Author Topic: Taiwan  (Read 1372 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Taiwan
« on: April 21, 2022, 02:29:12 PM »


Crafty_Dog

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ET: How to prep Taiwan
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2022, 12:15:58 PM »
Taiwan Can Learn from Ukraine in Defending Against Possible Chinese Invasion: Analysts
By J.M. Phelps April 24, 2022 Updated: April 25, 2022biggersmaller Print

Taiwan may be forced to confront a saturation of missile attacks and cyberattacks against critical infrastructure in a fight to maintain its de facto independence from the Chinese regime. Taking tips from Ukraine could prove to be beneficial to its survival, according to experts.

Russia is using a variety of cruise missiles and short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) to inflict damage to the Ukrainian military and country’s infrastructure. While Ukrainian defense forces remain intact, they have not been able to stop the ability of the Russian military to conduct the missile attacks.

Retired rear admiral Mark Montgomery, who serves as senior director of the Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation and senior fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Epoch Times there is “a lesson here for Taiwan to learn,” explaining that it is imperative the small East Asian country to boost its short-range to medium-range air defense capabilities against both cruise missiles and SRBMs as a possible invasion from China looms closer.

The Chinese regime views Taiwan as part of its territory, even though the island has been governed as a separate entity for more than seven decades. Beijing has vowed to take control of the island by force, if necessary.

In February, the United States approved a possible $100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan to “sustain, maintain, and improve” its Patriot missile defense system. According to the statement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the proposed upgrades to the air defense would “help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region.”

Unlike Ukraine, Taiwan faces a substantial threat from the sea. To that end, Montgomery said the land-based version of the Harpoon Black II anti-ship missile would “do a lot of damage to an inbound [naval] invasion force.” As part of a recently awarded Harpoon Coastal Defense System (HCDS) contract for Taiwan, nearly $500 million dollars was granted to Boeing to begin the process of supplying “100 launcher transporter units, 25 radar units, and HCDS training equipment.”

Protect Against Cyberattacks

On the heels of the Russian invasion of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Russia managed to knock out electric power for tens of thousands of citizens in western Ukraine. In the following years, an onslaught of cyberattacks against Ukrainian government agencies, the country’s banking system, and more have ensued.

“Clearly, the Ukrainians have upped their cyber protection game, as [the Eastern European country] has become much better at fending off [Russian cyberattacks] in 2022 than was done in the years past,” according to Montgomery. “Taiwan can learn from that.”

Yet one day before the invasion, Ukraine’s military and infrastructure came face to face with a massive Chinese cyberattack, according to a report.

Meanwhile, Taiwan government agencies alone receive about 2.5 million cyberattacks and probes per day from China, an official has said.

A mass power outage in Taiwan in early March further reinforces Montgomery’s concern about cyberwarfare. While a blackout has been attributed to “operational negligence,” he said the Chinese regime will not cease to look for vulnerabilities to the island’s government agencies and critical infrastructure. “Taiwan has no choice but to improve their cyber protection game,” Montgomery said.

Utilize the Civilian Population

Ukrainian civilians have been trained for war as a second-tier line of defense, participating in drills to bolster their fighting capabilities and assist the Ukrainian military. According to global security expert Benjamin Varlese, “the use of civilians to assist in protecting the country has been an effective strategy.” Not only have civilians offered first aid to the injured, but they’ve also been successful in stalling Russian military advances, he said.

In the event of an attack from China, Taiwan has also been teaching first aid and preparing its citizens to assist the island’s armed forces.

“Taiwan’s citizens could definitely be used to slow an invasion from China, forcing what could be a speedy military invasion into a much lengthier insurgency,” Varlese said.

“Any such delay to an invasion could cause the Chinese regime to take a tactical pause and force them to rethink their strategies,” he added.

According to Varlese, “the window is narrow as the Russia Ukraine conflict unfolds” as the Chinese regime currently finds itself “not quite as ” as it was prior to the conflict, having seen the West’s unifying response to Moscow’s aggression.

“Before things start escalating more dramatically, a civilian population that administers more than first aid is clearly something that should be given serious consideration as a deterrent.”

Thwarting the Financial Burden

As Taiwan’s most formidable ally, the United States is witnessing the burgeoning cost of money and lives attributed to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to Montgomery.

“It’s very expensive to address the invasion and impact of an authoritarian state like Russia, and the same would hold true for China,” he said.

As of April 22, Washington has committed $3.4 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the start of the invasion, and more than $4 billion since the start of the Biden administration, according to the Pentagon.

Should Russia fail, Montgomery warned about the future cost to rebuild Ukraine after the invasion is over. “It’s clear that we would have been much better served by investments and sanctions made left of bang, ahead of the crisis, as this might have deterred Russia,” he said.

But because Russia was not deterred, Montgomery said, “the United States is now going to be spending a lot more money cleaning up the mess.”

The decision to fully invest in protecting Taiwan cannot wait, according to Montgomery. “The U.S. can’t wait on exquisite intel, but the lesson from Russia is that deterrence requires action ahead of the crisis, [adding that] it’s too late once the crisis starts.”

Crafty_Dog

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NRO: One China, One Taiwan
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2022, 01:16:47 PM »
One China, One Taiwan

Welcome to the Tuesday, a weekly newsletter about many things and even some thangs. To sign up for NRPlus and receive the Tuesday on the regular as a paid-up National Review subscriber, please click right here.

The Most Dangerous Fiction

It is a little bit surreal to hear China’s rulers and their servants talk about Taiwan. It is a little like a little kid who is very, very committed to his imaginary friend.

In the recent session of China’s rubber-stamp ersatz parliament, there were many energetic denunciations of “separatist” elements seeking “independence” for Taiwan, according to English-language media reports. When former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe wrote a Los Angeles Times op-ed comparing Taiwan’s situation vis-à-vis China to Ukraine’s relationship with Russia, the Chinese consul general in Los Angeles wrote angrily to the newspaper:

The situations in Taiwan and Ukraine cannot be compared. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, where the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government. This One-China Principle is explicitly stated in both joint communiqués for establishing China-U.S. and China-Japan diplomatic ties.

In one sense, the consul general is absolutely right. In another sense, he is absolutely full of it.

There is a considerable degree of ritual in Beijing’s fretting about the “independence” of Taiwan, which has been an independent country — and a thriving democracy with a sophisticated economy — for many years now. Likewise, to call the Taiwanese “separatists” is very strange in that Taiwan has been separate from Beijing for decades and decades.

On the other hand, it is the case that both the United States and China — and Japan — officially buy into the “One China” policy, which is a fundamental part of the basis of diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing. Under “One China,” Washington officially acknowledges just what the consul general says: “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, where the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government.” Washington has no official relations with Taipei — Taiwan in fact has normal diplomatic relations with only a baker’s dozen of countries, mostly small and obscure ones (Nauru, Palau, etc.) a few more prominent ones (Belize, Guatemala, Haiti) and one of great symbolic importance: the Holy See.

The United States maintained relations with Taiwan for decades after its establishment until President Jimmy Carter suddenly abandoned Taiwan in 1979 to pursue a closer relationship with the so-called People’s Republic of China on the theory that Beijing could be a reliable part of a united front against Moscow and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, then our chief global adversary. The United States maintains robust political, cultural, economic, and military relations with Taiwan, a country that, as far as the official story in Washington is concerned, does not exist. The two nations do more than $100 billion in trade annually, but Washington does not recognize the government in Taipei.

There is a delusional Taiwanese version of the “One China” policy, too, the official view of the Kuomintang (the Nationalist Party or KMT) that there is one China and that the regime in Taipei is the legitimate government of all of it. KMT traditionally opposes “Taiwanization” and emphasizes closer relations with Beijing — not exactly what you’d expect from an anticommunist nationalist party, but it is a complex situation. The center-left Democratic Progressive Party, which currently runs the show in Taipei, also calls itself a nationalist party, but the nation it means is Taiwan, not a notional unified China.

Washington accepted the One China fiction as a Cold War expedient, but the expedient has outlived its expediency. As I noted in an earlier newsletter, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was an act of naked international aggression, but a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be — on paper, as a formality, in the official view of the United States — an internal matter, Beijing taking extraordinary measures to reincorporate a breakaway province. That isn’t how things actually stand, of course, but the “One China” fiction matters — for one thing, it provides Beijing with a fig leaf if not a moral permission slip, and, for another, it actually encourages Beijing to believe that it can act as though “One China” described the real world. Washington calls its Taiwan policy one of “strategic ambiguity,” and, while ambiguity certainly has its uses, it is also dangerous.

Shinzo Abe writes:

Russia’s invasion is not only an armed violation of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty, but also an attempt to overthrow the government of a sovereign state with missiles and shells. On this point, there is no controversy in the international community over the interpretation of international law and the UN Charter. While the extent to which countries participate in sanctions against Russia has differed, no country has claimed that Russia is not in serious violation of international law.

By contrast, China claims that Taiwan is “part of its own country,” and the US and Japanese position is to respect this claim. Neither Japan nor the US has official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and most countries around the world do not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state. Unlike in Ukraine, Chinese leaders could claim that any invasion of Taiwan that China launches is necessary to suppress anti-government activities in one of its own regions, and that such acts therefore would not violate international law.

When Russia annexed Crimea, the international community ultimately acquiesced, even though Russia had violated Ukrainian sovereignty. Given this precedent, it is not surprising that Chinese leaders may very well expect the world to be more tolerant should they, too, adopt the logic of “regional” — rather than national — subjugation.

This logic has made strategic ambiguity untenable.

Under the Biden administration and a surprisingly robust bipartisan congressional consensus, the United States has — to its credit — undertaken unexpected and extraordinary measures to support Kyiv against the predations of Vladimir Putin. Putin complains that the United States is conducting a proxy war against Russia, and Putin is not far from wrong. President Biden dices it pretty fine when he insists, “We’re not attacking Russia; we’re helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression.”

While there are critical lacunae in the U.S. and EU sanctions regime, the United States and our European allies are doing everything short of sending regular troops into the battle. Weapons and equipment supplied by the United States and European governments are being used by a Ukrainian military that is — and should be — conducting operations not only inside Ukraine but also inside Russia. It seems likely that at some point Moscow will decide that the United States is an undeclared belligerent in the Ukraine war, and, if that time comes, Moscow will have a pretty good case. The United States and the Biden administration are right to take a hard line here, but we should as a country be clear in our own minds about what that means. While it is something close to a metaphysical certainty that U.S. forces would sweep the Russians off the battlefield like toy soldiers in a direct confrontation between conventional forces, there are obvious risks to such a confrontation (Putin has a considerable nuclear arsenal) and non-obvious risks as well.

