China Versus Taiwan

Let me say from the onset that I am by no means an expert in Chinese affairs…..but this is something that has been boiling for 5 decades or longer.

For over 50 years there have been two Chinas…Mainland and the island of Taiwan….and in all that time they have been at the others throat.

But why have they been hating each other all that time?

Let me make this situation as simple as possible.

Now that you know why the hatred is there and simmering just below the surface of geopolitics….

In the first week of 2019, as China grabbed headlines for landing a spacecraft on the far side of the moon, a New Year’s Day editorial in the nation’s official military newspaper told its readers that “war preparations” should be a top priority for the year. The following day, President Xi Jinping offered a forceful reminder of what Beijing considers its most likely focus of conflict to be: Taiwan.

And to help with the understanding of this situation….a short video may help…..

Taiwan is an ally of the US and if push came to shove with China I think the US would side with Taiwan and act accordingly….even if it meant going to war.

In his opening speech of 2019, and his first ever on the subject of Taiwan, the Chinese president Xi Jinping was characteristically uncompromising. Forty years after Beijing agreed to stop its daily shelling of the Taiwanese islands of Quemoy and Matsu, and launched a policy of commercial seduction, relations have coarsened. Addressing an audience of military and party officials and his country’s wider public on 2 January, China’s nationalist president-for-life signalled his impatience with the status quo, refused to rule out the use of military force and warned “foreign powers” against intervening in what Beijing regards as a domestic matter. For any Taiwanese viewer, it was a chilling moment.

With that said there has been a study that does not think the US could win a state vs state war with China……

One of the first things one learns as an infantry platoon leader is that he who tries to secure everything with his soldiers on the battlefield usually ends up securing nothing. Unfortunately for U.S. national security, this old maxim appears to have been forgotten at the strategic and political level by some of America’s brightest minds in the defense community as evidenced in a recent report.

The November 2018 study Providing for the Common Defense, issued by the National Defense Strategy Commission, a congressionally-mandated blue-ribbon panel led by former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman and retired U.S. Navy Admiral Gary Roughead, recommends that the United States should spend more on its armed forces and reinforce its global military presence lest Washington be confronted by a national security emergency at a period when the nation is at a “greater risk than at any time in decades.”

I know that everyone thinks the US is the bees knees but is it possible that we could not win a state vs state war with China?


14 thoughts on “China Versus Taiwan

  1. To understand what you are asking one would have to understand how such a war would unfold and how it would be fought in order to determine if a win by either side is possible. Anyone, any nation, goes to war with the idea that it will survive the fight. On the surface, if we measure military capabilities, we can all be armchair strategists and add up the tanks and airplanes and missiles on both sides and make suppositions. What is the winner expected to walk away with at the end of the day?

      1. If China really and truly wanted Taiwan and to hell with the world they would have done this, or at least tried, long ago… that much is fairly obvious to a layman like me who knows next to nothing of what’s going on over there. China is an economic powerhouse that has smelled the fragrance of capitalism; important people are getting rich… Communism is a shell of what it once was… and politically Taiwan was an “embarrassment” to the Communist power brokers of the past, not so much now. Taiwan does represent a measure of an economic competitor in the region and that might irk them more than anything. But to me the important element here is that China can keep using the Taiwan issue for political leverage by keeping the old argument alive and well.
        At the time of Hong Kong being turned over I was very interested in how China did this. Fortunately I was exchanging emails with someone over there at the time so I was getting a little first hand info. Like many, I was fearing the Communist hordes being let loose onto civilization and HK being pillaged and plundered. Obviously China has allowed HK to be it’s own economic zone of sorts and remain intact (“one country, two systems”). There’s no reason at all to suspect that China would not handle Taiwan in the same way… even more so now with China’s improved economic lifestyle.

