Is a Chinese Attack Imminent?

Upon reading the Taipei Times this morning and reading about the new missiles aimed, primarily, at the US to keep them out of any cross strait conflict, coupled with the report a few months ago about a video of how an attack on Taiwan would proceed, I cant help but get the feeling that an attack is imminent, regardless what Taiwan does. … 2003560318

China is not developing or building defensive weapons, they are putting their money in offensive weapons. Given, any weapon can be used for either, but lets play along with this idea.
China seems to be itching to spread its wings, to flex its muscle, to expand out. Even if we placate them and say Taiwan is apart of China blah, blah, where would they stop and what incentive would there be for them to stop. Taiwan could just become their testing ground for whatever. Their new bombing range complete with targets!

I think it is pretty much a given that if China really wanted to take Taiwan, they could with nothing more than a few mild harumphs from the international community. I think they know and understand that. But I also think they want to show the world what they can do and attacking, if not out right obliterating, Taiwan would be an impressive show of force. Ma could go begging on his knees to Beijing and surrender these lovely people to the PRC whims, I do not think that would change anything.

Japan, Korea, The Philippines, Vietnam and a few others might go on edge, but that would be about it. Everyone knows, its even been discussed here, the PRC could give zero shits less on what anyone thinks about them taking Taiwan. Just like Bush when he ordered the invasion of Iraq. Also, the Middle East did not implode like many thought. A neighbor went on edge, but he rest were kind of “oh isn’t that nice?” Would the same hold true for East Asia? Or would Taiwan be a stepping stone to something bigger, a real game changer?

If China attacked Taiwan it would screw up the world economy. There are hawks in China to be sure, but there are a lot more bean counters these days.

China will never attack Taiwan. This will eventually play out in a Chinese commonwealth where Taiwan has recognized statehood (under China’s terms) or one country 3 system solution (4 if you count Macau but I am not sure anyone does).

North Korea will never attack the South. This will eventually play out in reunification once the North collapses upon itself.

There are many reasons why China will not attack Taiwan. There is simply nothing to gain and everything to lose. It’s the same with the Senkaku Islands. The US wants to expand into the Western Pacific. The US, Japan, and Taiwan have just agreed for the US to offer protection over fishing rights around the Senkaku Islands. It’s all courteous of the Little Leader, bless his heart.

It’s a message to the US, not to Taiwan. China has no interest in attacking Taiwan; if it did, it would have done so during the tumultuous Chen Shui-bian years.

Taipei Times, like its sister paper Liberty Times, is just pandering to its reading demographic which is already suspicious of China.

suspicion = not quite sure.

I don’t think that’s the case here: we all know the Chinese are rapacious bullies, stomping around their corner of the littlies playground and itching to go and have a fight with the big boys in the senior school section.

Everyone in China already believes Taiwan is part of China anyway. They won without fighting. Invading would only create enemies where there is currently willingness to play nice.

The liberal inside of me wants to believe that nothing will happen and all sides just wish this little hiccup of history would be quietly forgotten. But…

Maybe I am not gauging it correctly, but I am not really for certain the rest of the world really cares or would really care if China did forcefully take Taiwan in an amazing show of force. I am getting the feeling that Taiwan is slowly becoming the Asian Czechoslovakia. Maybe I am paranoid. Maybe the clean air on this Island is getting to me.

If the so-called carrier killer is displayed for the Americans, is Beijing really expecting anything other than “Oh, you have one of those? Good for you.” and a pat on the back? I do not want to come across or seem like one of those “U-S-A! U-S-A!” types, but I do not think that was really for the Americans, or solely for them.

If outright independence is off the table, and since I doubt full incorporation within the PRC is likely, voluntarily anyway, I would like to see Taiwan falling into the Commonwealth model. I could even see Singapore falling into that. Oh, the Malays might have something to say about that though. I would say 5 or 6 different republics falling under one entity of China though. Similar to Russia, but with greater autonomy among the different republics. The Peoples, Taiwan, HK, Tibet, Xinjiang, and maybe Macau. They would all be “The ______ Republic of China”. As it is right now, the PRC and ROC are only one word apart. I say independence is off the table since even if Taipei does decide to declare full independence, even if the PRC did not attack, Taiwan is only as independent as others will allow them to be. Beijing could use its economic power to manipulate that and use its veto power to block entrance into the UN and other global bodies. And just so they could stick it to the West, specifically the Americans, Russia would probably back Beijing.

Global politics. I need an aspirin!

bohlinghaus, that’s too sophisticated for most people who talk about Taiwanese independence. I suggest simplifying it down for pro-independie people: “China bad! Taiwan not part of China!” Or for pro-unies: “Independence bad! Closer to China good!”

