Sunday, August 1, 2021

Taiwan and Normandy

In any direct war with China (as opposed to a proxy war in, say, Africa), Taiwan will be the first objective of the Chinese.  They simply cannot allow a Western aligned country to exist that close to them, providing bases for surveillance and attack.  This is elementary war strategy (that the US has ignored multiple times to our detriment!).


In addition to the inevitability of a direct war, there is also the quite likely possibility that China may simply launch an assault on Taiwan outside the context of a general war – in other words, a focused campaign to reclaim Taiwan.  This should not be a surprising possibility as China has been saying exactly this for many years.  In their minds, they’re giving Taiwan time to come to their senses but China’s magnanimous patience will end at some point and China will take military action to reclaim their wayward territory.  Even the US military has recognized this likelihood and has set a ballpark time frame of the next several years, according to Adm. Philip Davidson.(1)


A Chinese assault on Taiwan will be most comparable to Normandy in WWII.  It will be a massive undertaking.  Taiwan has an active military of 275,000 plus a reserve of 2.8M and a paramilitary (whatever that means) of 1.9M equipped with reasonably modern weapons and systems.  For comparison, Germany had less than 50,000 troops available for the defense of Normandy.


Drawing on lessons from the Normandy assault, we can expect to see:


Speed – Whether as part of a general war or a narrowly focused Taiwan-only operation, it will be mandatory for China to accomplish its goals in a very short time frame.  In a general war, a short time frame would allow China to move on to its other objectives and free up massive forces for other operations.  Failure to do so would hamstring Chinese operations as the war progressed.  In a Taiwan-only operation, China would have to accomplish its objectives very quickly or risk the US having time to gear up and enter the conflict in support of Taiwan.  Failure to secure its objectives quickly would also open China to criticism from the world community to an even greater extent.  Thus, regardless of the scenario, China would make every effort to see the bulk of immediate objectives completed and ground forces substantially ashore within the first 24-48 hrs.


Scope – A Taiwan operation would require a substantial portion of China’s forces with hundreds of thousands of troops poured into the effort.  A staggeringly massive missile barrage would be required to render as many defenses inoperable as possible from the start.  The Chinese amphibious fleet would be hugely supplemented by civilian transport ships.  This would be quite doable and efficient since all Chinese merchant shipping is built with military conversion capabilities included in their design.  The West will be stunned at the amphibious resources China can bring to bear.  Air superiority operations will be truly massive and will be quickly followed by continuous air strikes and close air support.  The Chinese navy will be deployed on the eastern side of Taiwan to prevent US interference.

Normandy and Taiwan - Massive Scope

 Reinforcement  At the invasion site, Germany had a window of only hours or a few days, at most, to make effective use of reinforcements.  As it happened, one of the major goals of the Allies was to cut off the movement of reinforcements to the Normandy area and they succeeded.  Germany was never able to effectively reinforce their defenses.  Longer term, Germany had all of Europe as well as the German homeland to assemble reinforcements and push the Allies back off of Europe but could not do it.  Of course, the Soviet front siphoned off huge numbers of troops and resources that could have otherwise been used against the Allied landing.


In the same vein, Taiwan has very limited reinforcements – none, for all practical purposes, since the limited geography assures that every unit will be fully committed right from the start.  Taiwan lacks any strategic depth wherein it can trade land for time to prepare counterattacks.  What they have immediately available is all they’ll ever have.  Conversely, China can draw on immense reserve forces although the aforementioned speed requirement suggests that the need for Chinese reinforcements would indicate a significant strategic, if not operational, failure by the Chinese.


Strategic Goals – The Allies goal was to seize ports to provide supplies for the subsequent march across Europe and they succeeded.  China’s strategic goals would be to eliminate Taiwan as a US base of operations and to conduct the assault so quickly that the US would be faced with a fait accompli that would discourage US intervention.  In essence, speed would be China’s method of interdicting US reinforcements. 


More broadly, the seizure of Taiwan would allow Chinese mainland based air defenses to be substantially transferred to Taiwan which would significantly expand China’s defensive perimeter and make any counter-actions or counterattacks by the US much more difficult.  Seizure of Taiwan would greatly expand China’s defensive cushion and eliminate a glaring salient that could, otherwise, be used against China.


If China conducts just an isolated assault rather than as part of a larger war, China will immediately announce to the world that it is an internal Chinese affair in an attempt to make the US seem like a meddling outsider on the world political stage.  By doing so, China would hope to blunt any attempt by the US to build an opposition coalition.  Quite likely, China would quickly offer to negotiate a final settlement which, of course, would never produce any result and would just serve to further erode any US justification for intervention while ensuring China’s continued occupation of Taiwan.





The key consideration is the size of Taiwan’s defensive force versus the speed with which China could secure the island.  The defensive force is, potentially, much greater than was available to the German’s at Normandy but the question is whether that defensive force could retain its combat effectiveness after the initial deluge of missiles, bombs, and shells.  Without question, the fixed defensive assets such as airfields, missile sites, AAW sites, etc. would be largely destroyed in the initial bombardment.  Armored forces and artillery would also, presumably, suffer significant initial losses.  Whether the remaining troops and mobile or protected assets would retain enough coherent command and control, mobility, and firepower to provide an effective, coordinated defensive force is an open question.  Unfortunately, the result of the initial bombardment will be to reduce Taiwan’s forces toward the light infantry end of the spectrum and they would be left to fight heavily armored forces supported by air power and artillery.  There is no doubt about the final outcome but there is a great deal of doubt about the speed with which China could achieve its goals.  If Taiwan could delay the ultimate outcome long enough, China will have failed, strategically, as noted above which opens the possibility of US intervention.


In short, the Allies at Normandy were able to push supplies and troops ashore faster than Germany could reinforce their defenses.  Whether China can push forces ashore faster than Taiwan can relocate and reinforce its defenses is an open question as is whether Taiwan’s forces can muster sufficient firepower to be effective.







(1)Washington Examiner website, “Pacific Commander Warns China Could Move To Take Taiwan In The Next Five Years If US Doesn’t Increase Deterrence”, Jamie McIntyre, 5-Mar-2021,


  1. Elsewhere on the net, this has been quite the conversation lately. One of my thoughts, and one Id expected from the last administration, was an official recognition of Taiwan. Just a technicality maybe, but Ive always found it interesting that the Navy has sold ships to a country that doesnt officially exist. Second, this would be controversial, and our shipbuilding schedule doesnt align with the urgency of this, but I think that the next old warship sales to Taiwan should be old Ohios, in both the SSBN and SSGN flavors. I understand they're nearing the end of their lifespans in critical parts like the reactors, but Im sure there are ways to stopgap lengthen them, and they need not make high mileage cruises under their new ownership. There are other issues with this like the nonproliferation treaty, but as a way to do the ultimate in supporting a free nation in their quest for continued existence, nuclear deterrance is second to none!!! To steal an old advertising slogan... "When you care enough to send the very best..."

  2. "A Chinese assault on Taiwan will be most comparable to Normandy in WWII. It will be a massive undertaking"??.

    An American assault on Taiwan might be comparable to Normandy in WWII, but a Chinese assault would most certainly not be.

