Author Topic: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)  (Read 266531 times)

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Taiwan: Porcupine or Pit Viper?
« Reply #1351 on: September 27, 2021, 04:30:08 AM »



    
The Porcupine, or the Pit Viper?
Taiwan is rethinking how best to defend itself – a decision that hinges on the U.S.
By: Phillip Orchard

China’s breakneck military buildup has generated all sorts of alarm in both Washington and Taiwan. U.S. arms sales to the island have spiked over the past decade accordingly. Taipei is rapidly expanding its indigenous capabilities as well, as illustrated by a $9 billion (or 5.2 percent) jump in defense outlays announced last week. But there are two ongoing, intertwined debates that will define the trajectory of the U.S.-Taiwanese partnership going forward. In Taipei, where there’s widespread concern that the Taiwanese military has become outdated and ill-suited for countering the Chinese threat, the dilemma is how to best structure its military modernization drive. In short, Taiwan is deciding whether to become a “porcupine” – focusing on defensive capabilities aimed at buying time during a Chinese attack – or a “pit viper,” emphasizing the ability to strike back and deter China by raising the political costs at home of an attack. The outcome of this debate will hinge largely on a parallel one taking place in Washington: whether the long-held U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity” has outlived its usefulness.

Quills Out

On paper, Taiwan has a formidable military. It has more than 160,000 well-armed troops (plus another 1.65 million in reserve) and thousands of armored fighting vehicles and camouflaged, self-propelled artillery pieces. It has a modern, sophisticated air force boasting a fleet of some 140 F-16s. Even its indigenous submarine program is also making notable progress against steep odds.

More important, it has an extraordinary geographic advantage. Only 10 percent of Taiwan’s coastline is suitable for an amphibious landing. It doesn’t matter how many troops, arms and supplies the People’s Liberation Army can amass on the shores of Fujian province across the Taiwan Strait. To invade Taiwan, China would need the bulk of its forces to get into boats and make an eight-hour voyage into the teeth of Taiwanese firepower coming from well-entrenched, well-supplied onshore positions. Even taken by surprise, Taiwan could amass its forces at the landing zones, even under a missile barrage from Fujian, and exact high rates of attrition on the Chinese. Moreover, the PLA has no experience with amphibious operations in a modern combat environment. Amphibious war requires extraordinarily complex coordination, especially logistical coordination, among air, land and sea forces. An enormous number of things would have to go right for China to succeed, and the political risks of failure would be sky-high. Occupying and pacifying Taiwan, moreover, would introduce a whole new set of headaches.

However, there’s been growing concern both in Washington and Taipei that these numbers considerably overstate the Taiwanese military’s power. The bulk of its millions of reservists, for example, receive relatively little training, and combat readiness is generally considered woefully low. The structure and spending priorities of the Taiwanese military are cause for concern too. Its fleet of warplanes, though capable, would almost certainly be overwhelmed by China’s superiority in both numbers and technology. It’s a similar story for the Taiwanese navy, which would be operating within range of China’s arsenal of anti-ship missiles and warplanes and would be vulnerable to swarm attacks from China’s vast fleet of warships, coast guard vessels and maritime militia.

As it happens, warplanes and warships are also incredibly expensive. Nearly 10 percent of its new, bigger defense budget is earmarked for F-16s alone. China’s economy is more than 20 times the size of Taiwan’s. Taipei simply can’t sustain the PLA’s level of spending, and thus it’s a pretty bad idea for Taiwan to try to defeat China by going toe to toe with it in conventional combat. Already, the air force is reportedly getting worn down – and its coffers drained – merely by responding to China's ever-increasing tempo of incursions into the Taiwanese air defense identification zone.

Its problems in force structure stem largely from the fact that, for most of Taiwan’s history since the People’s Republic of China’s takeover of the mainland in 1949, Taiwan had good reason to focus on expensive, technologically superior platforms. More often than not, China was a mess internally and couldn’t come close to developing the sorts of technologies the U.S. was selling Taiwan. In fact, the U.S. sometimes limited what it was willing to sell Taiwan for fear that Taipei would be emboldened to head back across the strait and try to restart the civil war. This made Chinese invasion an abstract threat, at worst, contributing to Taiwan’s problems with combat readiness.

