Thursday, October 30, 2014

Peace and Neutrality for Taiwan's Absorption

Taiwan should not delude itself into thinking that a policy of dismissing allies is the path to safety from China's ambitions to own Taiwan.

This is folly and it boggles the mind to think that people can honestly think this will save Taiwan from China:

Concerned that Taiwan’s security and sovereignty is being gradually negotiated away to Mainland China, a group of civic organizations has announced a new national strategy to promote Taiwan’s neutrality.

Formally launched on Oct. 25, the campaign is called the “Peace and Neutrality for Taiwan Alliance” and is being led by former vice-president Annette Lu.

China is preparing to conquer Taiwan over the potential of America and Japan to intervene against China.

In what alternate world is it better for Taiwan to resist Chinese ambitions by deliberately pushing these de facto allies (and any other--like India?) away in a farcical attempt to appease China?

In what alternate world will Taiwan decide to spend a lot on defense to defend themselves on their own resources alone when Taiwan doesn't spend enough when Taiwan believes America (and Japan) will come to their rescue?

And in what world is this even remotely true?

As in the case of armed neutrality in Switzerland and Sweden, Taiwan will need to build up its national defense to safeguard its security and neutrality.

Sweden and Switzerland are militarily weak.

Switzerland has about 25,000 active forces. They have fewer than 100 fighter aircraft and more than half are obsolete. Switzerland relies on reserves and distance from any potential military threat having to go through a lot of NATO countries to reach Switzerland.

Sweden has 20,000 active forces with an army of fewer than 7,000 troops, a tiny navy that recently floundered around trying to find a reported Russian sub in their territorial waters, and an air force of a little more than 100 combat planes. Sweden relies on reserves, too. And Russia's recent aggression has raised the popularity of joining NATO--getting allies--rather than relying on barely armed neutrality to keep an aggressor at bay.

If Taiwan wants an example of armed neutrality, they should look to Belgium. In both world wars, keeping allies at arms length in the hope that Germany would stay away did not work to defend Belgium.

In that long debate the Taiwanese are supposed to have over this "peace and neutrality" idea, explain what power comes in to reverse the foreign conquest, the way Belgium had to have in order to survive their notion of neutrality.

Remember, in the end, Taiwan is a road, too, as far as China is concerned, and not a nation,

In what world is making Taiwan easier for China to conquer the way to prevent China from conquering or absorbing Taiwan?

UPDATE: While there is no good time for Taiwan to ponder a policy of pushing allies away, this is a particularly bad time:

Unrest in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and signs that Taiwan may be “slipping away” after half a decade of cautious rapprochement, seem to have engendered a new phase of paranoia in Beijing, as evidenced by the detentions of and travel restrictions imposed against dozens of Chinese individuals in recent months.

Those measures have been accompanied by an increasingly xenophobic line in Zhongnanhai. President Xi Jinping, the hoped-for reformer who, as it turns out, is very much the strongman, has repeatedly warned against “pollution” by Western values and has directed the implementation of policies to counter such nefarious influences. Chinese agencies and propaganda outlets, meanwhile, claim to have uncovered “evidence” of several plots hatched abroad to destabilize China.

If we believe the rhetoric, Uyghur “terrorists” from Xinjiang have been acting on behalf of foreign organizations and Taiwanese “separatists” are pawns of American and/or Japanese forces. Meanwhile the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong, which has brought part of the metropolis to a standstill, is said to have simultaneously been funded, scripted, fomented, and influenced by a plethora of disparate foreign groups[.]

China's smile is more accurately described as baring their fangs, I'd say.

Preparing to fight tooth and nail for every inch of Chinese progress toward Taipei is the best strategy to remain free and independent.