    My Chinese friends laugh at the idea of a purely military takeover of Taiwan. As they observe, one Chinese frigate can sink the entire Taiwan Navy without ever coming in range of its weapons.
    More likely, they say, is a bland official announcement that, henceforth, all movement of goods and services into and from Taiwan must clear PRC Customs and Immigration. Otherwise, no changes are contemplated.
    Of course, this would be backed up and enforced by China's immensely powerful navy, air-force and missiles, and a picket line of missile patrol boats around the new ADIZ and across the Taiwan Strait which would, a fortiori, become domestic waters, closed to all military traffic.

    In other words, business as usual, except that global power would shift decisively in China's favor both through its control of IC imports and exports, and the impotence of the US military to hinder China's move.

    1. "My Chinese friends laugh at the idea of a purely military takeover of Taiwan. As they observe, one Chinese frigate can sink the entire Taiwan Navy without ever coming in range of its weapons."

      And Americans thought Vietnam would have been defeated easily.

    2. It all depends on the US administration in power.

      The US needs to decouple from China, that scenario would have a good chance of leading to that.

      The problem is that American elites and leadership don't care about the United States and want to be in bed with the PRC.


    3. To be a little more precise, they are motivated by the profits that come from outsourcing so much manufacturing to China. They don't see a way to move that manufacturing back to the USA without incurring vast costs. Even if some companies are willing to pay those costs, they know that their competitors won't, and will thus drive them out of business.

      The US Navy understands this, and that a war with China would cause serious economic damage to the USA. They don't have the power to make American companies bring manufacturing home. So they don't have a plausible basis for a war with China.

    4. "They don't have the power to make American companies bring manufacturing home."

      I don't know who the 'they' are that you're referring to but Congress most certainly has the power to easily force companies to abandon China. They can simply slap taxes and duties on Chinese manufactured goods and companies will quickly abandon China for the next most profitable option. If wise, Congress would make that next option the US by incentivizing taxes and credits for US based manufacturing. We could cut off and isolate China in a relative heartbeat, if we wanted.

    5. That "they" was the US Navy, who (quite properly) don't have any power over tariffs or other trade measures.

      Yes, Congress has the power to change trade patterns. They seem to be far more interested in getting campaign contributions. Even if that were to change, setting up and equipping factories and training their staff takes time. A whole lot of manufacturing equipment got moved to China, and I don't think we can expect the Chinese to return it.

    6. Without getting political, Trump had begun the process of isolating China and returning manufacturing to the US. Of course, that has stopped (and reversed?) with the change in administrations. The point is that returning manufacturing to the US can happen far quicker and with far less Congressional involvement than we might think, as Trump demonstrated. Ideally, Congress would be the driving force but the President can accomplish quite a bit without Congress.

    7. Sadly, a Taiwan invasion, whether we became involved militarily or not,could be the only impetus that would get political support for the isolation of China. A tragedy with a possible silver lining??

  3. " Chinese frigate can sink the entire Taiwan Navy without ever coming in range of its weapons."

    I think you/they are giving way too much/not nearly enough credit to the parties here. Definitely theres some ignorance at worst, hyperbole at best at work here... The Taiwanese navy has some credible capabilities, with even the old ex-Kidds being nothing to sneeze at. Their navy is anything but helpless.
    I do think the idea of China just doing some sort of economic blockade/exclusion zone does have some viability, and without Taiwan opening fire to stop it, that does put the opening military moves (and the beginning of a war) squarely in the hands of the US or anyone that supports Taiwan...

  4. Scenario: China invades Taiwan, America sends a strongly worded statement but otherwise does nothing, then Japan joins on Taiwan's side.
    Could the US still not intervene then?

    1. Japanese intervention would lead to an absolute clusterfuck. Imperial Japan was oppressive, exploitative, and brutal as Taiwan's colonial master- a fact many Taiwanese remember well. If the current Japanese government offers to intervene, not only will Communist China order if to fuck off, so will Japan's own pacifists, as well as many Taiwanese people who feel life under Communist China is the "lesser evil" compared to life under the successor regime to the one responsible for the Rape of Nanking.

    2. "Taiwanese people who feel life under Communist China is the "lesser evil" compared to life under the successor regime to the one responsible for the Rape of Nanking."

      Why would you, or they (Taiwan), assume that Japanese assistance would result in Taiwan having to live under Japanese rule? I can't imagine any reason why Japan would want such a thing and I can't imagine that the US would allow such a thing.

      I would think it would be quite likely that Japan would enter a widespread China war regardless of what Taiwan would want. As to whether Japan would want to enter a purely China-Taiwan conflict, I have no idea.

      "Communist China order if to fuck off"

      Please help me keep the blog as vulgarity-free as possible. We are educated people who can convey our thoughts in a respectful and polite manner. Thanks!

    3. "Why would you, or they (Taiwan), assume that Japanese assistance would result in Taiwan having to live under Japanese rule?"

      You underestimate the distrust and sheer hatred many Taiwanese have towards Japan. I say this as a 40-year-old Taiwanese-American whose parents repeatedly spoke of Japanese war crimes when I was a child, and repeatedly referred to the Japanese as "devils" (equivalent to a racist slur in our culture).

      You might as well ask the Iranians how they feel about any US government/military intervention in the Middle East. Only their distrust towards American intentions will exceed that of Chinese/Taiwanese distrust towards the Japanese.

    4. Many in Asia still fear Japanese remilitarisation as much or even more than they fear the Chinese (who generally prefer to wield power economically or through subterfuge and not deployment of PLA).

      It doesn't help ex-PM Shinzo Abe poured much salt into WW2 wounds by denying some Japanese war crimes and visiting shrines that held remains of Japanese war criminals.

      It also doesn't help that for decades the Japanese have formally white washed history education at school by downplaying or simply ignoring their own roles in WWII or before. In fact they have removed references to invasions of neighbouring countries (referred to now as "advances"). This has created diplomatic incidents with both Chinas and South Korea.

      The Japanese government have also attempted to stifle Japanese authors who have written about Japanese war crimes such as Saburo Ienaga who the Japanese government tried to silence from the 1950s to the 1980s!

    5. "You underestimate the distrust and sheer hatred many Taiwanese have towards Japan."

      "Many in Asia still fear Japanese remilitarisation"

      The fondness or hatred for Japan was not the issue/question. It was why anyone would assume that Japanese intervention would result in Taiwan being ruled by Japan? As I noted, aside from being an utterly illogical outcome, the US would not allow it.

      "In fact they have removed references to invasions of neighbouring countries"

      Yeah, that's hard to understand. It would be like the US removing all references to, say, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington because the once owned slaves. Oh wait … that's exactly what we're doing. We're rewriting our own history!

  5. Issues to add:

    Taiwan has fortified offshore islands that will need to be silenced somehow, and the Chinese have no battleships with big guns to blast them.

    Taiwan has few good landing sites and all have been fortified.

    China needs months to mass the troops and supplies for a landing.

    Taiwan has hundreds of sea mines ready to deploy that will take the Chinese weeks to clear.

    China lacks landing craft and amphibious ships needed to land forces on a beach.

    China's major trading partners would suspend trade causing its economy to crash.

    Here is a short video that details these issues.

    1. To be fair, the Chinese amphib capability is growing quickly. They've done some good, smart out of the box thinking, and much of their merchant fleet has at least some amphib capability, including ro-ro ships with ramps that allow assault vehicles to swim off. In an invasion scenario, there are lots more ships and capability that they have available, so you cant just count the grey ships...

