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Offline nULL

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The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« on: April 16, 2004, 03:15:00 »
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/FD10Ad02.html    


TAIPEI - If China ever makes the decision to invade Taiwan it is unlikely to be a large-scale Normandy-style amphibious assault. The reality is that China is more likely to use a decapitation strategy. Decapitation strategies short circuit command and control systems, wipe out nationwide nerve centers, and leave the opponent hopelessly lost. As the old saying goes, "Kill the head and the body dies." All China needs to do is seize the center of power, the capital and its leaders.

If China decides to use force to reunify the mainland with what it terms a breakaway province, the window of opportunity is believed to be 2006. This would give China a couple of years to clean up the mess before the 2008 Summer Olympics. Most analysts estimate that China‘s military strength will surpass Taiwan‘s defense capabilities by 2005. So 2006 - the Year of the Dog - is clearly the year to fear.

United States Defense Department officials now are reexamining China‘s military threat to Taiwan. This rethink has caused a dramatic shift in the way many think of defending Taiwan. Traditionally, Taiwan had always feared an amphibious assault - the Normandy scenario - and its defense strategy was always designed to stop such an attack. Now with a potential decapitation strategy believed to be in the works, US defense officials are beginning to think what had once been unthinkable: losing Taiwan in only seven days.

The Taiwan takeover scenario
China‘s deployment of its special forces and rapid-deployment forces, combined with air power and missile strikes, is the most likely formula for successfully taking Taiwan with the least amount of effort and damage. The military acronym KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) is in full force here. Special forces, which blend strength with deception and flair, offer China laser cutters rather than sledge hammers for defeating Taiwan‘s armed forces.

An airborne assault directly on Taipei by China‘s 15th Airborne Corps (Changchun), with three divisions (43rd, 44th, 45th) would be the first phase of the assault, with additional paratroopers being dropped in Linkou, Taoyuan and Ilian, to tie up Taiwan‘s four divisions assigned to the 6th Army (North). A Chinese airborne division contains 11,000 men with light tanks and self-propelled artillery. Some intelligence reports have indicated that China was able to airlift one airborne division to Tibet in less than 48 hours in 1988. Today, China‘s ability to transport troops has greatly improved. China is expected to be able to deliver twice that number - 22,000 - in two days.

Taiwan‘s 6th Army has seven infantry brigades: 106, 116, 118, 152, 153, 176, and 178. The 152/153 Dragons and the the 176/178 Tigers are said to be the best. Also a direct assault on the 6th Army‘s 269th motorized brigade, 351st armored infantry brigade, and the 542nd armored brigade would be mandatory for Chinese forces.

Most of the initial fighting would be in the Zhong Zheng District, Taipei, which contains the Presidential Building, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Legislative Yuan. As soon as China‘s troops hit the ground they would have to deal with Taiwan‘s Military Police Command (MPC). The MPC is responsible for protecting key government buildings and military installations. Its personnel are the gatekeepers, holding all the keys and guarding all the doors. They are considered no-nonsense and are humorless when approached. China‘s airborne forces would meet immediate resistance from these Taipei forces. Regular army units, all based outside of Taipei, would take hours, perhaps days, to respond. It would be up to the MPC to hold the Chinese back until reinforcements arrived - which might be never.

Assassins, saboteurs would be prepositioned
Pre-positioned special forces, smuggled into Taiwan months before, would assassinate key leaders, and attack radar and communication facilities around Taiwan a few hours before the main attack. Infiltrators might receive some assistance from sympathetic elements within Taiwan‘s military and police, who are believed to be at least 75 percent pro-Kuomintang (KMT), and hence, pro-unification. Many could use taxis to move about the city unnoticed. Mainland Chinese prostitutes, already in abundance in Taiwan, could be recruited by Chinese intelligence to serve as femme fatales, supplying critical intelligence on the locations of key government and military leaders at odd hours of the night; death is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

The second phase would begin after airborne forces captured Sungshan Airport. With a secure landing strip, China would fly in elements of its 14 divisions of "rapid reaction" troops using Ilyushin Il-76, Shaanxi Y-8, Antonov 26, and Xian Y-7 troop transports, with air support from China‘s 1,000 bombers and fighters. China‘s 10 Il-76 transports can carry 130 troops apiece, though this limitation could be overcome by commandeering aircraft belonging to commercial courier and passenger airlines. China has about 500 Boeings and Airbuses from which to choose. Some of China‘s heavy-lift transports would bring in BMD-2 Airborne Combat Vehicles and an assortment of armored vehicles. These air-lifted troops would spread throughout the city, securing bridges and key intersections. In addition, China has 200 transport helicopters capable of carrying commandos to Taiwan.

China might encounter opposition from Taiwan‘s new rapid deployment force. The newly created Aviation and Special Forces Command (ASFC) has united three aviation helicopter brigades, the 601st, 602nd, and 603rd, with the 862nd Special Warfare Brigade under one command. The 862nd is Taiwan‘s elite paratrooper brigade and modeled after the US Army Rangers. The helicopter brigades are made up of a combination of CH-47SD Chinook transport helicopters, AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters, OH-58D Kiowa armed observation helicopters, and UH-1H Huey transport helicopters.

Taiwan also has some noteworthy smaller commando units. There are two Marine Corps units: the Amphibious Reconnaissance Patrol (ARP) and the Special Services Company (SSC). The army also has two: the 101st Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) or "Army Frogmen", and the Airborne Special Services Company (ASSC). The ASSC is a new unit modeled after the US Delta Force. ASSC recruits from the 862nd and performs counter-terrorism and other special missions. The question of whether these forces could, or would, be moved into the conflict area in time is another matter.

Except for special forces and the marines, it is unlikely that the rest of Taiwan‘s infantry brigades scattered across the island would do much. As the saying goes, "It‘s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters." Taiwan‘s military is rife with lethargic and ineffectual troops just begging for their 20-month tour of duty to end so they can go back to their girlfriends and jobs. Many call Taiwan‘s youth, including its young soldiers, the "strawberry generation" because they are soft and spoiled by the good life. US military officials visiting Taiwan often complain that the military‘s boot camps are too lax. The military appears more afraid of angering the parents of the conscripts than confronting a Chinese invasion, say visiting US soldiers. One politically correct legislator recently complained to Asia Times Online, "Taiwan has to do something about violence in the military." The correspondent reminded him, "The military is a violent institution." The conversation was over; the lesson lost.

