china/taiwan news


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Mr T

Senior Member
There seem to be an unusual atmosphere in China after Tsai Ing-Wen's speech at the ROC's National Day celebration. I don't think CPC is happy about what she said, to put it mildly.

It's unhappy about Tsai calling for meaningful dialogue to deal with the heightened tensions? Surely that would be a good thing. If China wants peaceful unification it has to talk to the Taiwanese government. If the Taiwanese government wants to talk then that's to China's advantage.

Keep your eyes open about news regarding Taiwan, this could be it.

China launching an invasion at this time of year would be a terrible idea given the weather.
 

gelgoog

Colonel
Registered Member
If you look at the equipment situation it would be much beneficial for China to wait one more year or two for new ships to enter service.
The security situation on the other side, Taiwan's, won't change much in those two years.

That is assuming something happened which it probably won't.
I think China will just continue its peaceful rise unless Taiwan declares independence or something stupid like that.
 

xiabonan

Junior Member
To be honest as a Chinese I don't think any military action on Taiwan NOW is warranted UNLESS some SIGNIFICANT provocation happens from the Taiwanese side such as US deploying troops in Taiwan or Taiwan declaring independence.

Now is not the time for ANY major military action period. I think that's ample clear by this point. China has been showing extreme constraint with regard to India, Taiwan, SCS, etc. There's been lots of talk but not really a lot of real meaningful action from a military perspective despite China holding the military edge in many cases. However this does not mean that military build up will slow down or stop. It will only accelerate.

The next five to ten years will be an uphill road for China. As the Chinese say, when faced with a formidable foe, it's important first to strengthen internally before taking actions externally.

Military action on Taiwan will be the safest when Chinese military force in the region vastly surpass the combination of US force + Japanese force + Taiwanese force combined in the region. This will take at least another 5 to 10 years.

When this becomes reality, the Taiwan issue might even resolve without going to war. As Sun Tse said, the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without even going to war.
 

AndrewS

Brigadier
Registered Member
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Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier
Would America have the stomach for such a fight?

ROUSING MUSIC accompanies the H-6K, a hulking Chinese bomber, as it sweeps up into a pink sky. Moments later, its pilot presses a red button, with the panache and fortitude that only a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer could muster, and a missile streaks towards the island of Guam. The ground ripples and a fiery explosion consumes America’s Andersen air force base. Never mind that the PLA propaganda film released in September pinches footage from Hollywood blockbusters; the message is that this is what America can expect if it is foolhardy enough to intervene on behalf of Taiwan in a regional war.

China’s Communist Party claims Taiwan, a democratic and prosperous country of 24m people, although the island has not been ruled from the mainland since 1949. A tense peace is maintained as long as Taiwan continues to say that it is part of China, even if not part of the People’s Republic. China once hoped that reunification could be achieved bloodlessly through growing economic and cultural ties. But two-thirds of Taiwanese no longer identify as Chinese, and 60% have an unfavourable view of China. In January Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party was resoundingly re-elected as president over a China-friendly rival.

Last year Xi Jinping, China’s leader, declared unification to be an “inevitable requirement for the historical rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. The PLA has stepped up pressure on Taiwan in recent months, sending warplanes across the “median line” that long served as an unofficial maritime boundary and holding large naval drills off several parts of Taiwan’s coast.

Defending Taiwan is growing ever harder. A decade ago China had four times as many warships as Taiwan. Today it has six times as many. It has six times the number of warplanes and eight times as many tanks. China’s defence budget, merely double Taiwan’s at the end of the 1990s, is now 25 times greater (see chart).

American intelligence officials do not think that China is about to unleash this firepower. The PLA’s amphibious fleet has grown slowly in recent years. China has never held even a single exercise on the scale that would be required for a D-Day-type campaign. Indeed, no country has assaulted a well-defended shore since America did so in Korea—with good reason.

Although China could wipe out Taiwan’s navy and air force, says William Murray of the US Naval War College, the island would still be able to fire anti-ship missiles at an invading armada, picking out targets with mobile radar units hidden in the mountainous interior. That could make mincemeat of big ships crossing a narrow strait (see map). “The PLA can’t use precision weapons to attack small, mobile things,” says Ethan Lee, who as chief of general staff at Taiwan’s defence ministry in 2017-19 developed a strategy for asymmetrical warfare.

