• Manuel
    2.7k
    I'm hesitant to start another political thread, given that the war in Ukraine is far from over - with serious consequences for large parts of the world. Nevertheless, the situation in Taiwan has been pretty bad since Trump got into office, and has not improved with Biden, unfortunately.

    U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to visit Taiwan this Wednesday, an act that Beijing has warned could lead to "serious consequences". As Ukraine was a "red line" for Russia, so is Taiwan the same - if not more so - to China.

    Obviously, China would like to re-unify the country and continue expanding its numerous, often illegal, acts in the South China Sea, issue which has been the subject of considerable controversy for China's neighbors. But as long as the US pledges support for Taiwan, China cannot invade. Or better stated, it could try, with devastating consequences for all, not least the Taiwanese.

    Whatever one think of the legitimacy of Taiwan (whether for or against it), it cannot be denied that this conflict, if triggered, would likely pale any other world event by a considerable margin, given the actors involved. Let us hope that reason perseveres, such that no further escalation ensues.

    Given the state of the world, it's hard to be too optimistic. We shall see.

    Some sources for those interested in the topic:

    ‘If she dares’: China warns Nancy Pelosi against visiting Taiwan

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/1/china-warns-pelosi-against-visiting-taiwan

    Pelosi’s Visit Risks Turning Taiwan Into a Political Football, Aides Worry

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/08/01/pelosi-visit-taiwan-china-political-football/

    U.S. Warns China Not to Turn Pelosi’s Expected Trip to Taiwan Into a ‘Crisis’

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/01/us/politics/taiwan-pelosi.html

    Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan, reports say, with White House now expressing support

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3187355/nancy-pelosi-will-visit-taiwan-reports-say-white-house-now-expressing?module=lead_hero_story&pgtype=homepage

    Nancy Pelosi to meet Taiwan’s president on Wednesday

    https://www.ft.com/content/a2a69c08-b327-4a4d-99ff-20f92a4437f3
  • Manuel
    2.7k
    US Navy deploys warships east of Taiwan ahead of Pelosi ‘trip’

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/2/us-navy-deploys-warships-east-of-taiwan-ahead-of-pelosi-visit

    Chinese fighter jets fly close to Taiwan ahead of Nancy Pelosi’s visit

    https://www.ft.com/content/50f56242-2bd7-44c6-8878-a755ad1e3043
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    If Pelosi visits and the Chinese government doesn't back up their threats, they will look weak.

    But then again, what could they do? Attack?

    Regardless, this will be a big event in China-US relations.

    If China is forced to back down it will damage relations and fuel animostiy further, greatly increasing the likelihood of a military conflict over Taiwan in the near future. It could spark a Crimea/Ukraine-like situation where China, like Russia, is instilled with a sense of urgency to secure its outstanding claims before it's too late.

    If China backs up their threats somehow, we could be looking at open war. The question is if in such a scenario Japan and South Korea would enter the war on the US-side, which would be a complete disaster and likely spark mass conflict, if not WWIII. For the US not to get involved military would be unlikely, considering their naval assets in the area, but they also never officially guaranteed Taiwan's independence (I think?), so perhaps there is a way out, though unlikely.

    A very violatile situation. I don't think the United States is in a position to be waging any kind of war currently, and they are banking on the power of their deterrence to score a victory for the Biden administration - not unlike the Ukraine-situation. A dangerous gamble.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    :up:

    All this could have been avoided if Pelosi hadn't planned this visit. As you mention, the relevant actors. especially China, must react somehow, otherwise they would look weak in the international stage. But what type of action they would take, is far from clear.

    Very dangerous.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    Not sure what the strategic interest in Taiwan is. Pelosi is like, "Whatcha gonna do about it?"
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    For China? Unification. For the US? A way to control China's ambitions.

    What is China going to do about it? We will find out soon.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    For China? Unification. For the US? A way to control China's ambitions.Manuel

    I would say the Democrats want a presence in the Pacific. There's no telling what the Republicans want. I don't think they have any coherent foreign policy since Trump. So China just needs to wait until the next Republican president. They don't have to respond at all to Pelosi.