    2. Taiwan isn't just sitting there waiting for invasion. She has plenty of teeth. How many survive the initial Chinese bombardment is anyone's guess but as of a couple of years ago Taiwan had >250 Brave Wing 3s, before they entered mass production. They still have the BW2s kicking around Yun Fengs went into production in 2019 with a 1200k range. These can hit ports, airfields etc. PRC might take a surprising amount of damage from ROC.

    3. "Brave Wing 3s"

      I assume you're actually referring to the Brave Wind III (HF-3), not Brave Wing?

      No one is saying that Taiwan can't inflict some damage. The reality, however, is that they cannot repel a Chinese assault and would ultimately be conquered. The only question is could they hold out long enough for the US to intervene, assuming the US even would?

    4. I was thinking more of damaging/sinking enough transport ships to make things difficult for the soldiers that do land and crippling Chinese infrastructure. A couple of Yun Fengs and Beijing loses a huge chunk of its water supply. Dropping bridges in the Yangtze River, hitting oil refineries, electrical transmission or step up transformers, there's lots of really symbolic or strategic targets, choke points... Taiwan could hit and that's just missiles. I'm sure Taiwan has loyal agents on the mainland.

    5. Not nuclear MAD, but similar vein.

    6. "damaging/sinking enough transport ships to make things difficult"

      China has a MASSIVE amphibious fleet but much of it operates in the guise of merchant shipping. Every Chinese ship that is built is designed with rapid conversion to military amphibious shipping in mind. We, in the US/West tend to only look at their formal amphibious shipping and think they have a limited amount but the reality is that they have vast amphibious capacity. There's a lesson in there for US shipbuilding (such as it is). We should be mandating military conversion capability into civilian new ship design and construction. THERE'S your ready reserve amphibious fleet!

    7. Their civilian ships are more ro-ro ships than actual amphibious assault ships. They are great in delivering cargo at a captured port but not much value to assault a beachhead.

      But they have other kinds of amphibious ships that other nations does not, they have the largest landing ship tank fleet in service as well as the largest LCAC both in size and fleet.

    8. From a Defense News article, here's an example of the kinds of modifications China can make to its civilian fleet:

      "since 2019, the roll-on/roll-off ferry Bang Chui Dao, a 15,560-ton vessel owned and operated by COSCO Shipping Ferry Company, has been fitted with a modified ramp able to launch and recover amphibious armored vehicles while offshore.

      This capability means the ship can launch and recover vehicles without dedicated port facilities."

      With relatively simple modifications, China can quickly assemble very large numbers of amphibious ships. Of course, capturing a port would also solve many of the amphibious challenges.

    9. Amphibious vehicles has correspondingly less armor and capabilities. I did be more afraid of their landing ship tank fleet that can directly disgorge a full MBT company onto the beach.

  6. I think the problem for the Chinese military is you would need quite an invasion force "a la Normandie" BUT at the same time, you can't just carpet bomb the place either, you need a bit of touch and finesse too, IMO. The blockade wouldn't work because 1: China itself imports about $100 billion dollars of goods from Taiwan and it would put a serious clamp on Chinese economy (USN SSNs would have a field day sinking Chinese ships carrying goods between Taiwan and China) and 2. taking out Taiwan electronic industry and/or being completely dominated by China JUST might wake up the West and unite them against China. Not saying it's a guarantee BUT China does have to factor in the economic part of the equation, even a stronger China than today just can't take that risk. World economy and Chinese economy would take a serious hit for sure. Not saying it's impossible, they could do something rash or just see an opening and take the chance BUT I still think for Chinese leaders, they would far prefer to let Taiwan "ripen" and let it fall off the tree more or less by itself with little to no direct Chinese intervention.

    Plus, nobody really knows how the Taiwanese would react, China wants a peaceful Taiwan, not a "Free French Resistance" on it's hands, that could get really messy and just prolong the war and really make China look bad in the rest of the worlds eyes...

    1. "BUT at the same time, you can't just carpet bomb the place either"

      Of course you can! The Chinese view things differently than we do. They take the long view and in the long view they can easily repopulate Taiwan with loyal Chinese and can rebuild the entire island infrastructure and economy. If the Taiwanese suffer in the meantime, the Chinese don't care - it's simply not a problem in their minds. You (the global you) need to stop thinking of the Chinese in Western terms. Their behavior and way of thinking is not normal as we think of normal. We need to recognize this and start accounting for it.

  7. "China is invading Taiwan, Sir"...that would be a heck of a 3AM White House phone call for "The big guy".

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that our current ruling class will not be up to the task such as were our parents/Grandparents culture of WWII.

    1. One of the reasons WW2 happened was because everyone was appeasing Hitler/Germany ie, they had gone soft, like we are today possibly. Its only when the war started and everyone could see its fight or submit that the softness went away.

      A similar situation could happen in a major war involving or because of Taiwan.

    2. One problem I see with the US mobilizing to support Taiwan is that its NOT WWII. Its not terrorists. Its a continuation of a Chinese civil war to many people. America has no problem coming to the defense of our Anglo allies in Europe, but will America respond fiercely to an Asian conflict where we havent been attacked or even threatened? Our previous post-WWII Asian escapades werent too popular, even with the Red Menace and Yellow Peril so prominent in the countrys psyche... Ok so Im playing devils advocate here. But I think that the US population and many in govt have no interest, or at least want to expend the effort in supporting Taiwan. Obviously to me this is a "good vs communusm" thing, and we should be ashamed of ourselves if we watch a free country fall. It will be a big, bloody, costly struggle to keep Taiwan alive, no doubt, if we even can. But possible failure is no reason to not support an ally, and free people. And again Ill add that assisting Taiwan with having a nuclear deterrent might be a wise way to eliminate the issue...

  8. Just with regards to Taiwanese military capabilities, a lot of it is on paper.

    Taiwan ended conscription and its military has since in some ways collapsed.

    There are 215,000 budgeted positions within military including 188,000 soldiers and 27,000 civilians. However they have filled only a total of 153,000 in total!

    Manpower is down to 60%-80% for most units and some are even far worse than that.

    Secondly the reserves are worthless. Currently the requirement is for each reservist to do a maximum of 7 days military service EVERY 2 YEARS. Many don't even do that due to exemptions. They are trying to change to 2 weeks a year - not sure where this is at.

    Taiwanese are ageing (median age 42.5) which reduces recruiting and young people don't view military as a worthwhile career (common in most developed countries).

    2. In many areas ROC capabilities are garbage.

    Most of the surface fleet is 1980s vintage (Oliver Hazard, Knox, Kidd class) or under gunned with obsolete weapon fits (Lafayettes).

    The submarine force is a joke - 2 1980s vintage boats based on a 1960s Dutch design as well as 2 1940s vintage US Tench class subs. New subs are on order but delays keep occurring.

    The fighter fleet itself is ageing - the F-16s are being upgraded but M2000s are on their way out and F-CK-1 is not as capable as either of those two or the Chinese Flanker derivatives.

    Air defences are dense but again obsolete systems such as MIM-72 are common whilst modern systems are rare (or often less capable indigenous designs).

    The airbases are well fortified but few in number and thus easy to concentrate fire on.

    Procurement has become haphazard and politicised - eg money poured into upgrading MIM-72 Chapprall or indigenous M48 Patton versions.