Nor can China put all its forces to use. “Only a fraction of the PLA could be deployed,” says Dennis Blasko, a former American army attaché in Beijing, “because its overwhelming numbers can’t all fit into the Taiwan front or in the airspace surrounding Taiwan at one time”. Satellite reconnaissance would give Taiwan weeks of warning to harden defences and mobilise reserves. Mr Blasko thinks a nimbler air assault, using helicopters and special forces, is more likely than an amphibious attack. Even then, he says, the island is “very defensible, if it is properly prepared and the people have the will to defend it”.

Alas, Taiwan’s preparedness and its will to fight both look shaky. “The sad truth is that Taiwan’s army has trouble with training across the board,” says Tanner Greer, an analyst who spent nine months studying the island’s defences last year. “I have met artillery observers who have never seen their own mortars fired.” Despite long-standing efforts to make the island indigestible, Taiwan’s armed forces are still overinvested in warplanes and tanks. Many insiders are accordingly pessimistic about its ability to hold out. Mr Greer says that of two dozen conscripts he interviewed, “only one was more confident in Taiwan’s ability to resist China after going through the conscript system.” Less than half of Taiwanese polled in August evinced a willingness to fight if war came.

A vital question is therefore whether Americans would do so, for the sake of a distant country whose defence spending has fallen steadily as a share of GDP over two decades. America does not have a formal alliance with Taiwan. But it sells the island weapons—$13bn-worth over the past four years—and has long implied that it would help repel an invasion if Taiwan had not provoked one. Yet the same trend that imperils Taiwan in the first place—China’s growing military power—also raises the price of American involvement.

In wargames set five or more years in the future, “the United States starts losing people and hardware in the theatre very quickly,” says David Ochmanek of the RAND Corporation, a think-tank. “Surface combatants tend to stay far from the fight, forward air bases get heavily attacked and we’re unable to project power sufficiently into the battlespace to defeat the invasion.” America is disadvantaged by geography, with its air force reliant on a handful of Asian bases well within range of Chinese missiles. American bombers can swoop in from the safety of American soil, but there is a shortage of missiles to arm them. Nor is it clear how America’s technology-dependent armed forces would fare against an inevitable physical and electronic barrage on their satellites and computer networks.

In another wargame conducted earlier this year, the Centre for a New American Security (CNAS), another think-tank, assumed that Taiwan would fight tenaciously and that America would have access to weapons still under development. Under those rosier circumstances, the island survives—at least after ten notional days of combat—but even then only at huge cost. The seas around Taiwan would look “like no-man’s-land at the Somme”, notes Christopher Dougherty of CNAS.

The question is whether America has the stomach for this. The conquest of Taiwan would not just dent American prestige but also expose the outlying islands of Japan, an ally America is pledged to defend. The Trump administration has sent several high-level officials to Taipei to show its support—one reason for the recent Chinese bluster. In Congress support for Taiwan is at “new highs”, says Bonnie Glaser of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), another think-tank.

Polls by CSIS show that Americans broadly support coming to Taiwan’s aid, roughly as much as they support helping South Korea, Japan or Australia. Such enthusiasm may wane, however, if American ships start getting sunk in large numbers. American losses in the CNAS wargame amount to a hundred or so aircraft, dozens of ships and perhaps a couple of carriers. “An aircraft-carrier has 5,000 people on it,” says Mr Murray. “That’s 100 voters in every state of our union. That’s a lot of funerals.”

Fear of such losses might deter an American president from entering the fray. But incurring them might stiffen American resolve. America and its partners can use this dynamic to their advantage, says Elbridge Colby, a former Pentagon official. If American troops were to disperse in allied countries like Japan and draw on allied support to repel a Chinese attack, China would have to choose between striking a wide range of targets beyond Taiwan, and outraging American and Asian public opinion, or sacrificing military advantage.

Escalation might go even further. The fact that Chinese nuclear missiles can now reach any American city raises the stakes dramatically. “When the bullets really start flying,” says Michael Hunzeker of George Mason University, “the American people, most of whom can’t find Taiwan on a map, will be hard-pressed to say, ‘No, I’m really willing to trade Los Angeles for Taipei.’”

