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The coming conflict over Taiwan

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,232 ✭✭✭✭ Dohnjoe


    I think it's a completely different situation from HK. Taiwan is physically separated and they have no direct presence there, they also have little support. Even if they started manufacturing incidents to start trying to interfere with Taiwan's economy via blockages, trade sanctions, etc - it would be completely transparent to the rest of the world. Again, I really can't see how an open conflict would benefit China much. However the tensions do appease the hardliners, which may mean we see a constant state of tension rather than a full escalation.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,456 ✭✭✭ political analyst


    I thought Chinese nationalism was the Kuominotang's thing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,561 ✭✭✭ Snaga




  • Registered Users Posts: 302 ✭✭ Piollaire


    Xi Jinping said he was going to reunite Taiwan with the mainland by peaceful means. But that only made me more convinced he is going to attack.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/09/xi-jinping-vows-taiwans-reunification-with-china-will-be-fulfilled



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,420 ✭✭✭✭ klaz


    China had a legal right in taking HK due to the agreement with Britain. As such they (China) have always had a greater presence since HK was seen as still being part of China proper, just occupied by a foreign power. Sure, many people living in HK felt differently, but there was a sizable population that believed that HK should be part of China considering right up until the takeover, there was a range of perceived benefits in doing so.

    With Taiwan it's different because they can see how the CCP went back on their promises about HK, and the manner in which they treated resistance. Prior to the debacle in HK, the pro-China party in Taiwan was doing pretty well in the rankings, but following what happened in HK, they lost most of their support.

    Open conflict would be disastrous for China.. however, war is often the answer found by politicians to distract a population from internal problems.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle 



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  • Registered Users Posts: 62 ✭✭ ChickenDish


    The west will wring their fists at China and do absolutely nothing. Just like when Russia annexed Crimea.

    Neither America, Europe, Russia or China will ever engage in open warfare. They quiet happy to fight proxy wars and blame each other for crimes against humanity.

    Only when resources become chronically low will the major powers engage in open warfare, by that stage humanity will be circling the drain.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    Oh dear, off topic but that's shameful. I just wish people would treat the European parliament elections as actual elections that matter in the scheme of things, not a joke where they can abstain and leave it to the cranks. We only have 11 MEPs; this total includes Mick Wallace, Clare Daly and Luke Ming Flanaghan...imagine having that kind of signal to noise ratio in the Dáil.



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,468 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34


    Yeah but they are only 3 of 11 of 705 MEPs. They are utterly inconsequential.

    In fact, the worst thing they did for their own careers, was leave the Dáil. The idea is to use Brussels as a stepping stone to Leinster House, not the other way round.

    Thankfully its the best thing they could've done for Ireland.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    It's more of a perceptions thing than the actual harm they can do in the parliament. As poster said, it is embarrassing IMO.

    ~ 30 % of Irish MEPs are rock hard left eurosceptics (fair enough, but not very reflective of politics here). 2 of them (Daly and Wallace afair) appear to prefer to toady to likes of Putin's Russia and Xi's China over supporting fellow democracies (not excusable).

    Yes, they are few in number but for Ireland, it is quite a bad look. As regards using MEP job as "stepping stone" to the Dáil etc. really it should be considered an important enough position in its own right. The European parliament doesn't have much power, but it's a bit of a chicken and egg thing in that it will never get anywhere if all political parties/electorates treat it as a joke or a dumping ground. I remember the UK used to return loads of UKIPers and later Brexit party MEPs (I think due to small turnout in European elections and the main parties not caring about them), we seem to be a bit similar in a way. edit: Anyway, think I will stop moaning now and just read...not really the place for it.

    Post edited by fly_agaric on


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭ XsApollo


    Our ceann comhairle is in some article there recently as praising Chinas human rights record.

    He also has previous about Taiwan and China in china’s favour.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,416 ✭✭✭ Montage of Feck


    I wouldn't include Ming with the rest, he does offer a independent rural voice that isn't in the left wing crank brigade or healy rae rural grouping.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,958 ✭✭✭ Yurt2


    Very concerning that the CC has a few instances of interventions like this now.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭ Peterteanh


    Wallace got elected in my constituency, it's embarrassing but I lay the blame on the idiots who voted for him, mainly around his base in Wexford I assume. You get what you voted for.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭ Peterteanh


    Do you have a link to the article? Would like to read it and see how he manages to justify his opinions.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,970 ✭✭✭ XsApollo


    its In the Irish times.