Identity crisis within Taiwan‘s military
Taiwan‘s military also faces an identity crisis. The idea that Taiwan is part of China still resonates strongly within the military. For example, unit patches worn by soldiers often bear the outline of China, not Taiwan. The 6th Army, 8th Army, 46th Division, and Marine Corps have the image of China on their patches. The 117th Infantry Brigade has an eagle landing on mainland China. The 34th Division, 157th Infantry Brigade, and 200th Motorized Brigade display the Great Wall of China. None of the unit patches or emblems bears the image of Taiwan. In fact, visitors to military bases see no evidence whatsoever that they are located in Taiwan. China is the central theme of the whole military experience for Taiwan‘s conscripts. Even the names of naval vessels have Chinese themes.

Taiwan‘s navy would have little to do in this war scenario, except sink like rocks. A few would shoot down a small number of the Chinese planes heading to Taiwan, but most would be taken out of action by China‘s numerous anti-ship missiles. Of particular annoyance is the nasty Russian-made Sunburn anti-ship missile (ASM). Three times as fast as the US Harpoon ASM, the Sunburn does not slam into the side of a ship like the Harpoon; instead, as it nears the target it rises above it and then dives straight down through the deck of the ship. The speed and angle of the attack make it nearly impossible to shoot down or to disable by electronic countermeasures or jamming.

Taiwan‘s air force would be kept busy trying to repair runway damage caused by the estimated 500 short-range ballistic missiles deployed along China‘s coast and targeting Taiwan. China‘s Second Artillery Corps would launch Dong Feng 11 (M-11) and DF-15 (M-9) in multiple-wave and multi-directional saturation attacks on air bases, port facilities and other strategic locations. Only a small number would be intercepted by Taiwan‘s three Patriot (PAC-2 Plus) anti-missile defense batteries located around Taipei. The PACs will only be able to hit missiles coming down on northern Taiwan. The south is totally unprotected from ballistic missiles. China‘s special forces, infiltrated to Taiwan, would take a keen interest in locating and destroying the PACs. Everyone knows where they are, so it would not be too difficult.

Even if Taiwan could dispatch some of its fighter aircraft, China would meet them in the air with some of its brand new Sukhoi 30, Su-27 and JH-7 fighters. China took delivery of 154 Russian Su-27 fighters earlier this year. By the end of 2004 China is expected to have 273 advanced Sukhoi fighters. Those fighter pilots able to take off before their bases were destroyed would give the Chinese a **** of a fight, but once their aircraft began to run out of fuel they would have no where to land. Many would simply fight to the bitter end and eject if they cared enough.

In the meantime, China‘s 100 Xian H-6 (Tu-16) Badger and approximately 500 Harbin H-5 (Il-28) Beagle bombers would clean up those areas not destroyed by the initial missile attack. Of particular concern to the Chinese are two "secret" air bases located within hollowed-out mountains in eastern Taiwan, Chiashan in Hualien and Chihhang in Taitung. These would probably survive the initial missile strike, and require a little more effort from China‘s air force.

New pro-Beijing government swiftly sworn in
Once Taipei was captured, a new government chosen by Beijing would be sworn into office. There would be plenty of Taiwanese politicians to choose from. It is well known there are many pro-China legislators who have investments in China and more than a few who have had private meetings with Beijing officials. The inauguration would be conducted in the spotlight of the international media, giving it some psychological legitimacy in the eyes of the international community. There would be too many pro-China people in the US State Department - privately relieved the Taiwan issue was finally settled - to say anything in Taiwan‘s defense.

With the new government inaugurated, the new president would declare an end to all hostilities with China. During a nationwide televised speech, the new president would order all military forces to stand down. With the pro-China sentiments running high in the Taiwan military, it is likely that most would grudgingly accept the new president.

The new president would contact the US Department of Defense via the new hotline installed by the US government in 2002 and warn against any US military actions taken on behalf of Taiwan or against Taiwan‘s new guests, the Chinese military. Using the hotline would demonstrate to the US that the new president and his people have access to the codes necessary to transmit an encrypted message, and also validate that the new president has the authority to access the hotline within Taiwan‘s Ministry of National Defense - a demonstration of power and control.

US military forces could respond in this scenario if so ordered. The question is, how committed is the US to Taiwan‘s defense? Given the speed of the Chinese attack, it is unlikely that US aircraft carriers would initially be involved, except for the USS Kitty Hawk. The closest US military support that could act quickly is only 20 minutes away in Okinawa.

Under the 5th Air Force based in Japan, Okinawa‘s Kadena Air Force Base has two fighter squadrons of F-15 Strike Eagle fighter aircraft (44th FS Vampires and 67th FS Fighting Cocks). In addition, the Misawa Air Base in Japan has two fighter squadrons of F-16 Falcon fighter aircraft (13th FS Panthers and 14th FS Samurais). The 7th Air Force in Korea has three squadrons of F-16s and the 11th Air Force in Alaska has three squadrons of F-15s and one squadron of F-16s.

Call in the US Marines?
The US Marine Corps is another potential thorn in China‘s side. Under the Marine Aircraft Group 12 in Iwakuni, Japan, the marines have three squadrons of F/A-18 Hornets, one squadron of EA-6B Prowlers, and one squadron of AV-8 Harrier fighter aircraft (Okinawa).

China has every reason to fear US air power. US pilots are far better trained than the Chinese. China has been lax in its training programs, so it would not be surprising to see TV images of Chinese aircraft plummeting to earth in flames. One can understand why China fervently hopes US military forces will be pulling out of South Korea and Japan.

If the US were able to send aircraft carriers to the scene, the US Navy‘s Pacific Fleet has six aircraft carriers in its arsenal: USS Kitty Hawk, Carl Vinson, Nimitz, Abraham Lincoln, John C Stennis, and Ronald Reagan. These ships carry F-14 Tomcat, F/A-18, and EA-6B aircraft. The Kitty Hawk is the only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier in the US military. Based at Yokosuka, Japan, it recently visited Hong Kong and is often mentioned in media reports regarding potential conflicts involving Taiwan.

The US Marine Corps has seven amphibious assault ships in the Pacific equipped with a variety of helicopters, fighter aircraft and assault troops. These are basically self-contained invasion forces. There are the USS Tarawa, Belleau Wood, Peleliu, Essex, Boxer, Bon Homme Richard, and Iwo Jima. Basically mini-aircraft carriers with an attitude, the Tarawa, for example, can carry four AH-1 Sea Cobra attack helicopters, six heavy-lift CH-53 Stallion transport helicopters, 20 M-60 tanks, 29 light armored vehicles, 29 AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles, and 1,900 men of a Reinforced Marine Battalion.

