Tag Archives: Taiwan

If You Live In Taiwan, It’s Time To Worry, by Stephen Bryen

There have got to be a lot of countries worried right now about what a US defense commitment is worth, but Taiwan is probably the most worried. From Stephen Bryen at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

Taiwan needs to worry about American reliability. Unlike Afghanistan, where the United States had committed its forces for two decades, Taiwan has no U.S. forces and no assurance that the United States will come to their defense if attacked by China.

The United States has a bad habit of walking out on its allies and friends. The list is long. It includes Vietnam and Cambodia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Iran. In all of those cases, one way or another, the United States, for its own reasons, took a hike.

Obama pulled U.S. troops from Iraq, opening the door to Iran. While the United States has a few thousand soldiers still in Iraq in training and advisory capacities, they’re under siege and it’s unlikely the United States will protect them.

In fact, President Joe Biden has said the United States will end combat missions in Iraq by the end of 2021. Unless U.S. troops are pulled out in the middle of the night, as they were in Afghanistan, they’ll quite possibly have to shoot themselves out while exiting.

Carter let Iran collapse into chaos and refused to support the Shah. Prior to that time, the United States had massively supplied Iran with weapons and military advisors. But when the Shah asked for help, he got none. The collapse of the Shah’s regime, without U.S. backing, was a foregone conclusion.

Nixon let Vietnam and Cambodia go down the drain, trying to cover their tracks with the so-called Paris Peace Accords that required U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Vietnam, a key demand of North Vietnam. South Vietnam hung on for a while, but without U.S. airpower and support, they couldn’t win against a North Vietnamese army supported by Russia and China.

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How Taiwan Will Fall Into Beijing’s Lap, Like an Overripe Mango, by Fred Reed

Notwithstanding the cynicism, Fred Reed has the Taiwan situation doped out pretty well. From Reed at unz.com:

I will now explain war, or some of it. If you wonder how some mutt in Mexico with a computer thinks he knows about strategy, well, look at what we have in Washington. How could I be worse?

In geopolitical circles, blather swirls over whether the United States can defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion in a regional war. Sez I, it doesn’t matter whether it can if it won’t, and China will likely get the island without invading. The key is to think about how things look from Taiwan.

Washington is vague about whether it would militarily defend Taiwan. Taiwan presumably has noticed. Further, America does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country. More waffling. The implication is that Washington might, or might not, do something, or something else, depending on unspecified things, probably or at least possibly.

This sounds like hedging, a disguised American recognition that this isn’t 1955, and China is no longer a bamboo republic that makes pencils and cheap plastic buckets for Walmart. As China’s military power grows, and thus the cost of a war, America’s equivocation will likely become more equivocal. Throw in that America does $550 billion in commerce annually with the Middle Kingdom, including countless things America doesn’t make but can’t do without, and war with China doesn’t look real feasible. This too has probably occurred to Taipei.

The fashion in naval circles is to talk about the First Island Chain, which is a sort of barrier along the coast of China, the Kuriles, Japan, Okinawa in the Ryukyus, Taiwan, the Philippines, and even Borneo. The idea, apart from some fairly silly notions about “containing China,” is that these islands will want to join with Washington, which is somewhere else, to fight China, which is right there, to defend Taiwan, which also is right there.

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For What Will We Go to War With China? by Patrick J. Buchanan

The US will not go to war for islands and rocks in the South China Sea, including Taiwan, and China knows it. The Chinese will make their moves when the US has completely destroyed itself. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

In his final state of the nation speech Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte defended his refusal to confront China over Beijing’s seizure and fortification of his country’s islets in the South China Sea.

“It will be a massacre if I go and fight a war now,” said Duterte. “We are not yet a competent and able enemy of the other side.”

Duterte is a realist. He will not challenge China to retrieve his lost territories, as his country would be crushed. But Duterte has a hole card: a U.S. guarantee to fight China, should he stumble into war with China.

Consider. Earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured Manila we would invoke the U.S.-Philippines mutual security pact in the event of Chinese military action against Philippine assets.

“We also reaffirm,” said Blinken, “that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”

Is this an American war guarantee to fight the People’s Republic of China, if the Philippines engage a Chinese warship over one of a disputed half-dozen rocks and reefs in the South China Sea? So it would appear.