    I don’t think there is a direct quote from himself but more from the Chinese embassy.

    if you google his previous remarks about Ireland engaging with Taiwan, he sent a letter to TD’s.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/tds-are-warned-contact-with-taiwan-will-offend-china-1.3674753



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,087 ✭✭✭ Peterteanh




  • Registered Users Posts: 4,076 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus


    I agree it's much different but I can see China trying on the same reasoning and elements in the west accepting it to protect business.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,987 ✭✭✭ Marine Layer


    WHIST

    Mick Wallace has spoken and proclaims the virtues of the glorious reunification with the motherland


    https://twitter.com/wallacemick/status/1452967493291626497?t=WiTbS8IKnfk1kEgmvgCKbA&s=19



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,156 ✭✭✭ Topgear on Dave


    He's a useful fool for somebody.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13,080 ✭✭✭✭ Loafing Oaf


    "Oh, but they're [the Chinese] so wise. They have one word for 'crisis' and 'opportunity'." Yes, but they also have one word for 'China' and 'Tibet' and it's 'China', so f**k them." - Dara O Briain




    Sounds like the bould Mick would see the Chinese having one word for China and Tibet (and Taiwan) as a further illustration of their vaunted wisdom...



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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,944 ✭✭✭✭ gmisk


    Excellent last week tonight episode this week covering this topic, the clip with the guy from WHO...wowsers...

    https://youtu.be/9Y18-07g39g



  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭ Tomalak


    I am increasingly alarmed by this. There are so many similarities between this brewing situation and past events that it's chilling.

    I see echoes of Anschluss / Sudetenland in China's Taiwan / Hong Kong posture. The Chinese military parades and build-up are shocking. They spend one-third of what the US spends of defense, but then you have to consider that much of the US expenditure goes on payroll and benefits, and R&D, rather than acquiring hardware. The US expenditure then gets spread pretty thin around the world, whereas China's is concentrated solely on the Indo-Pacific.

    You might also see Taiwan as somewhat akin to "Little Belgium" in 1914. Much has been written about the folly of the UK declaration of war on Germany in 1914 due to a 70-year-old treaty committing itself to defend the Belgians. Is Taiwan worth starting WWIII over? When the US committed itself to ambiguously assisting Taiwan decades ago, China was a joke. This is no longer so. Yet if America does not help Taiwan, this would be more than a Suez-like moment for America in Asia -- it would mean the withdrawal of the US from Asia, ceding it to the Chinese Communist Party, and making democracy in the Philippines, South Korea, Japan et al untenable, in the shadow of a single-party, authoritarian Communist superpower. Australia would become incredibly vulnerable and its independence, as a large, ill-defended, sparsely populated resource-rich island democracy, surrounded by Chinese puppet states, a Pacific Ocean away from its closest ally, would be questioned. Ultimate takeover could not be ruled out.

    Then there's the general sentiment that war between the great powers can't really happen, and that even the phrase 'Great Powers' seems a bit archaic in our time. But people had a similar perspective in the lead-up to WWI. "We are too interconnected", they said. "We are all making money trading with each other", they reasoned. "Military alliances keep the peace", they assured themselves. When WWI broke out, many people couldn't believe it. And they had no concept of how it would be fought, given that technology had changed things so much. In August 1914, French cavalry looked and dressed exactly the same as their counterparts in Napoleon's army 100 years before, only to be gallantly mowed down by machine gunfire. Has any modern army truly been tested against the modern innovations of flame-throwing drones and electromagnetic pulses, hypersonic missiles, bioweapons, and cyberwarfare?

    Next you have to see how the alliances are stacking up. On the one hand you have China, who would find likely allies in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and possibly even Turkey, which seems now to be a half-hearted NATO member, increasingly economically entangled with China. It's unclear what Russia would do, because geopolitically it's a rival to both China and Turkey, yet somehow, the West has so alienated Russia that they could potentially ally with China at least on a temporary basis. Regardless, if you know anything about the Heartland Theory, this looks like an alliance of heavily populated, authoritarian, nationalistic nuclear states getting together in control of vast swathes of the World Island. In previous World Wars, neither the Axis nor Central Powers had either this supply of manpower or the luxury of such strategic locations.

