Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 06, 2022

China's Reaction To Pelosi's Visit Reveals Its Taiwan Conflict Plans

China's response to Pelosi's visit of Taiwan continues:

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said on Saturday that multiple Chinese military aircraft and vessels had operated near Taiwan in the morning in what it believed to be a simulation of an attack on Taiwan's main island.

In a brief press statement, the MND said multiple Chinese military aircraft and vessels conducted activities near Taiwan Saturday morning, with some of them crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait -- an unofficial buffer zone normally avoided by both Taiwanese and Chinese military aircraft and vessels.

The MND added that the Chinese military was likely "simulating an attack on Taiwan's main island."

The median line of the Taiwan Strait was drawn in 1955 by U.S. Airforce General Benjamin Davis. It no longer has any meaning.

Marine traffic around Taiwan continues without much trouble. Taiwan's harbors are still accessible. Ships avoid the zones China had designated as target areas.



Some people in Taiwan's news agency CNA now recognize what a real conflict with China would look like (machine translation):

Experts pointed out that China's unprecedented large-scale military exercises around Taiwan now give a glimpse of how the Communist army will block off the island of Taiwan if it launches a war against Taiwan in the future, and also exposes the Chinese military.

After Pelosi left Taiwan, the Communist Army issued another navigation warning, and live ammunition [will be] fired in the Yellow Sea for 10 consecutive days
This is the first time that a Chinese military exercise has come so close to Taiwan, with some drills operating less than 20 kilometers from the coast of Taiwan.

Also unprecedented is that the location of the exercise by the communist army includes the sea and airspace east of Taiwan. This is an area of ​​strategic importance for Taiwanese troops to receive supplies and for possible U.S. reinforcements.

The outside world has long speculated that one of China's preferred strategies for attacking Taiwan is a blockade.

This encirclement action is to prevent any commercial and military ships and aircraft from entering or leaving Taiwan, as well as to prevent the advance of Taiwan by U.S. troops stationed in the region. Song Zhongping, an independent Chinese military analyst, said the Chinese army "obviously has all the military capabilities to enforce such a blockade".

China indeed has the capability to completely blockade Taiwan. As the whole area is also under cover of China's land based ballistic missiles and in reach of its airforce a blockade is easy to establish and hard to breach.

China's military is no longer the unprofessional lightly armed force that some still think it is:

According to Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese military dispatched more than 100 military aircraft and more than 10 frigates and destroyers in the exercise, including the J-20 stealth fighter and the Type 055 destroyer, which are cutting-edge weapons of the Chinese Air Force and Navy, respectively.

In addition, through the exercise, the PLA can test and strengthen the coordinated combat capabilities of participating troops of various services and arms, including ground, sea, air and rocket troops, as well as strategic support capabilities in charge of cyber warfare.

In addition, the exercise also posed a major test to the Eastern Theater Command established by the Communist Party of China in 2016. This theater is responsible for military operations in China's entire eastern seas, and thus covers Taiwan.

John Blaxland, a professor of international security at the Australian National University, told reporters that what China had displayed so far was a "great military."

"They can't be dismissed as some sort of less experienced and underpowered army, they're clearly capable of coordinating land and sea operations, and capable of using missile systems and being effective," he said.

Braxland said the Chinese military's exercises showed Taiwan, the United States and Japan that China "has the conditions to carry out the actions they have threatened to take."

Barxland is not the only 'western' expert who is impressed by this well coordinated show of force.

If one compares a potential war about Taiwan with the current NATO-Russia proxy war in Ukraine on can see the U.S. problems. The U.S. would likely want to avoid a direct conflict over Taiwan with a nuclear armed China, just like it avoids one with Russia in Ukraine. That is why Biden is at odds with lawmakers who want to implement some crazy Taiwan Policy Act that would commit the U.S. to the islands defense.

The U.S. would rather want to help Taiwan by other means. But how?

An air and sea blockade would hit Taiwan hard. Some 40% of its electricity is generated by natural gas all of which it has to import. Another large part is produced with coal which Taiwan also imports. The same goes for petroleum products. Before Pelosi landed in Taipei gas reserves on the island were enough for just 11 days. Coal and oil is easier to store but would still run out before a blockade could be lifted.

Then there is food:

In 2018, Taiwan's food self-sufficiency rate is only 35%. Additionally, the actual production of agricultural land in Taiwan is about 520,000 hectares, which is far from the 740,000 to 810,000 hectares’ target prescribed by the Ministry of Interior. As an island nation, food supply depends on international trade and is regarded as dangerous.

A total blockade of Taiwan would likely bring it to its knees within a few weeks or months. Time that could be used to defeat its air force, air defenses and missiles and prevent attacks from Taiwan on China's continental assets. China does not have to invade the island. It just has to wait until it is invited to come in.

In a response to a Chinese blockade of Taiwan the U.S. would likely declare a blockade of China from energy imports, i.e. oil and LPG. It could enforce this by hindering Chinese ships from passing through the Malacca Street and other maritime bottlenecks. (The second big gas pipeline that Russia is currently building to China is one of the counter moves to that threat.)

In case of a blockade and counter-blockade the question becomes who could hold out longer. Here China has the advantage of greater reserves. The U.S. would also have only few allies in such a conflict. China would, like Russia is now, still be in good standing with the rest of the world. That would allow it to mitigate most consequences.