In many important ways, our current confrontation with Moscow is a useful test run for our likely future confrontation with Beijing. It is certainly a useful one for Beijing, which now has a good understanding — one hopes it is a sobering understanding — of the likely scope and intensity of U.S. and European sanctions that might be deployed against a too-adventurous China, and the capabilities and limitations of what the Western world can bring to the fight short of putting troops in the field. President Biden is not exactly an inspiring or energetic leader — or, in many regards, even a credible one — but the country is in some ways less divided than had been supposed, and when figures such as Tucker Carlson and J. D. Vance attempted to pull a cynical Charles Lindbergh on the Ukraine war, they got their fingers burned. Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, and Ursula von der Leyen all together might not add up to one Winston Churchill, but there is reason to think that we can manage in this case without one. This isn’t an age of heroes, but there is still work to be done.

Which brings us back to the tense Taiwan Strait.

Senior figures in the Biden administration have been holding talks with their U.K. counterparts with the goal of developing a better-coordinated policy on China and Taiwan. Similar outreach has been undertaken toward our European partners. The new AUKUS security bloc was launched with an eye toward China, too. There are many in Washington, London, and Brussels — and Taipei — who worry that the war in Ukraine is a prelude.

From the Financial Times:

In a sign of the enhanced co-operation with the UK, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, a British aircraft carrier, last year spent more than six months deployed in the Indo-Pacific. Heino Klinck, a former top Pentagon Asia official, welcomed the US-UK consultations on Taiwan. He said they came on the heels of European naval deployments in the Indo-Pacific that increased last year after the Trump administration had held discussions with European allies about boosting operations in the South China Sea.

“Deterring Chinese aggression against Taiwan is in everyone’s interest. It is not just an Indo-Pacific issue, it is a global issue,” said Klinck. “US military planners are not counting on Germany or France sending warships, or Britain sending a carrier in the case of a conflict over Taiwan. But when those countries send ships to the South China Sea, or transit the Taiwan Strait, it sends a strong signal to China.”

A senior Taiwanese official said Taipei was aware of the US efforts to involve more allies in its Taiwan planning. “They’ve been doing it with Japan and Australia, and now they’re trying to do it with Britain,” he said.

It surely is the case that “deterring Chinese aggression against Taiwan is in everyone’s interest.” It is in Beijing’s interest, to begin with, even if Beijing doesn’t know it.

And so the HMS Queen Elizabeth patrols the Indo-Pacific, and the bland old men who sit behind desks in the world’s capitals move their chessmen around the board. The situation is a complex one. But I cannot help thinking that we might simplify it a great deal by dispensing with the lie — which is what the “One China” policy is. Perhaps it was true in some sense at some time. But the fact is that Taiwan today is as much of a real country as Germany or France or the United States.

If we mean to take seriously our historical commitment to Taiwan, then the thing to do is to be plain about the fact that we’d think of China’s invading Taiwan the same way as we’d think of its invading one of these.

But that isn’t true, either.

And Furthermore . . .

Sovereignty is a subject that seems to draw to itself all sorts of funny little fictions. We pretend that China and Taiwan are one country and that Taiwan isn’t sovereign. We treat countries such as Pakistan as sovereign even though the government doesn’t actually control much of the country. I think about this sometimes in the case of the U.S. government’s relationship with the Indian nations, whose sovereignty is an official fiction to which we remain very strongly committed. I am no expert on native issues and am entirely open to the argument that Washington should take tribal sovereignty seriously, but Washington doesn’t — see, for example, how little tribal sovereignty means when it comes to the so-called War on Drugs. I can’t help thinking that some kind of rectification is needed, that we should either stop pretending we believe in tribal sovereignty or start acting like we do.

And Further-er-more . . .

There is a scene in The Lion in Winter that perfectly encapsulates the might-makes-right politics that we liberals and idealists are always trying to get past but never can. In a testy confrontation between Henry II of England and his French counterpart, Philip II, Hank the Deuce insists that a certain French territory is his. “By whose authority?” Philip demands. “It’s got my troops all over it,” Henry answers. “That makes it mine.

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Gramm & Wicker: Turn Taiwan into a porcupine
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2022, 05:03:19 AM »
Deter China by Turning Taiwan Into a Porcupine
Western allies should accelerate the sale of F-16s, missiles, drones and other force-multiplier weapons.
By Phil Gramm and Roger Wicker
May 4, 2022 12:38 pm ET


The paramount lesson from the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that repeated threats of economic sanctions didn’t deter Vladimir Putin from launching an all-out invasion. This offers a warning for Taiwan, the U.S. and their allies as threats from China loom.

The long history of sanctions, embargoes and economic blockades strongly suggests they are difficult to enforce, entail significant costs to the nations imposing them, and trigger market forces that eventually override them. Benefits flow to countries that don’t enforce the sanctions. The enforcement challenges grow significantly if the economy of the targeted nation is large, and as the size of the target country increases, the deterrent effect of threatening sanctions loses credibility.

Since the Chinese economy—one-sixth of the world’s economy—is 10 times as large as the Russian economy, effective sanctions would be virtually impossible to enforce. Relying on threatened sanctions to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan could therefore entice aggression that could pull the U.S. into a war with China, an event that would alter the course of world history.

Thankfully, there is a far more effective deterrent. Taiwan is an island roughly 100 miles off the coast of mainland China. Unlike Ukraine, a large land army can’t be massed along its border. But because it is an island, supplies also can’t be delivered to an adjacent neighbor and clandestinely driven across the border. Any supplies delivered after an attack would have to be flown in or delivered by ship, putting the supplier directly in harm’s way. Supplying Taiwan on anything like the scale we have supplied Ukraine during a Chinese attack would be a logistical nightmare.

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When China was an economic basket case, 100 miles of ocean was more than enough deterrent. But with China now an economic and military powerhouse, Taiwan’s lack of preparedness is increasingly dangerous.

Taiwan’s economy is two-thirds larger than Israel’s, but Taiwan spends almost two-thirds less as a percentage of gross domestic product on defense. U.S. support can’t be allowed to abet Taiwan’s neglect of its own defense. As Machiavelli observed, “nothing is so weak and unsustainable as a reputation for power which is not based on one’s own strength.”

The good news is that modern technology makes it relatively easy for Taiwan to afford weapons that would make the cost of invasion exceed any reasonable benefit. Ukraine’s valiant resistance has shown how highly motivated defenders with high-tech weapons can scramble the calculus of military power. Like David’s smooth stone that slew Goliath, two Ukrainian Neptune missiles sank the flagship of the Russian navy in the Black Sea. With 400 U.S. Harpoon missiles, costing only 0.3% of its GDP, Taiwan could imperil any Chinese warship in the Taiwan Strait. Modern sea mines are even less expensive, and Turkish Bayraktar drones, which have been so effective in Ukraine, cost less than $2 million each. Two hundred fifty million dollars would buy 5,000 Switchblade drones, which could devastate landing craft, armored vehicles, and small assault ships.

Taiwan already has two Patriot missile battalions and for $3 billion could double its air and missile defense. Stinger missiles, used to great effect in Ukraine, cost only $400 million for 1,000 missiles. Taiwan will have more than 200 F-16 fighter jets by 2026, including almost 70 of the newest Block 70 aircraft. With additional F-16s and other aircraft being retired from the U.S. Air Force, more aircraft could be made available at their depreciated value.

If the U.S. and its allies are willing to accelerate the sale of these and other force-multiplier weapons at cost, Taiwan could totally upgrade and harden its defenses by simply raising its defense budget from 2% to 3% of GDP. At that level, Taiwan could fund all these weapon purchases over a five-year period. Sustaining its defense outlays at 3% of GDP would allow Taiwan to continue modernizing its defenses while spending at a level roughly equal to Israel’s defense expenditures in real dollar terms.

With these investments, Taiwan should focus heavily on training for new weapons systems. It should also consider transforming its army from the current conscript system into a smaller voluntary force that would better accommodate a defense system based on the power of modern technology. Citizens who would have otherwise been drafted could be trained in high-end weaponry and kept in reserve or home-guard forces that could be activated in emergencies.

The primary objective of the U.S., its allies and Taiwan isn’t to repel a Chinese attack but to prevent it from ever occurring. Effective deterrence is the key to national security.

Any wolf has the ability to kill a gentle porcupine. And yet such an attack virtually never occurs in nature. The defense of the porcupine’s quills, which can rip through the predator’s mouth and throat, is the deterrent that protects the small creature in the violent woods. Through the force-multiplying miracle of modern weapons, we can help make Taiwan a porcupine and deter aggression that could have profoundly negative consequences for Taiwan, China and the world.

Mr. Gramm is a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and a nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Wicker, a U.S. senator from Mississippi, is in line to become the chairman of the Armed Services Committee if Republicans control the Senate next year.


Crafty_Dog

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Three reasons to defend Taiwan
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2022, 02:36:41 AM »
First Taiwan, then the U.S.?

Why Americans should care about the island’s freedom

By Tiffany Meier

Will Americans be embroiled in another war? With the Russian war on Ukraine, many experts are now predicting Taiwan is doomed to fall to the Chinese Communist Party. But it’s not that simple. Bradley Thayer, Founding Member of the Committee on Present Danger: China told me, “Taiwan is in some respects a linchpin, economic linchpin, militarily it is a linchpin, and in the ideological struggle against the Chinese regime, it is as well.”

Let’s look at those three areas. On the economic front, Taiwan produces nearly 90% of the world’s high-end semiconductors, also known as microchips.

These chips are found in everything from phones, cars, computers, AC units, even military gear like fighter jets. If Taiwan were to fall to China, there would be a massive disruption across the supply chain. Even without a war, there already is.

I spoke with Keith Krach, former undersecretary of state, who said semiconductors are “literally the base of everything. It’s the most important industry in the world.”

Now semiconductors aside, let’s consider the second factor: Taiwan’s role as a strategic player.

Taiwan is part of what’s known as the First Island Chain, which stretches from Japan to Taiwan to the Philippines. If Taiwan were no longer free, the Chinese regime would be able to break through that First Island Chain and access the Pacific Ocean.

Now the reason that would be perilous is first, the Pacific Ocean has deep enough waters that China’s nuclear-armed submarines would be able to bypass U.S. detection and launch a surprise assault on U.S. shores.

Right now, the U.S. is able to track China’s submarines and stop them, were they to try and launch an assault.

Second, if Taiwan were to fall, the neighboring countries would rush to strike a deal with China in order to preserve their own safety as much as possible. That would mean a massive loss in allies to the U.S. in that region.

Now, when it comes to the question of whether America would defend Taiwan, the issue of “strategic ambiguity” comes up. Under that, the U.S. just has to make sure Taiwan has the means to defend itself. Hence the increase in arms sales to Taiwan.

But “strategic ambiguity” creates an aura of uncertainty. And what the Ukraine war has pushed to the forefront is the need for deterrence from strength. Not deterrence through uncertainty. And before we get into the third, and arguably the most important factor when it comes to Taiwan, let’s take a moment to see what the Russian war on Ukraine has taught us.

That war has taught Beijing and Taiwan lessons, both good and bad for each side. The resilience seen in Ukraine is a good indicator for Taiwan’s spirit to fight and defend its freedoms if the Chinese regime were to launch an invasion.

In war, there is the weighing of odds. If it’s just Beijing vs. Taiwan, those odds are looking pretty good for the Chinese regime. But if it’s Beijing vs. Taiwan and Japan and Australia backed by U.S. military might, suddenly those odds don’t look so good anymore.