On a serious note, though, China’s government is actually required by law to employ “non-peaceful means and other necessary measures” (非和平方式及其他必要措施) to ensure Taiwan stays a part of it. So while we’re all sure China won’t be attacking Taiwan anytime soon, it’s certainly not impossible in the future.

There aren’t enough brass balls in Taiwan for it to ever definitively draw the proverbial line in the sand on independence, sticky balls just won’t cut it. Whether China ever feels compelled to attack or not, Taiwan will be politically joined with the PRC one of these years. And you can put that in your ghost money can and smoke it

I’m going to say what I always say here: The problem is with the wishy-washy people who support a non-existent “status quo.” As it stands, the “status quo” based on Taiwan’s laws and constitution is eventual unification, and it was that way even under ex-President Chen A-qian. The window for independence is closed unless those status quo-ers get on the bandwagon and fast, but I don’t really believe that will ever happen.

Why would China attack? And why now?

China will never attack, and if they ever had have, it would have been some rogue Colonel that attacked on Chinese New Year’s Day at precisely 03:13.

They would care because it would send most of the world’s trade down the gurgler. That is why the Chinese are happy the little leader is making such a stink. He has provided the face saving device the Chinese authorities need over the Senkaku Islands. That also involves Taiwan and Japan. Plus China is economically at the mercy of the US for the time being.

China has only one interest in Taiwan and it it the Gu-Gong Museum. That’s where all of China’s national treasures are stowed. There is only one way to get that back and that is by stealth. The stealth model is through business and the economy. They will buy the rights to sovereignty building projects in Taiwan. They will go after the laobao insurance scheme, they will get legislation changed to allow them to buy housing. It will be a process where 20 years down the road the average Taiwanese will look around and find there debt is owned by China. Then China will have the ability to negotiate from strength. That is what they are doing now and that’s what a faux status quo affords them. There is never a status quo. There never has been. Taiwan has changed immensely and so too has China and their mutual relationship. It is the museum that is the prize.

That’s a bold statement that seems rather short-sighted to me. Can you offer up anything to support it?

I don’t imagine that if Chen Shui-bian offered the museum’s contents to Hu Jintao, Taiwan would be an independent nation today.

Chen Shui-bian is in jail. Sovereignty by stealth hardly seems short-sighted to me.You might want to go back to school on that one. However, Chen-Shui Bian found out what can happen if you take on China directly. And so did everyone else. Like Tsai Ingwen who even went to China to save stock. Yet, besides all that China will not attack because the museum is vulnerable. Among all of China’s wealth and coming fortunes the single thing it cannot lay claim to is its own heritage. It sits in an independent country off its shores under the protection of the US and by proxy Japan. It is obvious, and if you know anything about the Chinese draping the Elephant in the Room is their greatest art. Taiwan is independent. It collects its own taxes, elects its own government, issues its own passport and ID numbers, has its own judiciary. What are you talking about? --A hypothetical?

That is exactly my point. Taiwan is independent because it has the museum.

I meant that when Taiwan-China tensions were at their high point under Chen, I doubt that he would have been able to solve things by giving China back its treasures (as I’m sure that Chen probably doesn’t really care too much about what happens to them).

China is a very pragmatic country and I think they have greater goals than just getting their hands on a museum, regardless of that museum’s value. Taiwan is a lot more than that to Beijing: its location is a strategic buffer between China and Japan and China and the US-friendly Pacific; it has immense cultural capital in the Chinese-speaking world; it used to have an economy that made China envious; it’s an example that China as a huge nation is indivisible, so Xinjiang, Tibet, HK, and any potentially problematic areas shouldn’t go trying. None of those problems would go away if China got the NPM. Plus, I don’t think the Taiwanese even care that much about it themselves, so they’d probably be willing to give it up if that’s all China really wanted.

China wouldn’t take back the museum articles just like they wouldn’t take back Jinmen, Penghu, and Mazu Islands if Taiwan offered to hand them over on a platter. Accepting a partial handover would only create even more political and psychological differentiation from what is the only real prize to the PRC, Taiwan proper itself.

Yes, but they cannot have what they want because of the museum. That is exactly my point. Taiwan is independent because it has the museum.

China wants the US in the Western Pacific. It provides China with the perfect means of negotiating with the US. It gives China a lot of face to be the focus of the US and it also commits US resources to the region which improves security and gives the Chinese the power to negotiate. One thing the Chinese are very good at is exploiting commitment. They invite you in and then when you are over committed they start to negotiate. The US has also been doing that to China for years too. Consequently, China has few reserves and a lot of American paper. However, China would prefer America to be physically closer. It is out of arms reach at the moment. They want to see how and where they are at. That’s just my personal opinion, but I think it’s true.

People need to stop saying the high point in tension was under Chen, this is simply false. 1996 was the highest point of tension in the last 20 plus years.

If anything Chen’s election allowed the KMT to openly work the back channels and build relationships with many members of the CCP.

That’s true.