Andrei Martyanov seems to think that the technologically superior U.S. submarine fleet could defeat the Chinese navy in the South China Sea. I doubt that it is still the case. It is also totally irrelevant. Submarines can not lift blockades that are enforced by land based missiles and an air force that flies under the protective air defense cover of continental China.

In addition to the maneuvers China has taken political countermeasures against the U.S.:

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday announced the following countermeasures in response:
1. Canceling China-U.S. Theater Commanders Talk.
2. Canceling China-U.S. Defense Policy Coordination Talks (DPCT).
3. Canceling China-U.S. Military Maritime Consultative Agreement (MMCA) meetings.
4. Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on the repatriation of illegal immigrants.
5. Suspending China-U.S. cooperation on legal assistance in criminal matters.
6. Suspending China-U.S. cooperation against transnational crimes.
7. Suspending China-U.S. counternarcotics cooperation.
8. Suspending China-U.S. talks on climate change

Calls by the Pentagon chiefs to China now go unanswered.

The U.S. wants to further provoke China with another warship passage through the Taiwan Strait. But China's legal understanding is that an uninvited military passage through its economic zone is not allowed. The U.S. makes the same claim when it comes to its own economic zone.

As China has broken off all military communication with the U.S. the risk of a passage is now much higher. One should not be astonished when China reacts to it.

Posted by b on August 6, 2022 at 16:37 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Taiwan take over by mainland China, grows likelier by the hour ...

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Aug 6 2022 16:50 utc | 1

Did USA call China's bluff?

When Pelosi landed in Taiwan, many people – including many Americans – were disappointed. China had lost face and USA had called its bluff. This is what I wrote in response:

It is not a bluff, it is a dress rehearsal.

China made a decision. It abandoned the policy of peaceful reunification and decided that they must invade Taiwan. From now on China will arrange similar war games every year, each of them larger than the previous one. Some time in the next 3 to 5 years, the exercises will go live and lead to an invasion.

Many observers have now come around to the same conclusion.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 6 2022 16:53 utc | 2

Wow, for a site called Naked Capitalism they sure go out of their way to spy on you and sell the data to third parties. They even try to make mandatory European opt outs as difficult as possible.

Anyways, while China certainly can sink anything passing through the Taiwan Strait: they won't. Maybe they're waiting for the winter, maybe they're worried about actually fighting America over pride. It doesn't really matter- if China is ready to gamble to become the new hegemon, it won't be a primarily military battle. If they're not, the status quo with America can persist no matter how many bilateral conferences they cancel.

Posted by: trev006 | Aug 6 2022 16:55 utc | 3

Just spitballing here, but it looks to me that the ineffectual US support for both Ukraine and Taiwan by the Biden Administration may be deliberate.

If Russian and Chinese Intel services had hard proof of the Biden Family corruption in Ukraine and China, they could leverage that knowledge to get what they want.

The US would still have to show token propaganda and military support for their "allies", but not enough to change the outcome.

To those who say there are no backroom deals between the rivals, recall that before the Azovstal "evacuation", there were reports of numerous NATO commanders in the complex. After the surrender Russia did not release a single name.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Aug 6 2022 16:58 utc | 4

1.China is not trying to become the new hegemon.
2. China does not want the US to turn Taiwan into a bone in its throat, essentially using it as an "aircraft carrier against the mainland" as somebody on MOA put it.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 6 2022 16:59 utc | 5

thanks b.... that pelosi move sure was a bright one, lol.... it reflects the egocentric point of view individually and collectively...

china does blockade while the west do sanctions... i suppose china and russia can do sanctions as well.. it seems impossible for the usa and friends to change course here... it would be like teaching an old dog new tricks... ain't gonna happen...

@ Petri Krohn | Aug 6 2022 16:53 utc | 2

makes sense petri.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2022 17:01 utc | 6

If anyone doesn't know Taiwan I recommend taking a look at Taiwan in Google Maps.

Almost the entire population is on the Eastern "Half" of the island facing China.

The Western "Half" of the island is almost completely devoid of people. A wilderness.

It's quite an amazing sight with one side incredibly densely packed with people and built up and the other side full of jungles and mountains.

*It is not quite Half/Half but if you have a look you get the picture.

Posted by: Julian | Aug 6 2022 17:03 utc | 7

Silly me - I've completely stuffed that up - the population is almost entirely on the Western "Half" - the Eastern Half is all but deserted!

It is really a sliver of the Western side of the island now that I look at it again.

Posted by: Julian | Aug 6 2022 17:05 utc | 8

The Taiwan situation, even more than that in Ukraine, exemplifies the underlying reality that this is a struggle over control international trade between shipowners and land based transportation. The Empire versus Eurasia. And Taiwan's separatist/compradors have backed Yesterday's Empire. As have the EU's leaders.
That is the problem with conservatives and conformists, they can't see change coming until it runs them over and crushes them.
It is going to be interesting to watch developments in Sri Lanka.

An excellent article at NC, to which b links.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 6 2022 17:15 utc | 9

The whole point of Pelosi trip was to restore some street cred with Global South, by putting on a show that to prove to doubters that America can still poke anyone in eye whenever they want and get away with it.