    Consider also the civilizational element here - China's civilization was, for thousands of years, arguably the most eminent on Earth. We in our time suffer from recency bias in that stretching right back to Victorian times, China's civilizational stock price has been at a historically low ebb, so we tend to think of it as a laggard trying to catch up rather than what it really is -- a great civilization down on its luck for a mere 200 years in its 2000 year history. But now that its civilizational stock price is soaring once more, to a certain extent trying to contain it could be seen as historical folly. One could make the same case for the Iranians / Persians. This is chilling for democrats around the globe, because the view that democracy is destined to spread seems misplaced now, and Europe may be destined to shrink back to its longstanding Dark Age confines as an obscure peninsula on the edges of a domineering, authoritarian Asia, its brief 350-year global dominance a mere anomaly of history.

    On the other side of this conflict, you have the post-national West, rife with internal division, demographic fragmentation, and self-doubt, worrying about all the wrong things; plus India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Australia.

    India and Pakistan squaring off has been a long time coming. Both are nuclear, but India would be surrounded by adversaries.

    Japan, Korea and China cannot function without the Middle East's oil and petrol, so immediately you would rapidly have a Middle Eastern theatre in the war centered around the Strait of Hormuz, leading the Saudis and the UAE to fight the Iranians.

    If this war stayed conventional, it would be horrendous enough, looking very much like WW2 with the added delight of ruined supply chains, cyber warfare that could shut all financial, production and transportation networks, leading to mass starvation. But the war wouldn't stay conventional, would it? With so many nuclear players and thousands of thermonuclear warheads in existence, it's hard to see how a nuclear holocaust could be avoided.

    It astonishes me that almost no one in Europe is talking about any of this. Here's a great recent discussion from Australian TV, where talk of the inevitability of war, defense and even potential direct attack and invasion (the Chinese construction of islands in the South China Sea near the Philippines are for nothing other than to host military air bases) is increasingly common:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA2KaEKs1LA

    Post edited by Tomalak on


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,958 ✭✭✭ Yurt2


    I'd be interested to see who is taking Mick Wallace out to fine dining restaurants in Brussels. Would not surprise me in the least to see him in and Clare Daly pop up in a headline saying they have been meeting agents of Russia / China.

    Whatever people vote for these two for, it surely wasn't this.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,420 ✭✭✭✭ klaz


    Great post. A few points though.

    China is probably closer in terms of Soviet Russia, with a huge military (most with outdated equipment) and a failing economy. While having some advanced systems, they've never been tested in war, and there is still a technological and application gap with the US. They've also a completely untried military who have never been employed in conflict, and while they have shuffled their divisions around the countryside, they haven't mobilized their national forces for deployment, nor have they ever had to deal with any kind of extended period where these units were active. The main activation of units have happened on the coast by Taiwan, with military exercises, but they've never done the same with their units at any of their other borders, nor gauged the effect of activation on their society or economy. There are so many assumptions based on their nations experiences from Korea, or Vietnam, but both China as a society, and culture have changed dramatically since those periods.

    Secondly, your remark about US military funding/investment vs Chinese. Yes, American forces have been deployed abroad and that does, somewhat, affect their efficiency (in terms of investment), but the US outspends China by a huge margin.

    Third, China doesn't have any allies. They have states which might have some kind of favorable opinion of them, but China has never spent the time needed to generate trust between countries, expecting the investment and military hardware to be enough. The problem though is that the catch with such investment is usually extremely obvious, and China has sought a return already for that investment. Besides which, these states that China has sought to align are generally opposites of their own, and have no compatibility with China's own vision of the future. They'll come together out of dislike/hatred of the US, but it's unlikely, with the exception of N.Korea that they would be willing to commit to an actual war with the West.

    Fourth, with the exception of their nukes, Pakistan is no threat to India. They're dwarfed by the Indian military, both in numbers and quality. Having both Russia and the US as friends, India has had investment from both, along with training from both. The nukes are the only real danger, and while Pakistan has a reputation for some craziness, they're not crazy enough to destroy their own country, or the people they want to expand into. Pakistan is no longer a nation rules entirely by the nutty religious leadership. They have an educated and sophisticated leadership class who would have no interest in seeing their position of power destroyed, just to help China.