    What is China going to do about it? We will find out soon.Manuel

    Probably nothing.
  • dclements
    493
    I don't know if it is still relevant, but the some of the issues in this thread has been discussed in a previous thread I made months ago before even the war in Ukraine started. Below is a link to that thread:

    What are odds that in the near future there will be a conflict with China?
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12136/what-are-odds-that-in-the-near-future-there-will-be-a-conflict-with-china/p1
  • dclements
    493
    If Pelosi visits and the Chinese government doesn't back up their threats, they will look weak.

    But then again, what could they do? Attack?

    Regardless, this will be a big event in China-US relations.

    If China is forced to back down it will damage relations and fuel animosity further, greatly increasing the likelihood of a military conflict over Taiwan in the near future. It could spark a Crimea/Ukraine-like situation where China, like Russia, is instilled with a sense of urgency to secure its outstanding claims before it's too late.

    If China backs up their threats somehow, we could be looking at open war. The question is if in such a scenario Japan and South Korea would enter the war on the US-side, which would be a complete disaster and likely spark mass conflict, if not WWIII. For the US not to get involved military would be unlikely, considering their naval assets in the area, but they also never officially guaranteed Taiwan's independence (I think?), so perhaps there is a way out, though unlikely.

    A very volatile situation. I don't think the United States is in a position to be waging any kind of war currently, and they are banking on the power of their deterrence to score a victory for the Biden administration - not unlike the Ukraine-situation. A dangerous gamble.
    Tzeentch
    If China really wants to attack, they will attack but it is pretty much a given they would be complete fools to do so. Unlike Ukraine, the US has pledged that if China invades Taiwan we will get involved and help defend them against China.

    It "may" be in China's best interest right now to look tough and do a lot of sabre rattling, but it isn't in their best interest to start a war with Taiwan and the US.

    Because China's threats are nothing more than a lot of hot air it is the US best interest to go about business as usual and not pay any any attention to their empty threats. If you don't stand up to bullies on the world stage then the rest of the world will look at you as if you don't have any backbone.
  • dclements
    493
    :up:

    All this could have been avoided if Pelosi hadn't planned this visit. As you mention, the relevant actors. especially China, must react somehow, otherwise they would look weak in the international stage. But what type of action they would take, is far from clear.

    Very dangerous.
    Manuel
    It is better for the US and our allies to pay little to no attention to China's threats, so I believe it is better for Pelosi does go to Taiwan. Because China likes to think it is the biggest superpower in the world it likes to make threats over everything and anything. Once you start kowtowing to such threats you begin to embolden those running China to make even more threats and act in even a more intimidating manner.

    If those in China had more common sense they would realize that constantly making threats makes them both look like little children to the rest of the world as well as someone trying to act like a bully. The problem is that those running things in China are not use to people doing things they don't like, but since they don't rule the world (at least not yet) they are going to have to put up with people outside their country doing things that don't make them happy. And if they don't like it well that is just too bad for them.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    I don't agree. There is no need for provocation at this level, hell, even that dimwit at the New York Times, Thomas Friedman - for once - said that this was reckless behavior.

    I don't like China's government. Doesn't mean it's smart to do these types of maneuvers. Taiwan has gotten plenty of help from the US, so there is no imminent threat of a take-over made by force, without an extremely bloody conflict. But then that would bring the US in, and we're at a stalemate.

    Given population projections for China, I very much doubt they are going to dominate the world. The US has by far a much stronger military force. This being scared of China makes sense, for those countries that fall within China's reach. Not the US or Europe, or Latin America, etc.
  • dclements
    493
    Not sure what the strategic interest in Taiwan is. Pelosi is like, "Whatcha gonna do about it?"Tate

    Exactly, if China was smart they would just keep quiet about it. The more they threaten and pound their chest without doing anything the more impotent they look to the rest of the world.

    The truth is China really, really wants to start a war and invade Taiwan but they are far from being willing to take the risk/pay the price of actually starting one. They are constantly making threats and then doing nothing when another country still does something China doesn't want them to do.

    When you are dealing with a dysfunctional/psychotic regime, such as the one that currently exists in China, in some ways you have to be careful but in other ways just ignore them.