But after getting embarrassed by the U.S. in the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995-96, and seeing U.S. technologies in action in the Gulf War and the Balkans, China got serious about catching up. In the two decades since, it’s closed the technology gap with astonishing speed. And its size advantage has only grown in tandem with its economic growth.

Coiled and Cocked

So there’s a view today that Taiwan should instead redirect its efforts on countering Chinese superiority in much the same way that China is preparing to counter the U.S.: by investing heavily in comparably cheap, abundant assets like anti-ship missiles, air defense systems, underwater mines, etc., in lieu of more expensive prestige platforms. The “porcupine strategy,” in effect, is to hunker down, maximize Taiwan’s geographic advantages, deny easy access to Taiwanese waters, and make it so that if the Chinese want to invade, they’ll have to take on a grinding, costly, potentially unsustainable offensive. Another goal of this is to give the U.S. and other potential allies time to deploy forces into the theater, whether for direct intervention or to relieve pressure on Taiwan indirectly by imposing a blockade along the many chokepoints encircling China. The U.S., whose own strategy in the East China Sea would benefit enormously from a Taiwan capable of keeping Chinese maritime forces bogged down with sea denial assets, has increasingly been nudging Taipei in this direction.


(click to enlarge)

There are a couple of downsides to this strategy, though. One is that it should not be assumed that a Chinese attack would automatically mean a Chinese attempt at invasion. Most likely, a Chinese move on Taiwan would start with a seizure of one of Taiwan’s outlying islands and/or the imposition of at least a limited blockade. The porcupine strategy does little to account for these scenarios. Another is that any direct Chinese attack on Taiwan, regardless of whether the ultimate goal was invasion, would start with a massive missile barrage. The initial goal would likely be simply to stun Taipei into negotiating on Beijing’s terms. A potential secondary goal would be to clear the decks for an invasion. The porcupine strategy is ill-suited for this sort of an attack, nor is it good for sustaining Taiwan’s defenses for a potential follow-up invasion attempt.

As a result, some argue that Taiwan still needs to invest in substantial counterstrike capabilities, even expensive ones, to truly deter China. In other words, Taiwan must have a way to raise the political risks for Beijing of undertaking some sort of kinetic operation against the self-ruled island. A Taiwan with the ability to conduct precise strikes on missile positions, naval facilities and airfields in Fujian province, or even civilian infrastructure there, is a much more unpredictable and dangerous Taiwan, or so the thinking goes. And given Beijing’s inherent distrust of its own people and existential fear of both public anger and unchecked public nationalism, the path of least resistance would point firmly toward living comfortably with the cross-strait status quo.

Strategic Ambiguity

There’s another important, complicated factor: the question of whether the U.S. would, in fact, intervene on Taiwan’s behalf. The U.S. and Taiwan are not formal allies, and there’s nothing forcing the U.S. to defend Taiwan. The U.S. is merely required by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to sell or provide Taiwan what it needs to defend itself. To be sure, the U.S. has numerous, and arguably growing, strategic interests in coming to Taiwan’s aid. Taiwan is the proverbial “unsinkable aircraft carrier” and could be extraordinarily valuable as an ally, considering that the U.S. is presently looking for places in the region to deploy ground-based anti-ship, anti-air assets and rapid reaction forces. Taipei and Washington have been hinting that the return of at least a tripwire U.S. force to the island is not as laughable an idea as it would’ve sounded just a decade ago.

At the same time, the PLA’s buildup of anti-access/area denial capabilities is making it increasingly risky and costly for the U.S. to do so. There’s increasing concern in Washington that China, within the next decade or so, may be capable of making it prohibitively costly for the U.S. to try to operate anywhere around Taiwan. And reunification is Beijing’s utmost strategic and political priority. Retaking Taiwan would blow a massive hole in the U.S. containment strategy – and put China in a more enviable position to threaten Japan. For Beijing, reunification is a matter of when, not if.

As a result, the U.S. has maintained a policy of “strategic ambiguity” about its defense commitments to Taiwan. This is a reasonable enough approach. The U.S. does not want to get pulled into a war not of its choosing – not to mention one that it may very well lose. And so long as China thinks there’s a strong possibility of the U.S. intervening, it’s a strong deterrent against Chinese attack on Taiwan. The U.S. also does not want to implicitly give Taiwan a green light to declare independence (and thus likely trigger a war).