    Fifth, regarding nuclear usage... I don't see it. Except, possibly for China/N.Korea, and even then, I see it as highly unlikely. The true threat of nukes is if they're in the hands of the ideologically/religiously motivated. So, if it was Mao in charge, then probably yes, they would be used. But Xi, and the current batch of Chinese elite are not ideologically driven. The CCP hasn't maintained the degree of indoctrination that was present in the past, since most of them are too highly educated, and wealthy, to buy into that. Again, the comparison is similar with the Soviet Union, where after the death of Stalin, the nation became ruled by pragmatists and cynics intent on accumulating as much personal power/wealth as possible. It's the same in China. Few of them will want to see their little fiefdoms destroyed by nuclear war. Negotiation can occur when a conventional war fails, but any kind of nuclear war will result in war crimes, which means execution for any of the players involved. The Chinese leadership are extremely selfish.

    Sure, I see a conventional war coming. A limited expression of power by both sides but not a nuclear war, because that would be the end of everything.. for everyone. Chinese "allies" won't join the war, but will provide diplomatic and non-aligned logistical support such as allowing planes to land/refuel, or the guarantee of continued trade in the face of sanctions.

    And IF the US was to commit itself to war with China, I expect the conventional war to be over pretty quickly. The Chinese military is simply outclassed on every front, and the borders of China are too open to attack. Which is the main reason (apart from national pride) to take Taiwan, and so completing their defensive line around China. It would be the follow up after the devastating conventional war, that would take forever, and likely end in a peace settlement. The west would seek regime change and not get it. Its only when we see boots on Chinese soil, and the fall of the CCP, that I'd worry about nukes going off.

    Without the US, the war would stagger along, because they'd still be supplying those involved, and China doesn't have a technological advantage over Japan/S.Korea. It really depends on how effective a N.Korean invasion of S.Korea would be... that would set the theme for the remainder of the war, although US forces there complicates matters because any attacks on such forces would require the US to enter the war.. and in spite of being diminished, the US is still the most experienced, best equipped, and largest military in the world.

    Lastly, the CCP needs to make a grab for Taiwan. Too many promises have been made, but while it might have been possible to happen in the 60s/70s... I doubt too many actually believe it to be possible today. I wouldn't be too surprised to see a limited attempt that was intended to fail [to save face with their own population], and the stir up more bitterness against western opposition, reinforcing the position of the CCP in Chinese society... and I wouldn't be too surprised if there were "secret" meetings to ensure that limited conflict wouldn't expand into a world war.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle 



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,750 ✭✭✭ Beta Ray Bill


    China is building up it's army in anticipation of an opportunity to invade Taiwan presenting itself.

    Currently no such opportunity exists.

    If they were to invade, they would face certain retaliation from the US, UK, Australia and Japan, and likely retaliation from India, Vietnam (who has the biggest army in the world in terms of total personnel), Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea and possibly even Russia and EU.

    And that is a war China cannot win. While they could take Taiwan, and dig in. It's likely they would lose some mainland territory if Vietnam were involved. Not to mention the economic sanctions they would face.

    China has major weakness that can be easily exploited as a result of it's geographic location. It's unable to feed itself, and a huge amount of food is imported via the sea. The problem there is that the south china sea is surrounded by a ring of islands, which would make blocking marine traffic easy. This would quickly result in famine. This is one of the reasons China is creating man made islands with military bases on them.

    It should also be noted that while China has a large military, it's still completely inferior in terms of technology relative to Western equipment. For Example the J-11 is their main fighter at the moment. It's a licenced version of the Su-27 air frame however it is completely let down by domestically produced Engines (WS-10 vs AL-31). China is catching up, but it has a long way to go.



  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭ Tomalak


    I take some comfort from the above posts. I agree it's highly probable that nukes would not be deliberately used -- my worry is always that we stumble into an accidental nuclear war. This has happened several times in the past, most famously during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but also later as a result of false data or simulations left running too long. In a hot conventional war, with nerves frayed and cyber attacks presumably targeting computer systems, I see a nuclear launch as almost guaranteed, albeit unintended.

    It's also true that China has not cultivated a trustworthy reputation on which to build alliances - but I think Iran and N Korea in particular would have nothing to lose by joining with China, and that immediately risks sparking a massive conflagration in the Middle East / North Africa that I think India and Pakistan could stumble into, stretching America too thin to manage in the Pacific and the Gulf simultaneously, assuming the Russians don't try to take advantage in the Caucuses, Baltic or Ukraine (which hopefully they won't - while not an admirer of Putin, I respect him as a thoughtful moderate, by Russian standards).