    If Xi Jinping wants to start a war with Taiwan and the US over a drop of the hat, then him and his government will do so regardless of what we do. Regardless of what Xi Jinping and his cohorts want we should continue business as usually since US world policy can revolve around the whims of a potentially crazy person that doesn't like the US or Taiwan.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    Unlike Ukraine, the US has pledged that if China invades Taiwan we will get involved and help defend them against China.dclements

    As far as I know, the United States pursues a strategy of 'strategic ambiguity' in regards to Taiwan, meaning that they haven't made it explicitly clear whether they will defend Taiwan or not.

    Didn't Biden say recently during a press conference they were committed to defending Taiwan, only for that statement to be recalled, reasserting their position was ambiguous as per the Taiwan Relations Act?

    US State Department Walks Back Unusually Strong Comments on Taiwan

    Taiwan Relations Act

    It "may" be in China's best interest right now to look tough and do a lot of sabre rattling, but it isn't in their best interest to start a war with Taiwan and the US.dclements

    But they won't look very tough if the United States just goes ahead with their plan and they do not retaliate in any way. They'll look like chumps. And powerful nations do not like looking like chumps. Especially not China. Especially not now.

    Because China's threats are nothing more than a lot of hot air it is the US best interest to go about business as usual and not pay any any attention to their empty threats. If you don't stand up to bullies on the world stage then the rest of the world will look at you as if you don't have any backbone.dclements

    They're nothing but hot air, until they're not. We've seen in Ukraine what it can lead to when the biggest bully on the block - the USA - ignores warnings from other nations they are going too far.
  • dclements
    493
    I don't agree. There is no need for provocation at this level, hell, even that dimwit at the New York Times, Thomas Friedman - for once - said that this was reckless behavior.

    I don't like China's government. Doesn't mean it's smart to do these types of maneuvers. Taiwan has gotten plenty of help from the US, so there is no imminent threat of a take-over made by force, without an extremely bloody conflict. But then that would bring the US in, and we're at a stalemate.

    Given population projections for China, I very much doubt they are going to dominate the world. The US has by far a much stronger military force. This being scared of China makes sense, for those countries that fall within China's reach. Not the US or Europe, or Latin America, etc.
    Manuel
    Stop and think for a second, what real "threat" is there for China if Pelosi goes to Taiwan? The real answer is simply there isn't any, other than it shows to the people in China (and the rest of the world) that the people outside of China does not have to kowtow to Xi Jinping wishes if they do not want to.

    I could be wrong but most "rational" leaders of a country know that they may be able to do as they will with those in their own country, but are unable to do so with people outside of their countries influence. And if they don't understand said difference, then they will either eventually drive themselves mad because they can't do anything about it or they will start a war to make those outside of their country become under their control so they can do something about it.

    Xi Jinping is constantly getting upset about everything that goes on outside of his country that he can't do anything about. I'm pretty sure he wishes that he could send anyone and everyone who says and does things he is unhappy with into one of his concentration camps where he could have someone promptly beat them into either submission or more likely to death. However since China doesn't control all of the world yet, he is unable to do this to many of the people he is unhappy with.

    I don't know what the US military's position on what Pelosi is doing, but my guess it is just one of the hundreds or if not thousands of times China has threaten either the US, Taiwan, Australia, India, New Zealand, Japan, etc., etc., etc., that if they do some trivial thing that makes Xi Jinping unhappy then China is going to start World War III over it. But of course because China really isn't prepared for the consequences of what would happen if they DO go to war, they just will beat their chest and rattle their sabers a bit more regardless of whether or not we do whatever they don't want us to do.

    Any sane person looking at this situation realizes the more they continue to make hollow threats over EVERY little thing of little to no consequences it just means that they will continue to do nothing as long as they are not ready to start a war but the millisecond they think they are ready they will start one. Whether China starts a war or not has NOTHING to do with what we do, but EVERYTHING to do with the craziness that is going on in China right now. And because of this, it doesn't really help us any to try and kowtow to such threats, especially since they continue to make them on a daily basis.

    While it isn't exactly the same situation, I think Winston Churchill's remark that “You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth” applies a bit to this situation.
  • dclements
    493
    As far as I know, the United States pursues a strategy of 'strategic ambiguity' in regards to Taiwan, meaning that they haven't made it explicitly clear whether they will defend Taiwan or not.