Taiwanese officials acknowledge these grim trends. Even if America is willing to come to Taiwan’s aid, that is no use if it is not capable of doing so, Su Chi, a former secretary-general of Taiwan’s National Security Council, has argued. But the logical response, transforming Taiwan’s own defences, is hard when only a fifth of people think war will come. In the sleepy fishing village of Zhuwei, on the north-west coast, an area thought to be a prime landing site for the PLA, tourists eat stir-fried seafood in restaurants as multicoloured fishing vessels bob in the harbour. “The Chinese won’t invade,” says Lin Fu-fun, an airport safety inspector who has come to watch the waves splash on a jagged breakwater. “Our language and culture are the same.”
 

xiabonan

Junior Member
A Chinese phrase that perhaps best describes the Taiwanese people is this "respect and afraid of authority and power, and not appreciating of kindness and moral teachings".

As the article above suggests, most Taiwanese people do not want to die protecting the regime/island. As high as 60% Taiwanese believe that if a war comes the US will come protect and fight for them so that they don't have to die protecting their own land. How naive.

The Taiwanese don't even want to fight along the Americans. They want, and they indeed believe, that Americans will fight FOR them. I'm not sure if the US has ever done such a thing but even if they have done it in the past they will not do it for Taiwan. Most Americans can't even find Taiwan on a map or know this place.

Taiwan has been gradually abolishing the conscription system and reducing the time required for conscripts to stay in the army. In the past it used to be 2 years, it's now 3 months. Even then many still complain.

If you watch any Taiwanese political tv programs, you'll know that they are an idiotic bunch unwilling to fight for what they claim is a righteous cause. One of the most drilled item for the Taiwanese military is how to get the president out of Taiwan should an attack from mainland happen. Which leader thinks first of running away when his countrymen are under siege? Even Hitler did not escape.
 

Temstar

Major
Registered Member
In another thread he was admiring the potential of decapitation weapons deployed by stealth platforms over Taiwan. The bloodlust in his spirit deserves no defense, but condemnation.
Surely of all the weapons that one could employ against Taiwan a decapitation strike weapon to take out the leadership is the most humane? It has the potential to cause proportion of ROC armed forced to lay down their arms and it directly punishes the actual people responsible for causing the current situation, rather than killing soldiers who are just following orders or innocent civilians?
 

OppositeDay

Junior Member
Registered Member
Taiwan has a total fertility rate of 1.0, i.e. every Taiwanese woman will on average have 1 child in her lifetime. Compare this with a FTR of 1.4 for Japan and one will see what kind of population crisis Taiwan is facing. The rapid aging of Taiwan means the longer China waits the fewer manpower Taiwan has, and an older Taiwan will likely be less willing to fight.

China is also facing a population crisis, but the Chinese government has far more power at its disposal. The government can, for example, mandate having 3 or more children as a condition for promotion in SOEs. China just needs to keep the economy growing and fixes its population problem. Once Chinese GDP is over 50 times that of Taiwan's (rather than 20 times as of now), it will be game over for Taiwan.

A lot of people worries about if the longer China waits the less Taiwanese self-identify as Chinese. But the situation is already grave with only about 10% Taiwanese self-identify as Chinese first. It really can't get much worse.

To be honest, as a PRC citizen I really don't mind if Taiwan goes independent provided Taiwan cedes all its offshore islands and a large military port on Taiwan itself to us and declare permanent neutrality (no foreign military relations, no intelligence sharing, etc). I know this is sacrilegious to a lot of people, but we really have different identities now (for younger generations at least). I see Dilraba Dilmurat as being 'one of us' in a way that I just don't see Lin Chi-ling.
 
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AssassinsMace

Lieutenant General
Not surprising since every US ally in Asia is expecting the US to do all the heavy lifting against China. That's why it's just laughable for anyone to taunt a gang-up against China. Yeah I'll tell when they'll join the US in military action against China. It'll be when the US is winning it and then they'll come in to join and gladly take credit. But if the US is not winning, they'll claim they had nothing to do with it.
 
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