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Cease Confrontation With China. Concentrate on Trade and Global Development, by Brian Cloughley

The US getting along with China will yield far more benefits for both countries than a new Cold War. From Brian Cloughley at strategic-culture.org:

It would be better for the United States and for the world if the Biden administration realised that engagement is preferable to estrangement.

On 6 June three U.S. Senators arrived in Taiwan to “meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other significant issues of mutual interest.” It was stated they were also there to announce donation of 750,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses, but their main purpose, their over-riding objective, was simply to be there to annoy the Beijing government which, the BBC notes, regards Taiwan — formerly Formosa, and the refuge of a few hundred thousand fleeing mainlanders in 1949 when civil war resulted in defeat of the Kuomintang political party — as remaining an integral part of China, which it had been since the 17th century.

Two of the senators are members of the Armed Forces Committee, and one of them, Dan Sullivan, is even more rabidly anti-Chinese than his colleagues and in March this year declared in an interview that “I spent one of my first deployments as a U.S. Marine in the Taiwan Strait defending America’s interest, but also defending the interests of an ally. That island is free and democratic because of the sacrifice of American citizens, of American military, of American taxpayer money.” We all know where we stand, as regards the U.S. Congress and China, because confrontation is one of the very few things about which a majority of the Senate can agree, as when on June 8 they voted 68-32 to “to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology.” The bill will also promote the Taiwan “independence” status by allowing “diplomats and Taiwanese military to display their flag and wear their uniforms while in the United States on official businesses.” Never at a loss to display the utmost pettiness it also bans U.S. officials from attending the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, while Senator Todd Young announced that “Today we declare our intention to win this century, and those that follow it as well.”

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Taiwan Is a Country in All But Name: Still, That Doesn’t Mean America Should Defend It, by Doug Bandow

Here’s a paradox. Almost nobody in this country would want to send our sons and daughters off to defend Taiwan if it was invaded by China, and most people would correctly say we’d get our butts kicked big time if we did. Yet, if China invaded Taiwan, it’s a near certainty the establish would have us in that war. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

Even the biggest, toughest, meanest movie characters go wobbly when facing the Great Panda. At least when Chinese nationalism demands they kowtow to its demands.

The latest Hollywood wimp who plays a real man on screen is John Cena. The former wrestler, when promoting his role in Fast & Furious 9, stated that Taiwan was a country. After realizing his “mistake,” he immediately prostrated himself and groveled before what he hoped would be a massive Chinese audience for his movie: “I made a mistake, I must say right now. It’s so so so so so so important, I love and respect Chinese people.”

But not, obviously the Taiwanese people.

Alas, abasing himself did not appear to help the film, whose Chinese ticket sales plummeted – though some critics ascribed that to negative reviews rather than Cancel Culture, China-style. In any case, the cringe-worthy spectacle, however sensible from a profit-maximizing standpoint, left Cena’s manhood on the floor. He will long suffer from snarky memes about needing a backbone transplant.

However, the controversy raises a larger issue. Does it matter for U.S. policy if Taiwan is a country? Does that designation determine whether Washington should defend Taipei from Chinese attempts at coercion, whether threats or actual invasion?

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Not Even Past: Dan Ellsberg vs. New Madmen’s Theories of Cold War & Press Suppression, by Danny Sjursen

At the age of 90, Daniel Ellsberg is once again disclosing disturbing government documents to make broader points about US foreign policy. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

Once upon a time, the United States of America – the world’s self-styled “beacon of democracy” – nearly nuked China’s then 600 millions worth of innocents. This, before Beijing even had any A-Bombs of its own. Well, that much we’ve known, in broad strokes – though, I fear, without the requisite resultant soul-searching – since historian Gordon Chang’s 1988 journal article (which I was assigned in graduate school en-route to West Point’s faculty): “JFK, China, and the Bomb.”

Chang’s peer-reviewed scholarly submission made waves – at least in academia – by disclosing the rather profound fact that the Kennedy administration apparently seriously considered colluding with even the Soviets to, per a later erudite authorial follow-up, “Strangle the Baby in the Cradle.” In other words, to coerce China into abandoning its nascent nuclear program – and if necessary destroy it (even with hydrogen bombs) – before Beijing could produce a viable weapon.

