Lessons for China to learn from Ukraine conflict for Taiwan scenario


zhangjim

Junior Member
Registered Member
Russia would be far more diplomatically isolated today without the legacy of Soviet "Messianism".
That's true, but Russia seems to be pretending that it's still the same Soviet Union to win sympathy.
I don't deny the simple spirit of the Russians, but they look more like the successors of the Tsar.
While I agree with the rest of the post, I disagree with this point.

No one is willingly going around and saying "Russia is the junior partner". It just a reality. A smaller economy, smaller trading power, a lagging industrial power, a lagging tech power, a relatively subpar Airforce/Army/Navy.

All these together lead to Russia naturally becoming a junior partner. Xi isn't ever going to say to Putin "you are the junior partner/brother" but the dynamics of the relationship means that Russia will naturally take over that role.


For example, the drone debacle that has menaced the Russians in Ukraine stems entirely from their belief (+ racism) that they are a militarily equal power to China.
"If Chinese did it, we can do it too, don't buy from them!". Same with their ships

Now that country is talking about buying drones from Iran lol. How can such a country ever claim or try to be equal with China? There is simply no comparison between them.



IMO a far better one (still flawed though) is Canada to the US. Russia will be to China something akin to what Canada is to the US, except it has a lot of nukes, stronger military, more resources, more geopolitically active etc (that's why I said it is a flawed comparison)

Russia will definitely be extremely important in a Taiwan scenario which is why China should be close with it and form an ever improving relationship between their leadership, political system, and people. But this doesn't mean that Russia will ever be an equal power with China in this relationship, knowingly or unknowingly.
The Russians will realize the fact that their international status has declined after this war.
But it seems difficult to get Russians with extremely high self-esteem to volunteer to be foils.
It is hoped that Putin will also have the courage to achieve further cooperation with China.
 

pmc

Senior Member
Registered Member
Now that country is talking about buying drones from Iran lol. How can such a country ever claim or try to be equal with China? There is simply no comparison between them.
buying drones from Iran?. The only reason Russia will involve Iran in this war will be to completely break Iran relations with West especially Europe. now some factions in Iran may actually want this outcome. Russia has been working with Iraq, Iran and Syria. so they understand these drones much better operationally attached to strike mechanism.
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No one is willingly going around and saying "Russia is the junior partner". It just a reality. A smaller economy, smaller trading power, a lagging industrial power, a lagging tech power, a relatively subpar Airforce/Army/Navy.
If it was smaller economy why would Arab world standing with Russia when Arabs have trillions invested in West. similar situation with many other countries from India to Latin America. what Russia produces is very important for them.
no one has demonstrated high quality of engineering post covid. Almost round the clock aviation flights. Russian aviation and missile technology is second to none. It is Russians that have thrown out Boeing and Airbus from government.
show me any other bomber that has fired 12 missiles simultaneously to range of 4000km. and this is not even the modernized TU-160M.
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FairAndUnbiased

Major
Registered Member
While I agree with the rest of the post, I disagree with this point.

No one is willingly going around and saying "Russia is the junior partner". It just a reality. A smaller economy, smaller trading power, a lagging industrial power, a lagging tech power, a relatively subpar Airforce/Army/Navy.

All these together lead to Russia naturally becoming a junior partner. Xi isn't ever going to say to Putin "you are the junior partner/brother" but the dynamics of the relationship means that Russia will naturally take over that role.


For example, the drone debacle that has menaced the Russians in Ukraine stems entirely from their belief (+ racism) that they are a militarily equal power to China.
"If Chinese did it, we can do it too, don't buy from them!". Same with their ships

Now that country is talking about buying drones from Iran lol. How can such a country ever claim or try to be equal with China? There is simply no comparison between them.



IMO a far better one (still flawed though) is Canada to the US. Russia will be to China something akin to what Canada is to the US, except it has a lot of nukes, stronger military, more resources, more geopolitically active etc (that's why I said it is a flawed comparison)

Russia will definitely be extremely important in a Taiwan scenario which is why China should be close with it and form an ever improving relationship between their leadership, political system, and people. But this doesn't mean that Russia will ever be an equal power with China in this relationship, knowingly or unknowingly.
well, nobody can really be China's equal at this point, except the US. Not Japan, not India, not Russia. Russians are likely to recognize this sooner than Japanese and Indians, as they don't have the Jai mentality.

