Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Sting

Taiwan is under the gun with perhaps 1,500 Chinese guided missiles pointed at their island. They form the spearhead of a successful invasion.

Naturally, the Taiwanese don't want the missiles looming over them. But I've cautioned that it is a mistake to call for their removal (as in moving some of them) rather than calling for their destruction:

China would only use a fraction of their deployed missiles in the opening hours of an invasion. Some percent will be used in the days to follow. So if China moves only the missiles not needed in those first 24 hours out of range of Taiwan, the Chinese threat is not actually reduced one bit.

The Chinese would spend that first 24 hours moving missiles back into range of Taiwan to continue the missile barrage to pin the Taiwanes military down while the Chinese send in the airborne and amphibious invaders.

Yet by constantly asking China to move their missiles rather than scrap them, after repeated Chinese refusals to remove them, will a sudden agreement to move some trap the Taiwanese into publicly accepting that as a reduction of the threat?

China has refused to move them, providing the impression that just moving them will make Taiwan safer. This is not so.

China is springing the sting to finish their con game:

Yang Yi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, gave a positive response to the mainland's reported plan to remove regional missiles at a press conference yesterday. ...

Cross-Straits relations have improved since Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou of Kuomintang came into power in May. Both sides have established closer economic and cultural exchanges. But Ma has said the missiles remain a big hurdle to warmer relations.

Yang's overture, however, signaled a departure from Beijing's practice of shunning the issue of removing missiles from South China.

At the press conference, Yang did not attempt to deny the media that the mainland plans to remove "one-third of the missiles targeting Taiwan" before next March or April and said: "We hope both sides can make joint efforts to get prepared for addressing political difficulties in the future."

If China is serious about reducing their threat to Taiwan and only defending their homeland, they'll remove (by scrapping) nearly all their missiles, retaining only enough to be a threat to American carrier battle groups approaching China.

And if Taiwan is serious about reducing the Chinese threat to them--rather than pretending to reduce the threat--they'll insist on destruction of missiles and not go along with the fantasy that moving missiles out of range of Taiwan makes Taiwan more secure.