But like Mike Tyson said once.... Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Posted by: RiNS | Aug 6 2022 17:17 utc | 10

So far, this has been a masterclass in “reactive” foreign policy - a strategy developed by the U.S. in the postwar years. The idea is to poke the opponent repeatedly to eventually produce a response, and then portray the response as an escalation which requires a countervailing reaction. The super-power can portray itself as merely reacting to an out-of-the-blue “aggression”. Public statements by American allies have been demanding that China “de-escalate” and reduce tensions.

Canada’s defence minister, for example, decries the “unnecessary escalation” and “threatening actions”, and warns that China must not “unilaterally change the status quo by force”, even as Canadian naval ships are head to the region. The CBC’s “senior defence writer” finishes a recent piece with the following revisionist summation:

“China's insistence that Taiwan is its territory and its threat to use force to reclaim the island have been a repeated refrain of the ruling Communist Party. But the statements have grown more stringent over the last several years.
Taiwan split away from the mainland at the conclusion of the country's civil war in 1949.
Residents in Taiwan overwhelmingly favour the status quo of de facto independence and reject China's demands for re-unification.”

I assume he is working from a distributed set of talking points. Note that the notion of “status quo” is described as “de facto independence” - a questionable proposition, but it should be assumed this will be the new western line and the working "One-China" policy will be dismissed as CPC propaganda.

Posted by: jayc | Aug 6 2022 17:25 utc | 11

@ Julian | Aug 6 2022 17:03 utc | 7 / 8

i think you had it right the first time, lol.... fact is the majority of people live on the side facing china, not the open ocean.. same deal here on vancouver island... i think this has to do with it being more protected and probably warmer and more hospitable living on that side.. this is certainly true for vancouver island!

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2022 17:25 utc | 12

The United States is dependent upon Taiwan's machine tool industry.


Posted by: too scents | Aug 6 2022 17:26 utc | 13

I heard today that China has ceased shipments of sand that is used in the manufacture of computer chips. I always thought sand was sand but apparently it’s takes a special grade of sand or you can’t build the chips. If the Taiwanese can’t source this sand elsewhere, or the Chinese navy not allow the ships to pass, the world will grind to a halt as the supply of computer chips dry up. A cold, dark, and hungry winter indeed.

Posted by: Tony | Aug 6 2022 17:28 utc | 14

“The U.S. would rather want to help Taiwan by other means. But how?”

I have suggested to the US and China governments that they simply relocate the part of Taiwan's population that seeks independence. Keeping them there has been a needless source of East-West friction since the 1940s. That these suggestions are ignored suggests domination of China by its MIC as the US. The plan is not costly or impractical.

Those very productive people have much to contribute to any developing nation, and could be relocated to other countries they prefer, or China or US could purchase land for them to create a New Taiwan.

A large underpopulated island such as New Britain in PNG or Chiloe off Chile should appeal to them. Mexico or Brazil would greatly benefit by accommodating such a population. Of course infrastructure, homes and commercial facilities must be built, but China could pay for that in exchange for the Taiwan property of emigrants.

Where is the UN when we need them?

Posted by: Sam F | Aug 6 2022 17:32 utc | 15

@Tony | Aug 6 2022 17:28 utc | 17

Most silicon wafers come from Japan.

Posted by: too scents | Aug 6 2022 17:32 utc | 16

Meanwhile, in Gaza, the most moral military in the world is at it again.

It's almost like tying up and degrading Russian military capabilities were so important to the neocons that they'd provoke this war because it frees Israel up to do more horrible settler colonial things in the Levant. Almost like everything the neocons does is ultimately about Israel. The recent table-flipping and confrontation with Russia is really about their counter intervention in Syria.

Doesn't look like the new mores of the use of war seem to have any impact on Israel. Cancel culture is actually a function of MSM elevating and symbiotically ratcheting up rhetoric. No MSM involvement and all the outrage on Twitter is just that, outrage on Twitter, nothing is ever allowed to trend either.

Posted by: Altai | Aug 6 2022 17:35 utc | 17

Yes b, a combination of air and sea blockade ought to force Taiwan to capitulate to reunification. And what would that actually entail for Taiwanese? Not very much in the reality of day-to-day life. Yes, the politics and education aspects would be altered significantly, but overall life, IMO, would be better and more secure for the masses. And as I've written, reunification is THE last major component in China's quest for Rejuvenation that began in 1911 and was/is a joint goal for ALL Chinese. I suggest interested barflies do a search using China rejuvenation for Chinese article on the topic as most Western ones are crap. Yes, it was Sun Yat-sen who declared rejuvenation as China's national goal as one of the 1911 Revolution's goals, and Sun is revered more than Mao. The DPP's politicos have tried to disown Sun and sully his reputation as China's #1 historical patriot, which doesn't make DPP very popular as one might imagine.