But there are several trade-offs here. It increases the risk of misinterpretation and miscalculation in an incredibly tense theater, for example. Ambiguity can be viewed by allies as ambivalence, compelling them to take actions that undermine U.S. planning. And the policy invariably keeps Taiwan’s military modernization plans in limbo. Simply put, if Taiwan can count on U.S. or allied counterstrike capabilities, then going all-in on the porcupine strategy makes more sense. If not, then Taiwan probably needs to devote a healthy share of the budget to its own counterstrike assets. Ideally, it would pursue both, but spending more on one will inevitably undermine the efficacy of the other. The scale of the threat posed by China is such that fundamental decisions on things like force structure can’t be delayed until a true crisis crystallizes everyone’s positions.

Thus the debate in Washington about whether it’s time to clarify its position on defending Taiwan. There are all sorts of political and diplomatic pitfalls here, and the U.S. cherishes flexibility, so don’t expect any major decision to be made soon – at least not one announced publicly. And if the U.S. is at all unsure about its willingness or ability to defend Taiwan, strategic ambiguity will remain. But there will be clues about where this debate is heading in the types of assets the U.S. sells Taiwan going forward, as well as the direction Taiwan goes in developing its indigenous arsenals at home.

================

Also see
https://www.dailypundit.com/2021/09/25/they-know-not-what-they-do-but-fuck-around-and-find-out/comment-page-1/#comment-74264

which makes some potent points rather pithily.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 04:39:41 AM by Crafty_Dog »

ya

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Risks of a declining China
« Reply #1352 on: September 27, 2021, 04:56:07 PM »
« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 05:05:12 PM by Crafty_Dog »

ya

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1353 on: October 02, 2021, 12:42:40 PM »
After the face-off between India-China was over, and China had to withdraw, they have continued to mass troops all over the border. This is unusual behaviour (not seen previously) and suggests they are either smarting from their withdrawal and may come back again with better preparations, or they are planning a move on Taiwan. A war with Taiwan will direct Chinese energies to their east and India could potentially make a grab for their territories currently under Chinese occupation. To prevent that, they are covering their bases by building a presence all over the border.


DougMacG

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China India Japan, South China Sea
« Reply #1354 on: October 02, 2021, 05:52:59 PM »
After the face-off between India-China was over, and China had to withdraw, they have continued to mass troops all over the border. This is unusual behaviour (not seen previously) and suggests they are either smarting from their withdrawal and may come back again with better preparations, or they are planning a move on Taiwan. A war with Taiwan will direct Chinese energies to their east and India could potentially make a grab for their territories currently under Chinese occupation. To prevent that, they are covering their bases by building a presence all over the border.

As usual for ya posts, very interesting!  China lost and learned, maybe.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
India has an interest in the South China Sea, this article is from 2020:
https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-has-abiding-interest-in-stability-of-disputed-region-of-south-china-sea-11594916648169.html

China's militarization wakes up Japan:
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/japan-conducts-nationwide-military-exercise-first-time-30-years-193845



ccp

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blinks on top of the situation
« Reply #1355 on: October 03, 2021, 03:23:14 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1356 on: October 03, 2021, 03:56:39 PM »
Would you let your son fight for Taiwan with Biden-Blinks-Harris in charge?

Meanwhile, Taiwan appears to adjust accordingly:

https://michaelyon.locals.com/upost/1135077/japan-needs-hydrogen-bombs



ccp

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1359 on: October 04, 2021, 02:57:32 PM »
No

this is what I think

when China invades

Blinks et al
 will look stern
and call for meetings and consultations "with our friends and allies "
and plan very "heavy sanctions"

it short they
will do nothing

are we as a people ready to go to war with China

frankly, no

we will fold

and worry about free child care college
  low mortgages endless taxing the "rich"
  CRT gender fantasies
  and sit back and blame ourselves

Gordon Chang is right - this is the turning point

I mean look at the interviews of college students

they only know to hate ourselves
and all. the marxist shit the stinking tenured profs have told them

why , we don't even have borders anymore

we are finished

--------------------
yet we fight on ...

no choice


G M

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1360 on: October 04, 2021, 03:16:33 PM »
No

this is what I think

when China invades

Blinks et al
 will look stern
and call for meetings and consultations "with our friends and allies "
and plan very "heavy sanctions"

it short they
will do nothing

are we as a people ready to go to war with China

frankly, no

we will fold

and worry about free child care college
  low mortgages endless taxing the "rich"
  CRT gender fantasies
  and sit back and blame ourselves

Gordon Chang is right - this is the turning point

I mean look at the interviews of college students

they only know to hate ourselves
and all. the marxist shit the stinking tenured profs have told them

why , we don't even have borders anymore

we are finished

--------------------
yet we fight on ...

no choice

Better be ready for a literal fight.

