more planned cables have landing areas at Fangshan. Only one planned cable is due not to land at either Fangshan or Toucheng. In short, Taiwan’s ability to send and receive data over submarine cables might be significantly impaired by an attack on cables leading into either landing area. A well-orchestrated set of undersea attacks on the cable “trenches” at both locations might well have a sudden and calamitous effect on Taiwan’s ability to communicate with the outside world.