American intelligence agencies have revealed a huge build-up in Chinese assault forces - apparently designed to invade Taiwan - as China's leaders made new overtures for a peaceful agreement with the island republic.
US officials said China was racing to complete 23 amphibious ships able to ferry tanks and troops across the 160-kilometre-wide Taiwan Strait and 13 submarines to protect them, according to a New York Times report.
"Their amphibious assault shipbuilding alone equals the entire US Navy shipbuilding since 2002," one official said.
The Chinese aren't bluffing. They aren't building up to "pressure" Taiwan. The Chinese are creating forces to invade Taiwan and to hold off our fleet long enough for them to complete the conquest for one simple reason:
They want to conquer Taiwan.
It really is that simple. And since we will intervene to stop the Chinese and the Japanese will fight by our side, it would be wise to instill the fear of China in the Taiwanese so they can stand up to the Chinese and hopefully present a strong enough front to deter the Chinese. At worst, the Taiwanese need to hold on long enough for the Japanese and American fleets and air forces to intervene and for US Marines and Stryker brigade combat teams to deploy to Taiwan in order to throw a massive but crude invasion back into the sea.
And while I'm at it, my own pet theory again: the Chinese are on a crash-building program in order to invade Taiwan on the eve of the 2008 Peking Olympics. If conquering Taiwan was that important to me, I'd sacrifice the Olympics to gain the element of surprise for an invasion.
Taiwan is that important to the butchers of Peking. Can't have free Chinese setting a bad example to the masses when the economy goes belly up. Add another pet theory of mine: Chinese economic growth is only impressive on the surface because--like the Soviets in their day--moving the most efficient peasant into the most inefficient factory will increase GDP quite impressively. But when that cheap input ends and you have to make existing urban workers produce, then the statistics finally look bad.
The War on Terror is not our only foreign policy challenge this decade. Or have we forgotten the spring 2001 EP-3 downing by China already?
Look, I don't assume we will fight China. But China is bent on a course that will lead to war with us. We have to deter them long enough for either sense to break through their ideology or for China to collapse or retrench. I just don't know which way things will break.