    The biggest issue is that for most of the population of Taiwan, China isn't really perceived as a threat. Hence military service is in decline and there is no pressure on democratic government to pursue more concrete methods (acquisition or development of advanced systems, better recruitment and retention processes etc).

    1. Not so sure about the sub fleet, but it appears that they will be retroing some revently purchased VLS, Im assuming, to the Kidds. So while old, it looks like they are focusing on keeping the surface fleet relevant. (Nevermind that CNO has already dispelled most of the inferiority myths about the old twinarm launchers, guess they didnt read it haha) Sadly we've repeatedly shot down sharing Aegis with them, but it appears they are developing their own also...

  9. Adm. Philip Davidson is an optimist. The initiative rests with the attacker - that is, China always gets the final say in when/where/if they kick off an invasion of Taiwan.

    This is important because as long as China's military is growing in power relative to its OPFOR (really only Taiwan and the US), it has no reason not to wait until the disparity is overwhelming.

    The only pressure they might have on a timeline for invasion is political - and they've been careful not to paint themselves in a corner regarding that. Even if Taiwan unilaterally declares independence, China still gets to make the final say on if/when/where to attack.

    There is no obligation to attack when it is convenient for the other side - imagine if Taiwan undergoes full mobilization and then declares independence. How long can they hold that alert posture? A month? A year? A decade? China can wait until either complacency eventually sets in or the demands of military preparedness start to crush Taiwan's economy, or the endless alert starts impacting military unit readiness and training.

    The obvious corollary is that any immediate spending that improve Taiwan's defensive readiness (or US combat capabilities) now at the expense of preparation or capabilities in the future is fundamentally a losing proposition in the long term - bleeding slower is still bleeding.

    1. "Imagine if Taiwan undergoes full mobilization and then declares independence. How long can they hold that alert posture? A month? A year? A decade? China can wait [...]"

      Actually, China could not wait too long.

      If they declare independence and China does nothing but whining for months and years, that's a de facto accepting said independence.

      China would have to act fast to "settle internal unrest" or whatever they'd call it.

    2. "Actually, China could not wait too long."

      Quite right!

  10. A recent study on the possible use of Taiwanese ports for a Chinese invasion.

    Testing using commercial car ferries to launch amphibious vehicles.

  11. I suspect the tawain military's ability to resist will collapse long before we can generate a response. Without the capability to due a peer-v-peer invasion, we can't liberate tawain. What would even be our goals in a post-Chinese invasion?

  12. Does an invasion of Taiwan make economic sense for the PRC?

    Either way, start giviging Taiwan more sea mines. Maybe the US could use that as an excuse to replenish it's own stocks as necessary.

    Also the US should give the ROC technical & financial assistance on building their own. Perhaps something like a HIMARS delivered sea mine? Bet the USMC would be all over a HIMARS delivered sea mine with their island control delusions.


    1. "Does an invasion of Taiwan make economic sense for the PRC?"

      China does not think that way. Short term economic gain/loss is irrelevant to them. They take the much longer view and in that view, reclamation of Taiwan is of greater value than the possible short term financial loss.

    2. The people of the PRC will sure have short term concerns if the US decides to actually fight a war and employees the Navy in cutting off their food imports.

      Even more so if the US really gets in the dirt and damages key dams.

      A billion hungry people would make a very effective land army. The PRC forces in the ROC would be recalled home just to try and maintain control.

      The US better fortify the Old River Control Structure however. Less the Mississippi switches paths causing absolute havoc on the world's food supply.

      Perhaps hijacking an ammonia nitrate barge, running it into the Auxiliary Structure and letting it go all Texas City?

      But, I wonder if the US has the political will to employ such tactics.


  13. Massive drone strikes on Kadena/White Beach/Futenma/Schwab/Naha. Even heavier on Guam, both the harbor/ammo storage and Anderson. I suspect the kickoff will be with a bulk carrier filled with cement scuttling sideways just north of Orote Point, and a second one just south of the Hickam wharf.

  14. The U.S. needs to use diplomacy as part of our defense strategy, but not with China. We need to work with NATO to get their leaders to publicly support the fact that the U.S. will consider any attack on Taiwan the same as an attack on Germany during the cold war, and that means an attack on the U.S. We would call on NATO to back us, and the leaders of NATO need to tell China privately and publicly that they would stand with us for decades if necessary. China cannot do without trade for years. It would hurt the U.S. and our NATO allies, but no country can do without any trade. China thinks it can stand the economic pain better than the U.S., and with a Biden administration it might be right. However, they CANNOT do without trade with the whole world for a decade. Their people would revolt.

    The navy's role in this would be to secure the sea lanes of trade and communication with Taiwan as long as they can hold out, and with South Korea and Japan until the Chinese withdraw. It would also be responsible for making sure that China cannot trade with anyone outside of NATO such as Iran. China is the worlds largest importer of petroleum.

    1. That sounds great, but the US would have to lead the way amd for starters, give Taiwan official recognition. That's somthing I felt the previous administration might do but was sadly disappointed.
      The problem with building that global coalition is that each member has their own interests, and politically supporting a US-led movement while possibly damaging their own economy wont be too popular. Even some of our closest "allies" have dissented and/or stayed disinvolved in some serious matters. While NATO is often a go-to for support of our ideas, I hesitate to say that we will find broad support there, even when its the "right thing" to do...

    2. "We need to work with NATO to get their leaders to publicly support the fact that the U.S. will consider any attack on Taiwan the same as an attack on Germany during the cold war"

      NATO has no treaty obligation to respond to any Chinese attack on the US, Taiwan anywhere outside of Europe or North America. Here is the relevant text from the NATO Charter:

      Article 5 of NATO Charter:

      "The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America …"

      Now, if you want to try to expand NATO's area of application to the Pacific region, you can suggest that although I think that would be impossible to accomplish.

    3. "NATO has no treaty obligation to respond to any Chinese attack on the US, Taiwan anywhere outside of Europe or North America."

      Furthermore, nobody would actually accept that.
      Germany or Spain aren't going to sign something that automatically drags them into a China war.

  15. "A Chinese assault on Taiwan will be most comparable to Normandy in WWII."

    This statement shows little understanding of Taiwan-China-USA politics and modern day amphibious assault.

    Politically, Taiwan and China are mostly same ethnicity and speaking same language. Of course, same ethnicity go to war very often but key is that they can also reconcile easily. China would be stupid to initiate a large scale high casualty war. Rather, they will take actions in many field (economy, etc.) to gradually force Taiwanese leaders to give up.

    On amphibious assault, it would only happen after China has cleared Taiwan's air power and gain air supremacy. At that time, all Taiwan's many destroyers and frigates are vulnerable and powerless. Just look the first Gulf War, only after US gain air supremacy for a while, land war began.

  16. We are not going to get our NATO allies, aside from possibly UK, to commit to a war in Asia. Our one hope along that line would be some NATO-like organization that we could put together among the Asian nations surrounding China. Many of them don't like China, and particularly don't like China's usurping their sovereignty with artificial "islands" in the South China Sea. The problem is that most of them at this point, particularly Taiwan, have economies that are so heavily intertwined with China's as to make it difficult for them to shake off China.