If you have access to Netflix, watch "The last days". There is a line where a holocaust survivor addresses why they didn't try to flee before being rounded up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTc-f5RxVPc

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1361 on: October 04, 2021, 05:06:15 PM »
So us having to watch the whole thing  :-D  What was the reason he gave?

G M

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1362 on: October 04, 2021, 05:25:20 PM »
So us having to watch the whole thing  :-D  What was the reason he gave?

She. It was incremental. One thing would come down, then people would adapt, then another edict...

It's just registration, it's just a star, it's just being relocated, it's just sending us to work in orchards. (Spoiler, the train taking them to work in the orchards kept going into Poland, someplace called Auschwitz).

Good thing we'd never fall for that here! Happy 18th month anniversary of two weeks to flatten the curve!



ccp

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1363 on: October 04, 2021, 07:49:28 PM »
This is the Shoah movie

I remember

during my intern days

~ 1986 to 87

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoah_(film)

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: China-Malaysia
« Reply #1364 on: October 05, 2021, 01:48:18 PM »
China's angry neighbors. Malaysia on Tuesday summoned China's ambassador to the Southeast Asian nation to file a formal protest over Chinese vessels’ encroachment in Malaysian waters. Chinese research and fishing vessels have been pushing ever deeper into the South China Sea in recent months, particularly in oil-rich waters off Malaysian Borneo and Indonesia's Natuna Islands, antagonizing both Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. For Malaysia, this comes as a test for new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who, like his immediate predecessors, will be leery of appearing too cozy with either Beijing or Washington and its allies.

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Taiwan thinks China will invade before 2025
« Reply #1366 on: October 06, 2021, 01:01:01 PM »
China Would Be Able to Launch Attack on Taiwan by 2025, Island’s Defense Minister Warns
Taiwan’s military faces its most dire challenge from Beijing in decades, Chiu Kuo-cheng said after sorties by Chinese fighters and bombers

Taiwanese flags flew in the capital, Taipei, ahead of annual National Day celebrations Sunday, amid heightened tensions with China.
PHOTO: RITCHIE B TONGO/SHUTTERSTOCK
By Josh Chin and Chao Deng
Oct. 6, 2021 9:00 am ET


TAIPEI—Taiwan’s military is facing its most dire challenge from China in decades, the island’s defense minister said, reflecting a surge in tensions after a flurry of Chinese military sorties in the region sparked expressions of concern from the U.S.

China’s People’s Liberation Army would be able to launch a full-blown attack on Taiwan with minimal losses by 2025, the defense minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, also warned.

“For our military the current situation is really the grimmest in the more than 40 years since I joined the service," Mr. Chiu said in a speech to Taiwan’s legislature on Wednesday as he answered lawmakers’ questions about a proposed $8.7 billion special defense spending package.

Mr. Chiu’s comments came after China’s military sent close to 150 fighters, bombers and other aircraft near the self-ruled island in the space of four days—an escalation that on Wednesday prompted Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to accuse China of undermining peace in the region.


“Here I want to warn Beijing authorities that they must exercise a certain amount of restraint to avoid accidentally sparking conflict,” she said in videotaped comments delivered to senior leaders of her Democratic Progressive Party, echoing a warning from Mr. Chiu that even a small miscalculation risked setting off a crisis.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. China is in the middle of a week-long holiday.


‘For our military the current situation is really the grimmest in the more than 40 years since I joined the service,’ Taiwan’s Defense Minister Ch_
_
__

The sorties by Chinese aircraft began on Friday, around the same time that an armada of 17 ships, including two U.S. carrier strike groups, gathered to conduct joint exercises southwest of Okinawa, Japan, not far from Taiwan. The first sorties also coincided with China’s national day.

The White House has responded to the sorties by saying its commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and calling on Beijing to end the flights.