US aircraft carrier strike group may move to Guam
China may also have to consider the newest arrivals to Andersen Air Force Base in nearby Guam. In February, six B-52s Stratofortresses arrived from the 5th Bomb Wing based at Minot, North Dakota, at the request of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) in Hawaii. PACOM requested a "rotational bomber force on the island until it‘s no longer needed".

PACOM argues that the move is in response to North Korea, but others are suggesting that Taiwan is the basis of much of the move. This is a common theme in US military planning in Asia: the overt reason used is North Korea, but the covert one is Taiwan. Guam is now being considered for possible placement of an aircraft-carrier strike group to be moved from Hawaii.

Japan is another element in the equation, and it could intervene. Many argue that if China takes Taiwan, both Japan and South Korea would quickly develop and deploy nuclear weapons - probably in a few months. Losing the Taiwan Strait to China and facing a militarily adventuresome Beijing would send shock waves throughout the region. If Japan chose to intervene, it has nine squadrons of F-15 fighters to throw into the fight. Japan‘s naval arm could engage Chinese naval forces with close to 50 destroyers, 10 frigates, and 16 submarines.

However, in an escalating conflict involving the US, there is a possibility that China would attack US military bases in the region. Slamming DF-21C Terminal Guided Missiles on Okinawa could be a start. Beijing would consider this to be an option only after US forces have engaged Chinese naval vessels and aircraft crossing the Taiwan Strait, according to analysts. China might even get more aggressive by using special forces against US military bases in Japan, Alaska and Hawaii. All these options would give China more time to consolidate forces on Taiwan, and forestall US intervention.

Why is Taiwan worth fighting for?

To anyone who looks at a map of the region, the reasons are obvious. Taiwan‘s strategic location makes it extremely valuable. The Taiwan Strait is a critical sea lane, and taking Taiwan would allow China to choke off international commercial shipping, especially oil, to Japan and South Korea, should it ever decide to do so. In addition, Taiwan serves as a vital window for US intelligence collection. Taiwan‘s National Security Bureau and the US National Security Agency jointly run a Signal Intelligence facility on Yangmingshan Mountain just north of Taipei (see Spook Mountain: How US spies on China, March 6, 2003). Taiwan‘s inclusion into China‘s military power structure would be unthinkable for Japan.

Of course, this is only a scenario based on selected facts and seasoned with conjecture. Speculation about what China could do and what it will do are rarely comparable. Too many media pundits make mention of a Normandy-style invasion, or an apocalyptic-style missile strike, without seriously considering the fastest way between two points. Of course, China, be warned: "No plan survives the first seconds of combat."

Wendell Minnick is the Jane‘s Defence Weekly correspondent for Taiwan and the author of Spies and Provocateurs: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Persons Conducting Espionage and Covert Action (McFarland 1992). He can be contacted at janesroc@yahoo.com.


___________________________________________________


When looking at the latest poll figures    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/682137.stm    it doesn‘t seem like the pro-independence Taiwanese have a clear majority. Despite the obvious differences in their creation, I can‘t help but want to draw comparisons between Taiwan and Quebec; were the Parti Quebecois to win the next provincial  election, and decide to pursue unillateral independence (with the support of a larger number of like-minded voters than Taiwan‘s DPP) would Canada be justified in taking military action to force reunification? (Pretend the government would play along!)

The author in the article above seemed to abstain from mentioning China‘s nuclear arsenal in any showdown with the US. If China managed to amass a significant nuclear arsenal, and waited until such time that the Taiwanese government began pushing for independence (against the wishes of the US government) couldn‘t it force the US to back off? I mean, even if the US were able to field an effective missile defence system that would actually work when under attack from another superpower, and not some rogue state, in under 2 years, would that really help it keep up with evolving missile tech? (hypersonic cruise missiles...?)

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040329.wruss0329/BNStory/International/    

Is Taiwan really worth the risk of a large scale world war, especially when such a large segment of the population wants reunification?

EDIT: As a sidenote, don‘t the Chinese Special Forces have the coolest insignia ever?

   

Offline Infanteer

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2004, 04:29:00 »
Quote
I can‘t help but want to draw comparisons between Taiwan and Quebec;
I think comparing de facto and de jure notions of independance shoots that analogy down.


I think this scenario goes to pot once the US decides to revoke China‘s trading privledges (WTO, MFN, etc).  They‘ve worked too hard to bring their economy to where it is to waste it away for that island.

As for the insignia, I think it is too clutered and cheezey.  The coolest cap brass ever has to be the Lancers

 
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Bert

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2004, 10:07:00 »
As Infanteer suggests, the business intertwinings of China and Taiwan are great.  The people of Chinese ancestory in Taiwan are well aware of their history they just don‘t like the government in China.  Given the various problems China would face invading Taiwan, I doubt they would do it without provocation.

As described, the act and engineering of a Taiwan invasion is possible.  Militarily, the wild card of the USA becoming involved and the re-militarization of Japan and South Korea is not desirable.  The loss of economic benefits is not desirable.  And China itself is not as stable as one would think.  

China has a strong central government and it keeps things in line.  If China were to invade Taiwan, definitely problems of societal control in Hong Kong, southern areas in China, and areas in the west of China would likely occur.  Government corruption would cause problems.

If one remembers the Beijing Tianimen (sp) Square incident in the late 1980s, one Chinese military unit almost fought another military unit over orders to fire on chinese students.  A little civil war nearly brew out of it.

The Chinese have a long bitter history fighting amounst themselves and its uncertain how an invasion of Taiwan, where Chinese could fight against Chinese again, would sit with the lower ranks of the PRC military, the general population, as well as the more unstable parts of the country and the government.

If the PRC does go into Taiwan, they are taking the biggest risk themselves.

Offline Bert

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2004, 00:17:53 »
From the Stratfor presses...

Northeast Asia: Nationalism, Football and the Koguryo Kingdom
www.stratfor.com

Summary

As China prepares to host the Asian Cup football final in Beijing, South
Korea has lodged a strong protest urging Beijing to stop laying claim to the
ancient Koguryo kingdom. Like the games themselves, this argument over
geographic heritage exemplifies the nationalism that is such a force in
Northeast Asia, one that continues to shape relations in the region.

Analysis

South Korea lodged a strong protest with China on Aug. 6, urging Beijing to
stop laying claim to the ancient Koguryo kingdom, which was comprised of much
of what is now South Korea, all of what is now North Korea and a slice of
northeastern China from 37 B.C. to A.D. 668. This diplomatic row comes as
more than 6,000 Chinese police and soldiers prepare to deploy near the
Workers' Stadium in Beijing to ensure public order during the Asian Cup
football final between China and Japan.

