Thursday, March 17, 2005

An Invasion Prior to the Olympics?

One of the problems of many people dropping in to read a post as many did to read Ready. Set. Go? is that the readers don't see the many posts that led to that post. Invade before the Olympics? He's just pulling that out of his hat!

I admit, back in early 2003 when I first broached the subject, it was a guess based on my disbelief that China would want a long drawn-out conflict fought with missiles only. Taking Taiwan fast to avoid US intervention made sense to me. After all, China was building up and so was Taiwan. It seemed like the end of the decade was the time when both sides would be armed up. So I figured, wouldn't it make sense for China to strike before Taiwan integrated the weapons we are selling them? Doesn't delay risk Taiwan becoming too strong and maybe going nuclear? Heck, isn't delaying too long risky from the standpoint of letting democracy get entrenched on Taiwan? Would China really want to absorb 22 million democracy advocates who might spread the disease to the mainlan if brought under Peking's loving embrace?

Then I considered Khe Sahn, where a couple NVA divisions distracted the US into thinking it was a major operation designed to pull a Dien Bien Phu on us. In reality it was a distraction that was purchased at the price of two northern divisions cut up by our forces. I read that they figured no Western general would suspect that an enemy would sacrifice two divisions just for a diversion.

So what diversion could work just prior to the end of the decade?

Hmm. There are the summer Olympics in Peking in 2008.

And Taiwan may be working on a new constitution in that year.

So I made a wild ass guess based on what I would do in their shoes. I'd invade before the Olympics when absolutely nobody would think that China would spoil their pageant.

As time went on I looked for evidence about this. In December 2003 (scroll down to December 3--this is pre-anchor days) I noted this:

[Major] General Peng listed the Olympics, loss of foreign investment, deterioration in foreign relations, economic slowdown or recession and "necessary" casualties by the army as costs China would willingly bear to reunify the mainland. He belittled the idea that China would not dare use military force against Taiwan before the 2008 Olympics, which it campaigned for many years to hold.

Then on July 29, 2004 I noted this:

Chinese diplomats have let it be known that retired generals recommended to Jiang Zemin, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission and former head of state, that China “settle the issue of Taiwan well ahead of the 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing.”

Two days later I noted this:

A senior Chinese official warned that Beijing won't rule out war with Taiwan if the island's president pursues his plan to adopt a new constitution by 2008, the government's China Daily newspaper reported Friday.

As time went on I also noted that Chinese procurement and building plans seem to be scheduled to finish near the end of the decade. Indeed, recently I've read that some of our assumed timelines were off by a couple years and stuff may come out earlier. Like by 2008. Hmm.

So China is willing to endure losses and lose the Olympics and sees 2008 as a potentially decisive year.

Am I really being paranoid? Or are the Chinese out to get Taiwan. Soon. They've only spent 50 years telling us they will absorb Taiwan.

I believe them.