The flurry of military activity has focused renewed attention on Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s intentions toward Taiwan, which the Communist Party considers a part of China. Beijing has vowed to take control of the island by force if necessary.

While Mr. Xi has made the unification of Taiwan a key element of his plans for China’s national rejuvenation, military analysts have disagreed over when and even whether the PLA, which has not fought a war since 1979, would feel confident enough to launch an invasion. Mr. Chiu waded into the debate with his comments on Wednesday.

“It is capable now, but it has to calculate what it would cost, and what kind of outcome it would achieve,” the defense minister said. After 2025, he continued, “it would have lowered the cost and losses to a minimum.”

Mr. Chiu didn’t elaborate further, though military analysts have pointed to the valuable experience PLA aircraft have amassed in flying their sorties into Taiwan’s air-defense identification zone. There have been number more than 800 over the past year.


China’s military recently sent close to 150 fighters, bombers and other aircraft near Taiwan in the space of four days.
PHOTO: JIN DANHUA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

An air-defense identification zone, or ADIZ, extends beyond a territory’s airspace and is monitored in the interest of giving its military time to respond to any incoming foreign aircraft. The Chinese aircraft haven’t entered within 12 nautical miles of the coast of Taiwan, which claims that as its airspace.

Recent sorties came late at night, which one former Taiwanese military commander said was a sign that the PLA air force was getting close to being able to engage in real combat.

In an essay for Foreign Affairs magazine published Tuesday, Ms. Tsai warned that “the consequences would be catastrophic” for democracy and regional peace if Taiwan were to fall, citing the island’s strategic location and robust democratic system.

In a show of support for Taiwan, a delegation of French senators landed in Taipei on Wednesday to hold talks with Ms. Tsai over the strenuous objections of China’s embassy in France.

“They are being exploited by the forces of ‘Taiwan independence,’” the Chinese Embassy said last month when asked about the group’s trip. “Not only does this harm China’s core interests and damage Sino-French relations, in the end it will also harm France’s own interests and reputation.”

The delegation, led by former French defense minister Alain Richard, will spend a total of five days in Taiwan, according to Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry. The ministry’s spokeswoman, Joanne Ou, praised Mr. Richard for “his support for Taiwan and staunch defense of freedom” in the face of Chinese threats.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: China-Taiwan
« Reply #1367 on: October 06, 2021, 02:00:24 PM »
   
Daily Memo: The 'Taiwan Agreement,' Russian Gas Games
Taiwan is sounding the alarm again about a potential Chinese invasion.
By: Geopolitical Futures
Agreeing to disagree. U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Tuesday and, according to Biden, agreed to preserve the "Taiwan agreement," an apparent reference to the long-held "One China” policy in which the U.S. officially recognizes Beijing so long as it agrees to allow Taiwan's future to be resolved peacefully. This came as two of the presidents' top advisers, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi, met in Switzerland. Both sides have a strong interest in finding a way to live together, but fundamental improvement in bilateral relations isn't on the horizon.

Taiwan warnings. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said a Chinese attack on Taiwan would be catastrophic for democracies everywhere, and Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said the People’s Liberation Army will be capable of mounting a full-scale invasion of Taiwan by 2025. Previous U.S. estimates have suggested 2027 or so. This isn't the same thing as a willingness or intent to invade within the decade; attempting to do so would be extraordinarily costly and risky for the Chinese Communist Party, and a Chinese attack wouldn't start with an invasion attempt. But Beijing can leverage the yawning cross-strait imbalance of power in a lot of ways without going to war.

=============

2018

The US and China Get Real About Taiwan
By Phillip Orchard -March 22, 2018



By Phillip Orchard

Late last Friday, with the approaching weekend ensuring the White House minimal media coverage of the move, U.S. President Donald Trump quietly signed bipartisan legislation that permits high-level exchanges between senior U.S. and Taiwanese government officials. Its passage comes three months after Congress, amid intense pressure from Beijing, watered down part of the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act that would require U.S. Navy warships to conduct regular port calls in Taiwan.

Of course, the signing of the act – a move Chinese state media in February warned would cross a “red line” and cause immeasurable damage to Sino-U.S. ties – did not escape Beijing’s notice. This week, in an uncharacteristically fiery speech, China’s newly crowned president-for-life Xi Jinping said, “All acts and tricks to split the motherland are doomed to failure and will be condemned by the people and punished by history.” The following day, China’s lone aircraft carrier sailed through the Taiwan Strait for the third time in the past year.