    We won the Cold War because Truman bribed up an alliance to contain Soviet expansion into Europe, and four decades later Reagan put sufficient pressure on the Soviet economy to collapse it. Other than some sort of reprise of that concept in SE Asia, I don't really have any other ideas. China clearly has a robust, growing economy today, but they are not without feet of clay. If we could somehow put pressure on that economy, it could all unravel pretty fast for them. But we need to start approaching it as an economic battle in addition to being ready for military confrontation. Right now, we are pretty much doing neither. And doing neither is the way to lose both. Containing their aggression right where it is (no expansion, no more artificial islands, and a regular presence of USA forces in the region to discourage that) and then putting pressure on their economy could cause the whole thing to fall apart, accomplishing whatever goals we have without risking lives and limbs of our military personnel.

    What do we have to offer them to entice a deal? Basically the same things we offered western Europe in 1945--mutual defense (which would mostly be a one-way street) and access to our economy. Could we buy more of their exports than China does? Probably. Could we move a lot of the stuff that we have outsourced to China to those other countries? Perhaps, and that would probably make the dog hunt, but that is going to be very, very difficult and time-consuming to accomplish in a free-market economy subject to the rules of WTO.

    One thing we could do to help bring manufacturing home would be to impose a national consumption tax (VAT/GST). This works like a tariff on all imports, and like a subsidy on exports, and is not subject to the WTO rules. In effect, it makes all foreign suppliers pay USA taxes. Another thing we could do to bring manufacturing home is to align our corporate tax rates with world rates. Even with the Trump cuts, we are still a high-tax jurisdiction for corporations, and the Biden proposals will push us back near the absolute top.

    As far as China specifically, I see two grounds for some leverage to impose punitive tariffs or other trade restrictions. One, their human rights abuses, specifically with respect to Tibet and the Uyghurs. We could possibly impose punitive tariffs on countries with severe human rights violations. Two, their horrible record with respect to intellectual property (IP). We could impose restrictions on the sharing of IP with countries that don't respect our IP rights. That would pretty much force the Apples of the world out of China. And perhaps we could subsidize their relocation to other, even lower wage and cost, locations.

    I don't have access to sufficient data to work out exactly how either of those would play out in practice, and the impacts would have to be worked through pretty thoroughly before we attempted either. But I do think they are worthy of consideration.

    1. The US was never at risk of losing Cold War One because the Soviet Union adopted an unworkable system that crippled its economic and industrial base, making it unable to compete with the US.

      China isn't that dumb, though, and if anything it's America who's doing the "weakening from within" part.

      America is not only failing to contain China's expansion in Asia, but also witnessing major Chinese inroads elsewhere (Australia, Italy, Greece, etc.)

  17. China-Taiwan outcome is a subset of US-China relationship,

    1. There is no good military outcome (for us) when it comes to Taiwan Scenario; therefore, we have to keep it at the non-Mil arena (i.e. political, economic, diplomatic.) with China. If the US and China never come to blow, Taiwan is 'ours' to keep; therefore, we can keep Taiwan 'safe'.

    2. China is not about to do a 'Pearl Harbor', nor waging a 2nd 'Greater E.Asia co-prosperity' war; therefore, unless we strike out at China first, China is not about to start a war- to ruin its carefully built(ing) globalized world via trade & B&R.

    3. China is building hundreds of ICBM silos (presumably, ICBMs too) to deter a US-China war- coincidentally, a Taiwan invasion from their end or a pre-emptive strike on our end, can light the fuse easily.

    4. China's various gambits in E&S.China sea is none other than establishing their own sphere of influence. We don't like it, we don't want it; but China's action is totally understandable-given its size and total wherewithal. Funny thing is- if there is no war, we can stay in 1st chain & retain our sphere of influence there.

    In sum, we should do everything not to raise the military stake in & around Taiwan locally, and manage our China relation globally. These are the best way to keep Taiwan safe, and our influence in the westpac.

    1. There's a gigantic, black hole size flaw in your thinking. We have done exactly what you're suggesting - meaning, we haven't raised the military stakes - and that has resulted in China annexing the entire E/S China Seas, engaging in criminal theft of IP, expanding throughout the world, releasing devastating viruses into the world, ignoring treaties they are signatory to, engaging in wholesale bribery and intimidation to annex bases in other countries, and the list goes on and on. According to your theory, everything should be roses and giggles and yet China is gobbling up territory as fast as they can process it. By not upping the military stakes, we've given China carte blanche to take over the region and the world.

      You're not the first person to come up with this theory of international relations. There is a name for your theory. It's called appeasement. I assume you know how it worked out for the world in the late 1930's?

      Your concept has been proven invalid and ineffective and that failure is reinforced with new Chinese evils every day. The degree of naivete in your concept is staggering.

    2. Nevertheless, you did not invalidate the notion- there is no military solution in Taiwan scenario (to our advantage). Just as, there is no military solution to our global war on terror issue. That is: Taliban/Afghanistan, Islamic Fundamentalism/Arab Nationalism in Iraq, Syria, and the greater ME still exist.

      If we want to stick around the Westpac, and/or the ME, and wish to retain influences, and IF MILITARY IS NO LONGER THE GO TO SOLUTION, then other solutions must me sought.

      Furthermore, if we insist (or focus rather) on 1-tool trick of military, and don't rethink other track(s), then we leave the resolution of problems to the other side(s).

      I know you hated what I laid out for you (or what China laid out for all of us.) But events in last half decade or so (since you & I argued about China here) have started to move towards China's stratagem of fight-without-war. If we don't get on with the ball game, it will soon to be win-without-war for the Chinese.

      As for 1930s' Nazi, fortunately, Hitler didn't have nukes. For the Soviets, fortunately, they never got the economy figured out. China, unfortunately, has both figured out.

      Don't kill the messenger. You gotta deal with the reality.

    3. "You gotta deal with the reality."

      The reality is that appeasement ALWAYS results in war and the longer the appeasing goes on, the more destructive the war. Had the world struck down Hitler/Germany earlier, the war would not have been as devastating. The longer we appease China, the worse the inevitable war will be because we will have allowed China to grow stronger. Hey, you may not want to hear the message but you gotta deal with the reality. Chamberlain never did and you seem to be content to walk the same path. Deal with the reality.

      "there is no military solution in Taiwan scenario (to our advantage)."

      Of course there is. Total obliteration of China would be an obvious benefit for us and the world - ridding the world of evil is always a benefit. The question is not whether there is a military solution - there most certainly is! - but whether we can successfully implement it and every day we delay just makes the task that much harder.

      "other solutions must me sought."

      No one, least of all me, has stated that we should not be engaging in other forms of war (economic, political, cyber, etc.) while we prepare the military form. Who knows, perhaps the other forms will suffice to produce victory but the odds on that are infinitesimal.

      I would close with this question for you: if it is so self-evident that military is no longer the solution, why is China engaged in a staggeringly massive military buildup? Is it only the US that cannot have a military solution but the Chinese can? If so, why is that? If not, then why are you only crediting one side with military possibilities?

      Not only is your basic concept totally flawed but your application of reasoning appears to be totally one-sided in favor of the Chinese.

    4. " Of course there is. Total obliteration of China "

      Of course that will get all of us killed..But, I taken that as one of your serious-but-not-serious throwaways.

