Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Northern Expedition II

While I have feared that Taiwan might not survive a Chinese attempt to invade Taiwan, and so should perhaps make efforts to ride out a Chinese invasion until help arrives; I've also written that the Chinese are perhaps vulnerable to a Taiwanese effort at regime change in Peking to end the threat at its source.

I read a good report on how Chinese-Taiwanese business ties combined with Chinese corruption help Taiwanese efforts to contain China:

From a military point of view, all this corruption has a positive angle. The Chinese military is also quite corrupt, and this prevents modernization efforts from being as effective as they could be. Chinese leaders know that too many of their generals are more concerned with getting rich, and hanging on to their money, than in developing effective ways to conquer Taiwan, or defend China from attack. At the same time, the Taiwanese do business by local rules on the mainland. This keeps Taiwanese espionage efforts going (everything is for sale, including military secrets), and makes Taiwanese businesses profitable on the mainland. That profitability means many Chinese businessmen, who are also government officials, don't want to destroy the value of their own assets by trashing Taiwan in a war.

The conventional wisdom is that these business ties make Taiwanese too worried about their profits to resist the Chinese. But could this be looking at the problem backwards?

In a China where all possible futures may come about, the communist rulers might want to worry a little more about the capability of a small and well-trained military force backed by money to overrun a fissured central government.

Heck, Peking might be safer by denying that Taiwan is part of one China. Why give potential invaders legitimacy to rule them?