Taiwan Should Not Look to Ukraine for a Warplan that Offers Salvation: In the aftermath of Tsai Ing-wen and Kevin McCarthy’s contentious meeting in California on Wednesday, the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong and the American carrier USS Nimitz both patrolled off the Taiwanese coast, barely 400 nautical miles apart; a stone’s throw away, in naval terms.
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While war is not inevitable, the chances for conflict between Beijing and Taipei continue to rise, and along with it, the possibility that the United States – through miscalculation, mistake, or mishap – could get sucked into open conflict with nuclear-armed China. The consequences of even a conventional clash with China could leave the U.S. Pacific Air Force and Navy crippled, almost no matter which side “wins.”
In the Event of an Attack
It is often taken as a matter of faith that in the event of a Chinese attack, the Taiwanese would be able to hold out long enough for the U.S. to mount an intervention. A careful analysis of the combat fundamentals at play, however, reveals that it is not at all certain Taipei could weather an all-out storm by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Many advisors in the West point to the war between Russia and Ukraine, and argue it has left the PLA “unsettled” about launching a military operation to capture Taiwan. It is at least likely China has scrutinized that war and learned lessons from Russia’s war in Ukraine that will improve the PLA’s chances. A careful examination of the conditions existing between Beijing and Taipei reveals that in some key categories, a Chinese attempt to forcibly take Taiwan is less challenging than Russia’s attempt to conquer Ukraine.
To be clear at the outset, there is nothing close to a guarantee China would be successful in capturing Taiwan – as there are enormous difficulties they would have to overcome – even if it did unleash a full-scale war. Many things could go wrong for Beijing and things could play into Taipei’s hands.
Yet it is equally clear that key military fundamentals at play strongly advantage Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s forces and work against Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Ukraine is Not an Example for China-Taiwan
In the Russia-Ukraine War, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) have fought fiercely and exceeded expectations. Prior to the outbreak of all-out war, the UAF had fought essentially a civil war from the breakaway eastern portion of Ukraine for eight long years.
Ukrainians, especially those in the western parts of the country, have had strong anti-Russian views for many years. When Putin’s forces invaded in February 2022, they encountered a battle-tested Ukrainian army and a population strongly opposed to Russia. In contrast, if China invades Taiwan, neither of those dynamics will be at play.
Officially, Taiwan has an active force of 180,000 and a reserve contingent of over two million. Yet not only have none of these troops engaged in active fighting for many years, their training is infrequent and of poor quality. Some of Taiwan’s frontline active units are manned at a stunningly low 60 percent. Conscripts are only required to serve four-month terms, during which troops receive little more than basic familiarization with how to fire a weapon, but almost no training on how to fight.
Taiwan Will Not Want Chinese Rule
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese people do not hate Chinese people. Owing to the experiences of Hong Kong, a strong majority of Taiwanese citizens do not want unification with China, but their opposition is to the form of government and not to the people of China. Overwhelmingly they want to avoid war with China.
If war does come, therefore, unlike in Ukraine where Russian troops met an army with combat experience that despised Russia, a Chinese invasion would face an inexperienced and inadequately-trained force that is comparatively passive. That morale difference cannot be underestimated.
As importantly, whereas in the Russia-Ukraine war, Ukraine has a large land border with Europe through which large-scale weapons and ammunition can easily flow. Taiwan would be isolated almost immediately upon the initiation of war. China would likely establish a naval blockade at the outset of hostilities. Any provision of military supplies would have to be airlifted in or sailed in ships. Either could be attacked with impunity by Beijing, which sits barely 100 miles off Taiwan’s shores.
One last factor observed during the Russia-Ukraine war that would play an outsized role in a China-Taiwan conflict: missile and drone quantities. Russia staged the battle with far too few modern ballistic and cruise missiles to sustain an extended war, and the absence of an ability to overwhelm Ukraine with missiles has aided greatly in Kyiv’s ability to endure to this day.
China, in contrast, is reported to not only have considerable stockpiles of modern missiles but also the industrial capacity to churn out a sustained level of production over time.
Taiwan, to its credit, has a substantial missile production capacity. But China almost certainly knows where such facilities are located and would likely target those factories in the opening rounds, destroying any domestic capacity. Taiwan would be hard-pressed to return the favor, though they would also likely try to destroy China’s mainland production facilities.
U.S. Currently Maintains Ambiguous Relationship
Many in the United States advocate ending the policy of “strategic ambiguity” and adopting a clear declaration that America would fight China over Taiwan. Though U.S. policy should remain focused on deterring war between China and Taiwan, any consideration of declaring a willingness to fight a war against Beijing on behalf of Taipei must be grounded in the realization that Taiwan is far more vulnerable to a concerted Chinese attack than presently believed.
Too many in Washington have been buoyed by the performance of tiny Ukraine against the big bully Russia and seem to have concluded it would be equally simple to sustain little Taiwan against the big bully China. Such thinking is simplistic and likely wrong.