But all that aside, there’s a third factor, maybe the most important one, when it comes to Taiwan.

Keith Krach told me, “There will always be a need to defend Taiwan. And the reason is, they are a role model of democracy in that region.”

“They also dispel Xi [Jinping’s] myth that the Chinese culture cannot survive a democracy and it needs an authoritarian government,” he added.

And because of that, the Chinese communist regime will forever see a free Taiwan as a thorn in its side and try to squash it. Obliterate it.

But more than trade and military might, what the Chinese regime fears most is Taiwan’s ideological threat. That threat stems from freedom, whether that’s freedom of religion, of the press, or equality before the law; in other words, the bastions of Democracy.

The Chinese regime is afraid of those freedoms, as that would allow the Chinese people to rise up against authoritarian rule, a rule of fear.

In fact, Taiwan showcases a second China. One not ruled by an iron fist of fear. But if Beijing were to snuff out Taiwan, it’s not just the ideological front. It’s not just the loss of a Democratic ally, albeit an unofficial one.

It would be the loss of life, as we know it. World economies would be askew and there would be a major shift in world powers. If America loses the Pacific power, it will mark the end to America’s position as the leader of the free world




Crafty_Dog

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WSJ:
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2022, 07:26:51 AM »
TOKYO—President Biden said the U.S. would respond militarily to defend Taiwan if China tries to take it by force, sparking uncertainty over whether the U.S. was moving away from its longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity and prompting a clarification from the White House.

Mr. Biden’s comments were met with anger from Beijing and praise from Taipei. They were also part of a pattern: In August and October of last year, the president answered questions on Taiwan by suggesting a break in U.S. policy toward the democratically self-ruled island, only to have aides jump in to say nothing had changed.

This time, he chose a venue much closer to Beijing. Mr. Biden spoke Monday alongside the Japanese prime minister in Tokyo during his first trip to Asia as commander-in-chief.

The president was asked if the U.S. would get involved militarily in response to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan after declining to send American troops to Ukraine to fight Russia’s invasion.

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“Yes. That’s the commitment we made,” he said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin raised his voice when asked at a regular briefing about Mr. Biden’s remarks and said Beijing was strongly dissatisfied by them.

China “has no room for compromise and concession” on core concerns like Taiwan and “will take firm action to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests,” Mr. Wang said. “We do what we say.”

Mr. Biden, in his Monday remarks, stressed that the U.S. remains committed to the bedrock “One China policy,” which recognizes the present rulers as the only legitimate government and acknowledges—but doesn’t endorse—Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is a part of the nation. But the president said that policy doesn’t give China the right to forcefully take over the island.

“We agree with the One China policy and all the attendant agreements we made. But the idea that it can be taken by force, just taken by force, would just not be appropriate,” Mr. Biden said. “It would dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine. So, it’s a burden that is even stronger.”

He also played down the possibility that China would try to take Taiwan.

“My expectation is that it will not happen, it will not be attempted,” Mr. Biden said, adding that it is important for world leaders to send a strong message that there will be consequences if Beijing takes such action.

Taiwan is thankful to the U.S. for its “rock solid” commitment, foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said.

“Our government’s determination to firmly defend Taiwan’s freedom, democracy and security has never changed, and we will continue to improve self-defense capabilities,” she said in a written statement.

Responding to Mr. Biden’s comment, a White House official underscored the president’s assertion that American policy toward Taiwan hasn’t changed. The official said Mr. Biden was referring to the U.S. obligation to bolster Taipei’s ability to defend itself, which is enshrined in the Taiwan Relations Act.

The act, passed in 1979, portrays any attempt to determine Taiwan’s political future through anything other than peaceful means as a threat to American interests. Congress is committed to selling defensive weapons to Taiwan, but Washington has previously avoided saying whether it would intervene directly in the event of an invasion.

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confusing
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2022, 07:49:53 AM »


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Re: confusing
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2022, 05:11:35 PM »
Whomever "clarifies" Biden's statements is the real president.

That wasn't elected.


Be sure to VOTE HARDER!


different levels of commitment or no real commitment

very confusing :

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/05/23/white-house-cleans-up-after-biden-again-claims-u-s-has-military-commitment-with-taiwan/



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Recognize Taiwan
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2022, 11:01:18 AM »

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D1
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2022, 10:15:36 AM »
Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin spoke to his Chinese counterpart Friday in Singapore at the annual conference of global defense officials known as the Shangri-La Dialogue. The two military leaders spoke about Russia's Ukraine invasion, and the regional nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

Austin also "reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Strait, opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo, and called on the PRC to refrain from further destabilizing actions toward Taiwan," according to the Defense Department's readout.

Afterward, China's Defense Ministry got all worked up and promised it "will definitely not hesitate to start a war, no matter the cost" should anyone "dare to split Taiwan from China." That's according to a blistering statement from Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian, via Agence France-Presse.

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ET:
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2022, 05:51:35 PM »
second

Beijing Should Seize Taiwan and TSMC When Facing ‘Destructive’ US Sanctions: Chinese Economist
By Frank Yue June 9, 2022 Updated: June 9, 2022biggersmaller Print

0:00
3:34



1

A senior Chinese economist at a U.S.-China forum proposed that Beijing take over Taiwan and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) if Washington sanctions Beijing as it has Moscow.

“If the United States and the West impose destructive sanctions on China as they treat Russia, we must recover Taiwan,” said China’s economist Chen Wenling on May 30 at a forum hosted by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, according to state outlets. “Especially in the reconstruction of industry and supply chains, we must seize TSMC, a firm that inherently belongs to China.”

Chen is the chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a state think tank overseen by China’s top economic planning agency National Development and Reform Commission. Her comments came as TSMC, a global leader in semiconductor production, becomes increasingly important amid the global chip crunch.

“They are speeding up the transfer to the United States to build six factories there,” she added. “We must not let all the goals of the transfer be achieved.”

The Chinese regime sees Taiwan as part of its territory and has threatened war to bring the island into its fold. The self-ruled island is a de-facto independent country, with its own democratically-elected government, military, constitution, diplomacy, and currency.

Meanwhile, Chen urged Beijing to openly support Moscow to the best of its ability, citing a recent joint air force drill between the two allies as an example.

“China and Russia may be united by matching the Belt and Road Initiative and the broad Eurasia alliance raised by Putin,” said the expert. “That will form a strategic depth belt for our country, an economic belt along the Silk Road, and an energy security belt, which will serve [China] as a major buffer for security concerns in the future.”

On Feb. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which the Kremlin calls “a special military operation.” As of June 8, 4,266 civilians have been killed, including 67 children, and 5,178 injured in Ukraine, with over 6.5 million people fleeing to neighboring countries, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Additionally, Chen said that China could hit its rival hard in a way most unfavorable to the opponent when the reform achievements it has made over the past 40 years are at risk.

Taiwan legislator Wang Ting-Yu dismissed her speech as “irresponsible and provocative” in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

“The idea of taking over Taiwan and TSMC by force highlights China’s ignorance, arrogance, and aggressiveness,” Wang said. “Further, it signals they [Chinese authorities] would risk being perceived to be an enemy to the world for [its] economic interests.”

Internet user Zhao Ming tweeted that Chen can hardly be called an economist, as he said she shows no common sense in her field. “Economics promotes the free movement of talent, capital, and technology while Chen Wenling’s mindset is heavily preoccupied with looting.”

The Epoch Times could not reach Chen Wenling for comment by press time.

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Foreign Affairs: The Consequences of Conquest
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2022, 07:55:27 AM »
FA is the epitome of the foreign affairs establishment:

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

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2022-06-16/consequences-conquest-taiwan-indo-pacific?utm_medium=newsletters&utm_source=fatoday&utm_campaign=The%20Consequences%20of%20Conquest&utm_content=20220616&utm_term=FA%20Today%20-%20112017


The Consequences of Conquest
Why Indo-Pacific Power Hinges on Taiwan
By Brendan Rittenhouse Green and Caitlin Talmadge
July/August 2022

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2022-06-16/consequences-conquest-taiwan-indo-pacific
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Of all the intractable issues that could spark a hot war between the United States and China, Taiwan is at the very top of the list. And the potential geopolitical consequences of such a war would be profound. Taiwan—“an unsinkable aircraft carrier and submarine tender,” as U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur once described it—has important, often underappreciated military value as a gateway to the Philippine Sea, a vital theater for defending Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea from possible Chinese coercion or attack. There is no guarantee that China would win a war for the island—or that such a conflict wouldn’t drag on for years and weaken China. But if Beijing gained control of Taiwan and based military assets there, China’s military position would improve markedly.

Beijing’s ocean surveillance assets and submarines, in particular, could make control of Taiwan a substantial boon to Chinese military power. Even without any major technological or military leaps, possession of the island would improve China’s ability to impede U.S. naval and air operations in the Philippine Sea and thereby limit the United States’ ability to defend its Asian allies. And if, in the future, Beijing were to develop a large fleet of quiet nuclear attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines, basing them on Taiwan would enable China to threaten Northeast Asian shipping lanes and strengthen its sea-based nuclear forces.

Clearly, the island’s military value bolsters the argument for keeping Taiwan out of China’s grasp. The strength of that case, however, depends on several factors, including whether one assumes that China would pursue additional territorial expansion after occupying Taiwan and make the long-term military and technological investments needed to take full advantage of the island. It also depends on the broader course of U.S. China policy. Washington could remain committed to its current approach of containing the expansion of Chinese power through a combination of political commitments to U.S. partners and allies in Asia and a significant forward military presence. Or it might adopt a more flexible policy that retains commitments only to core treaty allies and reduces forward deployed forces. Or it might reduce all such commitments as part of a more restrained approach. Regardless of which of these three strategies the United States pursues, however, Chinese control of Taiwan would limit the U.S. military’s ability to operate in the Pacific and would potentially threaten U.S. interests there.

But the issue is not just that Taiwan’s tremendous military value poses problems for any U.S. grand strategy. It is that no matter what Washington does—whether it attempts to keep Taiwan out of Chinese hands or not—it will be forced to run risks and incur costs in its standoff with Beijing. As the place where all the dilemmas of U.S. policy toward China collide, Taiwan presents one of the toughest and most dangerous problems in the world. Simply put, Washington has few good options there and a great many bad ones that could court calamity.

TAIWAN IN THE BALANCE


A Chinese assault on Taiwan could shift the military balance of power in Asia in any number of ways. If China were to take the island swiftly and easily, many of its military assets geared toward a Taiwan campaign might be freed up to pursue other military objectives. China might also be able to assimilate Taiwan’s strategic resources, such as its military equipment, personnel, and semiconductor industry, all of which would bolster Beijing’s military power. But if China were to find itself bogged down in a prolonged conquest or occupation of Taiwan, the attempt at forced unification might become a significant drag on Beijing’s might.