    I am unashamedly pro-American. It's not that I like the idea of a global US policeman, it's that I like the idea of a Chinese hegemon and a post-US world much, much less. Yet somehow, I think it's inevitable that a reasonable accommodation with China will have to be reached if humanity is to make it to the next century. I am aware that people said the same thing about the West and the Soviet Union in the last century. But all it takes is one false move or one leader of poor temperament in power in the midst of a fraught situation, to spell absolute catastrophe for everyone.

    I have the terrors about this and can't help but feel that the long peace may not last much longer. Nukes + Nerves + Cyberwarfare. Where is the safest place to be in the sheer hell that would follow?



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,420 ✭✭✭✭ klaz


    In a hot conventional war, with nerves frayed and cyber attacks presumably targeting computer systems, I see a nuclear launch as almost guaranteed, albeit unintended.

    Along with plenty of failsafes in place to destroy or deactivate the warhead before it goes too far. Sure, there's a risk, but I'm not terribly concerned by it. I'd be more concerned with N.Korea than China in terms of using nukes. People ruled by ideology aren't reliable.

    It's also true that China has not cultivated a trustworthy reputation on which to build alliances - but I think Iran and N Korea in particular would have nothing to lose by joining with China, and that immediately risks sparking a massive conflagration in the Middle East / North Africa that I think India and Pakistan could stumble into, stretching America too thin to manage in the Pacific and the Gulf simultaneously, assuming the Russians don't try to take advantage in the Caucuses, Baltic or Ukraine (which hopefully they won't - while not an admirer of Putin, I respect him as a thoughtful moderate, by Russian standards).

    Iran would lose everything by doing so. Right now, there is extremely little support for a US led invasion of Iran. Regardless of the US rhetoric, few people truly consider Iran a threat, beyond their support of terrorist organisations. In addition, Iran has assumed a position of a leader for the Muslim world, and China's attitude towards Islam would prevent any real alliance from happening.

    As for Russia, they're not going to get involved unless their favorite neighbors are attacked. Russia is firmly focused on reunification of the Soviet territories and has no interest in expanding beyond those borders. There's no value in doing so, because they already have access to whatever resources they need, and already know the costs involved in occupying territory by a population so different from their own. Their hands are tied in how they manage such occupations because once beyond their traditional borders, they'll face real international considerations. As I said before, nobody cares what happens in Eastern Europe, or the former soviet territories. Putin knows this.

    I am unashamedly pro-American. It's not that I like the idea of a global US policeman, it's that I like the idea of a Chinese hegemon and a post-US world much, much less. 

    Ahh well, I have less fears of Chinese dominance after living in China, and knowing Chinese people. They want a return to the Ming Dynasty, with other nations paying tribute, and respecting Chinese culture. Pretty much the same as the US TBH. The problem with China is that they have too many neighbors who would never accept their dominance. The US doesn't have the same problem having ensured over the last fifty years that no such nation gained that kind of prosperity.

    I used to be pro-American... but that's in the past. Between Bush Jnr, Trump, and the increase of power/influence by it's private military corporations, I don't trust America to be balanced and reasonably fair anymore. They've embraced the bully mentality that they merely dabbled with before. The only reason that the US is preferable to China is that we share some common cultural foundations, but the US continues to move away from that as time goes by, and I can easily see a time (within my lifetime) when the US is just as dodgy as China.

    I have the terrors about this and can't help but feel that the long peace may not last much longer. Nukes + Nerves + Cyberwarfare. Where is the safest place to be in the sheer hell that would follow?

    I'd be more worried about biological weapons than nukes tbh. All the same, I would say that we're approaching a time when a war is needed to cut down the population, but also to re-energise our governments, and politics. Wars tend to bring the best and brightest into the front, where they become leaders. Western democracy has been sliding downhill for decades now, and an actual war might be the only way to save it. Same with the sense of entitlement and excessive application of the social sciences... first world problems that are slowly destroying our own societies. A world war would likely remind people that there are more important things in life.