As for Outlaw US Empire attempts to interdict Chinese shipping, China's Blue Water Navy is much bigger than many are aware and is producing many convoy escort type ships to employ if needed. That's the actual task of China's Carriers: to provide air cover for convoys. If the Empire tries to interdict using its subs, hello major war and ultimate defeat for the Outlaw US Empire, which will further its international isolation. The Anti-Communist fetish that only elites have anymore will spell their doom if they aren't ousted. For those thinking I'm nuts, look at how many ships China is building and commissioning yearly versus that of the Outlaw US Empire, along with aircraft, and anti-ship plus air defense missiles. And China has more than enough manpower to operate all those weapons; the Outlaw US Empire doesn't. China's ability to defeat any USN missile salvo attack is just as high as Russia's, and it has more than enough missiles of its own to completely defeat the attackers. On this issue, Martyanov is dead wrong.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 17:39 utc | 18

Posted by: jayc | Aug 6 2022 17:25 utc |

Reactive foreign policy has been the US MO since Washington was president. He did exactly that to provoke war with Indian nations, get the permanent army he wanted and launch an imperial war against those Indian nations. But to be fair, the Romans did it too. The declaration of a “just war” was terribly important to them so they’d do whatever was necessary to provoke one. Maybe it’s just a facet of imperial policy generally.

Posted by: Lex | Aug 6 2022 17:46 utc | 19

PRC already beginning sanctions against the Washington War Party. The list B. posted might seem trivial, but it’s likely just a start.

Ask yourself do Chinese have more invested in US assets or do Americans have more invested in Chinese assets ? ( US companies have like 4x at risk)

Learn a fancey word not used since the 1940s:


Posted by: Exile | Aug 6 2022 17:48 utc | 20

This is just Kabuki theatre and I certainly think there is a degree of co-ordination from both sides.

In 1978, Klaus Schwab, founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF, with his keen perception and insight, predicted that huge changes would take place in China. He later recalled that he was sure that China would play a vital role on the world stage when he read about Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening-up policy in 1978. In the same year, he extended an invitation to Deng Xiaoping to the WEF. Deng didn't attend himself, but he sent a high-level delegation headed by Qian Junrui, Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, to the 1979 Annual Meeting. Three months later, Dr. Schwab visited Beijing with a European business delegation that included 20 CEOs. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing and established contact. From then on, China has never been absent from the Davos meetings.

In the following decades, Dr. Schwab has worked actively for closer cooperation between the WEF and China and witnessed China's journey of reform and opening-up.

Over the past four decades, the WEF has maintained good cooperation with China. Chinese leaders attended multiple forum meetings and delivered speeches. Many successful Chinese business leaders have participated in the forum and found inspiration from it.

In 2005, Dr. Schwab proposed the idea of a Summer Davos in China, in addition to the regular annual meeting in the small Swiss town of Davos. After the decision was made, he went through many cities in China and finally picked Dalian and Tianjin as the host cities. When standing in a temporary office in Dalian World Expo Center, with a picturesque view of the sea and mountains in front of him, Dr. Schwab was amazed by the great changes in China, the venues that are "bigger, bigger and bigger" than those in Davos, and the "fantastic" facilities.

With the joint efforts of China and the WEF, the first Annual Meeting of the New Champions was held in Dalian in 2007. Since then, Tianjin and Dalian would take turns to host the meeting. As Dr. Schwab said, the WEF would have two pillars: the Winter Davos and the Summer Davos. The WEF planned to make the Summer Davos a major international conference as big and influential as the Winter Davos, with a focus on internationalization, a common concern of growth companies across the world.

Bring the World Economic Forum to China — Klaus Schwab on China’s Development

On the evening of July 19, 2022, Premier Li Keqiang met with Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Klaus Schwab at the Great Hall of the People via video link.

Li Keqiang said that China's cooperation with the WEF has gone through over 40 years, almost keeping pace with China's reform and opening-up process. At present, global development is facing many uncertain and unstable factors, but world peace and development and contacts and exchanges among all countries are desired by all the people around the world, and such a popular trend cannot be reversed. Twists and setbacks cannot stop the pace of progress of human civilization and history. The international community needs to firm up confidence, maintain peace and stability, strengthen dialogue and communication, and jointly tackle challenges. China commends that the WEF has always focused on economic development and strengthened cooperation with China, and deepening cooperation between the two sides is conducive to sending a positive signal of developing the economy and improving people's livelihood to the world.

Li Keqiang pointed out that no matter how the international landscape may change, China will unswervingly stay committed to the fundamental state policy of opening-up, and is willing to strengthen dialogue and communication with all other parties to create conditions for mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.

Klaus Schwab said that the WEF has maintained a good partnership with China over the past 40 years. In today's world facing multiple crises and challenges, the WEF is willing to deepen cooperation with China, promote global dialogue, give full play to the role of the business community, strengthen international and regional exchanges and cooperation, and play an active role in addressing climate change, promoting industrial transformation and social equity.

Li Keqiang Meets with Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab

Posted by: Down South | Aug 6 2022 17:49 utc | 21

Note that the notion of “status quo” is described as “de facto independence” - a questionable proposition, but it should be assumed this will be the new western line and the working "One-China" policy will be dismissed as CPC propaganda.

Posted by: jayc | Aug 6 2022 17:25 utc | 12

Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), is de facto independent:
1. They issue their own currency and have independent monetary policy
2. They issue their own passports and have independent immigration policy
3. Their Parliament passes legislation without interference from the mainland.

The "One China" policy by the US (and others) includes a condition that any transition of political control to the mainland must be peaceful, implying that population of ROC must agree. Polling suggests that will not happen anytime soon.