Any campaign that delivers Taiwan to China, however, would allow Beijing to base important military hardware there—in particular, underwater surveillance devices and submarines, along with associated air and coastal defense assets. Stationed in Taiwan, these assets would do more than simply extend China’s reach eastward by the length of the Taiwan Strait, as would be the case if China based missiles, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, or other weapons systems on the island. Underwater surveillance and submarines, by contrast, would improve Beijing’s ability to impede U.S. operations in the Philippine Sea, an area that would be of vital importance in many possible future conflict scenarios involving China.

The most likely scenarios revolve around the United States defending its allies along the so-called first island chain off the Asian mainland, which starts north of Japan and runs southwest through Taiwan and the Philippines before curling up toward Vietnam. For example, U.S. naval operations in these waters would be essential to protecting Japan against potential Chinese threats in the East China Sea and at the southern end of the Ryukyu Islands. Such U.S. operations would also be important in most scenarios for defending the Philippines, and for any scenario that might lead to U.S. strikes on the Chinese mainland, such as a major conflagration on the Korean Peninsula. U.S. naval operations in the Philippine Sea will become even more important as China’s growing missile capabilities render land-based aircraft and their regional bases increasingly vulnerable, forcing the United States to rely more heavily on aircraft and missiles launched from ships.


If a war in the Pacific were to break out today, China’s ability to conduct effective over-the-horizon attacks—that is, attacks targeting U.S. ships at distances that exceed the line of sight to the horizon—would be more limited than commonly supposed. China might be able to target forward-deployed U.S. aircraft carriers and other ships in a first strike that commences a war. But once a conflict is underway, China’s best surveillance assets—large radars located on the mainland that allow China to “see” over the horizon—are likely to be quickly destroyed. The same is true of Chinese surveillance aircraft or ships in the vicinity of U.S. naval forces.

Chinese satellites would be unlikely to make up for these losses. Using techniques the United States honed during the Cold War, U.S. naval forces would probably be able to control their own radar and communications signatures and thereby avoid detection by Chinese satellites that listen for electronic emissions. Without intelligence from these specialized signal-collecting assets, China’s imaging satellites would be left to randomly search vast swaths of ocean for U.S. forces. Under these conditions, U.S. forces operating in the Philippine Sea would face real but tolerable risks of long-range attacks, and U.S. leaders probably would not feel immediate pressure to escalate the conflict by attacking Chinese satellites.

If China were to wrest control of Taiwan, however, the situation would look quite different. China could place underwater microphones called hydrophones in the waters off the island’s east coast, which are much deeper than the waters Beijing currently controls inside the first island chain. Placed at the appropriate depth, these specialized sensors could listen outward and detect the low-frequency sounds of U.S. surface ships thousands of miles away, enabling China to more precisely locate them with satellites and target them with missiles. (U.S. submarines are too quiet for these hydrophones to detect.) Such capabilities could force the United States to restrict its surface ships to areas outside the range of the hydrophones—or else carry out risky and escalatory attacks on Chinese satellites. Neither of these options is appealing.

Washington has few good options on Taiwan and a great many bad ones that could court calamity.
Chinese hydrophones off Taiwan would be difficult for the United States to destroy. Only highly specialized submarines or unmanned underwater vehicles could disable them, and China would be able to defend them with a variety of means, including mines. Even if the United States did manage to damage China’s hydrophone cables, Chinese repair ships could mend them under the cover of air defenses China could deploy on the island.

The best hope for disrupting Chinese hydrophone surveillance would be to attack the vulnerable processing stations where the data comes ashore via fiber-optic cables. But those stations could prove hard to find. The cables can be buried on land as well as under the sea, and nothing distinguishes the buildings where data processing is done from similar nondescript military buildings. The range of possible U.S. targets could include hundreds of individual structures inside multiple well-defended military locations across Taiwan.

Control of Taiwan would do more than enhance Chinese ocean surveillance capabilities, however. It would also give China an advantage in submarine warfare. With Taiwan in friendly hands, the United States can defend against Chinese attack submarines by placing underwater sensors in key locations to pick up the sounds the submarines emit. The United States likely deploys such upward-facing hydrophones—for listening at shorter distances—along the bottom of narrow chokepoints at the entrances to the Philippine Sea, including in the gaps between the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands, and Taiwan. At such close ranges, these instruments can briefly detect even the quietest submarines, allowing U.S. air and surface assets to trail them. During a crisis, that could prevent Chinese submarines from getting a “free shot” at U.S. ships in the early stages of a war, when forward-deployed U.S. naval assets would be at their most vulnerable.

If China were to gain control of Taiwan, however, it would be able to base submarines and supporting air and coastal defenses on the island. Chinese submarines would then be able to slip from their pens in Taiwan’s eastern deep-water ports directly into the Philippine Sea, bypassing the chokepoints where U.S. hydrophones would be listening. Chinese defenses on Taiwan would also prevent the United States and its allies from using their best tools for trailing submarines—maritime patrol aircraft and helicopter-equipped ships—near the island, making it much easier for Chinese submarines to strike first in a crisis and reducing their attrition rate in a war. Control of Taiwan would have the added advantage of reducing the distance between Chinese submarine bases and their patrol areas from an average of 670 nautical miles to zero, enabling China to operate more submarines at any given time and carry out more attacks against U.S. forces. Chinese submarines could also make use of the more precise targeting data collected by hydrophones and satellites, dramatically improving their effectiveness against U.S. surface ships.

UNDER THE SEA

Over time, unification with Taiwan could offer China even greater military advantages if it were to invest in a fleet of much quieter advanced nuclear attack and ballistic missile submarines. Operated from Taiwan’s east coast, these submarines would strengthen China’s nuclear deterrent and allow it to threaten Northeast Asian shipping and naval routes in the event of a war.

Currently, China’s submarine force is poorly equipped for a campaign against the oil and maritime trade of U.S. allies. Global shipping has traditionally proved resilient in the face of such threats because it is possible to reroute vessels outside the range of hostile forces. Even the closure of the Suez Canal between 1967 and 1975 did not paralyze global trade, since ships were instead able to go around the Cape of Good Hope, albeit at some additional cost. This resiliency means that Beijing would have to target shipping routes as they migrated north or west across the Pacific Ocean, likely near ports in Northeast Asia. But most of China’s current attack submarines are low-endurance diesel-electric boats that would struggle to operate at such distances, while its few longer-endurance nuclear-powered submarines are noisy and thus vulnerable to detection by U.S. outward-facing hydrophones that could be deployed along the so-called second island chain, which stretches southeast from Japan through the Northern Mariana Islands and past Guam.

Similarly, China’s current crop of ballistic missile submarines do little to strengthen China’s nuclear deterrent. The ballistic missiles they carry can at best target Alaska and the northwest corner of the United States when launched within the first island chain. And because the submarines are vulnerable to detection, they would struggle to reach open ocean areas where they could threaten the rest of the United States.

Seizing Taiwan would offer Beijing the kind of military option that previous great powers found very useful.

Even a future Chinese fleet of much quieter advanced nuclear attack or ballistic missile submarines capable of evading outward-facing hydrophones along the second island chain would still have to pass over U.S. upward-facing hydrophones nestled at the exits to the first island chain. These barriers would enable the United States to impose substantial losses on Chinese advanced nuclear attack submarines going to and from Northeast Asian shipping lanes and greatly impede the missions of Chinese ballistic missile submarines, of which there would almost certainly be fewer.

But if it were to acquire Taiwan, China would be able to avoid U.S. hydrophones along the first island chain, unlocking the military potential of quieter submarines. These vessels would have direct access to the Philippine Sea and the protection of Chinese air and coastal defenses, which would keep trailing U.S. ships and aircraft at bay. A fleet of quiet nuclear attack submarines deployed from Taiwan would also have the endurance for a campaign against Northeast Asian shipping lanes. And a fleet of quiet ballistic missile submarines with access to the open ocean would enable China to more credibly threaten the continental United States with a sea-launched nuclear attack.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether China can master more advanced quieting techniques or solve a number of problems that have plagued its nuclear-powered submarines. And the importance of the anti-shipping and sea-based nuclear capabilities is open for debate, since their relative impact will depend on what other capabilities China does or doesn’t develop and on what strategic goals China pursues in the future. Still, the behavior of past great powers is instructive. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union both invested heavily in attack submarines, and the latter made a similar investment in ballistic missile submarines. The democratic adversaries of those countries felt deeply threatened by these undersea capabilities and mounted enormous efforts to neutralize them. A Chinese seizure of Taiwan would thus offer Beijing the kind of military option that previous great powers found very useful.

NO GOOD OPTIONS

A fuller understanding of Taiwan’s military value clearly bolsters the argument in favor of keeping the island in friendly hands. Yet just how decisive that argument should be depends, in part, on what overall strategy the United States pursues in Asia. And whatever approach Washington adopts, it will have to contend with challenges and dilemmas stemming from the military advantages that Taiwan has the potential to confer on whoever controls it.

If the United States maintains its current strategy of containing China, retaining its network of alliances and forward military presence in Asia, defending Taiwan could be extremely costly. After all, the island’s military value gives China a strong motive for seeking unification, beyond the nationalist impulses most commonly cited. Deterring Beijing would therefore probably require abandoning the long-standing U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity about whether Washington would come to the island’s defense in favor of a crystal-clear commitment of military support.

But ending strategic ambiguity could provoke the very crisis the policy is designed to prevent. It would almost certainly heighten pressures for an arms race between the United States and China in anticipation of a conflict, intensifying the already dangerous competition between the two powers. And even if a policy of strategic clarity were successful in deterring a Chinese attempt to take Taiwan, it would likely spur China to compensate for its military disadvantages in some other way, further heightening tensions.

Alternatively, the United States might pursue a more flexible security perimeter that eliminates its commitment to Taiwan while still retaining its treaty alliances and some forward-deployed military forces in Asia. Such an approach would reduce the chance of a conflict over Taiwan, but it would carry other military costs, again owing to the island’s military value. U.S. forces would need to conduct their missions in an arena made much more dangerous by Chinese submarines and hydrophones deployed off the east coast of Taiwan. As a result, the United States might need to develop decoys to deceive Chinese sensors, devise ways to operate outside their normal range, or prepare to cut the cables that connect these sensors to onshore processing centers in the event of war. Washington would almost certainly want to ramp up its efforts to disrupt Chinese satellites.


Should the United States take this approach, reassuring U.S. allies would become a much more arduous task. Precisely because control of Taiwan would grant Beijing significant military advantages, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea would likely demand strong demonstrations of a continuing U.S. commitment. Japan, in particular, would be inclined to worry that a diminished U.S. ability to operate on the surface of the Philippine Sea would translate into enhanced Chinese coercion or attack capability, especially given the proximity of Japan’s southernmost islands to Taiwan.