Many U.S. presidents have sought to walk a fine line between supporting Taiwan and catering to Beijing’s sensitivities over what it views as a renegade province, and China has rarely followed through on its threats of retaliation. The difference now is that both sides are beginning to acknowledge that the Sino-U.S. diplomatic dance over Taiwan has outlasted the strategic environment in which it began. And Taiwan is taking little comfort in the strategic paradigm on the horizon.

A Paradigm Shift

The awkward Sino-U.S. detente over Taiwan has held since former President Richard Nixon’s landmark trip to China in 1972, which led to the normalization of ties between the two sides. At the time, Chinese and U.S. strategic interests were converging. The U.S. wanted China to stop meddling in Vietnam and, more important, to cooperate against the Soviets. China, which had fought a major battle with the Russians along the Siberian border a decade earlier and feared additional attacks, was inclined to coordinate with Washington against the Soviets. But Beijing needed political cover on Taiwan. And since China was too weak to retake Taiwan by force – and since Beijing was demanding few substantive changes to U.S.-Taiwanese defense or trade ties – Washington was happy to formally adopt Beijing’s “one China” policy in exchange. The U.S. closed its embassy in Taiwan and reopened it as the American Institute in Taiwan, a nongovernmental organization that happened to be manned by U.S. diplomats.

Since then, the strategic logic of the original agreement on Taiwan has been gradually eroding. The Soviet Union collapsed, the U.S. lost much of its interest in Indochina, and Vietnam – still nominally a communist state but one long at odds with Beijing – began a cautious pivot toward Washington. The U.S. has, in most ways, continued to engage with China to discourage its rise from disrupting the established order in the Indo-Pacific and has generally been happy to preserve the status quo regarding Taiwan. Although it has provoked occasional Chinese bellowing about, for example, arms sales to Taiwan, sometimes even leading to temporary freezes in U.S.-Chinese military cooperation, the U.S. has mostly tiptoed around Chinese sensitivities about the island, with Taiwan routinely taking a back seat to more pressing bilateral issues. For its part, Beijing has remained content with the status quo as well, so long as Taiwan doesn’t make a major push for independence or serve as a sort of “unsinkable aircraft carrier” for a foreign power keen to check China’s rise.

The strategic environment is continuing to evolve – and, broadly speaking, in ways that are not in Taiwan’s favor. China has become more assertive about securing its interests in its near abroad and its breakneck military modernization is making it better equipped to do so. At the same time, China’s growing economic clout is allowing it to cultivate substantial political influence among its poorer neighbors, while contributing to political crises in the West. As a result, the U.S. and its regional allies are becoming more overt about the need to lay the groundwork to contain China, should matters come to a head with Beijing, and therefore less inclined to pretend to bend to Chinese wishes on matters like Taiwan.


(click to enlarge)

On the surface, this would seem to be a welcome development for Taipei, to the extent that it removes political and strategic constraints on Washington’s support for the Taiwanese. But Taiwan is still drifting into uneasy waters. It fears being treated like a bargaining chip or, worse, becoming a battleground between China and the U.S. in a war not of its choosing.

More problematic, Taipei still has ample reason to question the level of U.S. commitment to its defense, even if the U.S. abandoned the “one China” principle altogether. China is still far from having the navy needed to go toe-to-toe with the U.S. in open waters, but it is developing the capabilities to make it increasingly costly for the U.S. to go to battle closer to the mainland. The U.S. disinterest in starting a conflict over China’s island-building in the South China Sea has exposed the distance between U.S. strategic priorities and those of Southeast Asian states. The U.S. inability to dictate terms on the Korean Peninsula has revealed the limits of its power even on issues vital to U.S. strategy. The U.S. is an ocean away, and Taiwan cannot be certain that regional circumstances will not shift further and eventually give Beijing an opening to force the issue. And in this regard, Beijing thinks time is on its side.

Can China Win Without Fighting?