The conditions between the two are vastly different and the military fundamentals suggest China would have a better chance of success than Russia has had.
Should the U.S. Defend Taiwan?
It would be foolish for the United States to actually choose to fight a war with China. It would definitely cause severe damage to the U.S. forces and in a conflict that we might not win – for a conflict that wouldn’t be required for U.S. security. The reasons are clear and compelling.
First, as many recent computer simulations of wars between the United States and China over Taiwan all show that the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force would both suffer egregious losses, with aircraft carriers and other warships being sunk and scores of fighter jets being knocked out of the skies.
Many of these simulations conclude China would “fail” to take Taiwan, but curiously ignore the gash that would be suffered by the U.S. military: losing that much combat power would cause a decades-long depletion of U.S. combat power in the Indo-Pacific, significantly diminishing our overall national security.
A far better use of American military power would be to contain the fighting to Taiwan and ensure no other U.S. allies are attacked, and refrain from engaging China unless directly attacked. Doing so would preserve the full power of our Pacific fleets while the Chinese military would be severely damaged in its war against Taiwan, likely also taking over a decade to recover – which would increase our comparative military advantage for many years to come.
That desirable outcome is contrasted by what could be expected if we choose to fight with China: the physical degradation of our Armed Forces and the deterioration of the current global view of American military power as being near-invincible. It is uncertain whether we would ever fully recover from such losses. Nothing in Taiwan is worth such a high cost.
A 19FortyFive Contributing Editor, Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who deployed into combat zones four times. He is the author of “The Eleventh Hour in 2020 America.” Follow him @DanielLDavis1.
April 14, 2023 at 7:51 pm
Absolutely spot on.
The Ukraine conflict was (still is) masterminded by globalist woke commander-hell-in-chief Biden and his sidekick stoltenberg aka the norwegian adolf.
Putin completely failed to read & grab the full measure of the well-planned move by the disparate duo.
The Ukraine conflict was set up by the duo to draw in Russia AND THEN trapped it neck-deep inside a horrible quagmire similar to the one of 1980s era Afghanistan.
Putin should have rightly issued a stern warning in Feb 2022 to the world’s top fascist duo to halt kyiv’s slide into NATO’s embrace LEST the ukro capital is quickly FLATTENED by a 50 – 100 kt tactical nuke.
Naturally, the fascist duo will mock & sneer & laugh at such a warning, and this is where putin can then grab both of them by their balls.
But sadly, Putin failed to do that.
LESSON OF THE DAY: Never never play-play with militant fascist-wokeists; GO FOR THE JUGULAR.
SMASH THEM to smithereens like how the German forces were smashed on the eastern front in 1944 & 1945, where many or numerous Wehrmacht units disappeared from the Earth completely without a trace.
This, for a similar scenario in east Asia, one hashed by fascist-wokeists personalities, that approach should be put to use.
SMASH all the bases and defenses, the big PAVE PAWS radar on mt leshan, all the fighter bases, even the tower 101 and the seaport in the south to complete piles of rubble. In the first few hours of very first day of war.
That is how you avoid a quagmire trap set up by globalist fascismo wokeists out to crush all opposition to their plan to achieve world domination.
Don’t ever play-play, GO STRAIGHT FOR THE JUGULAR !!!
April 14, 2023 at 8:15 pm
It takes about a 10% swing to remove the current pro-US government and replace it with a pro-China government at the next Taiwan elections.
Now as the news breaks on the huge US clusterfuck that is Ukraine, as Saudi joins BRICS and SCO, and India pivots away from US, I think it is pretty clear what Taiwanese voters will do.
Russia never invaded Crimea – search for pictures, you won’t find more than 10 little green men in any one place. The Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea voted through a referendum which in turn the population voted overwhelmingly for first a break up from Ukraine and second an application to join the Russian Federation.
Taiwan won’t even have to do that, it already is part of China.
April 14, 2023 at 8:15 pm
In europe, US is furiously expanding NATO with the aim to turn whole of europe into an entire nazi-type festung platz for total war against russia.
Ditto in east asia. US is today trying to turn taiwan into another japan or south korea, i.e. an unsinkable aircraft carrier for the US military to wage ruinous shock and awe war against china.
Thus, china must realize what washington is really up to.
The recent visit by german FM was a ruse to heap blame on the prospective victim, make it feel guilty and thereby slyly prepare it for slaughter a la iraq or libya style.
Thus, in the coming and also totally avoidable spectacle, china has to immediately crush taiwan completely because US has a big big army of vassals and minions and after taiwan, china would be fully compelled to face all the other minion forces, like japan, philippines, south korea, australia, european states like britain, north american nations like canada, and even tiny pipsqueak-sized vassals like palau and nz.
Thus, taiwan is just a entree, the real fight or real struggle is against the mighty pacific forces of the US military and its numerous-as-ants minion army.
