Sunday, July 03, 2016

We May Have Bigger Problems Than the South China Sea

China does not like the new Taiwanese administration:

In a sign of growing friction between China and Taiwan, mainland diplomats said Saturday that they had suspended contact with their Taiwanese counterparts because the island’s new leader would not endorse the idea of a single Chinese nation.

Beijing said it had cut off communication because President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan failed to endorse the idea that Taiwan and the mainland are part of one China, a concept known as the 1992 Consensus.

I've worried that foes might want to take advantage of the last year of the Obama administration to grab stuff while they can.

Let me go back to 2005 for a post on China preparing the legal case to invade Taiwan, quoting a then-current article:

The proposed anti-secession law, read out for the first time before the ceremonial National People's Congress, does not specify what actions might invite a Chinese attack.

"If possibilities for a peaceful reunification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ nonpeaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Wang Zhaoguo, deputy chairman of the congress' Standing Committee, told the nearly 3,000 members gathered in the Great Hall of the People.

Beijing claims Taiwan, which split from China since 1949, as part of its territory. The communist mainland repeatedly has threatened to invade if Taiwan tries to make its independence permanent, and the new law does not impose any new conditions or make new threats. But it lays out for the first time legal requirements for military action.

Cutting off communications because Taiwan for not endorsing the "single Chinese nation" concept is proclaiming Taiwan as being unwilling to accept eventual unification, is it not?

Have the Chinese just concluded that possibilities for peaceful unification have been exhausted because the Taiwanese elected Tsai Ing-wn?

My old template for a Chinese invasion still holds true, I think. [UPDATE: Here's a refinement of the "go for the jugular" strategy]

Why yes, my pucker factor is going up, now that you ask.

UPDATE: On the South China Sea issue:

China’s military plans exercises in the disputed South China Sea this week, adding to tensions ahead of an international tribunal’s ruling that is expected to challenge Beijing’s maritime claims in the area.

The drills, announced in a brief online statement Sunday, are scheduled to stretch over seven days starting Tuesday and ending July 11, the day before the United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague is expected to issue its ruling. Beijing has repeatedly said it will ignore the verdict despite pressure from the U.S. and its allies to comply.

Will the Chinese also do something to show their defiance? I mean, something short of an invasion of Taiwan, of course.

UPDATE: I worry that Taiwanese efforts to build their own advanced weapons rather than buy from abroad which allows China to pressure arms suppliers will not be successful before China can invade.

UPDATE: Would China really start a fight if the Hague decision goes against them as expected?

In February, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, called on the US to “stop sensationalising the South China Sea issue, stop hyping up tensions and work constructively for regional peace and stability.”

She added: “China’s deployment of limited defence facilities on its own territory is its exercise of self-defence right to which a sovereign state is entitled under international law. It has nothing to do with militarisation. It is something that comes naturally, and is completely justified and lawful.”

Beijing’s aggressive stance on opposition to its territorial claims have put the Chinese population on edge, and left no room for a backdown.

The headline says the region is poised for military conflict.

While I imagine China will do something, I don't actually worry much that China will deliberately go to war over the coming Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on July 12th on China's claims. After all, China has ignored international law so far. What's ignoring one more part of international law?

Of course, you never can tell what the Chinese might use as an excuse to begin a "short and glorious" war to bolster Chinese Communist Party authority that then spins out of control. Hence the pucker factor.