    That's not to say that I want such a war, but that I see it as inevitable based on how humanity has behaved throughout history. The rise and fall of civilisations tends to follow similar paths... and I see western nations currently following a similar path towards destruction. A war would serve as a reminder as to why European/US culture was the most successful over the last 200-300 years.

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle 



  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭ Tomalak


    Ahh well, I have less fears of Chinese dominance after living in China, and knowing Chinese people. They want a return to the Ming Dynasty, with other nations paying tribute, and respecting Chinese culture.

    I have known a few Chinese people too and they were grand, but such people do not set the agenda. If they did there'd be no problem anywhere, ever.

    Chinese censorship of the internet, clamp down on tutoring and private schooling, the social credit system, arbitrary arrest and detention of both Chinese and foreign citizens, the Covid cover-up, their uniformed cult-of-personality-president-for-life-old-man-in-a-hurry leader presiding over a hammer-and-sickle Leninist military parade replete with nuclear warheads; their theft of IP, treatment of Uyghurs, etc. etc. causes me to fear them greatly. The regime has nothing to recommend itself. Does this mean that the USA is a saint in contrast? No. Not by a long shot. But I'm happy to keep a hold of nurse for fear of finding something worse -- namely an authoritarian CCP hegemony in which techno-authoritarianism is on the march and democracy is on the retreat.

    I'm a realist. I don't think NATO should have expanded to Russia's borders, no more than Russia should have put missiles in Cuba in 1962. Similarly, I don't think you can hem China in. It's a great power and cannot be contained (at least not at a cost I'd be willing to pay). China-Taiwan is essentially a domestic matter for the Chinese, whether they live on Taiwan or the PRC. I don't think Taiwan is worth starting WW3 over. But Taiwan isn't the only thing at stake - also at stake is a role model for authoritarian government and democracy in Asia and further afield.

    Anyway, I truly hope you're right that this whole thing - and China's future - isn't the problem I fear it is. And I'll leave it at that.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,058 ✭✭✭ beachhead


    My god,I wish I knew that before now.The Chinese are saints immaculate.The Chinese are currently intimidating every country in South East Asia around the Sth China Sea.Including Malaysia.Those countries including Taiwan will have to defend themselves-Uncle Sam certainly won't be rushing in.They might be sending weapons,ships to countries in the region to help them with minimal self defence at the moment but as President Xi launches the first landing craft or bomber the US will run away.Don't even dream that any European country will help any Asian country in a war with China.Japan and Australia might not have anything to lose by participating in a war.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭ fly_agaric


    Lastly, the CCP needs to make a grab for Taiwan. Too many promises have been made, but while it might have been possible to happen in the 60s/70s... I doubt too many actually believe it to be possible today. I wouldn't be too surprised to see a limited attempt that was intended to fail [to save face with their own population], and the stir up more bitterness against western opposition, reinforcing the position of the CCP in Chinese society... and I wouldn't be too surprised if there were "secret" meetings to ensure that limited conflict wouldn't expand into a world war.

    I wonder if you are right about a low likelyhood of the war escalating further if a serious Chinese attempt to take Taiwan failed (edit: think you'd suggested you believe this in other posts aside from above quote). I hope so but I would have thought a failure of the invasion has to be very destabilising, and maybe fatal for the CCP? There will be alot of dead Chinese soldiers. There will be a ruined economy and considerable general suffering in China as:

    1) I'd expect that ties with the West will collapse completely over night despite the effect that will have on Western countries (economic shocks/depressions?). Economic sanctions on China from all Western countries.

    2) China will be blockaded by US navy and allies in Asia. This is far more serious than 1. China might be able (more or less) to do without the West now for imports of technology/equipment as its almost caught up now in every field, and it also has a huge internal "market" (like the US) to sustain itself, but it still does need alot of raw materials/natural resources delivered by sea from the outside world.

    No propaganda effort will be able to cover over the fact that the CCP elites run the country in an autocratic manner and they alone (or maybe even Xi alone?) decided to launch the war and bring on disaster for China. Even if much of the public were delighted with it to start + high on jingosim/nationalism (stirred up by the govt.) a large number will blame the leaders/elites (i.e. CCP) if it goes sour after. That will be very dangerous for everyone in the world I think (if CCP has failed to take Taiwan and is under attack, even if only "economically" by then with sanctions/trade blockades etc. from outside by the US/Asian allies and also threatened with being removed from power in China).

    Post edited by fly_agaric on


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