    Didn't Biden say recently during a press conference they were committed to defending Taiwan, only for that statement to be recalled, reasserting their position was ambiguous as per the Taiwan Relations Act?
    Tzeentch

    I think the language used in describing the situation is something like that if China attacks Taiwan, then the US will help Taiwan but not if Taiwan attacks China. And since it is a given that "IF" a war starts out between the two it is going to be China attacking Taiwan then it is a given that the US will help Taiwan if there is a conflict. The "ambiguity" is that it makes it sound like there would be a situation where the US wouldn't help Taiwan, but since it is a given that if China does attack Taiwan it is in America's (and our allies) best interest to help defend Taiwan.

    But they won't look very tough if the United States just goes ahead with their plan and they do not retaliate in any way. They'll look like chumps.Tzeentch

    Yes but as I have said they have made hundreds if not thousands of threats before and haven't done anything about it so they are use to making hollow threats and looking like chumps when they are unable/unwilling to follow through with them. I don't know if they think it would be worse if they didn't make threats at all instead of worrying about looking like chumps every time they they make a threat and do nothing about it, but it is just the usual pattern of sabre rattling/chest pounding Xi Jinping and his cohorts or doing on a daily basis nowadays which I guess they think makes them look "tougher" in the eyes of his people. In a way China was a little more scarier back when they quietly planned to potentially start a war and one had to worry that they might attack without warning, but with them threatening daily with attacking Taiwan, it actually helps in getting the US, Taiwan, and our allies ready if they for some reason do attack.

    They're nothing but hot air, until they're not. We've seen in Ukraine what it can lead to when the biggest bully on the block - the USA - ignores warnings from other nations they are going too far.Tzeentch

    Yes, but whether Pelosi goes to Taiwan, or the Kardashian's have a new series in the Fall doesn't really matter in the big picture. You see "IF" they were ever READY to attack Taiwan up until now they would have already done it. They have already said that they want to take back Taiwan and if Taiwan is unwilling to "surrender" (in some unspecified time in the future) then it is a given that they would just go in and take Taiwan by force. Because of this Taiwan has already do something that IS enough to provoke China to attack the moment China is ready to attack, but out of the "kindness" of the Xi Jinping and his parties heart they have put off attacking Taiwan for the time being. However they have reserved the right to attack Taiwan at a moment's notice for the present and past transgressions that Taiwan has made against China.

    Since China has been making threats against Taiwan since like forever (or at least since the Taiwan has come into existence), I pretty sure the US military has an eye on the situation and is not likely to be surprised if China tries to do anything that may look like a preparation of an invasion of Taiwan. As I said before when a country like China is constantly threating to start World War III for trivial reasons on a almost daily basis, it isn't to hard to convivence the powers that be in the US, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, etc., etc., etc. that some resources need to be allocated just in case of such a contingency.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    Xi Jinping is constantly getting upset about everything that goes on outside of his country that he can't do anything about.dclements

    Taiwan, even according to official United States policy, is a part of China. This has been United States policy since 1972 was reaffirmed explicitly as recently as 2017.

    One China Policy


    I think the language used in describing the situation is something like that if China attacks Taiwan, then the US will help Taiwan but not if Taiwan attacks China.dclements

    No. It's not like that. The United States has not made it clear whether it will protect Taiwan in case of a military invasion and explicitly has made no guarantees to do so. But it still might. That's the idea behind strategic ambiguity.


    As I said before when a country like China is constantly threating to start World War III for trivial reasons...dclements

    Again, you're falling into the same trap the United States and Europe have fallen into with Russia. You assume that Taiwan, just like Ukraine and Crimea, has only symbolic value, and that those symbolic values only matter to crazy dictators in power.

    This is plain short-sighted and wrong. The fact that both of these issues have been hot topics for decades, Taiwan for over half a century, should tell you that we're not talking about benign matters, but in fact matters that a country like China could actually go to war over.