Be prepared. Do our homework.
April 14, 2023 at 9:37 pm
The CCP must know trade between our countries would end. All Chinese assets will be seized and all debts repudiated. All Chinese students will be expelled. A small number will be attacked and killed by anti-Chinese sentiment. Relations will be damaged for 100 years. Chinese Americans will be easy targets. Crimes against them will easily go unpunished.
This might be a very good thing for the West. We will sharply curtail IP theft, which is rampant. Chinese might be interned. We will be forced to start making things again. We can blow open the immense infiltration into both parties. Traitors will be executed. Messy, but necessary.
The loss of trade with the West will not be a minor factor. Although Xi has a firm hold on the Chinese population, the lust for Democracy has not vanished. He will face pushback from home, as even if he is victorious, trade with the West will jever recover.
And Chinese outside of China will not be immune.
Xi may think this is the best time to fight, and he’s probably right. Getting rid of Trump with their bioweapon was deliberate, and will pay off handsomely, especially since the Biden crime family can easily be blackmailed, and Hussein Obama will welcome further diminution of American power.
April 15, 2023 at 2:25 am
I think it is highly likely that Taiwan has at least one nuclear warhead in their arsenal. These can be purchased with enough cash, and they have plenty. The world is awash with fissile material.
One nuclear explosion in Beijing would halt the war in its tracks. That is the Israeli formula. Israeli still has never declared its own nuclear arsenal, and Taiwan is smart to keep theirs under wraps, IF they have one.
April 15, 2023 at 3:57 am
In both cases, i.e. Ukraine and taiwan, always focus on the real woods not the tree standing in the foreground.
In Ukraine, the DoD spent $200 million to set up over 30 bio-labs for conducting long-term nefarious activities to weaken Russia and other nearby states.
Then came Biden and the bid to expand NATO right to the borders of Russia.
The same situation also occurred in taiwan. First, the big bold moves to completely repudiate the 1972 communique.
Then came massive arms purchases, followed by numerous two-way visits and claims by US admirals that taiwan is to be attacked in 2025 or right after the US presidential contest.
The tree in front of you or right in the front courtyard should never block you seeing the super duper master ninjas waiting quietly, with their killer swords unsheathed, ready to pounce once they find you’re simply too busy grappling with that tree in front.
April 15, 2023 at 4:10 am
When the big tree is really bothering you, and you have no other choice, you can’t ignore it anymore, just chop it down in one fell strike with your massive battle axe or ling sword.
Then wait for those masked ninjas to come charging forward. Chomp, chomp, chomp. The ninjas are all vanquished.
Thus, never try to run around the tree while trying to pick off one branch at a time.
Clear away or finish away the tree in one strong blow and wait for the ninja horde aka grnghis horde.
April 15, 2023 at 9:02 am
U.S. power is based on powerful alliances with friendly countries around the world. A major tenet of maintaining those alliances is trust – trust that the U.S. will not militarily dominate allies and trust that we will help them with that powerful military if they were attacked. Davis’s argument that war with China should be avoided is generally true but not true at all cost. Protecting South Korea or Japan is hopefully clear to Davis as strategic necessity. Taiwan’s status is more complicated, but announcing an intention NOT to defend Taiwan is tantamount to encouraging China to invade. That’s bad policy.
If you want peace, prepare for war. That doesn’t just mean you invest in the hardware – you have to prepare yourself to commit lives to the fighting and accept the costs. Davis fails to understand the costs of appeasement and wants the U.S. allow potential enemies to achieve 100% of their goals because the cost of standing up for our interests could be staggeringly high – but the cost of not standing up is equally or more costly in the long run.
The Al U Know
April 15, 2023 at 9:25 am
Wars are not systematic and could be swayed to one side or the other in ways that no one saw coming.
Remember Churchill swatting down the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir.
Remember the Battle of Midway led to a series of unknowns that got the better of Nagumo, parking bomb-laden craft on his aircraft carriers. A larger carrier force with momentum came to nothing because of a lack of intelligence, and the mere luck of being spotted first.
So China invades Taiwan.
The US gets involved but suffers, as is said, for decades.
The bubble of affected parties is not as small as one would think.
Would North Korea take its chance with South Korea? I mean the US has obligations but after coming to blows with China and diminishing.
The AUK part of the AUKUS will not want to stand idly by. I mean, Australia, the Philippines, New Zealand are right there. On the way to Guam, Hawaii. Not that China’s intent is to push/punch that far.
They have chosen a side however, either with the US or against them. Damn neutrality. That also makes them a target.
So said Japan, who we come to next. Even if they do not get nuked as some CCP news persons have said would be a good tactical angle, they have a ton of admiration for America. Hence, why they let all the American bases stay there. I say Japan should chart its own course. It has already sought Russian oil at more than the cap. It is also still pretty homogenous culturally. If China is so weakened in its battle with the US, Why can’t the Japanese seek the labor they need in China or other South East Asian states yet again. Not colonially, at first at least. Just an acceptance of a multi-polar world order.