In any case, if an invasion happens, expect a few million more wealthy immigrants and refugees to head east and prop up the US/Canadian economy and real estate values ;-)

1990's Hong Kong redux.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Aug 6 2022 17:54 utc | 22

China should take a leaf book out of Russia's book and fire a few rounds close to the next US warship that trespasses in the straits, the US wouldn't hesitate to do the same in its waters.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Aug 6 2022 17:55 utc | 23

Non conosco le dinamiche militari taiwanesi ma non mi pare di aver letto che l'esercito taiwanese minacci d'invasione la Cina ma il contrario, cosa molto diversa da ucraina/Russia

Posted by: Alessandro Cagliostr | Aug 6 2022 17:56 utc | 24

Drums of war are now beating very loudly in numerous geo-political hotspots.

Unfortunately, you know what the US and western allies are planning for the world!

Posted by: James Cook | Aug 6 2022 17:59 utc | 25

Taiwan long has been called a stationary aircraft carrier. It's purpose in WWII was to base US planes to close the Strait to Japanese seaborne traffic. Blockade Japan.

Today, aircraft carriers are obsolete war-fighting machines relative to major power militaries such as Russia, China, India, and USA. They are good pictures for military porn lovers and for scaring the bejeezus out of small-fry caudillos. That's it.

So, Taiwan as a military platform also is obsolete. Taiwan has no military value to China. Taiwan has no military value against a modern major power, including a rising Japan, whose southern most island almost touches Taiwan.

At base, geo-politics is military power, not economic power. The two mix, of course, like husband and wife, but the guiding, controlling factor in geo-politics is military power, the husband aspect of the dance of life.

IMO, Bernard is correct that China's only intent at this point is to blockade Taiwan in the case of need (to China) and then wait until invited to "come on in."

China has shown what are of military value to her in waters to her east: small islands with military value. Taiwan is not one of these. Too large, overall not worth the expense of taking by force.

For this reason, I posit that if China moves to seize more islands to her east, first up will be Palau and next Guam, then Wake and Midway, and then Kiribati and Oahu. USG have no credible way to stop that from happening and at least Pentagon know it.

Save for, perhaps, Oahu, I see no reason to try to stop China moving in these directions. Salients, after all, are avenues of infection at least as much as they are avenues of assertion. Like all streets, power flows both ways of them. Japan made this point at Oahu itself.

The Pacific is a huge area for US to "do a Kutuzov."

Posted by: The Rev. David R. Gr | Aug 6 2022 18:00 utc | 26

@Opport Knocks #4

It's much more likely that in total continuity with how they've done things before and how they planned it that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was seen by the neocons as an ideal opportunity to tie up attack and degrade the Russian military along with justifying the massive sanction regime we've seen and obtaining a Ukraine that will resemble Poland in terms of it's attitude towards Russia. And all without risking any US military deployment or nuclear war. The point was to draw Russia into a proxy war and banish it from the West. Now you and I know this would always just lead to them freaking out China by still not stopping before going to the edge of nuclear war and pushing Russia and China together. But the neocons only care about Israel and so the short-term imperative to disrupt or punish the Russian intervention in Syria informed their decisions. Israel's foreign policy is already an endless game of whack a mole constantly building up new enemies as it deals with the old.

When the sanction regime against Russia failed and when the progressive liberal elements indoctrinated by 'Russiagate' (Due to a religious inability to understand why working class white Democrats voted for Trump after voting for Obama twice in the Great Lakes states due to an inability to understand why anyone would regard immigration as anything but a moral imperative) caused the hysteria to go to levels that meant that a narrative was built up that when shattered by an eventual Russian victory would make the US look a lot weaker than they'd intended they decided to pivot to Taiwan and strike a showdown with China to try and gain some more prestige. It didn't work either because despite there being an actually solid geopolitical reason for the US to want to keep Taiwan's status as is, the US doesn't actually have the nerve to match it's rhetoric on Taiwan with deeds and the Chinese knew this so it turned into an embarrassing loss of prestige and relative authority.

Posted by: Altai | Aug 6 2022 18:02 utc | 27

A betting person would bet that US warships will indeed pass through the "closed" Strait of Taiwan and China will allow the passage undeterred at least one time. Maybe through and back again.

US Leadership are ham handed warmongers and generally pains in the asses with the mental acuity of school yard bullies.

"Let's you and him fight".

And HT to Rins at 10

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Aug 6 2022 18:07 utc | 28

Note the comparison to the 1995/1996 crisis

If 1995/6 was threatening an encroachment on the status quo, 2022 is completely disregarding it.

This is exactly what panelists on the Pro-KMT channel cti are asserting. I'm also guessing that pretty soon ROC is going to have to give up scrambling jets to tail PRC intrusions in its ADIZ.

Well, PRC response certainly wasn't the violent confrontation some people hoped for. But its response is leaving the US in an awkward position, much like Pelosi's, uhm, lonely stay in ROK

Posted by: Iraeis | Aug 6 2022 18:10 utc | 29

The Rev. David R. Gr @26--

Taiwan long has been called a stationary aircraft carrier. It's purpose in WWII was to base US planes to close the Strait to Japanese seaborne traffic. Blockade Japan.

Taiwan/Formosa was occupied as a Japanese Colony from 1895-1945, when its forces finally surrendered and KMT forces took possession. You can learn about that history here. I suggest you read it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 18:11 utc | 30

Almost the entire population is on the Eastern "Half" of the island facing China.

The Western "Half" of the island is almost completely devoid of people. A wilderness.