    Will they go to war now? It's not likely, I'll grant you that. According to some projections China is not expected to be ready to invade Taiwan until 2027. But projections can be wrong, and China could just be waiting for a pretense to strike. Consider also that China may have more instruments to start a conflict besides an all-out military invasion, and that retaliations against Taiwan or the United States may take a different form.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    When you are dealing with a dysfunctional/psychotic regime, such as the one that currently exists in China, in some ways you have to be careful but in other ways just ignore them.dclements

    They could definitely use a little more gravitas.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    If you could provide some sources for the times China has warned WWIII with those countries mentioned, I would appreciate it. I do know that for them Taiwan is the "red line", and Tibet too, though this latter region is now more tightly under state control, as I understand it.

    One thing is what Xi wishes, another is what he is able to do. Very different things. As far as two days ago, the White House was not happy with the visit to Taiwan and even FP magazine thought it was a bad idea.

    As for the actual threat here for China? You're right, there isn't a threat per se, it's not as if Pelosi can grant Taiwan nation-state status in the UN or something, it's more the symbolism that can be interpreted as China not being able to control its one red line, with its dream of unification and whatnot.

    In short, this visit is pure provocation. And we still should recognize that China could not take over Taiwan in a week, regardless of anything else. It's playing with fire just to see who has a bigger d***. Not good statesmanship, imo.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    Guys, have you noticed that there's a (regional) banking crisis in China?

    First it was Evergrande, now it's protests outside some regional banks.

    China's embattled property giant Evergrande has failed to deliver a preliminary debt restructuring plan it had promised by July 31, leading to further concerns about the future of the world's most indebted developer.

    The real estate company's failure to meet its self-imposed deadline comes at a time when China's entire property sector is dealing with a growing mortgage boycott and slumping housing sales.

    Bursting of a housing bubble can be a real disaster. Now this wouldn't be a big issue otherwise, but if the Chinese economy goes hell in a handbasket, then I would be really worried about Taiwan.

    Why?

    Because the old political trick is when your facing really ugly domestic problems, for example a severe economic problems, is to start a war and use (abuse) the Rally 'round the flag effect.

    That is my only worry. Otherwise it's very far fetched that China would invade Taiwan. Talk about stupid risky actions. So I still think that the risk is quite low.

    Yet surely China will "go ballistic" or at least make a show of "going ballistic" if a prominent American politician visits Taiwan. And of course the US itself has incentives to make the threat of China invading Taiwan a greater threat than it is.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    Yes. This can be candy to politicians and an excellent excuse to avoid other pressing political concerns, usually of the domestic variety.

    But it's the US and China, I mean, any mistake here is a disaster.

    As I understand it, if China attempted to invade Taiwan, it would take a rather long time to conquer it, given how substantial Taiwan's military capabilities are. But China wouldn't like to bark without biting too much. Looks bad for them, even though it's what most of us would prefer, that nothing happens.

    We'll see these days what China does, aside from extensive military drills.
  • Manuel
    2.7k
    As an aside, I understand this to be the most nationalistic wing of Chinese media, so it might be an interesting source of info concerning what may happen:

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/index.html
  • Agent Smith
    7.4k
    China, hullo! Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan! Isn't that great or what?

    :snicker:
  • dclements
    493
    As far as I know, the United States pursues a strategy of 'strategic ambiguity' in regards to Taiwan, meaning that they haven't made it explicitly clear whether they will defend Taiwan or not.

    Didn't Biden say recently during a press conference they were committed to defending Taiwan, only for that statement to be recalled, reasserting their position was ambiguous as per the Taiwan Relations Act?

    US State Department Walks Back Unusually Strong Comments on Taiwan
    Tzeentch
    If you really believe that the US military might stand back while China invades Taiwan because they "recognize" the "One China policy" then I got some people you need to talk to who have some beachfront property in Arizona they wish to sell to you at a great price.

    The only way the US might not interfere with China taking over Taiwan is if the people in Taiwan decided they wanted Taiwan to be part of China. And since the odds of that are about the same as about an ice cube surviving in hell, it is pretty much a given that China is going to have to use military force to take Taiwan and it is also a given that the US will step in the moment they start using military action against Taiwan.

    Maybe you see some other way in which China could somehow "reunite" Taiwan with China either without using military force, or perhaps using military force without getting the US involved, but I'm can not see one here unless they use something like a mind control ray that they beam down from space in order to control the minds of people in Taiwan and get pro-China politicians in office. And then these politicians take measures to reunite Taiwan with China.

