Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis


Registered Member
PLA has enough critical mass of military power projection capability around S.China sea that it can easily conquer Taiwan with or without US intervention. Its just a question of whether China is ready to accept economic damage due to sanctions.
Apart from military preparation I find it strange that China has 0 preparation for political repercussions after Taiwan invaison. China could had secured atleast a military treaty with Vietnam after vietnam war. But no. China invaded Vietnam and made an enemy out of a neighbour.
China should postpone for any armed unification plan for some decade, grow economically, technologically, militarily and make some good reliable alliance that are also economically and militarily able to stand on its legs. Then they can go ahead with peaceful or armed reunification.
Vietnam was a special case. They started massacring Chinese Vietnamese, invaded Cambodia and Laos, started shelling Chinese border cities and signed a defense pact with Soviet Union, at the time a rival of China.

Non east Asians might not know but historically Vietnam was a very aggressive and expansionist power. Vietnam throughout history has been led by ethnic Chinese warlords who were unable to make it in China proper, had a chip on their shoulder, and went to Vietnam to serve then overthrow their kings and expand to the south. Ho Chi Minh is just the latest ethnic Chinese warlord to expand his empire from the north to the south, and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam is just the latest Vietnamese imperial dynasty.


Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
I joked a few years ago that one day we'd think of Trump as not so bad because the presidents to come will be far worse. I previously imagined that time to be far in the future.

I felt Trump mostly had a grip on things. When his subordinates do things he doesn't like they are promptly fired. With Biden I don't know who is running the house...


New Member
Registered Member
The US promise to defend Taiwan is premised on an unprovoked Chinese attack. This is when China will have the least geopolitical support from countries like Singapore or South Korea, who'll see China as disrupting the status quo for no good reason.

The idea of not disrupting the status quo applies to Taiwan - don't make trouble - and US - don't make trouble through your Taiwan proxy. I doubt China allows the idea to tie China's own hands. East and SE Asian countries understand that eventually China will make a move to settle the Taiwan issue.


Junior Member
Registered Member
It would be useless if there was no air control of the coastal area of operations by Taiwan, he could not use the effective mobility of the tanks because all this movement would be recorded by PLA air assets.

Let's imagine a simple scenario, for example, let's say that the PLA starts the amphibious operation off the coast of Taiwan, in order to be successful, it requires that, moments before its start, adequate aerospace control is ensured and, in sequence, an intense preparation of fires (naval and air-naval fire), seeking to neutralize the resistance imposed by the defender on the coast.

Often, this type of operation is triggered in conjunction with airborne and/or airmobile operations. Even though the PLA has a ground inferiority in the initial moments of the amphibious operation, if Taiwan does not obtain air control or impose an exclusion zone in the area of operations preventing reconnaissance and attack air assets from flying over and carrying out their functions, Taiwan could gain mobility advantage. and superior fire because it is a force majeure in the initial moments of the amphibious landing, but if it does not obtain air control or the no-fly zone, Taiwan could try to use its ground superiority or its greater mobility to advantages but that would be inefficient because the PLA would be heavily using drones and helicopters for reconnaissance and attack, so Taiwan would not gain an advantage in this scenario.

The only way for Taiwan to operate in this sense is to use the urban environment to hide, carrying out local and specific attacks in the landing area and returning to its point of origin limiting the enemy's beachhead. This will not prevent disembarkation but will make it more expensive for those who disembark on the beach.

I agree that this is timid, but this type of operation exemplified in the image means that Taiwan has lost both its coastal defense capability, that is, it does not have air and naval means to expel the enemy from the maritime area of the coast, as well as it does not have legal means for effective defense of the coast-line (land area), that is, it does not have the capacity to impose a no-fly zone.

More generally, for amphibious assault to be viable, the enemy (PLA) has to have adequate aerospace control, at least locally - in the area of operations (Taiwan coast). Thus, the priority targets on land should be fire support assets (campaign artillery), command and control assets and armored/mechanized troops (Taiwan), that is, enemy aviation (PLA) should seek to eliminate or restrict the effectiveness of those who might jeopardize the success of the operation (Taiwan). This certainty reinforces the need for dispersion and camouflage of personnel and means employed in the defense of the coast (Taiwan), being preferable the adoption of such dispersion in depth. Anti-aircraft defense is essential for maintaining the effort in the operation against amphibious landings.
I agree with most of what you say. But if the ROC army calculates that the beach is indefensible because of a huge air power disadvantage and all their movements tracked, then there's no point moving the tanks a few km close to the beach head where they'll be sitting ducks like what that screenshot envisions. Better to camouflage them all in the urban areas right from the beginning. I suppose they're obligated to contest the beachhead in some form, but like I said that's a half-hearted attempt to repulse the landing.


Junior Member
Registered Member

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WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Monday that President Joe Biden's remarks about defending Taiwan "speak for themselves," and that U.S. policy had not changed.

Biden said during a CBS "60 Minutes" interview broadcast on Sunday that U.S forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, remarks China said sent the wrong signal to those seeking an independent Taiwan.

"I do not believe that it is appropriate to call the remarks that came from the White House today as walking back the president's remarks," Campbell told a forum in Washington.

"The president's remarks speak for themselves. I do think our policy has been consistent and is unchanged and will continue," he said.


Junior Member
Registered Member
This is the 4th time Biden declared "strategic clarity" without officially changing any policies. And this time, the White House did not roll back his statement. Instead, Kurt Campbell said that the President meant what he said. Several reasons why Biden could be finally declaring a clarity that is "more clear" that previous times.

1. Election is coming up, and he need out-tough the Republicans on China. Keep in mind that Trump never declared strategic clarity despite increasing arms sales to Taiwan. In fact, Trump didn't even want to have US troops directly involved in a Taiwan contingency.

2. PLA capabilities are improving remarkably, but troops still need time effectively integrate the new equipment into battle plans and develop relevant strategies using them. The US hopes to exploit PLA weakness before the PLA is actually ready. By forcing China into a fight in 2022 or 2023, there's still a chance that the PLA could be caught flat-footed. However, this is a more sinister hypothesis.

3. The massive failure of the Russian Army in Ukraine has strengthened DC folks' beliefs that authoritarian governments could never raise professional armies due to inherent corruption and lack of accountability to democratic institutions. If the Russians are so competent, the same thing could be said about the PLA since both have authoritarian government led by strongmen. This is typical group think in DC.


New Member
Registered Member
The US is clearly failing to rope China into an invasion. I think the US will do what it does best and stage a false flag attack on Taiwan.
If they are going to go down that path then they are more likely to goad Taiwan into declaring independence.

A major reason in the past to maintain strategic ambiguity around whether the US would come to Taiwan's aid militarily was to discourage them from doing anything rash like declaring independence. Biden seems to have thrown caution to the wind in this regard stating unequivocally they would came to Taiwan aid in force. Perhaps this the US goading Taiwan to declare independence and Taiwan has not taken the bait so far preferring not to commit suicide.

In the event of AR regardless of whether the US manages to beat China back or not Taiwan will loose.