The difference with certain countries though is that they treats weaker allies as though they're trash and them engaging is something they need to grovel for. Chinese diplomats show respect even to the poorest and smallest countries. Chinese policy is very predictable too, which is that China doesn't expect countries to change or bend backwards for it, all China expects is acceptance of a few simple guidelines regarding Taiwan, mutual equitable trade and equal protection under the law for Chinese nationals.

So Russians, even though they're the junior partner in the relationship, don't feel like one the way many certain country allies like South Koreans, Japanese, Filipinos, Turks, etc. are constantly reminded that they are weaker and they should be thankful that they're allowed to be an ally. China is never going to tell Russia who it can trade with, what it can do, dictate Russian government spending, ask to station large numbers of troops in Russia, etc.
 

A potato

New Member
Registered Member
Guancha interviewed Jin Chanrong (金灿荣), a professor in Renmin university and an expert on Sino-US relationships.

Prof. Jin believes that the west, the US in particular, might have determined to punish China for not siding with them on Russia. The Ukraine conflict is going to cause major disruptions to the global food supply. That in turn can start turmoil and unrest in the global south. It will not be good for BRI.

Some reckless politicians in the US might want to take chance amid the chaos and push Taiwan to cross the red lines. He warns to not overlook the possibility that these bandits, and their lap dogs in Taiwan, will miscalculate.

To prepare for the worst, Prof. Jin thinks that China must quickly raise annual military expenditure to 2% of its GDP.

The result of a recent poll in the US says that some US public are more willing to risk a war with China than with Russia. Using it as an example to show that many Americans are underestimating China's capacity as a nuclear power, Jin urges that China must ditch the strategy of 韬光养晦 (keep a low profile to bide one's time) and start playing its cards in the clear to the US. He considers 韬光养晦 only a special case for short term challenges and the time for it has long gone. China has already become too big for the corner.

In his opinion, it'd be foolish to think that, in dealing with the US, being purposefully unintelligible can conceal China's strategic and long term objectives. China must state clearly its intents and interests to avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation by the US, or any other foreign power.

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Why are the Americans so dumb. They litterly sponser seperatist movements in China and expect us to support Ukraine?
 

tphuang

Brigadier
VIP Professional
Registered Member
One key aspect of the Ukraine conflict is how America has been able to advance its foreign policy goals through its allies in Europe. Another aspect is how Russia’s geography limits its operation. NATO has been able to press its advantage next to Russia with little recourse. As we’ve seen, Baltic fleet is under threat from all directions. North fleet also has to pass through the advanced nuclear sub fleet of Royal Navy. Black Sea Fleet is constrained by what Turkey allows in and out. It is very hard for Pacific fleet to help other side due to Arctic ice and long distance. As such, Russia has always been limited as a land power rather than Naval power.

One of the great narratives pushed by Internet armchair QB is China’s bad geographical setup. There are 2 key arguments here:

1) China’s SLOC and energy route has to pass through international water that are controlled by US Navy and allies.

2) China is surrounded by nations that could be hostile along the first and second island chain which prevented the from breaking out.

So, I think it’s important to address these 2 arguments separately..

The first one was always one of those existential questions that we discussed on SDF back in early 2010s when I was really active here. Over time, China has only started to import even more oil and natural gas from the Middle East and Africa than it ever did before. Even back then, the question was always how US Navy could identify whether an oil tanker or a LNG carrier is heading to China or Japan or SK. Now, the other question is how will US navy have enough ships to stop more of them from getting to East Asia. It would be crazy for USN to use Burkes to block oil tankers from getting to East Asia. Similarly, could RAN intercept ships carrying natural resources while operating in Indonesian or Malaysian water. That would seem pretty crazy. Now, let’s say they do the unthinkable and just lay mines all around route from Middle East to China and screw every ASEAN countries. Would that stop China? This is where Russia comes in. Assuming China and Russia will continue to help each other, this will significantly alleviate oil/natural gas pressure against China. I’ve discussed several times in the past that 7 out of 13 million bpd of crude oil that China currently use could be supplied by just the domestic production + pipeline and import from Russia. If we add in additional oil tankers from Russia and possible delivery from fuel trucks, they could get even more than 7 million bpd. That would be more than enough in a society that has this much electricity based transportation (rail, buses and EVs). That’s one of the huge changes that have made China resilient to getting cut off from oil. If they reach 50% EV sales in a couple of years, they can entirely stop 95% of oil transportation and still function as a society. Which brings us to electricity production. Natural gas remains a small fraction of China’s electricity generation. China is also able to get pretty much all it needs from domestic production, Russian LNG, Malaysia and gas pipelines from Russia and other countries based on my examination here World non-renewable energy discussion. Aside from that, they have a lot of spare coal capacity that can always get switched on along with more installation of renewable energies to cover any electricity outage.