    No. It's not like that. The United States has not made it clear whether it will protect Taiwan in case of a military invasion and explicitly has made no guarantees to do so. But it still might. That's the idea behind strategic ambiguity.Tzeentch
    That is almost as bad as thinking that the US wouldn't want to fight after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor. If you know anything about US history, military doctrine, as well as the average mindset of the average American you would realize we are a war loving, gun-tooting, psychotic bunch of people frothing at the mouth (or at least when you compare us to the average person in the rest of the developed world) who are ready to go to war any time another country tries to step on our toes. And of course China invading the US would definitely would be an example of China stepping on our toes/challenging our position as the global super power.

    Again, you're falling into the same trap the United States and Europe have fallen into with Russia. You assume that Taiwan, just like Ukraine and Crimea, has only symbolic value, and that those symbolic values only matter to crazy dictators in power.

    This is plain short-sighted and wrong. The fact that both of these issues have been hot topics for decades, Taiwan for over half a century, should tell you that we're not talking about benign matters, but in fact matters that a country like China could actually go to war over.

    Will they go to war now? It's not likely, I'll grant you that. According to some projections China is not expected to be ready to invade Taiwan until 2027. But projections can be wrong, and China could just be waiting for a pretense to strike. Consider also that China may have more instruments to start a conflict besides an all-out military invasion, and that retaliations against Taiwan or the United States may take a different form.
    Tzeentch
    Your argument is a strawman since I have said nothing to indicate that I believe that either Taiwan, Ukraine or Crimea have only symbolic value. In fact, nowhere have I even mentioned anything about Ukraine or Crimea in this thread so it is a given that you can only assume I might have such a position (just as you might assume that of anyone else on this forum) since I have said nothing on such matters.

    If they really want to go to war why should they wait till 2027, why not do it now and just get it over with? I could be wrong but China is trying to bid it's time until conditions become more favorable to them, but while they are doing that both the US and Taiwan (as well as allies like Japan and Australia) take measure to better prepare just in case China ever does decide to invade Taiwan.

    And while I may be wrong, but any of these "instruments" that China may have where they may be about to take over Taiwan without an all out military conflict they probably won't be enough without it being something like mind control laser I previously mentioned. While the powers that be in the US are not always the sharpest tool in the toolshed, I'm pretty sure that if there was a means to take over a country (or at least a country that doesn't want to be taken over) without an "all-out military invasion" or a means to make any country submit to your will (no matter how different your worldviews are) without having to take extraordinary measures (like say either taking over their country and/or secretly kidnapping and brain washing a large percentage of their population), it is unlikely nay of these things China does will really matter. If someone could easily control the world through the use of some kind of gadgets or toys, they would have likely have done so. Perhaps in two hundred or more years such things might be possible, but I have not heard of any technology that could make such things possible today.
  • dclements
    493
    They could definitely use a little more gravitas.Tate

    I agree, however on the other hand by them acting like a child and constantly throwing temper tantrums in a way it kind of helps the US/Taiwan and our allies drum up support just in case China does attack. In a way it is kind of like how Russia invading Ukraine helped resurrect NATO from the grave, but just on a smaller scale.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    If you really believe that the US military might stand back while China invades Taiwan because they "recognize" the "One China policy" then I got some people you need to talk to who have some beachfront property in Arizona they wish to sell to you at a great price.dclements

    It should be obvious that in such a scenario the United States may not want to defend Taiwan if it means sparking WWIII, hence they pursue strategic ambiguity.

    Your argument is a strawman since I have said nothing to indicate that I believe that either Taiwan, Ukraine or Crimea have only symbolic value. In fact, nowhere have I even mentioned anything about Ukraine or Crimea in this thread so it is a given that you can only assume I might have such a position (just as you might assume that of anyone else on this forum) since I have said nothing on such matters.dclements

    You called Taiwan a trivial issue for the Chinese, which it clearly is not.

    Thereby you are making the same mistake as the West has made in Ukraine. Assuming things to be trivial, when the reality is that Russia was prepared to go to war. Taiwan is of similar importance to China. The fact that the issue has been hot for over half a century should tell you enough.

    You need to read my posts more carefully.