It's quite an amazing sight with one side incredibly densely packed with people and built up and the other side full of jungles and mountains.

*It is not quite Half/Half but if you have a look you get the picture.

Posted by: Julian | Aug 6 2022 17:03 utc | 7

I'm no geography expert, but I think you have your words mixed up.

The east side of Taiwan doesn't face China. China is west of Taiwan.

Unless I'm missing something.

Posted by: Michigan Dude | Aug 6 2022 18:15 utc | 31

Nice post. New Atlas on the same subject, excellent as usual.

Posted by: muttman | Aug 6 2022 18:16 utc | 32

I'm no geography expert, but I think you have your words mixed up.

The east side of Taiwan doesn't face China. China is west of Taiwan.

Unless I'm missing something.

Posted by: Michigan Dude | Aug 6 2022 18:15 utc | 31

You missed that he corrects himself the very next post

Posted by: Iraeis | Aug 6 2022 18:22 utc | 33

"aircraft carrier against the mainland"
Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 6 2022 16:59 utc | 5

or "beach head" like Israel against Condi's "Greater Middle East"

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 6 2022 18:36 utc | 34

or "garrison" like Ukraine ("Big Israel") against Russian Federation COMMUNIST AUTOCRATS

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 6 2022 18:46 utc | 35

Good article at Consortium News by Maria Ryan who emphasis the importance of Taiwan's semi-conductor industry in the US' new found enthusiasm for Taiwanese independence.
What she doesn't mention is that Taiwan's strength is very likely to be a temporary thing. On the other hand she does see that: the US is trying to import the Taiwanese industry. When it does so, if it does, it is more than likely that it will stop caring about Taiwan's right to determine its own destiny etc etc ad nauseam.

"... In the 1971 Shanghai Communique and the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. recognised that people in both mainland China and Taiwan believed that there was “One China” and that they both belonged to it. But for the U.S. it is unthinkable that TSMC could one day be in territory controlled by Beijing.

"For this reason, the U.S. has been trying to attract TSMC to the U.S. to increase domestic chip production capacity. In 2021, with the support of the Biden administration, the company bought a site in Arizona on which to build a U.S. foundry. This is scheduled to be completed in 2024...."

Posted by: bevin | Aug 6 2022 18:51 utc | 36

@12 I think you may be onto something there james. People tend to gravitate to where the living is easiest.

In some ways Taiwan is a mirror image of your beautiful Vancouver Island. Of course you have much better relations with the mainland.

Posted by: dh | Aug 6 2022 18:53 utc | 37

If China has made up its mind that "peaceful reunification" isn't working out, there's little reason for them to procrastinate on doing what needs to be done. Months back, when China protested plans for a previous visitation from Cyclone Pelosi (cancelled due to COVID), China's warnings sounded a consistent "make my day, punk" tone -- familiar to fans of Dirty Harry.

Now "the civilized world" decries China's ongoing "over-reaction"? We just made their day, so we must have been feeling lucky, just a little bit ago.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Aug 6 2022 19:00 utc | 38

Here's an idea of what a democracy might look like? Lets use Pelosi's trip to Taiwan as an example.

1) Voters use an online system. Such a system has two important advantages. In online discussions, everyone is identified. And a 'vote' can happen much more easily and quickly than with our current 19th century systems. Remember, today online banking is apparently quite secure and can be used to move large sums of money. Surely we can make voting secure online. Probably more secure than the hodge-podge of a modified 19th century system that we currently used.

2) With the ability to hold a 'vote' more quickly, there could be a national referendum on the Speaker of the House taking such a trip in Taiwan. This could look like this, the vote is announced, lets say 7 days in advance. Everyone can listen to a free and fair debate about the issue. Then, at some point in those 7 days, they go and submit their vote on the issue.

This is what a 21st century democracy might look like.

Compare this to the USA, where there was no vote. Like there is no referendum on WW3. The people of the USA do not get a say in the decisions. And no, the people do not get representation through elections. Very few congressional elections are competitive. One person possesses the seat, backed by powerful big money interests. It is that person who gets a vote, not the citizens. Even when there is a competitive race allowed for a seat, it would be very rare that there would be a difference of opinion on foreign policy. An election to determine representation is decided by a lot of shouting about gun control and abortion, name-calling about 'fascists' and 'socialists', and a serious issue like WW3 with China is never discussed and the voters are never presented with serious options to decide from.

This is not what a democracy looks like.

And yet, we are going to go to war in the name of democracy. A representative that has not been in a serious election for her seat in decades lectures China about how she is the face of democracy. Saying essentially that she is one of the exceptionally privileged who decide for the world that billions of sentient souls must perish in the hopes that the funeral pyre will continue to make the rich oligarchs even richer.

Posted by: Eugene | Aug 6 2022 19:02 utc | 39

@ dh | Aug 6 2022 18:53 utc | 37

true! but i wish those pesky mainlanders wouldn't move here.. they are ruining the place... i was thinking of starting a political party - VIP - vancouver island party.. go for independence.. get the usa to back me up, lol...

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2022 19:04 utc | 40

taiwan verses vanc island size.. they are very similar in size..