I hope they start to make more exponential strides in robot-worker class, and not just as a gimmicky mech or preacher.
Also, I hope space exploration, fusion experimentation does not suffer when things come to a head.
Climate change too, if nuclear winter does not already change things.
France, I don’t know. Now it is being blown up in the media that Emmanuel Macron is in the wait and see type of mood. It should get its domestic house in order, including getting rid of past-the-best-before Macron, before an up and coming nation Poland surpasses it and perhaps Germany.
The US should pull a big deceit. Declare America First, especially if Trump is re-elected, but surprise attack from another flank. China can be handled on the LAC with India for example. India will realize that eventually they will have compete now or later with China in the Indian Ocean.
Also one last thing. If China loses, survives domestic upheaval, but is still intact, it WILL seek a rematch.
-The Al U Know
April 15, 2023 at 10:31 am
Going to war against China over Taiwan is the height of idiocy.
Because the a regional war with China would likely soon become the Sino-American War of the Early 21st Century.
Another name would be World War Three.
Think about it: three or four U. S. Navy Destroyers sunk with loss of life would put the U. S. on the brink of going bigger… political pressure to go “Bigger” in Congress would heat up.
One aircraft sunk with loss of life (5,000 men & women) and the political pressure on Congress and the President would be immense to start the Sino-American War.
Expect mirror treatment from China, that is, if for any reason the Chinese Mainland is bombed… one can expect the American Mainland to be attacked in the same way.
An attack on the American Mainland is a guarantee for General War against China… does anybody think the Congress wouldn’t declare war if the Mainland was attacked?
There are many who believe China wouldn’t dare attack the American Mainland… yet, there is a strong faction in the Chinese military leadership who want to demonstrate to the U. S. their ability to defeat the U. S. at least regionally (Taiwan)… and maybe bigger.
Taiwan is roughly a 100 miles offshore of the Chinese Mainland, Taiwan is 6,000 miles away from the U. S.
China has hypersonic missiles with a range of 2,000 miles, which @ present the U. S. has NO Defensive ability against.
In a full-on conventional war against China or even an intense regional conflict over Taiwan those hypersonic missiles would be unleashed on American Naval vessels.
Sending those Ships and a percentage of their crews to the bottom of the sea.
Even should somehow American win a regional war (there would likely NOT be a “regime change”) it would leave China sullen, seething, and seeking revenge wherever it could for the rest of the 21st Century.
Is that what you want for your children & grandchildren… a Cold War with China for the ages.
McCarthy and the rest of the Leadership in Washington who want to go to war to defend Taiwan are fools… possibly even traitors… that’s how far a field the idea of “defending” Taiwan, when you put your green eye shades on and look at the realities surrounding Taiwan.
They are willing to hurt Americans… see American killed to protect a province of China… because that’s what Taiwan is… a part of China. The official U. S. State Department policy: the One China policy.
U. S. already recognizes Taiwan is part of China.
(China sees Taiwan as part of China as much as Americans see California as part of the United States… would we simply let California go independent?)
In order to quote “defend” unquote, Taiwan, the United States has to explicitly renounce its own stated “One China” policy.
Joe Biden as Commander-n-Chief in a War against China?
Are you kidding me… a disaster waiting to happen.
A disaster our leadership is courting by choice.
Anybody who welcomes war against China is a drooling, foaming at the mouth Warmongering idiot… willingly courting disaster for the American People, WE are the Sovereign, not the bellicose leadership in Washington, D. C., they are our servants… not our masters that have the right to send the American People into a war that looms as the American disaster of the 21 Century.
Future historians (if there are any left around) will cite this war as the American Waterloo… the event which signaled the End of American world power…
We can do so much better without a stupid, likely unwinnable war.
Don’t do it.
April 15, 2023 at 10:35 am
LoL, the Putinista trolls came out in force on this one.
As for Davis, this is a shockingly well balanced article relative to his usual epic fails. Although the article he links to about the history between Russia and Ukraine starts in 1991, and completely ignores centuries of Russian Imperialism with Ukraine as the victim.
As well, I would give the people of Taiwan a bit more credit for their willingness to fight the PLA, in part, precisely because of what happened in Hong Kong. The PLA promised Hong Kong more freedom to keep their own system of govt. and completely reneged on that promise.
The other major factor Davis completely ignored is the making of microchips in Taiwan. I have heard some posit that TSMC would scuttle its own facilities rather than allow them to be captured intact by the PLA. I have also heard that the US has plans to destroy them rather than allow them to fall in the hands of the PLA.
Even if they were captured intact, it would be a short term gain for long term CCP pain. The EUV machines that TSMC uses to make the most advanced chips in the world are actually made by a single company called ASML, and they are a Dutch company using a lot of US tech. Furthermore, many of the chemicals and other components in the chip making process come from the US.