    If they really want to go to war why should they wait till 2027, ...dclements

    Because countries cannot make navies out of thin air.
  • dclements
    493
    If you could provide some sources for the times China has warned WWIII with those countries mentioned, I would appreciate it. I do know that for them Taiwan is the "red line", and Tibet too, though this latter region is now more tightly under state control, as I understand it.Manuel


    If I had more time I would post all the links I found but unfortunately I don't. Below is a link to a discussion that was going on where China was almost doing the same thing as Russia was doing in Ukraine, but his was even before the war in Ukraine

    What are odds that in the near future there will be a conflict with China?
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/12136/what-are-odds-that-in-the-near-future-there-will-be-a-conflict-with-china/p1

    Also here are some YouTube videos on the subject:













    ..however to really understand this subject one needs to read up on it a little, and/or watch a lot of YouTube videos about the issue and come up with your own opinion on the matter. I'm sorry that there isn't an easier way but it is kind of a complicated subject.


    One thing is what Xi wishes, another is what he is able to do. Very different things. As far as two days ago, the White House was not happy with the visit to Taiwan and even FP magazine thought it was a bad idea.

    As for the actual threat here for China? You're right, there isn't a threat per se, it's not as if Pelosi can grant Taiwan nation-state status in the UN or something, it's more the symbolism that can be interpreted as China not being able to control its one red line, with its dream of unification and whatnot.

    In short, this visit is pure provocation. And we still should recognize that China could not take over Taiwan in a week, regardless of anything else. It's playing with fire just to see who has a bigger d***. Not good statesmanship, imo.
    Manuel
    I could be wrong, but IMHO we need to so call "poke the Panda" every so often in order to remind China that they can not control people outside of China the way they can inside their own country.

    Part of the reason for this is because China is going to attack regardless Taiwan (or any other country for that matter) "if" they think that such a war will benefit them. And if it doesn't benefit them then they won't. At least that is how Xi/China will more or less behave if they are acting in either a rational or at least a Machiavellian manner.

    If they attack just because Pelosi visits Taiwan or other trivial matters such as what you had for breakfast this morning then they are pretty much acting in a irrational manner. I could be wrong but more or less when a leader or some other person acts in a irrational manner, often there is little you can do to really control their behavior. While China may say that if we (or some other country) don't respect "this" or "that" about their culture, history, etc. they might either start a war or do something else that we will regret, there is also a high chance even if we do what they want and try to kowtow to their wishes, they will still either start a war (or other hostile action) with said country. One only has to look at Australia (or even the US) as an a example of what happens to countries that try to be on friendly terms with them.

    However since it is likely that China isn't completely irrational/crazy as they may try to pretend to be (since at least they understand that invading Taiwan at the current time would likely be very, very bad for them), one has to ask why are they behaving in such a manner. Maybe they are doing it for some internal political reasons, maybe they want to size up the US and our allies response to aggressive rhetoric, or maybe their leader is really an emotional basket case Or maybe there is even some other reason, but in reality it is hard to know for sure. All we can know is that they have gone from silently preparing to take over Taiwan and/or become the biggest superpower in Asia/Pacific area, to become much more vocal about such goals and ambitions.

    I don't know if you have ever watched the series "Fear the Walking Dead", but there is a quote from a character named Victor Strand that I think kind of applies in this situation which is "The only way to survive a mad world is to embrace the madness".

    When a country such as China is constantly making threats and doesn't really want to "play ball" in a way that other developed countries are expected to do then it is kind of expected (at least in Western countries like the US since WWII) to have to kind of play "hard ball" with them. This is a bit of how the US behaved toward the USSR during the Cold War. Some times we may have been a little too aggressive, It may seem irrational or counter-intuitive to do things that might piss off someone that might start World War III for a number of reasons and who often acts "irrational", but just in case they really are not irrational it kind of pays to also act irrational in that your potential advisory may not be as crazy as they try to pretend to be and it you also do enough chest-thumping, saber-rattling, gun waving, and frothing at the mouth to match some of their craziness, it might give them enough pause when they are thinking of starting a war tonot want to attack a county who's people who are either as crazy or even more crazy then they can even pretend to be.

    As I said before if they are really a war mongering country filled with crazies that want to go to war, they will attack at almost the first chance they can. But if they are only a country that really, really wanting to start a war but also afraid of the consequences, it is in our best interest to do everything possible to look like we will not back down from a fight and of course part of this behavior requires that we do not kowtow to every little thing they want us to do.

