[quote=“Jive Turkey”]Any war for Taiwan will first be an air and sea war. The mainlanders have made advances in the past few years that give them the ability to challenge the ROCAF and Navy, but they are still a long way off from being able to stand up to US air and sea power. As far as US force strength is concerned, the time to take advantage of any sort of US deployment pattern to grab Taiwan was three or four years ago or before. Before the US invaded Iraq, a substantial amount of US carrier group time at sea was spent on patrolling the southern no-fly zone. That is no longer the case. Invading Iraq in many ways made it a good bit harder for the PRC to try anything with Taiwan because the carriers are now free to sail the open ocean. They are not an essential factor for US operations in Afghanistan or the Persian Gulf (though that would change if something happens with Iran).
There has been no such problem with the navy and airforce. In fact, the carriers and their air wings got back on schedule for refits and maintenance once Southern Watch and the Iraq invasion were wound up. Most of the wear and tear on the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan is really just affecting the Army and Marine Corps. If a Taiwan war got to the point of the US needing to commit substantial numbers of ground troops, then that would mean that the US Navy and Air Force had already been licked. The PRC is not going to be able to try that with any degree of confidence for at least a few more years, but they are defitely making improvements that already make the USN worry.[/quote]
Your points address the US’s ability to defend Taiwan (which I all agree with). The American will to fight is still an open question. And if US air and navy are needed for an attack against Iran, the missiles from China may start flying. The CCP may determine that they may never have a chance like this again.
So that just leaves China to consider the possible economic consequences. China has much to lose if they attack Taiwan, but since the everything is all intertwined now, so does the rest of the world. It’s either win-win or lose-lose. The economic risks work out to be a draw. All sides would determine it’s in no ones best interest to get into a tit-for-tat economic war, eg “if you impose economic sanctions on China trade, China will liquidate it’s US bonds.” Of course, China fears the possible social unrest if it’s economy were to tank.
If the US were to go to war with Iran, the only reprisals China would have to fear from its Taiwan attack is a meaningless reprimend from the UN and boycott of its Olympics.
A PRC attack against Taiwan could be the mother of all unintended consequences if the US goes to war with Iran. One wonders if the US is not already trying to get quiest assurances from China in preparation for a possible attack against Iran.