        Right or wrong, Taiwan has developed into an independent democratic nation with our help. In spite of the fact that the U.S. has no formal recognition of Taiwan (since the 70’s) in order to appease China, Taiwan has always been under our protection…. ostensibly from China. That being the case, it would seem appropriate (and very likely in my book… another 50 years?) for the Taiwanese to self-determine their re-union with mainland China at some future date. Our “defense” of Taiwan has nothing to do with fighting off the scourge of Communism. That ended decades ago. We should be defending their right for self-determination… as pretty much we might do with any other democratic country.

      2. Taiwan is China’s “caravan” a diversion……makes good PR when they have bad economic news like a slowdown they are having now…..chuq

  2. As Taiwan is a state created by the ‘losers’ in the civil war in China, and propped up by western powers, it is only right that it should be returned to China, in the same way that Hong Kong was. To fight any war, large or small, over the continued existence of Taiwan is just nonsensical.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. The only part on the Kennedy Nuxon debate I remember was the part about Taiwan. Nixon said something complicated that I could not understans and Kennedy said we should make one last effort.

    As far a war with China we would lose our pacific fleet entirely. What we would do after that is unknown but a ground war with China in China would not be something we could win. Unless we used nuclear weapons and killed at least seven hundred and fifty million of their people . Maybe more. We would defeat them but not sure if there would be anything left of us.

    My opinion is we should stay out of it.

    What would we do if China sent a fleet to the Gulf of Mexico and conducted war games. That is what we are doing in the South China Sea.

    1. THese “war games” are not a good idea and then we get pissed with others doing it……but I have come to expect hypocrisy from out Pentagon………chuq

  4. Thanks for covering the topic, Pete!

    I have no political insight to offer, but coming from Taiwan, I know that 90% of people would be offended and mortified by the idea of reunifying with China. So many acts of protest have been happening too…boycotts, vandalism, even the rare attack on Chinese tourists… Mainlanders don’t necessarily seem to “hate” Taiwan though – their slogan is “two coasts, one family.”

    I live in Canada now, and while I don’t have strong opinions on the matter, I can’t help but feel slightly flattered whenever people acknowledge Taiwan as a country.

    1. I am curious, moyatori… why did you re-locate to Canada? I am aware that there seems to be a fair percentage of Asians, Southeast Asians in general who have settled there. what’s the draw?

      1. Well, I came with my parents as a kid, so it really wasn’t my choice (I’m 20 now).

        1. Education is one of the primary reasons. The West generally has a reputation for a more liberal educational system. If I had stayed in Taiwan, I’d have been subjected to the pressure to study like mad to get into a half-decent university, and the top university in Taiwan isn’t even that great in world rankings.

        2. Then there’s the economy. Like everywhere else in the world, Taiwan is getting increasingly expensive, but min wage is atrociously low. Vancouver is the most expensive city in Canada, but in comparison, prospects of finding a job are still better! This is probably more for me and my brother than my parents themselves (my mom cashiers at a grocery store now, because her knowledge of English is basic).

        3. Political insecurity. This motivated not so much my parents, but some other families I know. Taiwan currently has two major political parties (Nationalist KMT vs. Progressive DPP), and as you may expect, it’s the good old independence vs. China argument again. Both of these have shitty reputations at this point.

        4. Natural environment. Space and nature are things you don’t get much of in Asian cities. Fresh air is another attractive factor.

        Whew, this comment got long, but I hope it answers some questions. Like I said, I moved here when I was young, so I may not be as familiar with conditions in Taiwan now!

      2. Actually thank you for taking the time. All of that makes perfect sense. Certainly the older folks in Taiwan who are more closely bound to the mainland by family and culture would have a vested interest in that option of getting back together in some form. Younger folks over the last few decades have little of those connect feelings. Times change. I have to presume that Canada is going to get far more attractive for immigration from many parts of the world specifically because of, like you said, the wide open spaces, greater political stability, etc. I’d not be surprised if more Americans don’t head up there. I dislike the cold and the snow.. so I’ll pass on that. 🙂

      3. Canada reeks of weed (which I have nothing against, except for the smell), but other than that, it’s quite nice. It’s not even that cold depending on where you live. I haven’t seen real snow in about a year!

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