Monday, July 27, 2015

Protesting Reality

Taiwan gets slapped with the reality stick:

Taiwan said Friday it had filed a protest with China over a military exercise it slammed for portraying the island as a target, despite improved ties between the two former bitter rivals.

Chinese state channel CCTV broadcast a video clip earlier this month showing fully armed soldiers of the People's Liberation Army running towards a red building with a silhouette similar to that of Taiwan's Presidential Office.

It's kind of cute that the Taiwanese believe that there is a thaw in cross-strait relations rather than China simply not openly talking about what they plan to do.

Yeah, China believes they own Taiwan; is building and training a military capable of invading Taiwan; and will invade if they think they need to.

The Taiwanese cannot rely on us to save them because China does not have to defeat America to conquer Taiwan. China just needs to delay American (and Japanese) intervention long enough to conquer Taiwan:

The goal behind developing anti-access capabilities and promoting active defense is not to wage a major power war with the United States, but to present the U.S. with unacceptable risk if it interferes with what China considers a core interest. This strategy incorporates both Sun Tzu’s concept of deception and of winning without fighting. Because of the ambiguity of China’s active defense concept any U.S. president would be unsure of what China’s threshold is for a first strike should the U.S. commit to a show of force near Chinese territory. The U.S. president would also know that China had the capability to inflict significant damage on any U.S. asset near the Chinese mainland. Moreover, China bases this strategy on the judgment that the United States understands that China places a greater value on Taiwan, or other maritime claims, than the U.S. does, and thus Washington will either hesitate or decline to engage in a show of force. In either case, it would present China with a window of opportunity to create facts on the ground that the United States or other powers would find difficult to reverse.

Which is what I've been saying for a long time, as my now decade-old invasion scenario assumed:

So the plan will be a direct and fast assault on Taiwan to win before any outside power can save Taiwan from conquest. The Chinese will have four main missions for their military in an invasion: One, landing nine army divisions and one Marine division on Taiwanese territory plus dropping three parachute divisions and one air landing division. Two, securing the sea and air lines of supply and reinforcement from China to Taiwan. Three, keeping American forces away from Taiwan long enough to finish the conquest. This will also include non-military measures. Fourth, the Chinese must defeat the Taiwanese army and conquer the island.

At the time, the scenario was derided as impossible. The "million man swim." I don't think that it was impossible a decade ago if China was willing to take the casualties. A decade later it is more possible. And in another decade it will be even more possible.

Heck, it isn't even necessary for China to completely defeat Taiwan--just getting ashore and resisting Taiwanese efforts to drive the invaders into the sea would set up Taiwan for a later killing blow:

China doesn't even have to conquer the island in the initial invasion. If the Chinese simply get ashore and Taiwan can't drive them back into the sea, a ceasefire could leave Taiwan divided and vulnerable to a new war in a few years time after China consolidates their territorial gain.

I think Taiwan is living on borrowed time and needs a sense of urgency in their preparations to defend their island democracy.