Nationalism runs deep in North Korea and remains a powerful political force
that can often cause diplomatic spats and undermine bilateral initiatives.
This latest dispute began months ago, when Beijing asserted that the Koguryo
kingdom was a Chinese entity. The assertion appalled both North and South
Koreans, who see the ancient kingdom as an integral part of their own
histories.

The People's Daily in China quoted a Chinese scholar July 2, who described
Koguryo as "a regime established by ethnic groups in northern China some
2,000 years ago, representing an important part of Chinese culture." South
Korean scholars say the Chinese are compelled to claim Koguryo because of
concerns over losing sovereignty of the eastern part of Manchuria -- where
many ethnic Koreans live -- after the Koreas are ultimately unified. Even
North Korea chastised its longtime ally; Pyongyang's state-run newspaper,
Rodong Sinmun, accused Beijing of "manipulating history for its own
interest."

Beijing, probably hoping to put the issue to rest, deleted the description of
Korea's ancient history from its Foreign Ministry Web site Aug. 5. However,
Korean sensibilities are not so easily appeased. The next day, Park Joon-woo,
chief of the South Korean Foreign Ministry's Asia-Pacific Affairs Bureau,
lodged a strong protest with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other
senior officials in Beijing.

The historical dispute is so profound in South Korea that it is helping to
heal deep rifts in domestic politics. The same day Park filed his complaint
with Beijing, Rep. Chun Jung-bae, floor leader of the ruling Uri Party,
announced the party has joined with its main opposition, the Grand National
Party, to organize a parliamentary body that will handle the dispute.

As the Koguryo dispute gathers steam, another confrontation fueled by
deep-seated nationalism is about to take place on the football pitch: China
and Japan will face off Aug. 7 for the Asian Cup final. Chinese memories of
Japan's brutal invasion and occupation in World War II still run deep, and
the match is sure to be emotionally charged.

Chinese fans in the southwestern city of Chongqing booed the Japanese team
when it took the field to play Jordan's team Aug. 2. Chinese fans also sat
down during Japan's national anthem and threw garbage at Japanese fans, who
had to be escorted by police out of the stadium after the game. An angry mob
also rushed the Japanese team's bus. Chinese and Japanese fans reportedly
will be confined to separate stands during the match in Beijing, and the
stadium will be packed with Chinese security forces in case a riot breaks
out.

Chinese and Korean sentiments over imperial Japan's militarism in the early
20th century remain an unyielding force, even while their more affluent
neighbor remains one of their largest markets and investment sources. Seoul
and Beijing lodged bitter protests with Tokyo over Japanese textbooks that
gloss over Japanese war crimes, and China and the Koreas voice virulent
opposition to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visit to the Yasukuni
shrine, a memorial to Japanese war heroes that contains the remains of
several World War II war criminals.

China's sensitivity to Japanese actions was demonstrated in September 2003,
when a hotel orgy involving nearly 400 Japanese male tourists and 500 Chinese
prostitutes sparked outrage in the country and a diplomatic quarrel between
Beijing and Tokyo. The timing of the incident was particularly inopportune,
coming as it did two days before the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese army's
occupation of Northeast China.

Occasional bursts of nationalism in Northeast Asia do not destroy bilateral
ties between nations, but they do color them. For example, the issue of the
Koguryo kingdom during upcoming six-party talks over North Korea's nuclear
program helped set the tone for cooperation between the two Koreas after
relations took a hit from a recent mass defection of North Koreans. At the
same time, nationalism has added to the underlying tensions between China and
North Korea.

Patriotic fervor also has contributed to a Sino-Japanese dispute in the South
China Sea over the mutually claimed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and nearby
hydrocarbon riches lying under the sea floor.

(c) 2004 Strategic Forecasting, Inc. All rights reserved.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2004, 21:30:28 by Bruce Monkhouse »

Offline Thucydides

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2005, 21:31:16 »
Given our attention is drawn to the Middle East as WW IV unfolds, and the Tsunami turns our thoughts to Humanitarian issues, China might see this as an opportune moment...

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/tkacik200501100715.asp

The Invasion of Taiwan
A Chinese law would make it legal.

By John J. Tkacik

News that China's National People's Congress Standing Committee has placed an "anti-secession law" on the agenda for next March's NPC session raises the question, "Don't China's lawmakers have anything better to do?" Indeed they do, but as the Argentine colonels reasoned in 1982, it's clearly easier to whip up national opinion over small islands like the Falklands â ” or Taiwan, in China's case â ” than to solve the country's problems. Beijing's top Taiwan-affairs director, Chen Yunlin, was in Washington, D.C., last week to lobby the Bush administration and Congress on the absolute necessity of such a law, and the fact that Taiwanese independence is an existential threat to China's "core national security interests." (This, despite the fact that Taiwan has been de facto independent since 1949, so whatever China's "core" interests are, they have successfully kept for the past half century.)

Although the actual text of the draft "law" has yet to be published, it appears to be a watered-down version of a truly fanatical "Unification Law" advocated by at least one Chinese professor, Yu Yuanzhou of Wuhan University, whose proposed legislation requires the Chinese People's Liberation Army to attack Taiwan as soon as it is able. Yu's legislation, which has been circulating on the Internet for over two years, calls for the PLA to immediately start bombarding Quemoy and Matsu â ” and it "would not be limited to conventional weapons."

Sadly, the kind of nonsense that Prof. Yu touts via the Internet passes for rational legislative discourse in China, and last May, during a tea party for visiting Premier Wen Jiabao with Chinese expatriates in London, an elderly Chinese demanded the premier pass such a law soon. The flustered premier humored the old man, "Your view on unification of the motherland is very important, very important. We will seriously consider it." But before the thoughtful premier had finished his session, his traveling propaganda entourage had it on all the Chinese newswires, and "unification law" became official policy.

Since then, Chinese propaganda departments have changed the name from "unification law" to "anti-secession law" â ” not (as some in the Western press have speculated) as a gesture of moderation, but to avoid any misunderstanding that China might not already be "unified." Perish the thought! No, Taiwan is an integral part of China illegally struggling to be "independent." Therefore, Taiwan is already unified with China, so "anti-secession" it is.