    To put it in perspective, if you where a school yard bully and you needed to beat up someone and take their lunch money do you think you would choose a kid that trembles and wets himself at your mere presence or would you beat up a kid that is known for having psychotic issues, tattoos and piercings all over his face and body, constantly gets into fights, and likes chew on glass bottles (in order to show how much pain tolerance he has) which of these two would you pick a fight if both of them where about the same height and weight?
  • ssu
    6.3k
    But it's the US and China, I mean, any mistake here is a disaster.Manuel
    Yes.

    And the Soviet Union and the US didn't go to war either. And the other didn't attack the other's ones ally. Yet there was the Cuban missile crisis and events like exercise Able Archer '83.

    As I understand it, if China attempted to invade Taiwan, it would take a rather long time to conquer it, given how substantial Taiwan's military capabilities are. But China wouldn't like to bark without biting too much. Looks bad for them, even though it's what most of us would prefer, that nothing happens.Manuel
    Making a landing is the one of the most difficult military operations you can have. And for China exporting to the World is important.

    Yet I think that it's a very American narrative to look at Chinese - Taiwan relations from the viewpoint of a possible war breaking out. Yes, it's a possibility, but then on the other hand Taiwan has for quite long enjoyed peace from Communist China, even if the relations have been sometimes better and sometimes worse. Basically Taiwan wants the status quo to remain. For China Taiwan is an embarrasment, like if after the US Civil War somehow Puerto Rico would be still in the hands of the Confederation and calling itself also the US.

    The two China's were in war until 1979, yet the fighting basically ended after the 1950's with few incidents in the 1960's. In fact, China has since then gone to war with the Soviet Union (1969) and Vietnam (1979) after that.

    Hence I think hopefully this is a nothing burger. As usually tensions are there. But both sides (+ the US) have to have their rhetoric about the issue.
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    So far extensive military drills on large swaths of the island are underway. There are also some sanctions taking place, though I don't think it's hitting all sectors, that would directly hurt China.

    The US should let China boast, and then it should blow over, come back to the status quo. This may be over soon, or the current party in Taiwan could be heavily sanctioned, and that could bring problems down the line.

    We'll see.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    The US should let China boast, and then it should blow over, come back to the status quo. This may be over soon, or the current party in Taiwan could be heavily sanctioned, and that could bring problems down the line. It wouldn't seem rational. The only logic I can think of would be to distract people from domestic problems and control people through the country being at a state-of-war. But on the other hand, they do have stringent Covid-limitations even now.

    We'll see.
    Manuel
    China hasn't been such an actor as Russia, so I don't think they would do it. Of course, with out-of-the-blue surprise attack they would get strategic surprise. But they also can see what the response would be with sanctions etc. even if the US wouldn't respond militarily.

    (Chinese marines have been basically formed to attack Taiwan. Still it would be a very risky move.)
    173b265151748691521259.jpeg
  • Manuel
    2.7k


    No no, I mean, I agree with you. I don't think that they will invade - or I hope not at the very least. But one wonders, by doing these drills, are they not showing Taiwan and the US what could happen should an invasion ever take place?

    It's a bit like showing your opponent your cards while playing poker. I have to think that the Chinese leadership would be aware of this type of thinking.

    What they're doing now, is predictable. Even the bigger scale was predictable given the warnings. We have to see if they do something slightly more unpredictable, like sanctioning the governing party, not the whole country.

    That might provoke a reaction by Taiwan. It's very very hard to sanction China like the did Russia. The scope would be enormous and would plunge the world into a total economic disaster, the likes of which we have not ever seen.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    But one wonders, by doing these drills, are they not showing Taiwan and the US what could happen should an invasion ever take place?Manuel
    Well, if you would think to try to perform such a difficult military operation than a landing on an hostile island roughly over 150 kilometers away from your country, then practice obviously is needed. In the military you really don't try any complex operation without it being trained and trained over again. Otherwise you might face a catastrophic defeat because of the sheer inexperience of the forces performing combine arms maneuver battle.

    China wants to show it has the capability of invading Taiwan, hence it will have to train annually.
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