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2022 19:07 utc | 41

The only thing we know for a fact is Biden has takes bribes from both Ukraine and China. United States has started conflicts with both Ukraine and China since Biden been in office. President Xi Jinping and Biden held a high profile conversation just before Pelosi visit Taiwan, Nancy visit Taiwan and left, China holding military drills. Was there a secret deal for midterm Elections and how badly is a corrupt Biden compromise? Was Taiwan hush money?

Posted by: Donald Ray | Aug 6 2022 19:07 utc | 42

@40 Good idea. You could invite Nancy Pelosi to get the ball rolling.

Posted by: dh | Aug 6 2022 19:08 utc | 43

The American and Indian militaries will hold joint exercises in the Himalayan mountains in October, less than 100km from India’s disputed border with China

I can not wait for those pathetic Indians to be humbled. They have almost as much hubris as their masters.

Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Aug 6 2022 19:12 utc | 44

Posted by: bevin | Aug 6 2022 18:51 utc | 36

That "historian" must be new here; can't recite text of the act, but can regurgitate a BLOOMBERG columnist.

Also, send her a memo: "friendshoring" is the NEW! technical euphemism for tax-free, TIF financed FDI in the several semi-autonomous governments of the United States.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has proposed friend-shoring as a means to insulate global supply chains from external disruption or economic coercion. The idea is for a group of countries with shared values to deploy policies encouraging companies to spread manufacturing within that group. The goal is to prevent less-like-minded nations from unfairly leveraging their market position in key raw materials, technologies or products to disrupt the US economy or those of its allies. It’s one of several twists of the term off-shoring -- the large-scale push by companies earlier in the century to move what operations they could to places where it was cheaper to operate. Another iteration is “re-shoring.”

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 6 2022 19:13 utc | 45

b writes: "...Calls by the Pentagon chiefs to China now go unanswered...."

welcome to the club, you gringo exceptionalist arrogant fools!!


these dolts in Washington have perhaps one of the slowest learning curves in history. And they have the balls to think that they are an 'advanced civilization'...

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 6 2022 19:13 utc | 46

If enough of the Taiwan semiconductor industry is relocated to the West, the US will simply decree that it be seized on the occasion of any reunification, even if it is peaceful, mutually agreed and has long term guarantees of some degree of autonomy.

For free.

So TMSC will lose those assets, permanently. This could become a de-facto unilateral veto, the type which the US loves to wield.

Posted by: BillB | Aug 6 2022 19:22 utc | 47

@ Posted by: Donald Ray | Aug 6 2022 19:07 utc | 42

Thanks to the combined efforts of both the Republicans and the Democrats, America now has an election system which can be fully awash in foreign money from where-ever foreign money feels a need to buy America.

All of the pro-Democracy reforms of the 1970's have been overturned or rendered meaningless. Groups can spend money, buy ads, influence an election, and do so without ever revealing where their money comes from. What little transparency there is often comes with big loopholes, like disclosing money influencing the election only after the voters are forced to cast their votes.

This has been a joint effort. Politicians on both sides, Red and Blue, decided that having more money from all over the place flow through their campaigns is good for them, even if it is not good for the nation. Notice that neither political party has ever taken steps to reverse this trend in the last 30 to 40 years. Instead the rules keep getting looser and laxer. Both parties love money, when it comes to them.

Money buys anything and everything in America, including the government. They probably have an app for it, listing the prices for each official, elected and appointed. And it definitely is not only the Chinese using the app.

Posted by: Eugene | Aug 6 2022 19:22 utc | 48

@Julian #7
Not correct in the least.

A more correct analogy is that Taiwan is a scaled down version of South Korea: a city with a little more added on. Taipei-Keelung is something like 30% of all of Taiwan's population, by itself at the northern tip of Taiwan.

There are major populations in Kaohsiung (south) - 10% of Taiwan's population; Taichung (central west, 11%); Tainan (also western side, 7%); TSMC is down the coast a bit in Hsinchu which has 450K/1.5% population.

The middle of the island is a dormant volcano/park and the Pacific facing side (east) is very steep and rocky and very few people.

The Western side is where the farms are.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 6 2022 19:27 utc | 49

@too scents #16
The sand TSMC uses isn't for silicon wafer manufacture - it is for polishing.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 6 2022 19:29 utc | 50

@ c1ue | Aug 6 2022 19:27 utc | 49

like others mentioned, julian corrected himself in the following post... it is easy to mess up that.. i did too, lol..

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2022 19:30 utc | 51

Yes, another Taiwan Strait maneuver by US is likely next, and may well be met with an economic response directed at the US rather than at Taiwan. "In a few weeks" was hinted at as Tibetans for the US "FONOP" to "demonstrate resolve".

Before then, let's see how the current round of Chinese demonstration of capabilities ends. Permanent air or sea patrols around the island would not be surprising either.

In the political aspect, there is also the issue that the Democratic Congress in the US is likely to be thrown out in the November election, and the expected Republican one wouldn't begin until January next year. Adds yet more ways in which the US gov't can/will deny responsibility for whatever it does. It's well understood now. tho. I don't think good faith negotiation is expected of Washington nowadays.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 6 2022 19:32 utc | 52

as *timeframe*, not Tibetans

love my autocorrect

Posted by: ptb | Aug 6 2022 19:33 utc | 53

@Opport Knocks #22
Taiwan has all those things because it is the failed former government of mainland China.
The thing is, the more stupid of the Taiwanese still think they are the legitimate government of mainland China whereas the CCP says that possession is reality.