One need not wait until March 5 to see the first draft (which, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist party, will also be the final draft) of the law to know that its goal is not "anti-secession" and that it is not even a "law." It is clear from the official Chinese media that the "law" is supposed to authorize China's military to invade Taiwan immediately upon some future Taiwanese "declaration of independence." But both China's existing National Defense Law and its legislation governing national territory already require that the military defend China's homeland. This new legislation, as with most exercises in Chinese foreign-policy legislation, is a propaganda tool designed for two audiences.

First, it readies the Chinese people for war with Taiwan, and second, it will be trotted out and exhibited as a diplomatic lever whenever Americans point to the U.S. obligation â ” under Section 2(b)(6) of our own domestic legislation, the Taiwan Relations Act â ” to "maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan."

As such, this proposed Chinese legislation is highly destabilizing. Beijing's leaders believe their bellicosity has already prepared Washington for a Chinese military attack against Taiwan. In December 2003, according to CNN's respected China analyst, Willy Lam, a senior politburo member declared that President George W. Bush's "unambiguous opposition to attempts by Taipei to change the status quo" was such that if "we were to respond militarily, the U.S. can't raise objections let alone interfere." In May, another noted China scholar, Bonnie Glaser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned that the U.S. was sending a dangerous message to Beijing. "Some Chinese even believe," she reported, "that the U.S. may acquiesce in a limited use of force by the PLA â ” for example, to seize an offshore island, temporarily impose a limited blockade, or fire a lone missile at a military target on Taiwan." Yet Chinese leaders still think they need a "law" to legitimize their threats.

On the other hand, American leaders get very defensive in the face of China's increasingly strident threats to launch a military attack against Taiwan. Rather than articulate U.S. interests, they lamely point to the Taiwan Relations Act as somehow tying their unwilling hands. As recently as October 25, Secretary of State Colin Powell stammered that "the Chinese leaders who I spoke to today said that [Taiwan] is an internal matter for [China] to determine . . . and I appreciate their position, but nevertheless, that build-up creates a degree of tension and instability across the Straits and puts pressure on the Taiwanese side to seek additional weaponry. And under our law, we have an obligation to see to their self-defense needs." In essence, the State Department's response to China's demands to halt our defense relationship with Taiwan is to claim that U.S. law requires it.

The Chinese, unfamiliar with a true "rule of law," are now prepared to respond with their own "law," one that probably will say, "China shall wage war against an independent Taiwan." This, notwithstanding that Taiwan is already independent in every way â ” including by its own insistence â ” and that Taiwanese have been carrying on their own existence separate from China's for over a century (if one doesn't count the three postwar years of what was legally a Chinese "military occupation" of a former Japanese colonial territory). If the U.S. administration is ruled by principle instead of craven expedience, it will respond to this Chinese ploy with the kind of forceful declaration usually reserved for Taiwan's leaders. So, President Bush should declare explicitly, in terms identical to his jibe at Taiwan's democratically elected president last December, that China's proposed anti-secession legislation "indicates that China may be willing to make decisions unilaterally to change the status quo, which we oppose." This would be a nice bookend to President Bush's overreaction to Taiwan President Chen's rather benign effort last December to legislate a "referendum" of protest against China's undeniable missile threat to the island.

But above all, the United States must be candid with the American people, with our democratic allies and friends in Asia, and above all with the Chinese dictatorship, about the American commitment to help Taiwan defend itself. Although the State Department seems abashed that the U.S. helps defend democratic Taiwan, it could find an eloquent statement of U.S. policy over at the Defense Department. Last April 21, Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman explained to the House International Relations Committee that "the President's National Security Strategy, published in September 2002, calls for 'building a balance of power that favors freedom.' Taiwan's evolution into a true multi-party democracy over the past decade is proof of the importance of America's commitment to Taiwan's defense. It strengthens American resolve to see Taiwan's democracy grow and prosper." That sums it up nicely.

If Chen Yun Lin can take a healthy dose of reality back to Beijing from his Washington visits, perhaps China's National People's Congress can begin to focus on China's real problems â ” ones like the vast official corruption at all levels of government and party, rural poverty, the collapse of public healthcare, the financial crisis, unsafe mines, AIDS, and the wholesale pollution of its waters and earth.

â ” John J. Tkacik Jr. is a research fellow in the Asian Studies Center of the Heritage Foundation.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2005, 21:34:27 »
Excellent article! Mark this as I bet we'll here much more about it...

Slim
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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2005, 02:25:58 »
If China where to invade Taiwan, what do you think the American response would be?
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http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,59309.msg555623.html#msg555623

shoguny2k

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2005, 03:37:47 »
The author appears to set a double standard for "rule of law". Whereas the so called 'Taiwan Relations Act' can be considered a bona fide piece of legislation that the Americans toss out at every opportunity to justify continuing sales of weapons to Taiwan, China's new anti-secession law is somehow lacking in legitimacy. This smacks of racism and condescending arrogance. Somehow I'm not surprised. Anyone who writes for a right wing mouth piece like the National Review is still nothing more than a frigging redneck - regardless of the eloquence of his expression.

The "facts" this author presents to substantiate Taiwan's claim to sovereignty is shot full with more holes than a CF Sea King helicopter. Taiwan has been part of China's territory since the Ming Dynasty (read: 700 years, folks). It was annexed by Japan during the late Qing Dynasty as part of China's concessions laid down in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. It seriously pisses me off when a bunch of westerners forcefully attempt to alter the intended destiny of a great nation (by selling 'defensive' weapons) under the guise of promoting multi-party democracy. It pisses me off, but again, I'm not surprised. The U.S. seeks to contain China and having Taiwan on their side just adds another fort to the defensive ring.

As far as I'm personally concerned, China should invade Taiwan as soon as it's militarily feasible to do so. The balance of power has already tipped in China's favour. By 2007, China will have about 1500 ballistic missiles pointed at the island. I suggest a blitzkrieg type saturation missile attack - in multiple waves to knock out Taiwan's strategic targets of interest in preparation for an amphibious assault. This must be done within 24-48 hrs at the most to prevent large scale American intervention. If all else fails, WMD's must be considered.

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2005, 04:01:50 »
Wow.

I'm assuming your membership dues to the Party are up to date?
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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2005, 04:31:09 »
Quote
As far as I'm personally concerned, China should invade Taiwan as soon as it's militarily feasible to do so. The balance of power has already tipped in China's favour. By 2007, China will have about 1500 ballistic missiles pointed at the island.
China may try to invade some day, but seriously, are they going to risk it as a growing economic power? I'm sure people think they will, but it is still highly doubtful in my mind. For now anyway...