So, what do they miss? The most obvious one is Iron Ore. They import large amount of that from Australia. All of that can be cut off over night. Same with copper, where the largest exporters are south American countries and Australia. They can definitely import a lot more of that from Russia. I think another solution is Afghanistan. They have large reserves of Iron, Copper and Lithium that are basically untapped. You can get to Xinjiang easily from Pakistan with the Karakoram Highway which can then get you to Kabul.
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. There is also a proposed Iran/Afghanistan rail to China that is on the drawing board
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. Not really sure how feasible that is and how long it would take to build something over there. There should already be existing freight rail lines between the two countries via longer path, so this project is not critical. China is looking to get into more Afghanistan infrastructure project for good reason
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. They need those Afghanistan resources that can get to China via friendly countries. Developing new mines can take some time, so that’s where they will probably want to push things.

As such, they can probably secure all the resources they need through their land based partners. I think it would be important for them to have a mutual defense treaty with Pakistan like the one they have for North Korea. And Ideally, that would allow China to operate out of Pakistani air fields during times of war. It would also allow for even greater cooperation between the 2 militaries. Such an arrangement would also allow China to have an eye over the Persian Gulf and potentially blackmail hostile European countries during a major conflict. At the same time, (and despite my personal distaste for the Taliban, I think China will probably need to recognize the Taliban government for greater access into their natural resources and infrastructure projects. Getting the resources they need is quite crucial. There are resources out there where Russia is not a major exporter.
 

tphuang

Brigadier
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The second one was another question that I really could not have answered back in 2012. All around them, there were navies that simply could just cut off their trade. Japan had that ability with their submarine fleet and modern surface combatants. Australia had the ability to do that around Malacca straits because China could not project its navy that far out. Same with Singapore. 10 years later, most of these problems seem to have went away. 3 major changes:

1) The rapid development of new generation of Chinese missiles with DF16/17/26/100.

2) The SCS island buildup

3) The blue water fleet expansion and longer AF projection from J16/J20/Tankers.

So now, no country (including Singapore) in ASEAN can mess with China due to the missiles threat. They can knock out the Japanese threat with the huge missiles arsenal as well as the longer range projection of PLAAF. Australia really can no longer wonder too far north into SCS before getting picked up by PLA. Even the military base in Northern part of Australia could get targeted by a regiment of H-6K as well as 055 fleet launching longer range cruise missiles. The northern RAAF/RAN base in Darwin is only about 3000 km away from Spratly Islands. They are now capable of degrading it. The only places they really can’t get to right now are Perth/Sydney/Wake Islands/Diego Garcia. All of which will be accessible once they have H-20s.

IMO, the issue was not geography, but rather not having the right equipments to deal with them. With the right military capabilities, the island chains are in fact not geographical disadvantages. They become targets. PLAN cannot currently surge to 2nd island chain due to lack of nuclear carrier, submarine and oversea base, rather than “hostile” islands. As long as surrounding countries don’t have the same resources, they simply aren’t able to build up the type of military infrastructure that China has build up in South China Sea.

The other smart thing China has done is this major buildup of cutters. That along with covered 056s and naval 056A form a large force capable of enforcing China’s maritime policing in nearby waters. They are extremely important in any blockade during wartime, since they provides the quantity needed to actually direct civilian ships to go in the directions that China wish them to go. For example, they can be used to intercept any oil tankers/LNG carriers from America coming to Japan. Similarly, they can prevent any ships coming north from Australia. As long as China maintains naval superiority in the surrounding regions, these cutters can act with impunity during war time. Just the share number of sea-worthy cutters allow them to cover a huge area in SCS and westpac.