Reunification is Beijing’s utmost strategic and political priority. This view is, in part, motivated by domestic concerns. Under Xi, China is putting the finishing touches on its reintegration of Hong Kong and Macau, the two other physical reminders of China’s century of humiliation and foreign subjugation. Taiwan is a perpetual scar on the Communist Party’s narratives about the communist victory in the Chinese civil war, and the party routinely nurtures grievances about foreign meddling in Taipei to curry nationalist support for its right to rule. This view is also strategic. So long as the U.S. can pair its superior naval and aerial capabilities with bases and allied support along what’s known as the first island chain – Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia – it poses a threat to block sea lanes that are critical to China’s export-dependent economy. And more than any other island in this chain, Taiwan could be used by a foreign power to threaten the Chinese mainland itself. Retaking Taiwan would blow a massive hole in the U.S. containment strategy – and put China in a more enviable position to threaten Japan.

For Beijing, therefore, reunification is a matter of when, not if. This doesn’t mean it will attempt to retake the island anytime soon. Attempting to do so would involve vast amphibious landing operations against a well-equipped and deeply entrenched foe, requiring extraordinarily complex coordination between air, land and sea forces, and especially with logistics. The Chinese military has no real experience with this kind of warfare. It would also expose economically invaluable mainland regions to Taiwan’s considerable firepower.

For the time being, China is following Sun Tzu’s tried and true strategy of winning without fighting. In recent years, especially since the 2016 electoral win of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s nominally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, China has doubled down on efforts to squeeze Taiwan diplomatically. For example, it’s been flooding the few remaining countries that still recognize Taipei as the legitimate Chinese government with aid and investment in exchange for severing ties with the Taiwanese. Taiwan has found itself barred from international bodies like the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol. Chinese diplomatic pressure has succeeded in diminishing Taiwanese trade ties with important partners such as Nigeria. These moves may be little more than irritants to Taipei, but they speak to the potential that China can suffocate Taiwan internationally in more substantive ways. Already, for example, Taiwan has been unable to find sellers to help it update its obsolete and minuscule submarine fleet – a critical vulnerability for a country separated by just 80 miles (130 kilometers) of water from a military perpetually planning for an invasion.

The overriding goal of this strategy is to make it easier for Taiwan to one day decide that peaceful reunification is in its own best interests. The ongoing shift in the military balance of power toward Beijing, combined with Taiwanese doubts about U.S. commitments, certainly gives it reason to think Taipei will eventually come around. So too is Taiwan’s eroding economic edge, as mainland firms increasingly move into the high-tech and advanced manufacturing spaces occupied by their Taiwanese counterparts. And moves like the announcement by Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office in February of a list of “31 incentives” to “improve the rights of Taiwanese studying, working, living or starting a business” on the mainland are intended to hollow out resistance from within.

In theory, China can afford to bide its time to see if this strategy works. As former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping put it, China can wait on reunification for 100 years if necessary. The question is what happens if and when China plunges into a deep socio-economic crisis, hindering both China’s military trajectory and its ability win over the Taiwanese with soft power – and whether nationalist pressures in such a scenario compel China to take its best shot prematurely.

Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Will China invade Taiwan?
« Reply #1370 on: October 08, 2021, 12:27:51 PM »
"if a real war were in the offering, we’d see less saber-rattling"

https://www.battleswarmblog.com/?p=49377
-----------------------------------------------------

Who suffers if China blows up Taiwan's semiconductor industry?  Who suffers from a long, drawn out Asian war?

Why wouldn't Xi wait until the Biden era is wrapping up.  This is the best 3 1/2 years they're going to get.








Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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Question
« Reply #1376 on: October 11, 2021, 09:19:13 AM »
who is moving faster towards a more one party controlled
government dominating the inhabitants and stymying dissent

China or the US?

China of course started more to the LEFT but we are following them step for step

as for Taiwan
they are cooked.

but don't worry we have Gen Milley
and
Sec of Def Austin
and capping that off with Sec of State Blinken

under a senile Biden
we are in good hands.  :roll: :wink:

ccp

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ccp

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1379 on: October 16, 2021, 08:10:46 PM »
But I must add

blinks Milley and Austin are hard at the job

which makes me only more afraid we are doomed


Crafty_Dog

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G M

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The FUSA is just a tragic joke at this point
« Reply #1382 on: October 21, 2021, 06:40:13 PM »

G M

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G M

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China has plans for us
« Reply #1384 on: October 22, 2021, 08:52:07 AM »
https://jrnyquist.blog/2021/10/22/the-taiwan-question/

First, says Chi, living space is the regime’s central focus, though this cannot be publicly admitted because it would associate China with Nazi Germany in the eyes of the world and reinforce the view that China is a threat. So, this focus must remain secret.