Quote
Taiwan has been part of China's territory since the Ming Dynasty (read: 700 years, folks).
Perhaps you should ask some of the Taiwanese people what they think about being taken over by China. Western ideals are based upon freedom, and the freedom to choose ones own destiny. If you are wondering why Western countries are willing to intervene on Taiwan's behalf, by 'Promoting multy-party democracy', That is the reason. Also, once China does have Taiwan back in it's grip where will her eyes start to wander?  
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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2005, 07:18:44 »
Anyone who writes for a right wing mouth piece like the National Review is still nothing more than a frigging redneck - regardless of the eloquence of his expression.
As far as I'm personally concerned, China should invade Taiwan as soon as it's militarily feasible to do so. The balance of power has already tipped in China's favour. By 2007, China will have about 1500 ballistic missiles pointed at the island. I suggest a blitzkrieg type saturation missile attack - in multiple waves to knock out Taiwan's strategic targets of interest in preparation for an amphibious assault. This must be done within 24-48 hrs at the most to prevent large scale American intervention. If all else fails, WMD's must be considered.
[/b]
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DISCLAIMER - my opinion may cause manginal irritation.

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2005, 07:40:37 »
Between that post and the masturbation threads he tried to open might explain these posts, ;D


There were these 2 fat-*** NCM guys manning the post who were less than enthusiastic (to say the least) about promoting Naval MARE Officer positions to me. I just asked for an application package and left. Finally, one of 'em told me I should expect to wait between 6 months to a year prior to receiving any feedback on my application. Huh  They're certainly not treating me like they need me.
and,

Dude,

I'm joining the CF as a MARE Officer in the Navy. And I was told to wait between 6 months - 12 months !!!

These guys certainly don't seem to be taking valued recruits seriously.


.....I'm sure they took the "valued recruits" who came in that day very seriously. ;)
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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2005, 08:08:27 »
Back on topic, is it a national pride thing, or a resourse issue? Why is China concerned with Taiwan?

From what I understand, the Chineese do not have adaquate amphibious capability to mount a credible invasion of Taiwan. If they want the real estate I don't think they would lob missles into the living room.

Are there land issues between the Indians and the Chinese? Contested territory etc..?
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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2005, 08:17:32 »
IF YOU REALLY ENJOY THIS SITE AND WISH TO CONTINUE,THEN PLEASE WIGGLE UP TO THE BAR AND BUY A SUBSCRIPTION OR SOME SWAG FROM THE MILNET.CA STORE OR IF YOU WISH TO ADVERTISE PLEASE SEND MIKE SOME DETAILS.

Everybody has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth.

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2005, 08:30:37 »
This first link was very interesting. I never considered the strategic importance of the straight. Interesting times.
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jmackenzie_15

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2005, 10:53:42 »
 Re: Yet another theater opening?
 « Reply #2 on: Today at 02:25:58  »   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If China where to invade Taiwan, what do you think the American response would be?


I think the invasion of taiwan is inevitable.Right now would seem the opportune time to do it, taking advantage, as the article suggested, of many of the worlds powers focused on tsunami relief and funding, and the United States having their hands tied up a little bit in the middle east.
What it sounds like to me with this 'law' they are trying to pass is, the Chinese are going to washington and telling them theyre taking over taiwan but they dont want to be cut off from economic aid by the states....... in a summarized, theoretical sense lol.

If China just put it out there to everyone that they were going to invade taiwan as opposed to just blitzkrieging them to death all of a sudden, maybe they figure the worlds reaction would be less harsh and drastic that way.

"Hey guys listen, im going to annex your neighbors house and steal his car... maybe his wife too, but it has to be done! Please dont hate me :( I'll make it up to you later I promise!"

I dunno, im rambling, but one thing is for sure, taiwan is doomed =p

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2005, 12:56:09 »
Re: Yet another theater opening?
 « Reply #2 on: Today at 02:25:58  »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If China where to invade Taiwan, what do you think the American response would be?


I think the invasion of taTaiwans inevitable.Right now would seem the opportune time to do it, taking advantage, as the article suggested, of many of the worlds powers focused on tsunami relief and funding, and the United States having their hands tied up a little bit in the middle east.
What it sounds like to me with this 'law' they are trying to pass is, the Chinese are going to washington and telling them ththey'reaking over taTaiwanut they dodon'tant to be cut off from economic aid by the states....... in a summarized, theoretical sense lol.

If China just put it out there to everyone that they were going to invade taTaiwans opposed to just blblitzkrieghem to death all of a sudden, maybe they figure the worlds reaction would be less harsh and drastic that way.

"Hey guys listen, imI'moing to annex your neighbors house and steal his car... maybe his wife too, but it has to be done! Please dodon'tate me :( I'll make it up to you later I promise!"

I dunno, im rambling, but one thing is for sure, taiwan is doomed =p

Tiawan is only "doomed" if we in the democratic West fail to stand up for it. China's "law" is, as the article says, mostly for internal onconsumptionnd to divert attention from pressing internal problems and concerns. Translating that "law" into action presents many problems, and I believe tha invasion of Tiawan would be a very tough go for the PLA even with the worlds attention distracted for the moment. I need to do a search, but an article in Parameters which I read some time ago pointed out the only way to ensure a "quick" victory before the United States could get engaged would involve the use of WMD and even nuclear weapons to decapitate the military and political leadership of Tiawan, and limit the military response to a series of uncoordinated struggles by the Tiawanese military.

China has not yet developed the force projection capabilities that would allow them to ensure victory in any invasion scenario, with the greatest weakness being the logistical support for the invasion and follow-up occupation. A wild card factor might be Japan contesting China's control of the sea lanes leading to Tiawan (even if the JSDF did not get involved on the ground in China or Tiawan). Certainly, the prospect of China flexing its muscles that way would fill SE Asia with alarm, and the political fallout would be difficult for China to manage.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2005, 20:29:26 »
I'm sure everyone on this board agrees with me when i say we should be increasing our defence spending -- massively. but here is why i think we should be doing it to back up our own interests in the world, and not out of sentimental attachment to the US.

Quote
2020 Vision
A CIA report predicts that American global dominance could end in 15 years.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005, at 2:48 PM PT


Who will be the first politician brave enough to declare publicly that the United States is a declining power and that America's leaders must urgently discuss what to do about it? This prognosis of decline comes not (or not only) from leftist scribes rooting for imperialism's downfall, but from the National Intelligence Councilâ ”the "center of strategic thinking" inside the U.S. intelligence community.