I highly recommend the book Chip Wars for deep background on the the evolution of the microchip industry and the reality behind the current supply chain.
Spoiler alert: China would not be able to gain long term advantage from taking control over TSMC.
The world market for chips would wobble for a bit, and the global economy would stagnate as the supply chain for advanced chips fully reverts back to the US and other allied nations.
As the Russians and Chinese have found out by stealing so much other technology, just because you might be able to reverse engineer a stolen item doesnt mean you know how to invent the next version of that item.
No stolen item in history will be as hard to make advancements with than an EUV machine for the most advanced microchips.
One of the very few things I agree with the Biden Admin on is the restrictions they put on the sale of advanced chip making tech to China.
In fact Biden is on the second round of restrictions on chp tech. The first came late last year, and the 2nd has been happening since the start of 2023. Other major countries and companies are on board.
Japan and the Netherlands, the two biggest producers of chip tech outside the US, have also been working on restrictions in cooperation with the US.
In January, a deal was brokered between the three countries that would see Japanese and Dutch companies refuse to sell machines that are essential to high end chip manufacturing.
It’s expected the restrictions imposed will limit China to only being able to buy machinery capable of fabricating 14nm chips. The most advanced chips today are typically 3nm, with 2nm fabrication already being planned for 2025.
In a strange irony that shows China’s reliance on US tech, According to The Wall Street Journal, in the past 2.5 years China’s top nuclear weapons research agency was reported to have bought US made chips for use in nuclear weapons simulations via shell companies and back channels.
The agency, China Academy of Engineering Physics, managed to obtain the chips from Intel and Nvidia despite being on a US export blacklist.
And to complete the circle of irony, most Nvidia chips are actually made by TSMC.
The recent protests in China against their continued Covid lock downs shows that the CCP can be responsive to their people, and their people have limits to what they will tolerate from their govt.
An invasion of Taiwan that caused China to be completely cut off from western markets and further restrictions clamping down on shell companies buying western tech would put a major squeeze on China’s economy that they are unlikely to compensate for by relations with Russia, Iran, and Africa…nor will black market sanctions busting to trade with the west help much. China is simply too big.
Western economies will contract to be sure, but we have far more options. Apple is already moving major parts of its supply chain to India. And the Chips Act is the US govt realizing we need to help the chip industry bring more of the chip making process back to the US.
Bottom line: nobody benefits from a war, but in the long run China would be the biggest loser by FAR.
April 15, 2023 at 11:18 am
God bless people in the world.
Most people in the Republic of China don’t want a Communist government, but more than 95% of the people don’t obey Ten Commandments, and don’t want to fight. They only want the US military to help them fight, so the US Marine Corps is doing the hardest mission.
The Ukraine socialism warfare is a terrible lesson. The CCP learned the way to achieve military victory is to defeat the enemy asap, like the swarming tactic, destroying the enemy’s C4ISR in one day.
The problem is that most of the ROC people don’t want to go to war. As Ukraine, a socialism country, after Russia occupied Crimea, there are about 250,000 people in Ukraine military, so less than 1% of the Ukraine people are responsible for fighting Russia. People in the Republic of China who will participate in the war will not exceed 1%. They are like people in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghan.
So when the China Communist Party occupy Taiwan Province of the Republic of China with the war plan of the Iraq war, the only way to wait for the U.S. military is ground war, and cities in Taiwan Province will be like Beirut in 1975. It’s a painful situation, but it’s better than CBRN-D. Another moral issue is that many people think that they will not be in war if they have CBRN, so the U.S. Navy should keep away, and the U.S. Marine Corps should think about the lesson of the Vietnam socialism warfare.
God bless America.
Sofronie the Monk
April 15, 2023 at 12:13 pm
@Michael Droy: Indeed, Crimea democratically joined Russia. Just like the Baltic states willingly joined the USSR in 1940, when the “people’s assemblies” got 99.6% of the votes and immediately requested to join the “Soviet homeland”. We know all too well how the Russian electoral process goes.
Hey, 404, if Russia starts using nukes, what would stop a “50-100 kt tactical nuke” to be dropped on Moscow or St. Petersburg? Preferably, on both? You tend to forget that Mother Russia is not the only one with those. So by all means, keep asking for a nuclear war.
@Commentar: no, we simply really, REALLY hate Russia and don’t want to be part of it. Read a bit of history and you’ll know why. But yeah, we’re fully aware that anyone who doesn’t want to be Russian is automatically a Nazi. We’ve been hearing this for decades.
