Isn't now an ideal time for China to attack Taiwan?

Not that I want this to happen. Just the opposite, but there are uniquie geopolitical conditions that I believe make the risks higher than ever.

  1. The US is battling two wars and threatening a third with Iran.

  2. After three years of continuous deployment, there is some question about the condition of the US military (lack of routine maintenance, inability to get fresh recruits, etc)

  3. China owns lots and lots of US treasury bonds. What would happen to the US dollar if China sold its treasuries and bought Euros?

  4. Would corporate America risk losing China as business partner (cheap manufacturing, China’s markets, etc) given the recent submissive and pro-censorship actions of Yahoo, Google and MSFT.

  5. The US populace is growing weary of foriegn entanglements. I doubt the majority of Americans are able to locate Taiwan on a map, let alone understand the history of China-Taiwan affairs.

  6. Support for the current administration is at an all time low. Would Americans follow Bush to possible war with China?

Is protecting Taiwan and going to war with China really worth the risk to the US? China may come to the conclusion there may not ever be a more ideal time to attack Taiwan. I’m guessing there are people within CCP that are arguing this point right now.

There are many on the mainland, within and outside of the CCP, making the exact same argument right now. I agree with all of the points you made about why this would be a favorable time to take Taiwan, in military and strategic terms.

However, I think Beijing won’t take military action right now. I’ve made this point in a different thread… but it basically boils down to a single statement: time is on China’s side. Even though conditions are favorable now, under current trends it will only grow more favorable with time.

This might not be the case in a strictly military sense… but if China focuses on its core mission of building a stronger and wealthier nation, then all other factors will fall into place. Chinese government revenues grew by something like 30% last year. In other words, the Chinese government might be able to double this year’s budget in 3 years time. What about in 30 years? The Chinese government will have all the resources it needs to invest in this effort.

But I think most important of all, Taiwan becomes increasingly tied to mainland China with every passing year. This is true economically (with Chinese trade representing 40% of Taiwanese trade), socially (more Taiwanese/Chinese flying across the strait), and politically (more “pro-China” Taiwanese politicians today than at any time in history).

If the timing is ripe for an invasion in 2006, then the time will be even more ripe in 2016, 2026, and beyond.

i agree with CCTang.

Time is on their side. Taiwanese ties via business grows stronger with each year. War hurts a golden goose for China: economic power/trade revenue. I think more people care about a better living and riches for the moment than jeopardize all the recent important gains over Taiwan. Not that Chinese don’t feel strongly about it.

Also, there is the possibility of losing: who wants to risk another humiliation. Militarily, China isn’t ready to invade and succeed with good odds. And don’t think the US will just stand idly by even though they’re in Iraq/Afghanistan. They still have a carrier fleet in the Pacific.
Rather, it is the threat/bluff of war on Taiwan that’s more useful to China that the actual use of war at this point. That said, if Taiwan really does something strong to antagonize and embarass China, the China hawks will push for a response to avoid looking weak. If anything, China can wait for such an excuse so that it doesn’t look like a total aggressor.

I agree with what cctang says.

For the reasons that cctang has outlined, Beijing has no intent to attack in the forseeable future, with the single exception being a move toward de jure independence by Taiwan. If you go back and look, this has been a consistent policy for more than three decades. In the 1970s, Mao reflected on the Taiwan situation by looking back on the history up to that point and already concluded that time was on his side. It’s what he told Kissinger. I can’t say that was the wrong assessment by comparing the positions of the two sides in 1970 vs. now.

China has long term plans and strategies and actually implements them, as it must to survive as a large state. Major policies that would be considered successes today have all been planned for long ago. I have yet to see any sort of long term or strategic thinking by Taiwan in recent times, whether in the realm of economics or politics. That makes it more so that time is on Beijing’s side.

The US has said that if the conflict comes about as a result of Taiwan’s side, they most likely won’t intervene. We’ll be on our own, it seems, unless China makes an unprovoked attack.

Won’t happen until after the Olympics in 2008, and most likely not before 2025. And MOST likely never. Nothing to gain from an attack. But if CHEN declares indy tomorrow, yes, watch out. Ma will deliver us from evil, watch!

[quote=“Battery9”]watch HAHA America…if you have 17 minutes to spare…

festival.sundance.org/2006/watch … tegory=DOC[/quote]

Sadly, there is a lot of truth in this film.

I’d like to make one point about the “quantity” of manufactured goods made in China, though.

“Quantity” is not the equivalent of “quality”.

And products “made in China” are, quite often, pieces of shit.

I know an American businessman who contracted out to a Chinese print-shop. They lured him in with very low prices and a pretty good quality product. But the second time around – they produced garbage.

There’s a lot to be said about consistency and reliability. Chinese products do not have that reputation yet. And that, to me, is also an important point to be made.

That said, there is a lot of money to be made selling garbage.

Might make sense in military terms alone, but given that China wants much more than just another piece of real estate, it’ll wait. The cost/benefit ratio is just too far off now that they’ve got so much to lose and there’s such an upside to the status quo.

Indeed> Once that China has prostituted itself to the EU and US, becoming a whore of economical growth, time will be ripe one day to invade Taiwan.
Taiwan is loosing his intellectual property, does not invest in cheap labor enough from other countries (Electronic parts production) and looses power eyes wide shut. And they DO need China becoming tighter or screwed up into the system as a fact.