Over the longer term, U.S. allies in the region would also likely fear the growing Chinese threat to shipping routes and worry that a stronger sea-based Chinese nuclear deterrent would reduce the credibility of U.S. commitments to defend them from attack. Anticipation of these dangers would almost certainly drive U.S. allies to seek greater reassurance from the United States in the form of tighter defense pacts, additional military aid, and more visible U.S. force deployments in the region, including of nuclear forces on or near allies’ territory and perhaps collaborating with their governments on nuclear planning. East Asia could come to look much like Europe did in the later stages of the Cold War, with U.S. allies demanding demonstrations of their U.S. patron’s commitment in the face of doubts about the military balance of power. If the Cold War is any guide, such steps could themselves heighten the risks of nuclear escalation in a crisis or a war.

Finally, the United States might pursue a strategy that ends its commitment to Taiwan and also reduces its military presence in Asia and other alliance commitments in the region. Such a policy might limit direct U.S. military support to the defense of Japan or even wind down all U.S. commitments in East Asia. But even in this case, Taiwan’s potential military value to China would still have the potential to create dangerous regional dynamics. Worried that some of its islands might be next, Japan might fight to defend Taiwan, even if the United States did not. The result might be a major-power war in Asia that could draw in the United States, willingly or not. Such a war would be devastating. Yet upsetting the current delicate equilibrium by ceding this militarily valuable island could make such a war more likely, reinforcing a core argument in favor of current U.S. grand strategy: that U.S. alliance commitments and forward military presence exert a deterring and constraining effect on conflict in the region.

Ultimately, however, Taiwan’s unique military value poses problems for all three U.S. grand strategies. Whether the United States solidifies its commitment to Taiwan and its allies in Asia or walks them back, in full or in part, the island’s potential to alter the region’s military balance will force Washington to confront difficult tradeoffs, ceding military maneuverability in the region or else risking an arms race or even an open conflict with China. Such is the wicked nature of the problem posed by Taiwan, which sits at the nexus of U.S.-Chinese relations, geopolitics, and the military balance in Asia. Regardless of what grand strategy Washington pursues, the island’s military value will present some hazard or exact some price

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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2022, 01:42:52 AM »
Refueling strategy: It's a military pilot's worst nightmare: your aircraft is running dangerously low on fuel, but the tanker that's supposed to meet you for your airborne refueling never shows up. That's the situation U.S. pilots could face in a conflict against China unless the Pentagon quickly makes some changes in its investment priorities and operational concepts, Hudson Institute senior fellow Timothy Walton writes in Ideas.

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FA: The Consequences of Conquest
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2022, 01:25:07 PM »
Third

The Consequences of Conquest
Why Indo-Pacific Power Hinges on Taiwan
By Brendan Rittenhouse Green and Caitlin Talmadge
July/August 2022

Chinese fighter jets taking off in the Yellow Sea, December 2016
AFP / STR / Getty Images

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2022-06-16/consequences-conquest-taiwan-indo-pacific

Of all the intractable issues that could spark a hot war between the United States and China, Taiwan is at the very top of the list. And the potential geopolitical consequences of such a war would be profound. Taiwan—“an unsinkable aircraft carrier and submarine tender,” as U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur once described it—has important, often underappreciated military value as a gateway to the Philippine Sea, a vital theater for defending Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea from possible Chinese coercion or attack. There is no guarantee that China would win a war for the island—or that such a conflict wouldn’t drag on for years and weaken China. But if Beijing gained control of Taiwan and based military assets there, China’s military position would improve markedly.

Beijing’s ocean surveillance assets and submarines, in particular, could make control of Taiwan a substantial boon to Chinese military power. Even without any major technological or military leaps, possession of the island would improve China’s ability to impede U.S. naval and air operations in the Philippine Sea and thereby limit the United States’ ability to defend its Asian allies. And if, in the future, Beijing were to develop a large fleet of quiet nuclear attack submarines and ballistic missile submarines, basing them on Taiwan would enable China to threaten Northeast Asian shipping lanes and strengthen its sea-based nuclear forces.

Clearly, the island’s military value bolsters the argument for keeping Taiwan out of China’s grasp. The strength of that case, however, depends on several factors, including whether one assumes that China would pursue additional territorial expansion after occupying Taiwan and make the long-term military and technological investments needed to take full advantage of the island. It also depends on the broader course of U.S. China policy. Washington could remain committed to its current approach of containing the expansion of Chinese power through a combination of political commitments to U.S. partners and allies in Asia and a significant forward military presence. Or it might adopt a more flexible policy that retains commitments only to core treaty allies and reduces forward deployed forces. Or it might reduce all such commitments as part of a more restrained approach. Regardless of which of these three strategies the United States pursues, however, Chinese control of Taiwan would limit the U.S. military’s ability to operate in the Pacific and would potentially threaten U.S. interests there.

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But the issue is not just that Taiwan’s tremendous military value poses problems for any U.S. grand strategy. It is that no matter what Washington does—whether it attempts to keep Taiwan out of Chinese hands or not—it will be forced to run risks and incur costs in its standoff with Beijing. As the place where all the dilemmas of U.S. policy toward China collide, Taiwan presents one of the toughest and most dangerous problems in the world. Simply put, Washington has few good options there and a great many bad ones that could court calamity.

TAIWAN IN THE BALANCE
A Chinese assault on Taiwan could shift the military balance of power in Asia in any number of ways. If China were to take the island swiftly and easily, many of its military assets geared toward a Taiwan campaign might be freed up to pursue other military objectives. China might also be able to assimilate Taiwan’s strategic resources, such as its military equipment, personnel, and semiconductor industry, all of which would bolster Beijing’s military power. But if China were to find itself bogged down in a prolonged conquest or occupation of Taiwan, the attempt at forced unification might become a significant drag on Beijing’s might.

Any campaign that delivers Taiwan to China, however, would allow Beijing to base important military hardware there—in particular, underwater surveillance devices and submarines, along with associated air and coastal defense assets. Stationed in Taiwan, these assets would do more than simply extend China’s reach eastward by the length of the Taiwan Strait, as would be the case if China based missiles, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, or other weapons systems on the island. Underwater surveillance and submarines, by contrast, would improve Beijing’s ability to impede U.S. operations in the Philippine Sea, an area that would be of vital importance in many possible future conflict scenarios involving China.

The most likely scenarios revolve around the United States defending its allies along the so-called first island chain off the Asian mainland, which starts north of Japan and runs southwest through Taiwan and the Philippines before curling up toward Vietnam. For example, U.S. naval operations in these waters would be essential to protecting Japan against potential Chinese threats in the East China Sea and at the southern end of the Ryukyu Islands. Such U.S. operations would also be important in most scenarios for defending the Philippines, and for any scenario that might lead to U.S. strikes on the Chinese mainland, such as a major conflagration on the Korean Peninsula. U.S. naval operations in the Philippine Sea will become even more important as China’s growing missile capabilities render land-based aircraft and their regional bases increasingly vulnerable, forcing the United States to rely more heavily on aircraft and missiles launched from ships.


If a war in the Pacific were to break out today, China’s ability to conduct effective over-the-horizon attacks—that is, attacks targeting U.S. ships at distances that exceed the line of sight to the horizon—would be more limited than commonly supposed. China might be able to target forward-deployed U.S. aircraft carriers and other ships in a first strike that commences a war. But once a conflict is underway, China’s best surveillance assets—large radars located on the mainland that allow China to “see” over the horizon—are likely to be quickly destroyed. The same is true of Chinese surveillance aircraft or ships in the vicinity of U.S. naval forces.

Chinese satellites would be unlikely to make up for these losses. Using techniques the United States honed during the Cold War, U.S. naval forces would probably be able to control their own radar and communications signatures and thereby avoid detection by Chinese satellites that listen for electronic emissions. Without intelligence from these specialized signal-collecting assets, China’s imaging satellites would be left to randomly search vast swaths of ocean for U.S. forces. Under these conditions, U.S. forces operating in the Philippine Sea would face real but tolerable risks of long-range attacks, and U.S. leaders probably would not feel immediate pressure to escalate the conflict by attacking Chinese satellites.

If China were to wrest control of Taiwan, however, the situation would look quite different. China could place underwater microphones called hydrophones in the waters off the island’s east coast, which are much deeper than the waters Beijing currently controls inside the first island chain. Placed at the appropriate depth, these specialized sensors could listen outward and detect the low-frequency sounds of U.S. surface ships thousands of miles away, enabling China to more precisely locate them with satellites and target them with missiles. (U.S. submarines are too quiet for these hydrophones to detect.) Such capabilities could force the United States to restrict its surface ships to areas outside the range of the hydrophones—or else carry out risky and escalatory attacks on Chinese satellites. Neither of these options is appealing.

Washington has few good options on Taiwan and a great many bad ones that could court calamity.
Chinese hydrophones off Taiwan would be difficult for the United States to destroy. Only highly specialized submarines or unmanned underwater vehicles could disable them, and China would be able to defend them with a variety of means, including mines. Even if the United States did manage to damage China’s hydrophone cables, Chinese repair ships could mend them under the cover of air defenses China could deploy on the island.

The best hope for disrupting Chinese hydrophone surveillance would be to attack the vulnerable processing stations where the data comes ashore via fiber-optic cables. But those stations could prove hard to find. The cables can be buried on land as well as under the sea, and nothing distinguishes the buildings where data processing is done from similar nondescript military buildings. The range of possible U.S. targets could include hundreds of individual structures inside multiple well-defended military locations across Taiwan.

Control of Taiwan would do more than enhance Chinese ocean surveillance capabilities, however. It would also give China an advantage in submarine warfare. With Taiwan in friendly hands, the United States can defend against Chinese attack submarines by placing underwater sensors in key locations to pick up the sounds the submarines emit. The United States likely deploys such upward-facing hydrophones—for listening at shorter distances—along the bottom of narrow chokepoints at the entrances to the Philippine Sea, including in the gaps between the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands, and Taiwan. At such close ranges, these instruments can briefly detect even the quietest submarines, allowing U.S. air and surface assets to trail them. During a crisis, that could prevent Chinese submarines from getting a “free shot” at U.S. ships in the early stages of a war, when forward-deployed U.S. naval assets would be at their most vulnerable.

If China were to gain control of Taiwan, however, it would be able to base submarines and supporting air and coastal defenses on the island. Chinese submarines would then be able to slip from their pens in Taiwan’s eastern deep-water ports directly into the Philippine Sea, bypassing the chokepoints where U.S. hydrophones would be listening. Chinese defenses on Taiwan would also prevent the United States and its allies from using their best tools for trailing submarines—maritime patrol aircraft and helicopter-equipped ships—near the island, making it much easier for Chinese submarines to strike first in a crisis and reducing their attrition rate in a war. Control of Taiwan would have the added advantage of reducing the distance between Chinese submarine bases and their patrol areas from an average of 670 nautical miles to zero, enabling China to operate more submarines at any given time and carry out more attacks against U.S. forces. Chinese submarines could also make use of the more precise targeting data collected by hydrophones and satellites, dramatically improving their effectiveness against U.S. surface ships.

UNDER THE SEA

Over time, unification with Taiwan could offer China even greater military advantages if it were to invest in a fleet of much quieter advanced nuclear attack and ballistic missile submarines. Operated from Taiwan’s east coast, these submarines would strengthen China’s nuclear deterrent and allow it to threaten Northeast Asian shipping and naval routes in the event of a war.