SCS itself has now turned into a major advantage following the build up the Spratly Islands. Any civilian ships passing through SCS will have to go through this area controlled by PLAN and cutters. As such, they can simply deny trades between outside world and ASEAN countries. China can use this to punish hostile countries during a war scenario, so that none of them would contemplate providing air fields to American forces. China can also use this to encourage countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to not allow overfly rights for American/Australian aircraft/missiles and allow them for Chinese aircraft and missiles. They can sell/deliver air defense system to these countries to intercept hostile aircraft/missiles. This will also allow China to continue with robust trading with ASEAN countries during war time, This will also allow them to significantly reduce trading between Australia/NZ and their largest markets.

During war time, I would also expect them to utilize Okinawa and possibly other Ryuku islands to help extend the range of their aircraft to further control the waters in westpac. As such, while these islands may look like weak points, they could entirely be turned into advantages if an initial round attack can knock them out (which they can) and a later landing could be attempted with air dominance + 075/071s. These islands are not built to oppose large scale landing. As such, they would be far easier amphibious operations than Taiwan. China could power these islands with their floating power plants and quickly build out their own air base infrastructure and setup their air defense. If they defeat JSDF in the opening phases of the war and bring Japan to its knees through blockade, I do expect them to force Japan to stay out of the war and to not allow anymore American bases on its territory. As such, they might be able to utilize Okinawa in exchange for providing power and without having to do a forced landing. I don’t see how China can leave JSDF alone unless Japan promises to not allow US military from using bases in Japan during a conflict. The strike power that USAF might deliver from Japanese air bases is far greater than JASDF itself is able to deliver. As such, forcing USAF to operate from Alaska would be a huge win.

Of course, all of this assumes they have a few weeks to set up infrastructure while they wait for multiple American CSGs to come. As we discussed previously, they can plan their operations to start at a time that would be the least advantageous for US Naval ship deployment, so that it would take a long time (2 months) for USN to be able to come at China with a large force. During this time, China will be able to use blockade, military power and economic coercion to set up bases in advantageous spot. For example, I would expect Taiwan to surrender and allow PLA to utilize its air and naval bases. If that doesn’t happen, I still would expect them to be able to successfully land and use selected airport from Taiwan proper along with Penghu and Orchid. Even if Taiwan itself refuses to surrender, I would expect them to capture certain parts of Taiwan, which can be used as launch point for fighter jet and tankers.

During this period, I would also expect them to work with Myanmar and Cambodia government to establish bases of operation from those countries. The goal here is extend the engagement zone of the aircraft and navy, so that mainland and even SCS bases will have buffer zone. It would also allow them to target Diego Garcia with H-6K or DF-26. Stationing HALE drones and long range radar system would allow them to significantly increase their ISR into Indian Ocean. It would also allow them to combat any attempt to obstruct civilian ships from sailing into SCS. Base in Cambodia would allow them to dominate the southern part of SCS and control Malacca straits itself.

In general, I no longer see the first island chain as effective controls against PLA advancements. I see geographical situation working to China’s favor as they develop longer range strike capabilities.
 

pmc

Senior Member
Registered Member
NATO has been able to press its advantage next to Russia with little recourse. As we’ve seen, Baltic fleet is under threat from all directions. North fleet also has to pass through the advanced nuclear sub fleet of Royal Navy. Black Sea Fleet is constrained by what Turkey allows in and out. It is very hard for Pacific fleet to help other side due to Arctic ice and long distance. As such, Russia has always been limited as a land power rather than Naval power.
Russia can cut Europe from Norway energy. Russia can stay back in Arctic but Europe has to defend Norway. Arctic ice has no problem for 9 months of year. newer infrastructure will make it year round by 2024.
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Russia with much larger airbase and Naval base that is closest to Suez Canal. Combined training of long range missiles. It may well become largest Russian airbase in terms of deployable mix aircraft.
Russia is building leverage by concentrating fire power near choking points that is easily defensible through much dense air defense network. newer cruise missile will get target designation by long range UAVs control from thousand of kms. naval asset does not need to be in vicinity for missile strikes. The only effective use of naval assets will be small ships parked near shores to protect the land from much lower altitude sea based missiles in a layered defense network. we have already seen this thing when UAV attack on Crimea was intercepted by ship based air defense system.
They built these shelters against small UAV attacks as air defense may not reliably detect it.