Sofronie the Monk
April 15, 2023 at 12:29 pm
@Michael Davis: While the analysis is definitely good and Taiwan is not Ukraine, likewise China is not Russia (to the chagrin of the Russian propagandists – hey, guys, question for you: how long would the “mighty Red Army” last against China? Two weeks or three weeks?), the conclusion fails to take into consideration what makes the US so powerful: spoiler, it’s not just the hardware, but its allies as well. And those allies exist because of trust. Indeed, the Taiwan situation is extremely delicate, but a complete bailout on the Taiwanese, which, for all intents and purposes, are seen as an allied country (yes, dear propagandists, Taiwan is a country; just like Ukraine), would severely damage the morale of other US allies in the area and their trust in Washington.
Right now, NATO and the US have the moral high ground: they proved that they are willing to help Ukraine even when not bound by a treaty. The Russian propaganda in the last years was always that NATO is dead and the US doesn’t give a frak about its allies, they will never intervene to protect NATO members. Meanwhile, the CSTO is strong and virile, so the only solution for Eastern Europe if they want to remain safe is to bail out immediately and accept Russian lordship. Else, Russia is not going to be responsible for what happens to them. As usual when the Russian story meets reality, things proved a little different: NATO did not implode and the US and EU provided around 100 billion USD in help to a country they didn’t even have an alliance with. Meanwhile, when CSTO member Armenia officially requested help, Russia provided its best wishes to its fellow Orthodox allies.
Now imagine that the US publicly washes its hands off Taiwan. How would the Sino-Russian propaganda spin this? And how would it impact the public in Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, Eastern Europe etc.?
Yes, we don’t want a new cold war, but that’s where we’re heading again. Nuclear deterrent between NATO, Russia and China. And that’s the good news. If NATO, aka the US, doesn’t provide this deterrence anymore, it’s going to be every country for itself, and then don’t get surprised if everyone suddenly starts building nukes to protect themselves.
April 15, 2023 at 1:43 pm
Where does the United States Draw the Line?
China claims the South China Sea in defiance of International Law as already adjudged by the U. N. International Court at the Hague back in 2016.
China in the last month has touted their respect for International Law through the United Nations.
Their rhetoric is inconsistent with their actions.
The U. N. Charter provides for 250 mile Exclusive Economic Zone for each country with seashores, as appropriate.
China’s coral atoll, militarized air strips violate the U. N. Charter, are a taking by Right of Conquest not recognized in Modern International Law.
Evidence is available which suggests Massive & Huge hydrocarbon deposits exist under the bottom of the South China Sea.
Each country with Exclusive Economic Zone rights wants their fair share under International Law.
Draw the Red Line @ the South China Sea.
Force China into binding arbitration or go to war.
That’s where the line is.
Let it go… its part of China.
April 15, 2023 at 2:51 pm
Some, here & elsewhere, perhaps including the Chinese military, are underestimating the difficulty of an amphibious assault in the age of precision-guided anti-ship missiles. An airborne assault would likely be even more difficult. With its own human intelligence and U.S. satellite imagery, Taiwan should have sufficient warning of any massing for attack so it can disperse & deploy its forces to maximize its ability to respond, as would its allies. Submarines & aviation would also likely take a toll on any Chinese forces attempting to cross the strait.
It would be a very iffy proposition, and my guess is that China wouldn’t attempt such an uncertain venture, although they will continue to apply political & economic pressure to isolate Taiwan to make a takeover easier.
April 15, 2023 at 3:33 pm
An interesting post. Of course, I don’t really care, because the Untied States is currently being invaded and the US military is doing nothing about it. If China invades Taiwan, well, I don’t have a dog in that fight.
But as someone else mentioned: if Taiwan really doesn’t want to be invaded, why doesn’t it develop nuclear weapons? It certainly has the technical capability. The last few decades have shown pretty clearly: nuclear states are secure, and non-nuclear states are open season.
And finally: the big lesson from the Russia-Ukraine war is the astonishing level of surveillance and signals intelligence the west has developed. Russia basically can’t move a single tank but the west has it detected and labelled and targeting info sent to Ukraine. I heard that something similar happened in a China-India dispute: the US gave India perfect intelligence on Chinese dispositions and India wiped the floor with the Chinese. So what the Chinese really need to think about is: if they go to war with the US, how to fight when the west knows EVERYTHING and can target EVERYTHING the Chinese have, while Chinese surveillance capabilities – while not trivial – are not anything like this. That’s the real puzzle that the non-western powers are trying to solve.
Maybe attack during a typhoon?
April 15, 2023 at 3:40 pm
In my lifetime; the US has had a habit of not articulating the objectives in every ‘dirty little war’ in which it has been engaged. Unless the aim can be clearly defined, the cost fairly estimated, and a willingness to absorb the cost accepted, the usual outcome of a war will be a failure. Aim in Iraq???? Aim in Afghanistan ????? Aim in Ukraine ???? Aim in Taiwan???? If China, once provoked, responds with a war of attrition with the US, how is the US going to respond without a manufacturing base and an unfit pool of individuals fit for military duty. Resurrect the draft…good luck. How would the US handle a two front war considering that US diplomacy has wed China and Russia into an alliance. It is doubtful that sanctioning the entire world outside of Europe will work. And good luck with leadership, all the way up to the Chief of Staff and Defense Department that don’t read or understand their own briefings.