Currently, China’s submarine force is poorly equipped for a campaign against the oil and maritime trade of U.S. allies. Global shipping has traditionally proved resilient in the face of such threats because it is possible to reroute vessels outside the range of hostile forces. Even the closure of the Suez Canal between 1967 and 1975 did not paralyze global trade, since ships were instead able to go around the Cape of Good Hope, albeit at some additional cost. This resiliency means that Beijing would have to target shipping routes as they migrated north or west across the Pacific Ocean, likely near ports in Northeast Asia. But most of China’s current attack submarines are low-endurance diesel-electric boats that would struggle to operate at such distances, while its few longer-endurance nuclear-powered submarines are noisy and thus vulnerable to detection by U.S. outward-facing hydrophones that could be deployed along the so-called second island chain, which stretches southeast from Japan through the Northern Mariana Islands and past Guam.

Similarly, China’s current crop of ballistic missile submarines do little to strengthen China’s nuclear deterrent. The ballistic missiles they carry can at best target Alaska and the northwest corner of the United States when launched within the first island chain. And because the submarines are vulnerable to detection, they would struggle to reach open ocean areas where they could threaten the rest of the United States.

Seizing Taiwan would offer Beijing the kind of military option that previous great powers found very useful.
Even a future Chinese fleet of much quieter advanced nuclear attack or ballistic missile submarines capable of evading outward-facing hydrophones along the second island chain would still have to pass over U.S. upward-facing hydrophones nestled at the exits to the first island chain. These barriers would enable the United States to impose substantial losses on Chinese advanced nuclear attack submarines going to and from Northeast Asian shipping lanes and greatly impede the missions of Chinese ballistic missile submarines, of which there would almost certainly be fewer.

But if it were to acquire Taiwan, China would be able to avoid U.S. hydrophones along the first island chain, unlocking the military potential of quieter submarines. These vessels would have direct access to the Philippine Sea and the protection of Chinese air and coastal defenses, which would keep trailing U.S. ships and aircraft at bay. A fleet of quiet nuclear attack submarines deployed from Taiwan would also have the endurance for a campaign against Northeast Asian shipping lanes. And a fleet of quiet ballistic missile submarines with access to the open ocean would enable China to more credibly threaten the continental United States with a sea-launched nuclear attack.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether China can master more advanced quieting techniques or solve a number of problems that have plagued its nuclear-powered submarines. And the importance of the anti-shipping and sea-based nuclear capabilities is open for debate, since their relative impact will depend on what other capabilities China does or doesn’t develop and on what strategic goals China pursues in the future. Still, the behavior of past great powers is instructive. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union both invested heavily in attack submarines, and the latter made a similar investment in ballistic missile submarines. The democratic adversaries of those countries felt deeply threatened by these undersea capabilities and mounted enormous efforts to neutralize them. A Chinese seizure of Taiwan would thus offer Beijing the kind of military option that previous great powers found very useful.

NO GOOD OPTIONS

A fuller understanding of Taiwan’s military value clearly bolsters the argument in favor of keeping the island in friendly hands. Yet just how decisive that argument should be depends, in part, on what overall strategy the United States pursues in Asia. And whatever approach Washington adopts, it will have to contend with challenges and dilemmas stemming from the military advantages that Taiwan has the potential to confer on whoever controls it.

If the United States maintains its current strategy of containing China, retaining its network of alliances and forward military presence in Asia, defending Taiwan could be extremely costly. After all, the island’s military value gives China a strong motive for seeking unification, beyond the nationalist impulses most commonly cited. Deterring Beijing would therefore probably require abandoning the long-standing U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity about whether Washington would come to the island’s defense in favor of a crystal-clear commitment of military support.

But ending strategic ambiguity could provoke the very crisis the policy is designed to prevent. It would almost certainly heighten pressures for an arms race between the United States and China in anticipation of a conflict, intensifying the already dangerous competition between the two powers. And even if a policy of strategic clarity were successful in deterring a Chinese attempt to take Taiwan, it would likely spur China to compensate for its military disadvantages in some other way, further heightening tensions.

Alternatively, the United States might pursue a more flexible security perimeter that eliminates its commitment to Taiwan while still retaining its treaty alliances and some forward-deployed military forces in Asia. Such an approach would reduce the chance of a conflict over Taiwan, but it would carry other military costs, again owing to the island’s military value. U.S. forces would need to conduct their missions in an arena made much more dangerous by Chinese submarines and hydrophones deployed off the east coast of Taiwan. As a result, the United States might need to develop decoys to deceive Chinese sensors, devise ways to operate outside their normal range, or prepare to cut the cables that connect these sensors to onshore processing centers in the event of war. Washington would almost certainly want to ramp up its efforts to disrupt Chinese satellites.


Should the United States take this approach, reassuring U.S. allies would become a much more arduous task. Precisely because control of Taiwan would grant Beijing significant military advantages, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea would likely demand strong demonstrations of a continuing U.S. commitment. Japan, in particular, would be inclined to worry that a diminished U.S. ability to operate on the surface of the Philippine Sea would translate into enhanced Chinese coercion or attack capability, especially given the proximity of Japan’s southernmost islands to Taiwan.

Over the longer term, U.S. allies in the region would also likely fear the growing Chinese threat to shipping routes and worry that a stronger sea-based Chinese nuclear deterrent would reduce the credibility of U.S. commitments to defend them from attack. Anticipation of these dangers would almost certainly drive U.S. allies to seek greater reassurance from the United States in the form of tighter defense pacts, additional military aid, and more visible U.S. force deployments in the region, including of nuclear forces on or near allies’ territory and perhaps collaborating with their governments on nuclear planning. East Asia could come to look much like Europe did in the later stages of the Cold War, with U.S. allies demanding demonstrations of their U.S. patron’s commitment in the face of doubts about the military balance of power. If the Cold War is any guide, such steps could themselves heighten the risks of nuclear escalation in a crisis or a war.

Finally, the United States might pursue a strategy that ends its commitment to Taiwan and also reduces its military presence in Asia and other alliance commitments in the region. Such a policy might limit direct U.S. military support to the defense of Japan or even wind down all U.S. commitments in East Asia. But even in this case, Taiwan’s potential military value to China would still have the potential to create dangerous regional dynamics. Worried that some of its islands might be next, Japan might fight to defend Taiwan, even if the United States did not. The result might be a major-power war in Asia that could draw in the United States, willingly or not. Such a war would be devastating. Yet upsetting the current delicate equilibrium by ceding this militarily valuable island could make such a war more likely, reinforcing a core argument in favor of current U.S. grand strategy: that U.S. alliance commitments and forward military presence exert a deterring and constraining effect on conflict in the region.

Ultimately, however, Taiwan’s unique military value poses problems for all three U.S. grand strategies. Whether the United States solidifies its commitment to Taiwan and its allies in Asia or walks them back, in full or in part, the island’s potential to alter the region’s military balance will force Washington to confront difficult tradeoffs, ceding military maneuverability in the region or else risking an arms race or even an open conflict with China. Such is the wicked nature of the problem posed by Taiwan, which sits at the nexus of U.S.-Chinese relations, geopolitics, and the military balance in Asia. Regardless of what grand strategy Washington pursues, the island’s military value will present some hazard or exact some price

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Re: If Taiwan missiles hit Three Gorge Dam
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2022, 10:57:21 PM »

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Dr. Pippa: Taiwan?
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2022, 05:46:04 AM »

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Pressure on Pelosi
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2022, 04:43:39 PM »
Heavy pressure is being put on Pelosi not to visit Taiwan.  The pressure is coming from the White House, Congress cowards (Rep McCaul invited to go with Pelosi to show bipartisan support is too busy) AND the Pentagon

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WT: End the Ambiguity
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2022, 04:55:33 AM »
End the ambiguity and guarantee Taiwan’s security

Alarm bells should be ringing in the White House

By Daniel N. Hoffman

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum last week, CIA Director William Burns observed that Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine “probably affects less the question of whether the Chinese leadership might choose some years down the road to use force to control Taiwan, but how and when they would do it.”

The chief of the CIA — the agency whose mission is to recruit spies, steal secrets and produce all-source analysis on the wickedly challenging worldwide threats to our national security — was delivering a stark warning.

But the intelligence community does not make policy decisions. That’s a job for President Biden and his foreign policy team.

Nevertheless, alarm bells should be ringing in the White House.

That’s because it is becoming clearer by the day that Taiwan is sitting at the epicenter of the geopolitical fault line between democracy and dictatorship.

China is militarizing the South China Sea, aggressively expanding its nuclear arsenal and developing sophisticated cyberwarfare and space capabilities. Beijing is also mounting full-throttled espionage operations against the U.S. and our allies. China counterfeits U.S. products and steals trade secrets by requiring U.S. companies to share technology in return for market access. Chinese theft of intellectual property costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually.

Listen to FBI Director Christopher Wray: “From a counterintelligence perspective, China represents the broadest and most challenging threat we face as a country.”

Adm. John Aquilino, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, has emphasized that China now boasts the world’s second-largest defense budget after the U.S. and is rapidly modernizing its military force with weapons systems that include the J-20 stealth fighter, hypersonic missiles and two aircraft carriers, with a third under construction.

Communist China has long claimed Taiwan is a “breakaway province” to be reunited by force if necessary — despite having never ruled it. The People’s Liberation Army routinely deploys its warplanes across the Taiwan Strait into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, which is fewer than 125 miles from China’s southeastern coast. China menacingly conducts combat readiness drills near Taiwan and, as a matter of policy, seeks to isolate Taiwan diplomatically.

Annexing Taiwan would extend the PRC’s reach into the East China Sea and signifi cantly increase the threat to Japan and Guam. Equally worrisome, China would subsume Taiwan’s vibrant economy and high-tech industry, including its world-class semiconductor factories, on which the U.S. and its allies rely to power everything from smartphones to cars.

U.S. credibility in the region and beyond would take a disastrous hit.

Deterring a Chinese attack on Taiwan is clearly in the U.S. national interest.

While China has significant maritime and air superiority, Taiwan is highly defensible, especially with a commitment to small-unit tactics such as the ones Ukraine has successfully deployed against Russia, along with asymmetric defensive tactics that include mines, and U.S.-made Javelin and Stinger missiles and sophisticated coastal missile defense systems.

Gathering intelligence on China’s plans, including destructive cyberattacks, would also be critical. China would seek to deny Taiwan any warning before launching what would be one of the largest amphibious assaults in history.

The goal for Washington and Taipei is to make Taiwan a hard target, one too costly in spilled blood and lost treasure for China to invade.

Again, the Ukraine example is instructive: The West’s failure to deter the Kremlin resulted in the most destructive land war in Europe since World War II.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the late Japanese former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on the Biden administration to abandon the U.S. government’s long-held “strategic ambiguity” position regarding defense policy regarding Taiwan. On three occasions, most recently at a press conference during his May 2022 visit to Japan, Mr. Biden flatly answered the U.S. would respond militarily to defend Taiwan if China attacked.

Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. pledges only to sell Taiwan only defensive weapons. There is no binding agreement to defend Taiwan even if Mr. Biden said “that was the commitment we made.” Each time the president said it, his own administration aides walked back his words and denied Mr. Biden was changing official policy. The Biden administration would do well to consider Abe’s extraordinary legacy, his warnings about the growing threat of China’s aggression, and the necessity of reexamining the policy of “strategic ambiguity,” which may actually the likelihood of war because of its inherent uncertainty and potential for miscalculations on all sides. Building on the high level of bipartisan consensus to deter China, Mr. Biden should enhance collaboration with regional allies such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines and India. And U.S. intelligence agencies, the State Department and the Pentagon should assess whether a commitment to defend Taiwan’s territorial integrity — replacing “strategic ambiguity” with “strategic certainty” — might in fact be the surest way to deter China. Daniel N. Hoffman is a retired clandestine services officer and former chief of station with the Central Intelligence Agency. His combined 30 years of government service included high-level overseas and domestic positions at the CIA. He has been a Fox News contributor since May 2018. Follow him on Twitter @ DanielHoffmanDC.

China would seek to deny Taiwan any warning before launching what would be one of the largest amphibious assaults in history.

THE BIG

PICTURE

BY DANIEL N. HOFFMAN

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ET: Xi threatens Biden over Taiwan
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2022, 05:08:31 AM »
China’s Xi Threatens Biden Over Taiwan in 2-Hour Phone Call: ‘Playing With Fire Will Set You on Fire’
By Andrew Thornebrooke July 28, 2022 Updated: July 28, 2022biggersmaller Print


President Joe Biden held a phone call with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping on July 28. The call was the fifth of its kind between Biden and Xi and lasted more than two hours.

The call occurred amid a myriad of tensions that have caused Sino–U.S. relations to fall to their lowest point in decades. Despite a decreasing willingness by the CCP to negotiate on most issues, the White House stated that it’s important to keep the lines of communication open between the two powers.

“The President wants to make sure that the lines of communication with President Xi remain open, because they need to,” said White House national security spokesperson John Kirby. “There’s issues where we can cooperate with China on, and then there’s issues where, obviously, there’s friction and tension.

“This is one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world today, with ramifications well beyond both individual countries. The president clearly understands that, and we’re going to continue to work on that relationship.”

Chinese state-owned media outlets stated that the exchange was “candid and in-depth” and that the two leaders promised to stay in communication.

Xi reportedly told Biden that it was the duty of “the two major powers” to manage global security and urged Biden to not view the CCP through the lens of “strategic competition.”

Biden is currently contending with the need to adequately address China’s status as a rising power while simultaneously mitigating the regime’s increasingly hostile behavior.

To that end, Xi’s conversation with Biden focused heavily on Taiwan.

“Playing with fire will set you on fire,” Xi told Biden. “I hope the U.S. can see this clearly.”

A readout of the call released by the White House downplayed the exchange and said merely that the United States’ policy in recognizing the CCP as the sole entity governing China hasn’t changed.

“The call was a part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the PRC and responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align,” the readout said, referring to the acronym for the regime’s official name, the People’s Republic of China.

“On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

The CCP maintains that Taiwan is a breakaway province of China. Xi has vowed to unite the island with the mainland and hasn’t ruled out the use of force to do so. For its part, Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, has never been under CCP control, and boasts a thriving democracy and market economy.

The United States doesn’t have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by a treaty to provide it with the arms necessary for its self-defense. The government also maintains a doctrine of “strategic ambiguity,” in which it will neither confirm nor deny whether it would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Epoch Times Photo
A view shows naval vessels on the water as part of Taiwan’s main annual “Han Kuang” exercises, as 20 naval vessels including frigates and destroyers fired shells to simulate intercepting and attacking an invading force, off Taiwan’s northeastern coast, in Yilan, Taiwan, on July 26, 2022. (REUTERS/Ann Wang)
Tensions over the Taiwan issue grew over the past week amid speculation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is planning a personal visit to the island nation.

The CCP subsequently threatened “forceful measures” against the United States and Taiwan should the trip take place. Following the remarks, Biden publicly said such a trip was “not a good idea” and suggested that the military was against it.

Biden’s statements raised eyebrows from legislators and experts alike, who believed that they overstepped the bounds of both the president and the military in attempting to control the personal travel of a sitting member of Congress.

Pelosi said the administration may have believed that China would shoot down her plane if she visited Taiwan.

The back and forth was just one incident in a growing line of bellicose and, at times, hostile rhetoric emanating from the highest echelons of the CCP.

In May, China’s defense minister said the CCP would “not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost” to prevent Taiwan’s de facto independence from being recognized internationally.

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ET: Taiwan and Japan
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2022, 05:12:43 AM »
third

Japan Discusses Preparations for Conflict in a Rare Visit to Taiwan
By Dorothy Li July 28, 2022 Updated: July 28, 2022biggersmaller Print
A high-level Japanese delegation visited Taiwan to discuss preparations for potential conflicts as the self-governed island is bearing increased military pressures from the communist regime in Beijing.

“We need to think ahead about what kind of situations could happen,” Shigeru Ishiba, lawmaker and former Japanese defense minister, said during a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on July 28. “And after it happens, what kind of laws and agreements we should prepare, and what kind of armed forces we could employ to address the resulting issues.”

“We need to work together to reach consensus on this ahead of anything that could happen,” Ishiba said at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Ishiba led the bipartisan delegation of Japanese lawmakers who arrived in Taiwan on July 27 for a four-day visit. The trip was focused on discussing regional security, which the Japanese lawmaker described as “rare.”

The trip came amid rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait as Beijing has ramped up military harassment around Taiwan by continuing to send warplanes to fly near the island on a regular basis for the past two years.

The Chinese regime views the self-ruled island roughly 100 miles off the mainland as its own territory to be taken by force, if necessary.

Following reports that Pelosi was planning a trip to Taiwan, the regime has threatened “forceful measures” against the United States and Taiwan.

The regime’s provocation also drew the attention of neighboring Japan, which devoted significant space of this year’s defense report to Taiwan.


Taiwan Welcomes Japanese Visit
The visit by Japanese lawmakers was welcomed by Tsai, who expressed hopes of bolstering ties with Japan to uphold regional security.

“Defending Taiwan is not just about defending our own sovereignty,” said Tsai. “In terms of regional strategic security, it is also about Taiwan’s position as a critical line of defense in the first island chain.”

The first island chain, situated east of mainland Asia, is a string of islands spanning the Japanese archipelago through Taiwan to Indonesia, access to which is vital for global supply lines.

“We will continue to deepen cooperation with Japan and other democratic partners in order to jointly maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” said Tsai.

The group’s visit also includes meetings with Su Tseng-chang, president of Taiwan’s Executive Yuan, and representatives from Taiwan’s Defense Ministry.

Ishiba was accompanied by former Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, and two other Japanese lawmakers, Akihisa Nakashima and Takayuki Shimizu, who are all members of a cross-party national security group.

Ishiba said Japan has a responsibility to the Indo-Pacific region to promote regional security, economic development, and the rule of law.

“It cannot just be at the level of thought, just words spoken out of one’s mouth,” he said. “Japan must take on concrete responsibilities in the Asia region.”

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Foreign Affairs: How to survive the next Taiwan Strait Crisis
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2022, 09:05:21 PM »
Often, I am not a fan of FA, but this one offers a lot to consider:

How to Survive the Next Taiwan Strait Crisis
Washington Must Be Ready For a Showdown With or Without a Pelosi Trip
By David Sacks
July 29, 2022
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/how-survive-next-taiwan-strait-crisis


“The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now.” That was U.S. President Joe Biden’s observation in late July about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned trip to Taiwan, which is reportedly scheduled for next month. Such trepidation seems to be well warranted. Pelosi herself acknowledged as much; when asked about the president’s remarks, she said, “maybe the military was afraid our plane would get shot down or something like that by the Chinese.” Those statements reveal that the United States likely has intelligence or a private warning from China that it is planning an unprecedented, highly escalatory response if Pelosi does indeed visit Taipei.

A two-hour phone call between President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on July 28th appears to have done little to defuse the situation. China’s official summary of the conversation quoted Xi warning President Biden that “[t]hose who play with fire will perish by it.”

Pelosi’s potential visit leaves U.S. policymakers with few good options. If she cancels the trip, it would likely embolden China to increase its coercion of Taiwan and deal a blow to the Taiwanese public’s confidence in their future. On the other hand, a visit would probably provoke a crisis, as China would feel compelled to respond lest its threats be seen as hollow. It would be wrong to think, however, that Pelosi’s travel plans will determine whether a showdown materializes in the Taiwan Strait. In reality, the United States and China are barreling toward such a crisis—and it will be far riskier than previous standoffs. China, possessing significant military capabilities and less concerned about preserving its relations with the United States, is now far more willing to respond to a perceived provocation with escalation than it was during previous crises.

Given the probability of a crisis or even a conflict, the United States should prioritize ensuring that it has the capability to come to Taiwan’s defense and helping Taiwan ready itself for a potential invasion. This agenda, more than symbolic gestures, should guide the U.S. approach in the critical years ahead.

NOT THE FIRST TIME

For all the attention that Pelosi’s trip is attracting, it is not unprecedented. There have been similar visits in the past, which are fully consistent with the U.S. one-China policy, under which the United States recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledges (but does not endorse) China’s position that there is but one China and that Taiwan is part of China, and maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan. Pelosi is not the first Speaker of the House to visit: Newt Gingrich met with Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui in Taipei in 1997. To be sure, Gingrich was a Republican Speaker during a Democratic administration; Pelosi and Biden, in contrast, belong to the same party. For that reason, Chinese officials believe she is acting in coordination with the White House.

Still, congressional delegations routinely visit Taiwan. Past administrations have sent cabinet-level officials to the island; in 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited Taipei. Pelosi would travel on U.S. military aircraft, but that is also nothing new; in June 2021, for instance, three U.S. senators arrived in Taiwan aboard a U.S. Air Force plane.

What sets Pelosi’s visit apart is that it would occur at a time when Beijing believes that the United States is moving away from its one-China policy. And there have been noticeable changes in U.S. diplomacy toward Taiwan in recent years. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration in 2020. The Trump administration hosted Taiwan’s diplomats at the State Department and in other federal government buildings, which has remained the practice during the Biden administration. Secretary of State Antony Blinken publicly referred to Taiwan as a “country.” The Biden administration extended an invitation to Taiwan’s representative in the United States to attend Biden’s inauguration and invited Taiwan to participate in its Summit for Democracy. Administration officials also leaked to the media that U.S. military personnel are in Taiwan training its forces. None of these moves are tantamount to diplomatic recognition, but Beijing may view Pelosi’s trip as an opportunity to send a message that the United States must stop what China sees as an intentional pattern.


Beijing believes that the United States is moving away from its one-China policy.