I give it after 2008. But then, I will be gone already. Producing no-garbage clothing in India as THERE is where the action will be after 2010.
There are a lot of big companies who placed their WRONG bets on China already. But hey, everybody wants a piece of the big cake no?

On a tangent here… the video is clearly a farce/parody. Doesn’t make sense as a “translated” version of anything, despite what the taglines claim.

After all, who did the translation?

  • They aren’t Chinese, if they can’t manage to spell Qingdao and Chongqing properly. (Not to mention ‘fragrant monkey tail’, as pleasant as that sounds, doesn’t translate into any Chinese phrase I can think of. Now, if it was a dish… that I’d believe.)

  • It’s not automatic/computerized, if it can’t spell Qingdao and Chongqing properly.

  • It’s not an English-speaker making best effort translation of Chinese, obviously, since the grammar could be improved just a tad.

I remember someone in another thread making comments similar to these, so since it has been repeated, I think it time to nip this in the bud. 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.

In the movie they claim that they sell bad products to other countries…to show how stupid other countries are (the uncomfortable shoes to Africa)

and

the translation is done that way on purpose. Remember where they say that America can make a movie about China named (two Chinese icons)…they were trying to say that it is possible for them to speak bad English, but almost impossible for the average american to speak Chinese.

China will just buy Taiwan as their economy grows. No need for war.

I believe as long as the majority of Taiwan still Status Quo or Unification war can be averted.

Even if war occured there is not guarantee that TI could occur, or be stable enough last long to be anything but a footnote in history. Remember the last time Taiwan declared independence in 1895, very short lived, not even worth mentioning.

Chongqing and Qingdao isn’t “English”. The specific way they were misspelled (insertion of ‘u’) very clearly suggests the author speaks a Romantic language natively.

Oh, and you still haven’t explained “fragrant monkey tail”.

I don’t believe for a second this is a real Chinese rant, and I’ve read plenty of them.

The US has said that if the conflict comes about as a result of Taiwan’s side, they most likely won’t intervene. We’ll be on our own, it seems, unless China makes an unprovoked attack.[/quote]

Actually, this seems to me an interesting scenario. What would happen if there was a “unprovoked” invasion? There’s a lot of hawks and senators who would want to defend (or use) Taiwan and show the world that China is really an aggressor and the next ‘evil empire’.

I don’t think either side wants to be dragged into a general (and potentially nuclear) war with each other directly over Taiwan. That said, neither country can afford to look bad and stand idly by. This explains why the U.S. policy prefers the status quo. My guess is that if there are major movements in preparation for an invasion, the US will send its fleet into the straits as deterrence. (I dunno the timetable. how many hours is the journey?)

I don’t know if it’s an ideal time. Even though the U.S. is dealing with current “wars” and “eventual wars”, wouldn’t go against the “fight for democracy” ideal to not defend Taiwan?

I don’t think it’s economically viable (is that the right word?) for China to attack anyway. If China’s economy is improving then I think that they will change into some other type of politcal thinking which would be closer to the western thinking of politics, but not quite, in the not-so-near future.

[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.

China has declared to the US and the world that it wants to become a major country by “peaceful emergence”. China is completely encircled by American bases and it does not not have even one overseas base. China for all its recent economic success is actually in quite a severe bind. It desperately needs peace to grow (200 million unemployed wandering around China need jobs as quickly as possible-one of Taiwan’s secret weapons) But the Chinese leadership has to be seen to want Taiwan or the army will take over and maybe do something devastatingly stupid (for everyone).

If they attack Taiwan (without Taiwan declaring independence) the US has to react because it has made public promises. If the US does nothing US allies will no longer feel secure. This affects business and American business leaders will not be happy
On top of that China also has to overcome Taiwan. Now some people seem to think that if China attacks Taiwan it is going to put its hands up and surrender. If you can, try to find some of the detailed accounts of the battles in Jinmen in 1950. The Mainland chinese got a foothold on some of the smaller islands. There was a hell of a fight. The Taiwanese/ROC mainlanders did not surrender. The Taiwanese army is pretty large and is well armed (and you can bet your bottom dollar the Americans have been advising the Taiwanese - through the American Embassy- whoops cultural institute in Taipei, we don’t recognise Taiwan, nudge, nudge, wink, wink) And since Taiwan was and is a natural fortress (lets not even mention trying to get past Jinmen) the chances of a Chinese victrory are actually virtually zero and it will be at least another five to ten years at least before China has even a hope (not a certainty) of invading Taiwan. The only way they could take Taiwan now and in the foreseeable future would be to use nuclear weapons which would be an act of utter madness.
Futhermore, if China attacks Taiwan, Taiwan has said it will then declare independence (US would still have to help as China attacked first) and China will then have an independent Taiwan which will be a severe loss of face and of economic investment.
Finally, if China attacks or even tries to blockade Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, US and EU will go apeshit with further severe economic consequences and probably military ones (everyone will get as close as possible to Uncle Sam)
No, if Taiwan plays its cards right and China does nothing thunderingly stupid this whole crazy political situation will be resolved peacefully (95% probability) within the next twenty years. My guess it’s going to be a “One China official two Chinas reality” solution (and China will be a democracy as has dimly started). If you think that doesn’t make sense, well does the present one? “You just don’t understand Chinese culture”.

What will make American businessmen sadder… fighting a war with China, or having its other Asian “allies” not feel secure? You seem to believe it’s the latter, which just suggests you’re not an American businessman.

And as far as a possible cross-strait conflict… why look only at Kinmen 1950? Why not look at Hainan? That’s more recent, you realize.