April 15, 2023 at 4:45 pm
Is the average American Ukraine-flag waving ninny aware that America’s official policy is that Taiwan is part of China? Or that the pentagon has stated that the U.S. would be defeated by China if the fight occurs in SCS?
The Al U Know
April 15, 2023 at 5:07 pm
Yeah, muttered like a teenager under your seething breath.
The troll shows everything and tells you nothing.
“and completely ignores centuries of Russian Imperialism with Ukraine as the victim”
-Showing, not telling. A phantom argument.
1.There was no Ukraine. Only Crimean Tatars and Cossacks.
2.The ‘Ukrainian’ portion in the west has been jostled like a hot potato between the Polish-Lithuanians and Russians because those people thought they could take advantage of their Slavic brothers. Before that they were patsy to the Khanate and glimmered for at most 100 years as the Rus.
3. Modern Ukraine in the East was heavily Russian post-partition. Zelensky himself said, believed so. Multiple times. In banning political parties Zelensky has banned socialist parties also, to the ignorance of those who only look to the Pro-Russian right that were banned. Orthodox priests and the like, journalists. All enemies. Even his own army. Yeah, force his army to pay 3X more for foodstuffs, and turn a blind eye to 400,000U taken in by an internal Minister.
Until it catches the attention of the American sugar daddy they have come to depend on.
No wonder in the Pentagon leaks US ombudsmen are looking, concerned into where their aid is going. No wonder the Russian and Ukrainian birds of a feather flock together on authoritarian tendencies, corruption indexes.
No wonder the USA has secret doubts about AFU ability to do combined arms operations for its upcoming offensive. Time will tell on this.
They are still essentially Soviet at heart.
4. Russian Imperialism meet Western Imperialism, flipped into capitalism.
Ukraine has taken most of its industrial gifts and ran with it. What nation so near the corruption scale among the top 35 boasts nuclear power backed by industry from the get-go. Domestically produced tanks and the largest aircraft used for heavy shipping. And was a major grain supplier to much of the 3rd world that America has shown so little empathy for.
Clearly this came from the Soviet Union. Their loss if they gave up nukes and a carrier.
If they saw Russia as a threat they would have kept up their military advantage.
They did not see Russia as a threat.
Ergo, They gave up their military advatage.
They even saw the transfer of power from Yeltsin to Putin in slow-motion in front of the backdrop of Russian ambition to go back to glory days in Chechnya and Serbia.
This logic on Taiwan makes no sense.
The US will scuttle the Taiwanese chip industry.
The US will scuttle the only thing keeping Taiwan intact. The most advanced chip-making base in the world. Also an friend it has promised $19B in military gear to but not yet delivered on. For Ukrainian reasons.
Sacrificial altar anyone?!?! Yeah, that is right, Taiwan ain’t white.
China wants Taiwan intact, and if the Taiwanese destroy their industry, then there is no strategic interest for China. But if the war is already underway, China’s only move would be to beat the US. Taiwan only becomes a series of multi-story bunkers, where the citizens become cannon fodder for missile rain. Get them out?? No, a human shield no doubt. There is no room on land to flank around a 1200 mile front like in the Ukraine.
Does the TSMC see the writing for Taiwan on the wall? Hence, why they are abandonning the Taiwanese and their dominance for Arizona and to prop up a faltering hegemony. For their sakes better have that facility up by 2024. Will also help Biden secure 10 million more votes than the other guy.
At this point Ukraine will welcome Taiwan to the ‘as long as it takes’ club.
As for the citizens some are willing to give more credit to, how do they fight back if the US or they have scuttled their industry? Willingness does not equal results. US companies gonna pivot to Japan? They are in the line of fire too, if you really haven’t noticed my OP. CCP personalities talk of nuking Japan if it was only like an annoying gnat. Give the Taiwanese rifles, ran through a blockade of PLA ships already on alert from the US navy’s proximity.
Are we still doing “as long as it takes” if it is just for the Taiwanese people? And not just the capitalist macguffin of computer chips. Like I said, if the government of China survives it will come around for round 2. And rather have that macguffin because the needs of the American many outweigh the needs of the Taiwanese few.
The true question is are we doing as many lives as it takes? Last man standing.
We haven’t even considered the political and economic climate in the USA.
This year recession fear and debt ceiling. Internal bickering.
Next year democracy in action like it was 2020 again.
For all intents and purposes we are doomed if we don’t hack off the frugal, automobile, pop and potato chip lifestyle and transition to a post-growth world. By 2100. So they, the old time anti-war sociologists and scientists say.
Apparently being a realist and somewhat a skeptic makes me a Putinista, Vatnik, Ork, or whatever their anger produces now.