      " why is China engaged in a staggeringly massive military buildup? "


      1. It's deterrence. Unlike us, we use our military, theirs don't.

      2. in Taiwan scenario, their military = hardware x distance & physics advantages. Ours = hardware / (distance & physics). If we fight in&about Taiwan, we may lose. Therefore, there is no military solution on Taiwan (for us). Thereforex2, we shouldn't wish for a showdown on Taiwan cuz we don't fight to lose. Thereforex3, we should modulate our overall relation w/ China, so we never come to blow over Taiwan. That's the goal, isn't it: keep Taiwan safe and in our camp. Unless you want to use Taiwan as pawn to provoke a China war before they got even bigger. It's your conscience, not mine.

      "Not only is your basic concept totally flawed but your application of reasoning appears to be totally one-sided in favor of the Chinese."

      You said that about me years ago, now, (and if we don't change our way of dealing with china) will be in the future- all the while China gained/gaining on us. So it's not me. It's China running circles on us in geopolitics. It's not to said what I propose will work either, but our 1-trick pony did not work, is not working, and will not work (unless China is stupid by going beyond their a2ad, or invades Taiwan to ruin their global trade).

      "China is evil"
      Well, that's in the eyes of beholder. Certainly, they are not Nazis or IJ who killed whole bunch non-Germans and non-Japanese. And there is no indication China will war beyond their immediate border region. As for China stealing our IPs, doing this and that, at the end of day: we keep buying their stuff. So, there is EVIL, and then there is 'evil'.

      Lastly, I've been mulling this for a long time. Geopolitics is about goal, strategy, tactics, and execution (operation and hardware). We are brilliant at the execution end (best operators and weapons), and we gets worse going upstream. GWOT is a prime example. Our mistaken goal of Regime Change will end in trillions of wasted treasure and blood, despite exemplary performance of our man and material. If you think screwing up Afgh/Iraq/ME is bad, I can't imaging the consequence screwing up on China. And I have no confidence we will do any better on China than on ME.

    5. "China is evil"
      Well, that's in the eyes of beholder.

      With some notable, yet significantly smaller exceptions, that could never have the global impact China could, I cant think of a worse regime... To spin them as anything but a threat to their neighbors, and free people everywhere, would be a stretch...

    6. China is, however, doing very well at the influence (aka "soft power") side of diplomacy in Asia and Africa. They make friends with less-than-perfectly-democratic regimes by (a) building infrastructure and (b) not lecturing about human rights. It's a simple but effective strategy. The US, meanwhile, has looked at foreign policy through a military lens since 9/11, and it hasn't made many friends that way.

    7. "It's deterrence. Unlike us, we use our military, theirs don't."

      This is factually incorrect. A brief search on Google reveals Sino-Vietnamese War in 1979 where China purposefully invades a sovereign country (that previously allied with them, mind you.) as an attempt to protect their interests in Cambodia. Now granted that it maybe just cause from their POV, China use their military as likely as we do.

    8. "Nevertheless, you did not invalidate the notion- there is no military solution in Taiwan scenario (to our advantage)."

      Of course I invalidated your statement. Obliterating China is a very good military solution. Another military solution would be 'fortressing' Taiwan with US military forces. Another would be instituting a tight blockade around China. Yet another would be destroying China's foreign bases around the world. Less drastic solutions include destroying China's illegal artificial islands and sinking their illegal 'fishing' fleets in Philippine waters and flooding the E/S China Seas with our own Coast Guard and Navy and riding herd on any Chinese vessels and stopping them from any illegal activities. And so on. All are valid and effective military solutions.

      All of the above are effective military solutions. Do we have the political will and military resources to execute them? Well, that's another question but to say that military solutions don't exist is either lying, a disappointing lack of military knowledge and vision, or an innate desire to one-sidedly support China.

      I enjoy discussing China with you because it gives me the opportunity to dissect and expose the kinds of 'we are helpless before the might of peaceful China' drivel that is all too common on the Internet. However, I will not allow out and out false claims so be sure that your statements are true. I'm perfectly happy to hear and publish your opinions, no matter how illogical or wishful, but there is a limit and false statements are that limit.

      Now, you may opine that there are no EFFECTIVE military solutions and one could, possibly, make a case for that and I'd be happy to publish such a view but, if that's your intent, you need to make clear that it's an opinion rather than a statement of fact.

    9. "we use our military, theirs don't"

      If they don't use their military, one wonders why they're engaged in such a massive buildup since they don't use it and would never start a war but, I digress …

      China most certainly has used their military and does so routinely.

      They have fired on Vietnamese fishing boats in both international waters and Vietnamese territorial waters.

      They have used their military to support 'fishing' fleets of hundreds of vessels that have occupied Philippine territorial waters.

      They have used their military to force down, seize, and pirate a US EP-3 aircraft in international air space and to seize US drones in international waters.

      They have conducted military flights of intimidation in Taiwan air space.

      They have harassed US naval vessels in international waters.

      Their military has conducted incursions into India and routinely conducted battles with India along the border.

      The military is conducting genocide campaigns against the Uighur.

      China conducted massive military operations against the US in Korea.

      China engaged in active military support, aid, training, and combat against the US in Vietnam.

      They have conducted active laser attacks against US aircraft in Africa.

      Chinese vessels have entered and operated in Malaysian territorial waters.

      And the list goes on.

      China most certainly does use its military. Please refrain from making false statements.

    10. "It's China running circles on us in geopolitics."

      China is brilliantly outplaying the US in geopolitics. While their methods are illegal (artificial islands) and unethical (debt-traps, bribery, etc.), they are most certainly effective in securing China's short term objectives.

      Longer term, the underlying illegality and unethical methods China uses are also generating ill-will and resentment among those China deals with and setting the stage for eventual rebellion. The challenge for China is to turn those countries into annexed territories or obedient vassal states before rebellion can occur. Whether they can do this remains to be seen.

      The US needs to get into the geopolitical game and recognize it for the war (by other means) it is and start engaging. The challenge for the US is to do so without resorting to the illegal and unethical methods the Chinese use.

    11. " It's not to said what I propose will work either"

      It's been proven not to work since China is currently engaged in running roughshod over the region and beyond.

    12. "Certainly, they are not Nazis or IJ who killed whole bunch non-Germans and non-Japanese."

      China is engaged in a genocidal campaign of suppression against the Uyghur. That's about as evil as you can get and rivals the German and Soviet purges.

      You're making a lot of demonstrably false statements.

    13. "They make friends with less-than-perfectly-democratic regimes by (a) building infrastructure and (b) not lecturing about human rights. It's a simple but effective strategy."

      Without a doubt, China has been (and continues to be) highly effective at obtaining their short term goals but they have done so via illegal (artificial islands, territorial violations, etc.) and unethical (debt-traps, bribery, etc.) methods. Those methods are securing their short term goals but are sowing the seeds of resentment and rebellion in the future. The question for China is whether they complete the annexation of those countries or turn them into compliant vassal states before the resentment rises to rebellion levels. On the large stage, China's actions are increasing the distrust among the greater nations and solidifying the opposition to China. In this sense, China's short term gains are ensuring long term resistance from the rest of the world. China is intentionally hurting itself on the geopolitical stage.

      One notes that the countries China is 'engaging' with are smaller, less powerful, less developed countries that have little to offer China except raw materials and strategic locations - in other words, war 'feeders' for the future global war against China.

      In contrast, the US and Western countries seek long lasting friendships, trade agreements, and mutual support. That's not to say they don't each try to maneuver to gain maximum advantage for themselves - of course they do! - but they don't do it using blatantly illegal and unethical means (yes, they do operate around the fringes but nothing approaching the wholesale scale of illegality and unethical practice that China does).