Aside from attempting to halt the strengthening of U.S.-Taiwanese ties, China’s reaction to Pelosi’s potential visit is in part the product of unfortunate timing. Chinese President Xi Jinping will be seeking an unprecedented third term as head of the Chinese Communist Party this fall. He likely fears that high-level, public U.S. support for Taiwan would make him look weak and not in control of critical relationships and undermine his standing.

More important, Beijing’s reaction reveals its growing comfort with the prospect of a crisis over Taiwan. As Xi faces economic headwinds at home and growing resentment over his strict zero-COVID policy, he may have concluded that a Taiwan crisis could rally the public and shore up his popularity. Xi may also have decided that international support for Taiwan is growing too strong, especially in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both Taiwan and Ukraine are relatively young democracies that exist next to much larger authoritarian neighbors with long-standing designs on their territory; leaders around the world have taken note of the parallels. Xi may feel he needs to deter countries from working with Taipei to increase its defenses and resilience. He could also find Pelosi’s visit to be an advantageous pretext for large-scale military exercises, which could test the People’s Liberation Army’s preparedness for complex operations. That could provide him clues as to whether China’s military would fare better than Russia’s did in Ukraine and gauge how the United States and Taiwan would react.

CHINA ARMS UP

The last Taiwan Strait crisis occurred more than a quarter century ago. The instigating event was the 1995 address Lee gave at his alma mater, Cornell University, on what he dubbed “Taiwan’s democratization experience.” The fact that the Taiwanese president was granted a visa to visit the United States after Secretary of State Warren Christopher assured his Chinese counterpart that Lee would not be allowed to enter the country enraged Beijing. In retaliation, the Chinese military conducted missile tests and exercises in the Taiwan Strait. This prompted Secretary of Defense William Perry to announce that the United States would dispatch two aircraft carrier strike groups to the area, demonstrating that the United States was prepared to intervene to repel a Chinese invasion.

Since then, China has developed a more robust toolkit to punish Taiwan. Whereas Taiwan’s military budget exceeded China’s in 1994, China now outspends Taiwan by a factor of 20. In recent years, China has become bolder in its coercive military maneuvers: look no further than its near-daily incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. To send a message, China will now have to do something that rises significantly above that kind of baiting, which means its options are increasingly escalatory.

In addition to its military advantage, China has significantly more leverage over Taiwan’s economy. At the time of the 1995­–96 crisis, Taiwan’s exports to the mainland accounted for one-third of one percent of its total exports; today, that figure is 30 percent. China could choose to cut off its market to many Taiwanese goods, a move that would be difficult for Taiwan—or the United States—to counter.

It is not just relations between China and Taiwan that have evolved. During previous crises, China had an overriding interest in preserving a constructive relationship with the United States. This was true during the 1995–96 crisis, the standoff sparked by the accidental U.S. bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, and an incident in 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft. In all these cases, Chinese leaders ultimately sought a way to de-escalate tensions. Now, however, with U.S.-Chinese relations in a free fall, Xi may believe there is little left to preserve.

TROUBLE AHEAD
A far more dangerous era for cross-strait relations is in the offing. Xi has set an objective of achieving China’s “great rejuvenation” by 2049; unification with Taiwan is a precondition for that goal. And he may want to move more rapidly than that timeline suggests: Xi is unlikely to live to see 2049 (he would be approaching 100 years old) and has said that this issue cannot be passed from generation to generation. That implies he would like to at least make significant progress on the question of Taiwan’s status or resolve it altogether on his watch. As CIA Director William J. Burns recently said, “I wouldn’t underestimate President Xi’s determination to assert China’s control—the People’s Republic of China’s control—over Taiwan. . . . I think the risks of that become higher, it seems to us, the further into this decade that you get.” After cementing his rule at the upcoming Party Congress and having sidelined rivals and placed loyalists in critical positions, Xi will have a freer hand for pursuing his objectives.

To head off the worst possible outcomes of this dangerous new phase, the Biden administration should initiate a comprehensive review of U.S. policy toward Taiwan. This is overdue, given that the last such review took place in 1994, and there have been significant changes in cross-strait dynamics in the intervening years. A guiding principle of U.S. policy should be deterring a Chinese attack on Taiwan. To that end, the United States should make clear that it would use force in coming to Taiwan’s defense.


The U.S. government should improve Taiwan’s combat capabilities.

In addition to such assurances, the U.S. government should improve Taiwan’s combat capabilities. The United States should assist Taiwan in reforming its reserve forces and developing territorial defense forces while pushing Taipei to increase its defense spending and invest in asymmetric capabilities such as missiles, sea mines, and portable air defenses. U.S. policymakers must also work with Taiwan to prepare its civilian population for a potential Chinese attack. This would entail planning for how to maintain adequate food, fuel, and medical supplies during a conflict.

Meanwhile, to lower the chances of a conflagration, the United States should reconsider gestures that will inflame tensions but do not meaningfully increase deterrence or Taiwan’s resilience. Bilateral security cooperation between the United States and Taiwan will need to grow in the coming years, but such activities should not be made public. High-level U.S. officials should visit when there is a substantive reason for doing so, such as discussing U.S.-Taiwanese trade relations or cooperation on global health issues. If the United States believes that a crisis is brewing, a high-level symbolic trip could be useful to send a signal to China, but until that day arrives senior officials should not touch down in Taipei just for the sake of doing so.

By that standard, Pelosi’s planned visit is ill advised. Although Taiwan is unlikely to secure any tangible gains, it will bear the brunt of any Chinese response. But Pelosi seems unlikely to cancel her trip; she may feel that this is her last opportunity to show her support for Taiwan, given that she is unlikely to remain Speaker following the midterm elections. Plus, a bedrock of her political career has been taking a tough stance on China. Now that the visit has become public and there is significant bipartisan support in Congress for her trip, there will also be political fallout if her plans end in a cancellation.

The best outcome, then, would be for Pelosi to delay her trip until after the midterms but before the next session of Congress, which would coincide with the aftermath of China’s Party Congress. Xi will likely sell any delay as a Chinese victory, much as Chinese President Jiang Zemin cast the 1995–96 crisis in the same light, and Pelosi would still be able to count a trip as part of her legacy. In the meantime, Pelosi could introduce legislation that would increase Taiwan’s defense capabilities, potentially including provisions such as prioritizing arms deliveries to the island or starting a foreign military financing program with Taipei. A bill could also grant the Biden administration authority to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal with Taiwan. In preparing for a future crisis over Taiwan, such substantive measures would be far more meaningful than any symbolic gesture

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2022, 07:56:02 PM »
Somehow, I think Pelosi will go to Taiwan. US credibility is at stake.

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2022, 07:58:09 PM »
Somehow, I think Pelosi will go to Taiwan. US credibility is at stake.

Like in Afghanistan?


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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2022, 08:07:51 PM »
Especially after Afghanistan.

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2022, 08:24:11 PM »
Especially after Afghanistan.

Prepare for the world to laugh at us again.

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2022, 08:41:29 PM »
Oh, it is much worse than that.

Prepare to have our assumptions shattered.

G M

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2022, 08:55:10 PM »
Oh, it is much worse than that.

Prepare to have our assumptions shattered.

What assumptions would those be?

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2022, 05:57:40 AM »
That we are immune to the laws of nature. 

We assume that we are not set up to fall very fast and very far.

ccp

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2022, 07:00:05 AM »
"Somehow, I think Pelosi will go to Taiwan. US credibility is at stake."

I was thinking that too

They expressly took Taiwan off the publicly released Asian trip itinerary
so they could sneak her in under their noses
but ......

 then perhaps they could not get her out!  :)))

or she sneaks out in a raft at night to a submarine... ...dressed as a man........

But does she have the guts to go ?

DougMacG

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2022, 07:57:13 AM »
What a strange issue.  Yes, she should be free to travel there.  China would be crazy to shoot first in this war, for no reason and no gain, and I don't think crazy is their problem. If taking Taiwan by force is their goal, a stupid air fight with the USA isn't their best first step.

Pelosi is irrelevant; China would have done better to ignore her.

G M

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2022, 08:09:25 AM »
What a strange issue.  Yes, she should be free to travel there.  China would be crazy to shoot first in this war, for no reason and no gain, and I don't think crazy is their problem. If taking Taiwan by force is their goal, a stupid air fight with the USA isn't their best first step.

Pelosi is irrelevant; China would have done better to ignore her.

You don't need to agree with a culture, but you'd better understand their worldview. Especially when they have nukes.

https://www.china-mike.com/chinese-culture/cult-of-face/


Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2022, 09:04:36 AM »
We should have a President (here) who can effectively call out the Chinese regime's dangerous BS.

Reunify WHAT?  When was the Island nation of Taiwan under the tyrannical government of the Chinese Communist Party?

FIRST, hold free and fair elections on the Mainland.  Then have the reunification vote on BOTH sides of the Strait.

Why can't someone say that aloud?

Let's get both Russia and China off the UN security council or just leave them out of the organization that replaces it.  Russia invaded and occupies its neighbor and China is shooting missiles over, blockading and threatening theirs. Aren't these violations of 'international law'?

PS.  But I'm glad they did not shoot down Pelosi and her entourage.

G M

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How Pelosi damaged Taiwan
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2022, 10:07:52 AM »
The US doesn’t hold free and fair elections, why should anyone else?

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/08/how-pelosis-visit-hurts-taiwan.html


DougMacG

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Re: How Pelosi damaged Taiwan
« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2022, 03:39:46 PM »
... free and fair elections, why should anyone...?

It beats living under tyranny.
Every time it's tried.
Taiwan has it.
Why should they downgrade?
Because somebody stuffed ballot boxes here?
Doesn't make sense.
I'd rather fight for free and fair elections.,
cue up Beatles song, Here, There, Everywhere.

G M

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Re: How Pelosi damaged Taiwan
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2022, 08:25:58 PM »
... free and fair elections, why should anyone...?

It beats living under tyranny.
Every time it's tried.
Taiwan has it.
Why should they downgrade?
Because somebody stuffed ballot boxes here?
Doesn't make sense.
I'd rather fight for free and fair elections.,
cue up Beatles song, Here, There, Everywhere.

Ask the J6 prisoners about living under tyranny.

"Because somebody stuffed ballot boxes here?"

Let's be clear, the DOJ/FBI, other LE agencies, the US Intelligence community and the US Military staged a coup and ended the American Republic.




ccp

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2022, 05:57:43 AM »
"Let's be clear, the DOJ/FBI, other LE agencies, the US Intelligence community and the US Military staged a coup and ended the American Republic."

don't forget to add our free and honest press holding those people accountable as arbiters of the truth!     :roll:

But I agree with Doug.........
at least here this is some push back though not enough
where as in CCP land it is worse.

G M

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Re: Taiwan
« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2022, 07:27:53 AM »
"Let's be clear, the DOJ/FBI, other LE agencies, the US Intelligence community and the US Military staged a coup and ended the American Republic."

don't forget to add our free and honest press holding those people accountable as arbiters of the truth!     :roll:

But I agree with Doug.........
at least here this is some push back though not enough
where as in CCP land it is worse.

The PRC is worse, for now.