The NIC's conclusions are starkly presented in a new 119-page document, "Mapping the Global Future: Report of the National Intelligence Council's 2020 Project." It is unclassified and available on the CIA's Web site. The report has received modest press attention the past couple weeks, mainly for its prediction that, in the year 2020, "political Islam" will still be "a potent force." Only a few stories or columns have taken note of its central conclusion:

The likely emergence of China and India ... as new major global playersâ ”similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th centuryâ ”will transform the geopolitical landscape with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries.

In this new world, a mere 15 years away, the United States will remain "an important shaper of the international order"â ”probably the single most powerful countryâ ”but its "relative power position" will have "eroded." The new "arriviste powers"â ”not only China and India, but also Brazil, Indonesia, and perhaps othersâ ”will accelerate this erosion by pursuing "strategies designed to exclude or isolate the United States" in order to "force or cajole" us into playing by their rules.

America's current foreign policy is encouraging this trend, the NIC concluded. "U.S. preoccupation with the war on terrorism is largely irrelevant to the security concerns of most Asians," the report states. The authors don't dismiss the importance of the terror warâ ”far from it. But they do write that a "key question" for the future of America's power and influence is whether U.S. policy-makers "can offer Asian states an appealing vision of regional security and order that will rival and perhaps exceed that offered by China." If not, "U.S. disengagement from what matters to U.S. Asian allies would increase the likelihood that they will climb on Beijing's bandwagon and allow China to create its own regional security that excludes the United States."

To the extent that these new powers seek others to emulate, they may look to the European Union, not the United States, as "a model of global and regional governance."

This shift to a multipolar world "will not be painless," the report goes on, "and will hit the middle classes of the developed world in particular" with further outsourcing of jobs and outflow of capital investment. In short, the NIC's forecast involves not merely a recalibration in the balance of world power, but alsoâ ”as these things doâ ”a loss of wealth, income, and, in every sense of the word, security.

The trends should already be apparent to anyone who reads a newspaper. Not a day goes by without another story about how we're mortgaging our future to the central banks of China and Japan. The U.S. budget deficit, approaching a half-trillion dollars, is financed by their purchase of Treasury notes. The U.S. trade deficitâ ”much of it amassed by the purchase of Chinese-made goodsâ ”now exceeds $3 trillion. Meanwhile, China is displacing the United States all across Asiaâ ”in trade, investment, education, culture, and tourism. It's also cutting into the trade markets of Latin America. (China is now Chile's No. 1 export market and Brazil's No. 2 trade partner.) Asian engineering students who might once have gone to MIT or Cal Tech are now going to universities in Beijing.

Meanwhile, as the European Union becomes a coherent entity, the dollar's value against the euro has fallen by one-third in the past two years (one-eighth just since September). As the dollar's rate of return declines, currency investorsâ ”including those who have been financing our deficitâ ”begin to diversify their holdings. In China, Japan, Russia, and the Middle East, central bankers have been unloading dollars in favor of euros. The Bush policies that have deepened our debt have endangered the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency.

What is the Bush administration doing to alter course or at least cushion the blow? It's hard to say. During Condoleezza Rice's confirmation hearings last week, Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Dâ “Md., raised some questions about the nexus between international economics and political power. Rice referred him to the secretary of the treasury.

The NIC issued the report a few weeks before Bush's inaugural address, but it serves to dump still more cold water on the lofty fantasy of America delivering freedom to oppressed people everywhere. In Asia, the report states, "present and future leaders are agnostic on the issue of democracy and are more interested in developing what they perceive to be the most effective model of governance." If the president really wanted to spread freedom and democracy around the planet, he would (among other things) need to present America as that "model of governance"â ”to show the world, by its example, that free democracies are successful and worth emulating. Yet the NIC report paints a world where fewer and fewer people look to America as a model of anything. We can't sell freedom if we can't sell ourselves.

Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate. He can be reached at war_stories@hotmail.com.


comments? rants? aneurysms?

Offline Bert

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2005, 20:53:49 »
The report may be slightly alarmist but certainly the concept of emerging regions/countries
and their relation to US dominance is bang on.

With nuclear proliferation, the industrialization of third world regions, the quest for
evermore resources, and the impacts on the environment, the stresses placed
on the world will be increasing.

My great-grandmother was born under British dominance.   I'm familiar with US dominance
and tomorrow it may very well be someone else.   Funny how history and future is.

Anyone read Stephen Baxter's books "Manifold Time" or "Evolution"?   Makes one think.



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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2005, 21:22:01 »
Ever empire has its day.
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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2005, 21:26:32 »
 Reading this really scared me. I hope the CIA is wrong about this, 2020 is only 15 years. Although, you have to question the credibility of the CIA, the believed the U.S.S.R. was a perfectly economicaly stable during the 1980's.  ::)

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2005, 21:29:19 »
The report may or may not be alarmist but it does raise a real and potentially alarming prospect.

But all may not be all gloom and doom

On the plus side (at least as far as the report is concerned) as the report seems to suggest, bigger is better in that China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Brazil and the EU if taken as a whole certainly have a lot of moral authority as governments representing very large numbers of bodies.   They would have more if all the governments were democratically elected.   They certainly are wealthy and becoming wealthier and they are all technologically capable.

But there may be a "fly in the ointment".   Centrifugal forces.

The European intelligentsia is fighting an uphill battle to convince its "peasantry" that one big government is a good idea.   It seems to have some currency in "Old Europe", especially amongst those that know all the words to the "Internationale",   but less so in Northern Europe, Southern Europe and New Europe.   All of whom treasure their independence.

India, China and Indonesia are all having to deal with separatist elements and as people become more wealthy, educated and involved with the world at large there is no reason to assume that those countries couldn't go the way of Russia, the British, Dutch, French and Spanish Empires as well as the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires.   (An Empire is just an envious description of a very large State).   They couldn't hold against the wishes of large numbers of people.   What makes us so sure that the Tibetans, Mongols, Han, Dayaks, Punjabis, Tamils will lie down and play dead.   The evidence from all over, including in Africa (think Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo) is the constant slicing of territory, division of peoples and proliferation of states.

While China and India become wealthier will they remain cohesive?   Maybe the pressures won't show by 2020 but how long after that?   And will the EU really be anything different than any of the other Empires that have come and gone within Europe?

15 years is too long for me to be placing bets on a sure outcome.

Having said that I do think that that very uncertainty, and the prospect of increasing uncertainty, demands that Canada, like every other State, prepares itself to be able to defend vigourously its citizens and its interests at home an abroad.