      China's goal is annexation. The West's goal is peaceful co-existence and mutual benefits.

  18. "If Taiwan could delay the ultimate outcome long enough, China will have failed, strategically, as noted above which opens the possibility of US intervention."

    I can see the US working the UN to stop a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. But, once China has a few hundred thousand troops on Taiwan, it's game over. The Navy could take on China's fleet and cause some damage. But, without a Normandy-like invasion of our own, I don't see how we free Taiwan.

    1. " once China has a few hundred thousand troops on Taiwan, it's game over."

      That's the fait accompli I was talking about. The issue is speed. If getting to that point takes the Chinese several weeks, that's time for an international and US 'resistance' movement to form and, at that point, a counter-assault becomes a possibility. China needs to accomplish the invasion very quickly and then 'sell' it as an internal affair. The longer it drags out, the harder it is to 'sell' it to the international community.

      You've correctly identified both the concept of, and numerical requirement for, a critical mass beyond which the affair is finished. This suggests that Taiwan's goal should not be to attempt to repel the assault - which is likely not a realistic goal - but to draw out the time frame long enough to rally international support.

      Good comment!

    2. Probably best bet for China would be the use of the cover of 1 of their regular amphibious training exercises to amass that many forces. Do it a few times to make sure it becomes ho-hum business as usual and on the final one, use it to invade. That's the only way I could see them getting the huge amount of forces in place without garnering too much attention and still retain element of surprise. Could be done.

      You probably could keep it secret too since you could wait literally to the last moment to issue ammo and orders, OPSEC would be pretty decent. Troops wouldn't have too much time to think about it and fret over the invasion, it could be executed rapidly, matter of hours really. Maybe less than 24 hours if last minute decision to really invade instead of another training exercise and forces could be on their way to Taiwan. Or even train, re-embark on the ships then invade? That's seems more difficult.

    3. Even with a rally of international support, how does the US and the international community dislodge China from Taiwan?

      I don't see sanctions doing much as China could well retaliate in kind. And, I doubt we would have the will to sacrifice our troops to free Taiwan.

      Taiwan might have an advantage at the beginning, but the longer it drags out, the weaker Taiwan becomes. After establishing an air and naval blockade around Taiwan, a couple of carrier groups positioned east of Taiwan would help to do that, all China has to do is apply enough pressure for Taiwan to buckle.

      The time for China to invade Taiwan might be 6-8 years from now after the Navy has decommissioned all of its Tico cruisers and Ohio SSGNs.

    4. "and still retain element of surprise"

      I don't think the level of secrecy and surprise you're contemplating is really needed. Consider Normandy … The Germans knew with absolute certainty that the Allies were amassing forces and they knew approximately when and where the Allies would invade and it didn't do them any good. They were still surprised at the invasion site. Similarly, China can amass forces for quite some time, train up, and still achieve local surprise.

      Further, unless Taiwan would strike first, China would get the initial first barrage which would still accomplish many of their initial objectives regardless of the degree of surprise or lack thereof. If you have overwhelming firepower and numbers, which both the Allies had and China has, you only need a small amount of surprise.

    5. "And, I doubt we would have the will to sacrifice our troops to free Taiwan."

      Well that's the key question that none of us can know. The US' reluctance to even officially recognize Taiwan suggests that we won't be willing to fight for it. On the other hand, we've provided some military supplies and Taiwan represents a great opportunity to assemble a coalition and use Taiwan as the justification to hit China hard while a major portion of China's military is tied up there. Trump, for instance, seemed to strengthening ties and moving towards more support and recognition of Taiwan. Biden appears to be doing the opposite. So, there's no telling what direction a future administration would go.

      Until we formally recognize Taiwan, it's hard to imagine us fighting for it. I'm merely pointing out that Taiwan's only hope is as I've described and then only IF the US opts to fight for it. Lacking that, it's a foregone conclusion.

    6. The Ticos and SSGNs especially are immensely powerful platforms and there are at least a few nations that are anxiously awaiting their retirement. I dont think even the Chinese discount their utility, and you make a good point!!

    7. To his credit, Obama's arms sales to Taiwan totaled about $14 billion. This included aircraft upgrades, two frigates, antitank missiles, and helicopters. And, I hope that continues under Biden.

      I made that "I doubt we would" comment based on our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan because any future military venture will be looked through the lens of Iraq and Afghanistan for many years to come.

      Perhaps in the case of Taiwan, the best defense is a good offense.

    8. "To his credit, Obama's arms sales to Taiwan totaled about $14 billion."

      To his shame, Obama's arms sales to Taiwan totaled less than half of the preceding 8 years and was less than just the following 3 years! Here's the data from the Wiki article, "List of US arms sales to Taiwan":

      1993-2000 inclusive = $20.1B 8 yrs
      2001-2008 inclusive = $29.9B 8 yrs prior to Obama
      2009-2016 inclusive = $14.0B Obama 8 years
      2017-2020 inclusive = $18.3B Trump's first 3 years

  19. "Until we formally recognize Taiwan, it's hard to imagine us fighting for it."

    It is mind boggling to me why we havent. We dont want to officially recognize a free country so that we dont offend an evil regime??? Isnt that fairly pathetic?? Its tantamoumt to recognizing occupied France as "West Germany" so we dont upset Hitler. Or maybe not recognizing Israel so as not to offend the Arabs. We went to war twice in Asia to stop the spread of Communism, but yet here we are, selling arms to a non existent entity... I really don't understand how, over 70 years later, we still give them no recognition. Id love to hear the rationale here...

    1. " Id love to hear the rationale here..."

      There's no mystery about that. It's all about our trade relationships with China. No President has had the courage to disrupt that trade. Trump was starting to but ...

    2. At this point, I won't waste time to argue otherwise (that China is not an 'evil' empire pining for the demise of US, cuz your mind is already made up), but simply state that- Taiwan, right now, is democratic and free. And, as long as we keep the US-China relationship on a manageable track, China would not risk an open conflict and Taiwan would be safe.

      However, if we single-mindly think the ultimate Chinese goal is to rule the globe a la Evil Empire style, then 'Taiwan' doesn't matter; it might as well be an early spark to kick off the showdown, and Taiwan's welfare be damned (you know, to defeat the commie, one needs to destroy the village in order to save it). It will be tragic for all of us- if we pursue this, imo a mistaken goal (to war on China), and screw it up for all of us, Americans/Taiwanese/Chinese alike. Incidentally, that should be the biggest concern Beijing has- if there is an open conflict, Chinese are screwed either way: win or lose (cuz, we have a history of starting war on misbegotten goal and left bigO'mess for all involved.)

      Perhaps, that's why China is building hundreds of new ICBMs, hoping to bring back some common sense into the equation.

    3. "I won't waste time to argue otherwise (that China is not an 'evil' empire pining for the demise of US, cuz your mind is already made up)"

      That one goes both ways! Your mind is equally made up that China is the shining beacon of peaceful, lawful, international good will, and cooperation.

      "as long as we keep the US-China relationship on a manageable track, China would not risk an open conflict and Taiwan would be safe."

      That is pure speculation based on hope and nothing else. Chinese statements - not mine! - have stated that they WILL annex Taiwan by force if Taiwan does not agree to subjugate themselves to China. China has also stated - their words, not mine! - that they own a great deal of the Pacific seas and territories and have the right to seize them.