Second, the Communist Party must teach the Chinese people to “go out” and find “new lands” in order to justify its leadership position and hold firmly to power. Chi states, “Comrade Mao Zedong said that if we could lead the Chinese people outside of China, resolving the lack of living space in China, the Chinese people will support us.”

Third, for China to become the “lord of the earth,” it is necessary, said Chi, “to hold firmly onto the big ‘issue of America.’ This appears to be shocking, but the logic is actually very simple.”

Chi underscores his point with the following rhetorical question: “Would the United States allow us to go out to gain new living space? First, if the United States is firm in blocking us, it is hard for us to do anything significant to Taiwan, Vietnam, India, or even Japan, [so] how much more living space can we get? Very trivial! Only countries like the United States, Canada and Australia have the vast land to serve our need for mass colonization.”

G M

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Re: China has plans for us-BIOWARFARE
« Reply #1385 on: October 22, 2021, 12:28:59 PM »
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/10/chinas-military-declares-biotechnology-warfare-fundamental-guiding-principle/

https://jrnyquist.blog/2021/10/22/the-taiwan-question/

First, says Chi, living space is the regime’s central focus, though this cannot be publicly admitted because it would associate China with Nazi Germany in the eyes of the world and reinforce the view that China is a threat. So, this focus must remain secret.

Second, the Communist Party must teach the Chinese people to “go out” and find “new lands” in order to justify its leadership position and hold firmly to power. Chi states, “Comrade Mao Zedong said that if we could lead the Chinese people outside of China, resolving the lack of living space in China, the Chinese people will support us.”

Third, for China to become the “lord of the earth,” it is necessary, said Chi, “to hold firmly onto the big ‘issue of America.’ This appears to be shocking, but the logic is actually very simple.”

Chi underscores his point with the following rhetorical question: “Would the United States allow us to go out to gain new living space? First, if the United States is firm in blocking us, it is hard for us to do anything significant to Taiwan, Vietnam, India, or even Japan, [so] how much more living space can we get? Very trivial! Only countries like the United States, Canada and Australia have the vast land to serve our need for mass colonization.”

Crafty_Dog

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1386 on: October 22, 2021, 05:36:57 PM »
Yet another reader of this forum?

G M

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1387 on: October 22, 2021, 06:03:56 PM »
Yet another reader of this forum?

Just thinking about a scenario where China takes down the grid this winter just as the ClotShot starts killing off a significant number of the vaxxed, which would include the majority of unpurged active duty military. If you think we are seeing empty shelves and a disintegrating supply chain now…

I am expecting ADE to become a thing this winter.

https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/antibody-dependent-enhancement-and-vaccines

G M

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1388 on: October 22, 2021, 06:36:22 PM »
Yet another reader of this forum?

Just thinking about a scenario where China takes down the grid this winter just as the ClotShot starts killing off a significant number of the vaxxed, which would include the majority of unpurged active duty military. If you think we are seeing empty shelves and a disintegrating supply chain now…

I am expecting ADE to become a thing this winter.

https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-safety/antibody-dependent-enhancement-and-vaccines

Just take the ClotShot, oh and China needs your DNA.

https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/l-a-first-responders-ordered-to-turn-over-personal-and-genetic-data/


DougMacG

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US-China, Taiwan, Biden, South China Sea--
« Reply #1390 on: Today at 05:27:45 AM »

G M

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Re: US-China, Taiwan, Biden, South China Sea--
« Reply #1391 on: Today at 07:46:57 AM »
US 'walking back' Biden statement that we would defend our ally.

What?

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/578111-biden-remarks-on-taiwan-leave-administration-scrambling

President Ron Klain has other ideas.

ccp

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Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc)
« Reply #1392 on: Today at 07:58:53 AM »
when CCP

perfects hypersonic missiles
I am thinking they will blockade Taiwan and strangle into submission

would they want to flatten an economic powerhouse
or take it over without firing a shot?

I am thinking they will do sooner than later
why wait to let us or other nations in the region beef up?

the msm telling us joe is going to trying to have a face to face talk with Xi
only sounds like chamberlain on his knees begging Hitler to stop taking control of surrounding countries