-The Al U Know
April 15, 2023 at 9:41 pm
China has been very successful in penetrating the US through the simple expedient of buying off the Political Class — think of the Biden Crime Family, or Fang-Fang. Presumably China has been doing the same thing with the Taiwan Political Class.
The likely end to this situation is for Taiwan’s politicians to take Taiwan into a closer alignment with the Mainland — think of the example of English politicians taking England into the EU, and how difficult it has been for the English people to reverse that.
War is unlikely. If it does come to physical actions, the first round will be a Chinese embargo of Taiwan — and maybe of the US too, if the US interferes. Once the shelves at Walmart are empty, we will see how many US citizens are willing to sacrifice themselves over Taiwan.
And if the bullets do start flying, it will not end until Washington DC is a nuclear-irradiated wasteland. It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good!
April 15, 2023 at 9:53 pm
Ukraine Template for Taiwan?
Disaster is sure to follow.
Remember the same people who screwed up Ukraine want to do the same thing for Taiwan.
Let’s keep doing “double downs” on failure… they keep stumbling into even more… never admitting failure… and to shield themselves from criticism and removal from power… they keep coming up with new ways to double down, again… as long as they aren’t arrested, they figure the best way to keep calling the shots is to keep going for the double down… once again.
Only upon their arrest by the Sovereign, the American People, will they stop… because they will never admit failure… while their hands are still on the steering wheel.
As long as the war lasts… defeat & failure is staved off… they think…
But not for the American People, they end up suffering for all the mistakes piled up… by people who can never admit they screwed up big time.
April 16, 2023 at 2:24 am
As always, DD sees everything very easy. How easy is it to assemble a clone of the Normandy landings without notice?
Harder even if the target is 120 miles away (at least) instead of 75…
Taiwan could limit itself to launching all the anti-ship missiles it has concealed and finish out the few survivors in the beaches.
And, remember DD: Harpoon and Hsiung-Feng CAN hit and sink the chinese ships… in her own bases!!!
April 16, 2023 at 2:28 am
God bless people in the world.
Sofronie the Monk is wrong.
By the original Game Theory, we cannot prevent nuclear war, so we are living in the nuclear war, it’s coming day by day. The end of world is made by people in the world. No people is good but God.
People who don’t obey Ten Commandments teach other people that the cold war is end. But the cold war is the intermission of World war 2 only.
However, cold war policy is a wrong constitutional thought, because people who don’t obey Ten Commandments teach people to worship democracy by promoting cold war, they don’t teach people to obey Ten Commandments, but cooperate with the USSR and the CCP for teaching people to believe socialism and evolution. CNAS, CSIS, the Carnegie, and the Brookings do not admit that the strategy of CCP is destroying the U.S. Western Pacific Fleet and causing more difficulties to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Their wrong Is destroying the Unified Command Plan.
So, one China policy is good, because people in Taiwan province of China are the only remaining in East Asia who worship Creator, even though in Taiwan Province, only 0.1% of the people obey Ten Commandments, at most 23,000 people defend the homeland with faith. This is the dilemma to the US Marine Corps, just like the dilemma to the US military in Vietnam and Afghan.
Therefore, whether the people in Taiwan Province acquire CBRN or not, the CCP will shake the heavens and split the earth, and the ground war will be the showdown. The acquisition of CBRN in Taiwan is the reason for the United States being attacked by CBRN, just like Ukraine people want to acquire CBRN.
God bless America.
April 16, 2023 at 8:13 pm
Appeasement brings only short-lived peace and stability, tried and true. Assuming that China eventually invades and occupies Taiwan because the U.S. and its allies stay put without coming to Taiwan’s defense, would China stop conquering after that? The answer is NO! There has been a territory dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands, which are currently under Japan’s control. China deems the Senkaku Islands, like Taiwan, are parts of China. They will be the next target China wants to take over after perhaps China recovers from the war taking over Taiwan if that eventually happens. The U.S. then will be forced to go to war with China because of Japan and face an even stronger China that now can directly project its military powers into the Pacific from the airports, naval piers, and military bases gained from Taiwan. Abandoning democratic Taiwan will also destroy the trusts that the U.S. has built among the ally countries around the world over the years. The U.S. may not be able to maintain its leadership status in the world that it enjoys today. Renminbi may replace dollars as the world’s reserve currency if the U.S. loses this prominent status. With the help of the U.S., Taiwan now is building a dependable military force against a possible invasion from China. The support from U.S. allies will and can deter Xi Jinping’s ambition to take over Taiwan by force. That is why China, after 74 years, still doesn’t dare to take any action to invade Taiwan. But, for sure, this article is an encouragement to communist China.
April 17, 2023 at 6:44 am
Ukrainians did not hate Russians before the invasion. Too many of them are Russian speakers and ethnically Russian. If the Chinese soldiers like the Russian soldiers rape, torture and murder civilians (Chinese genocide against the Uighurs is not a good sign), the Taiwanese even of Chinese descent will learn to hate.