That was circa 1961-64. Ultimately, the Chinese did test their first bomb in October of the latter year. And you know what? Nothing much happened – little changed, America endured, the world didn’t end. If only those poor souls – and their no longer truly communist descendants – knew they came so close to being needlessly sacrificed, or never existing, on the altar of U.S. strategic absurdity.

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Taiwan: The New Geopolitical and Economic Flash Point, by Ethan Yang

Ever wonder what the US government and military would do if China invaded Taiwan? We may soon find out. From Ethan Yang at aier.org:

The island nation of Taiwan may be in the spotlight today for handling Covid-19 without a lockdown but it’s about to become one of the most contentious geopolitical flashpoints of the decade. On April 17, 2021, The South China Morning Post reported that,

“The United States and Japan called for “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” in a joint statement released after a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who reaffirmed their commitment to counter China’s “intimidation” in the East and South China seas in wide-ranging talks.

It is the first time since 1969 that the top leaders of the two countries mentioned Taiwan in a joint statement, a move that is set to infuriate Beijing.”

The move did in fact attract hostility from the Chinese as Nikkei Asia wrote,

“Hours after Japan and the U.S. named Taiwan in a leader’s summit statement for the first time in more than five decades, China hit back at the communique that also highlighted the two allies’ concerns over Hong Kong and human rights issues in Xinjiang.

“These matters bear on China’s fundamental interests and allow no interference. We express strong concern and firm opposition to relevant comments in the Joint Leaders’ Statement,” a spokesperson at the Chinese embassy said in a statement on Saturday.

Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang belong to “China’s internal affairs,” the statement said.”

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America can successfully defend Taiwan against China – but only in its dreams, by Scott Ritter

Taiwan is about 75 miles from mainland China, and almost 7,000 miles from Los Angeles. Who do you think would win a battle for Taiwan? From Scott Ritter at rt.com:

America can successfully defend Taiwan against China – but only in its dreams

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Putin & Xi Have Red Lines, Too, from Patrick J. Buchanan

Russia regards Ukraine as a vital national interest, and China feels the same about Taiwan. Those are real red lines, not Obama red lines. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

What are Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping up to?

In recent days, Russian tanks, artillery, armor, trucks and troops have been moving by road and rail ever closer to Ukraine, and Moscow is said to be repositioning its 56th Guards Air Assault Brigade in Crimea.

Military sources in Kyiv estimate there are now 85,000 Russian troops between six and 25 miles from Ukraine’s northern and eastern borders.

“I have real concerns about Russia’s actions on the borders of Ukraine. There are more Russian forces massed on those borders than at any time since 2014 when Russia first invaded,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” Blinken added this warning:

“President Biden’s been very clear about this. If Russia acts recklessly, or aggressively, there will be costs, there will be consequences.”

What “costs” and what “consequences” were left unstated.

Earlier, Biden personally assured President Volodymyr Zelensky of America’s “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.”

What does that mean?

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The China Question, by The Zman

China merely has to wait out America’s continuing decline and take Taiwan when the moment is right. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

A popular topic among Sinophiles since the installation of Joe Biden as president is the possibility of war with China over the status of Taiwan. The Chinese have been obsessed with Taiwan since Mao. With the American empire in sharp decline and the Biden regime unpopular at home and abroad, now could be the perfect time for the Chinese to make their move. As John Derbyshire is fond of pointing out, “Taiwan is like two feet from China … We are eight thousand miles away.”

While there is little doubt that China could retake Taiwan whenever it likes, the cost would be extremely high. For starters, Taiwan and the US have been preparing for such a move for generations. Some of the most sophisticated early warning systems on earth are installed in Taiwan specifically keep an eye on China. There is the very strong possibility that Taiwan has underground missile systems capable of reaching targets on the mainland in the event of an attack by China.

Whether or not the US would actually go to war to defend Taiwan is debatable, but that is the official position. Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia are also technically committed to the defense of Taiwan. An all-out assault on Taiwan could very well result in attacks on Chinese infrastructure along the coast. It would most certainly result in massive economic retaliation. The Chinese regime would be forced to explain to her people why they are suddenly poor again.

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