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Offline CBH99

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2005, 21:41:53 »
I for one wouldn't mind a more level playing field in terms of there being another major global player besides the United States.   I mean no disrespect to our American friends south of the border, but in terms of America's current policies - it wouldn't hurt for there to be another global player, such as the EU.   During the Cold War, America had to rely just as much on moral highground and ethical superiority as it did military might, since the USSR outweighed the American military in terms of heavy industry.   Both sides were evenly matched in terms of strategic deployment of nuclear missiles, hence MAD.

Now that there is no official "second power" in the world - the US no longer has to rely on the moral highground in order to win over the rest of the world's support.   As we've all seen very recently in regards to the US war on Iraq, the US no longer has to think as heavily about how its policies may be interpreted by the world's citizens, since the US believes they no longer have to win over their hearts and minds in the face of a national adversary of equal or greater power.   This decline in the US moral highground may go unchecked until either another US leader is put in power, or until another global force emerges that causes the US to pause and remember that winning the hearts of the world's citizens is more important than being able to control them via foreign and defense policy.

Lets tell the rest of the world there are WMD in Iraq, and invade them at great human and financial cost.   And, almost 1.5yrs after the end of "major combat operations", lets officially say that no - we were mistaken, there were no WMD.   However, we did manage to oust Saddam - that has to count for something, right?   Lets not officially say we're going to start racial profiling at our airports - after all...its not like we have a history of racial prejudice or anything.   But at the same time, lets give everybody who has a darker skin complexion the gears, after all - they might be from either the Middle East or South America.   Lets tell the rest of the world that they are either with us, or against us - after all, its not like we're supposed to respect the viewpoints or listen to the ideas of other countries, right?   Oh, but how dare they challenge us!   They are either with us, or against us - whats so hard that the rest of the world can't understand?   Sheesh.

Okay, so some of the above might have been embellished just a little bit - but the points remain the same.   We in Canada might see American foreign policy different than people in the US, China, or the Middle East.   We share a border, we have common interests, we share cultural values, we share a similar system of criminal justice and corrections - Canada and the US are essentially very good friends, despite whatever snit we might get into sometimes.   But for people in the EU, China, or the Middle East - they don't have the luxury of a relationship with the US that we do.   People in the regions mentioned above might see the above paragraph as being more true to life, whereas we in Canada might see it as a bit of an embellishment and exaggeration.

The underlying point to all of this is;   a foreign power who has the will and the means to challenge the United States will force the US to start fighting for the moral highground again.   I'm not saying the US has turned into an evil empire by any means;   but lets face the real world - the US has some foreign policies that really do cause a lot of people to shudder.   The US is its own worst enemy - terrorism is a byproduct of continued arrogance.   Its hard for us in the west to truly understand this;   it wasn't until my wife and I were in Tehran last year that we really understood the foundation of terrorism.   Yes - there are extremists out there who would rather kill innocent people than change their way of life - and a bullet to the head would warrant no objection from me.   But, a lot of those the US calls "terrorists" perhaps aren't as extreme as the western media makes them out to be.   Or perhaps they weren't, before the current conflict.   Remember the quote:   Perception is Reality?   Well if certain groups of people in the Middle East PERCEIVE and BELIEVE their religion is coming under attack, that is their REALITY.   And if there is one thing I learned to respect about the Muslim religion in my experiences over the course of 7 months in Iran, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt - is that they will do anything that they feel is necessary to protect their religion.   The real problem lies not just with the groups of actual terrorists or extremists out there - but with the sense of urgency groups within the Muslim world feel as if they are under attack from the west.

I could rant on about this for a long time - but I implore you to think about this issue BROADLY.   Think about certain, specific instances in the past - and in the present, in the form of both military action and developments in foreign policy.   If the United States wanted to continue to dominate the globe militarily, it could easily do so.   If the US managed its economy better, and was determined to continue to dominate the world in terms of economic and military power, it could be done - don't ever doubt the US' ability to accomplish a goal.   However, unless the US has the ability to regain the trust and empathy of the world's citizens, I can't help but see a foreign power gaining enough influence to challenge American policy and influence.   I don't mean to sound alarmist in the sense that it will lead to armed conflict, but unless the US can gain the trust of the people of the world yet again, a foreign power might not have to match the US military capability in order to influence global politics.
Fortune Favours the Bold...and the Smart.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some Boondock Saints kicking around?

Offline pbi

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2005, 22:18:28 »
I'm not sure that the emergence of a peer competitor might not have exactly the opposite effect of what you are looking for. And I would also question whether, upon close examination, we would really find that US foreign policy in the Cold War and pre-911 world was driven any less by "RealPolitik" and any more by "altruism" than it is driven now. America, like any major power, deploys its forces based on its national interests. It cannot justify the risk and expense to its electorate in any other way.  It was so in both WW's  (hence their late entry in both cases) and IMHO it remains true today. "Fuzzy internationalism", as represented by the UN, has never really appealed to the US except for that short period following WWII in which they were instrumental in establishing that institution and offering it a home. Their committment to NATO (secured to a certain extent through Canadian diplomatic efforts under the St Laurent govt) was an anomaly for the US up to that point. Show me one major world power that has ever made a serious committment based solely on altruistic reasons as opposed to a calculation of risk vs national interest.

Cheers
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Blue Max

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Re: The Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2005, 04:01:26 »
Does this not sound familiar in Canada.

Why Austria Selected Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon?
By Georg Mader

http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_476.shtml

â Å“For almost 40 years, Austria, meanwhile the 7th or 8th richest nation in the World, had always been told by the former Social-Democratic- (SPOE) administration (the best friends of 'neutral' Sweden) that "nobody is going to attack or harm us...", "what much more social and humanitarian work we could do with that money...". This standpoint created a climate of "...we have Congress-places with UN, Mozart, our ski-aces, fine food and vine, etc...". Eventually this resulted in there being absolutely no dedication to defence or to the understanding of a collective-security in the Austrian public: the media and half of the politics educated Austrians that way for 40 years. â Å“


One of the important reasons that Canada must not lose its military tradition is exactly because the US may not be a Hyper Power forever, infact it is for Mutual Defence that we must not revert to a overly motivated police force.   If we continue to erode our military capability instead of building it backup to where we can actually add to the security of the free world, then our leaders will doom us to a Neville Chamberlain like debacle some time in the future.

Despots can always find money to rebuild their tank battalions and submarine fleets, but in the free world tax payers are usually far more selective with what our governments spend money on.   :threat:   We must continue to add to the mutual security of our neighbors or else we will doom our own freedom.   :cdn:

MHO
"We will preserve our tradition of being most ready when the nation is least read. While this mission is our number one priority, we also have the responsibility to prepare for the future."
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Michael W. Hagee