      You are simply ignoring China's history of military intimidation, annexation, illegal activities, IP theft, genocide, and other evil actions. This refusal to acknowledge China's actions undermines your credibility to the point of non-existence. If/when you acknowledge these actions then I'll begin to give you some credibility but not until then.

    4. "I won't waste time to argue otherwise ... cuz your mind is already made up"

      You know, sometimes making up one's mind is a GOOD thing. It shows that one has evaluated the evidence and made an informed decision and can now take appropriate action.

      Instead of walking away, why don't you explain to me how China's genocide campaign is not evil.

      Explain to me how China's fraud, bribery, and debt-traps are not unethical.

      Explain to me how China's rampant Intellectual Property theft is not criminal.

      Explain to me how China's refusal to acknowledge the UNCLOS treaty it signed is not hypocritical.

      Explain to me how China's illegal islands are not illegal.

      Explain to me how China's continual incursions into Indian territory is peaceful and not illegal.

      Explain to me how China's cyber attacks on the US are not acts of war.

      Explain to me how seizing US military assets in international air and water is not an act of war.

      Explain to me how sending hundreds of 'fishing' vessels into Philippine territorial waters is not illegal.

      Explain to me how threatening to sink US Navy ships operating in international waters is peaceful, cooperative, and friendly.

      Explain these things and then you'll convince me.

      If you can't explain them then I've correctly made up my mind.

    5. Remember I said a while back: PLA hasn't killed anybody in last 30 years. Now I have to revised that to: PLA hasn't shot or blown up anybody in last 30yrs. If that's not a judicial refrain of its military usage (when compared to us, Russians, or even Indians) given its hard power, and in so many territorial disputes both on land and sea, then I don't know what defines 'peace' in a realpolitik terms.

      As for (called it if you will) my speculation that China would not invade Taiwan, if US-China relation is managed carefully. You even said so yourself on your first sentence: In any direct war with China (as opposed to a proxy war in, say, Africa), Taiwan will be the first objective of the Chinese. Obviously, that's your informed opinion despite what China blows (hot or cold) about Taiwan-unification.

      As for PLA intimidation (to its lesser-power neighbors in SCS), well, even though China built these triangulating islands (Paracel, Spratleys, (not yet) Scarborough shoal) to safe keep its SLBM patrol ground, does not make such action right by UNCLOS (which we didn't ratify either)- but, its action is understandable and logical in its deterrence strategy.

      As for annexation (if you mean Tibet and Xinjian), well, we recognize both as sovereign territory of China. Until our government says otherwise, both are part and parcel of China.

      As for IP theft. I say: have aggrieved bring lawsuits to WTO and seek monetary compensation.

      As for Uygher-genocide..the word 'genocide' might be a stretch- since China (in the 50-70s) also sent Han-Chinese to gulags for thought-crime, and forcibly aborted Han-babies due to its 1-child policy, one wouldn't called it genocide because its purpose was not to eradicate an entire race of people. About 1-in-10 Uyghers were forced to go to these camps to learn the 'Chinese way' for some duration, and some Uygher women were 'sterilized' cuz they had 1 too many babies, but consider 90+% of Uyghers are out about living their lives (and China threw tons of carrots to that region). Would we extrapolate that to 'genocide', as in Turkey-Armenian or Nazi-Jews? Probably not. Also, consider our opinion of Muslims in general (i.e. refusal of modernity, Jihadism), and us hunting/Gitmoing Uygher fighters just few years back. Chinese actions, godawful in our progressive eyes, is understandable-given incidents of jihadist terrorism in China few years back.

      Mind you, I'm not justifying any of above to our western sensibility; just Chinese rationale.

    6. Wow, I thank you for that comment. It beautifully demonstrates the verbal gymnastics that one has to go through to rationalize Chinese actions and atrocities. The Wiki entry on the Chinese genocidal actions against the Uyghur alone make absolutely chilling reading.

      I particularly like your suggestion that parties bring IP theft lawsuits to WTO because we've seen how the Chinese respond to UNCLOS decisions that go against them. So, sure, they'll abide by WTO decisions.

      You calling China's abhorrent, illegal, and evil actions 'understandable and logical' is terrifying.

      That you view Chinese military invasion and conquering as perfectly acceptable means of acquiring territory just because China makes a claim of ownership is horrifying.

      Thank you. You have done more with this comment to prove my contentions about the evil of China than anything I could have said. You bet my mind is made up! The world must act to eliminate the evil of China.

    7. "Now I have to revised that to: PLA hasn't shot or blown up anybody in last 30yrs."

      Now, you're just flat out lying. For example, Chinese soldiers killed around 20 Indian soldiers in Ladakh in 2020. For example, the Chinese military has killed Vietnamese fishermen (I've seen reports up to 2300 but cannot verify the number). No one knows how many Uyghurs have been killed by the Chinese military.

      Again, I thank you for making my case!

    8. It was stick & stone, and most died after falling in the fast flowing freezing water of Himalayan river. Not shots were fired.

      I stand to be corrected if you can cite sources on PLA killing VN fishermen or unarmed/innocent Uyghers.

    9. Well, for example,

      "More than 2,300 fishermen have been injured, gone missing or died in Vietnamese territorial waters in the South China Sea, this according to Nguyễn Văn T, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development." Ref Vietnam

      Here's a single incident where hundreds/thousands of Uyghur were killed: Uyghur

      This is getting tedious. Your refusal to acknowledge reality and your willingness to rationalize away any evil is eye opening.

      I think this has clearly proven China's inherent evil and this discussion has run its course.

    10. "It's all about our trade relationships with China."

      Sure, that makes sense in recent history... The last few decades during which they've done all our manufacturing. Even back to the "opening" of China in the... 70s(???) But what about in the 50s and 60s, when actual combat between our forces was current events?? Why didnt we recognize Taiwan then?? The same economics werent in place then. I truly dont understand...

    11. US severed official diplomatic relationship with Republic-of-China (RoC in Taiwan) in 1979, and recognized PRC as sole representative government of China. Prior to US-PRC opening, RoC(Taiwan) then, under Chiang Kai-Shek, could have gone for 2-China option to retain its own official US-RoC relationship. But, Chiang was too proud & stupid (one reason he lost China to Mao despite 3M of his soldiers armed with American equipment) to live down that compromise; so he made the bed Taiwan now has to lie in, by forcing an ultimatum (to US) that- the US can only choose one, not both.

      Incidentally, ~20 years before 1979, Mao was afraid Chiang maybe pushed to a 2-China option if PRC took all remaining RoC footholds (i.e. Quemoy and Matsu) on China side of the Taiwan strait, so Mao psychologically manipulated Chiang to think he still had a chance to re-invade mainland to take China back by leaving these islets in RoC's possession.

      From 1979 to fall of USSR, the US needed China to hedge against the Soviets. From 1990 to 2010, we tried to Change China by $enticing$ them. By 2010-15 when we started to change tact on China, it was already too late.

    12. If i was sitting in Taiwan i would be looking at how the "1 country 2 systems" idea was going in Hong Kong. Then write a letter to my president suggesting we but some F35's.

  20. The effect of the initial bombardments on the Taiwan forces will largely depend on if China achieves strategic surprise. If the units are dispersed in fighting positions, they're going to take much less damage than if their parked in row in camp.


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