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FairAndUnbiased

Major
Registered Member
One key aspect of the Ukraine conflict is how America has been able to advance its foreign policy goals through its allies in Europe. Another aspect is how Russia’s geography limits its operation. NATO has been able to press its advantage next to Russia with little recourse. As we’ve seen, Baltic fleet is under threat from all directions. North fleet also has to pass through the advanced nuclear sub fleet of Royal Navy. Black Sea Fleet is constrained by what Turkey allows in and out. It is very hard for Pacific fleet to help other side due to Arctic ice and long distance. As such, Russia has always been limited as a land power rather than Naval power.

One of the great narratives pushed by Internet armchair QB is China’s bad geographical setup. There are 2 key arguments here:

1) China’s SLOC and energy route has to pass through international water that are controlled by US Navy and allies.

2) China is surrounded by nations that could be hostile along the first and second island chain which prevented the from breaking out.

So, I think it’s important to address these 2 arguments separately..

The first one was always one of those existential questions that we discussed on SDF back in early 2010s when I was really active here. Over time, China has only started to import even more oil and natural gas from the Middle East and Africa than it ever did before. Even back then, the question was always how US Navy could identify whether an oil tanker or a LNG carrier is heading to China or Japan or SK. Now, the other question is how will US navy have enough ships to stop more of them from getting to East Asia. It would be crazy for USN to use Burkes to block oil tankers from getting to East Asia. Similarly, could RAN intercept ships carrying natural resources while operating in Indonesian or Malaysian water. That would seem pretty crazy. Now, let’s say they do the unthinkable and just lay mines all around route from Middle East to China and screw every ASEAN countries. Would that stop China? This is where Russia comes in. Assuming China and Russia will continue to help each other, this will significantly alleviate oil/natural gas pressure against China. I’ve discussed several times in the past that 7 out of 13 million bpd of crude oil that China currently use could be supplied by just the domestic production + pipeline and import from Russia. If we add in additional oil tankers from Russia and possible delivery from fuel trucks, they could get even more than 7 million bpd. That would be more than enough in a society that has this much electricity based transportation (rail, buses and EVs). That’s one of the huge changes that have made China resilient to getting cut off from oil. If they reach 50% EV sales in a couple of years, they can entirely stop 95% of oil transportation and still function as a society. Which brings us to electricity production. Natural gas remains a small fraction of China’s electricity generation. China is also able to get pretty much all it needs from domestic production, Russian LNG, Malaysia and gas pipelines from Russia and other countries based on my examination here World non-renewable energy discussion. Aside from that, they have a lot of spare coal capacity that can always get switched on along with more installation of renewable energies to cover any electricity outage.

So, what do they miss? The most obvious one is Iron Ore. They import large amount of that from Australia. All of that can be cut off over night. Same with copper, where the largest exporters are south American countries and Australia. They can definitely import a lot more of that from Russia. I think another solution is Afghanistan. They have large reserves of Iron, Copper and Lithium that are basically untapped. You can get to Xinjiang easily from Pakistan with the Karakoram Highway which can then get you to Kabul.
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. There is also a proposed Iran/Afghanistan rail to China that is on the drawing board
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. Not really sure how feasible that is and how long it would take to build something over there. There should already be existing freight rail lines between the two countries via longer path, so this project is not critical. China is looking to get into more Afghanistan infrastructure project for good reason
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. They need those Afghanistan resources that can get to China via friendly countries. Developing new mines can take some time, so that’s where they will probably want to push things.

As such, they can probably secure all the resources they need through their land based partners. I think it would be important for them to have a mutual defense treaty with Pakistan like the one they have for North Korea. And Ideally, that would allow China to operate out of Pakistani air fields during times of war. It would also allow for even greater cooperation between the 2 militaries. Such an arrangement would also allow China to have an eye over the Persian Gulf and potentially blackmail hostile European countries during a major conflict. At the same time, (and despite my personal distaste for the Taliban, I think China will probably need to recognize the Taliban government for greater access into their natural resources and infrastructure projects. Getting the resources they need is quite crucial. There are resources out there where Russia is not a major exporter.
oil and gas is only part of energy, not all energy.
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, of that 1/3 is either domestic or Russian pipeline imports.

figure1.png

so even a 100% cutoff of Persian Gulf oil/gas is fine. China isn't SK or Japan which don't even have domestic coal.
 

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