And reality is that the vast population in Taiwan literally emigrated from mainland China in 1949...

Nor is the comparison to Hong Kong accurate either: Hong Kong was an extraterritorial concession to the UK, made at cannon point - one which the 99 year lease for expired.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 6 2022 19:42 utc | 54

pro-Democracy reforms of the 1970's
Posted by: Eugene | Aug 6 2022 19:22 utc | 48

LOL! Where is this?

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 6 2022 19:42 utc | 55

@BillB #47
Moving TSMC's physical plant is non-trivial.
Even more challenging is moving the business, wage level and political/societal support.
For example: could TSMC maintain its business model if all its fabs had to follow US environmental laws?

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 6 2022 19:44 utc | 56

To those who say there are no backroom deals between the rivals, recall that before the Azovstal "evacuation", there were reports of numerous NATO commanders in the complex. After the surrender Russia did not release a single name.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Aug 6 2022 16:58 utc | 4

all this insightful overview from b, and your observation also begs the question of just what, if anything, South Korea and Japan have agreed or not agreed to do in the event of the current chicom blockade training exercise going, or down the line. Having served in Area III through 2009, I note the ROK forces are as ever-ready to "Fight Tonight!" as they always were. I had to see their lady paratroopers landing up close in exercises to get the "full effect" of what they are all about as a defensive force.

Posted by: ERing46Z | Aug 6 2022 19:45 utc | 57

I can see China pressuring Taiwan with greater intensity but I think they'll avoid war with America if possible. War is obsolete, it costs much more than it's worth. China's rise depends on peace, trade, business. America's economy is shot. Its society dysfunctional it's politics futile. It clings to military solutions desperately because that's the only tool they have used against opponents they are sure they can trounce. The Chinese realize the trap America is setting and won't fall into it willingly. The Chinese see that Fascism, civil war, social unrest, economic collapse is more likely for America than China and will sit tight and wait if they can.

Posted by: Bakunin | Aug 6 2022 19:57 utc | 58

Julian | Aug 6 2022 17:03 utc | 7

The Western "Half" of the island is almost completely devoid of people. A wilderness

That's where much of that highly regarded high mountain oolong comes from.

Posted by: john | Aug 6 2022 20:12 utc | 59

Unbelievable crap from Atlantic council types here already.

The American Century is OVER - it didn’t even get anywhere near a century.

The American proxy is as spent as the German Nazi proxy was and the latest slave ukronazis are.

The Fed is a dead man walking and the financial gangsters IMF, WB etc are all going to sleep with the fishes. Shwab of the NEVER ELECTED WEF can return to buttfucking his favourite toy boys , rutting is all they know.

The $ is fucked. Anyone tied to it is like Ahab tied to the Whale.

Japan and the Collective Waste has not got willing or even enough conscripts to be sent as boots on the ground into the World Island they have for so so long dreamed of conquering failing every time they tried.

Their troop ships will not even make it out of their ports.

Africa the greatest and most populace continent with its diversity is going to become the centre of humanity by the end of the century and we in the Collective Waste will hope they come spend their wealth here in Europe. The White supermans hope not burden.

The US will not make it to its third centenary- it will balkanise and the states will shrink into individual sovereignties if they have any sense. The main language probably Spanish followed by Chinese…

I don’t see why the absurdists even bother to jaw jaw here about the US with its tiny little prick now that the SCO has the biggest stick and the majority of the human population on its side. Cry. Cry more. Cry louder. Wail and tear your hair out like the Nancy’s you all are.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Aug 6 2022 20:12 utc | 60

If I was a Taiwanese businessman, I would want the Taiwan ROC government to do whatever needs to be done to keep business running. If that means some Taiwan politicians need to visit Beijing, so be it.

Posted by: Passerby | Aug 6 2022 20:14 utc | 61

Posted by: Bakunin | Aug 6 2022 19:57 utc | 58

Honestly, I'm not sure. It may be in China's best interest to start a full-scale war with USA before USA can get their Pacific NATO plan fully up and running.

Because USA certainly doesn't want a direct war with China (or Russia). They want to endlessly provoke China, then send their stooges in the region after China with weapons and support. "Taiwan", Japan, South Korea, India, Australia. Possibly Vietnam.

When was the last time USA actually engaged militarily with a major power? It's obvious they want to avoid it at all costs, because they will be humiliated when it happens. All they want to do is bully weakling, bomb weddings, and kill Muslim children on their way to school.

I think it's time for China and Russia to end this farce sooner than later and reveal Uncle Scam for the paper tiger he is.

Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Aug 6 2022 20:18 utc | 62

It may be in China's best interest to start a full-scale war with USA
Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Aug 6 2022 20:18 utc | 62

said the homicidal maniac LOL!

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 6 2022 20:24 utc | 63

Posted by: Bakunin | Aug 6 2022 19:57 utc | 58

That would make sense...although... It's just that China has a massive real-estate crisis waiting to explode, not to mention a demographic problem (too few girls). On the ither jand, the book Unrestricted Warfare witten by two PLA colonels shows that warfare can take many forms and last for ever too. And yes, "kinetic" war can be slow-walked too, as Russia in Ukraine is demonstrating.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Aug 6 2022 20:33 utc | 64

America will sink their own two aircraft carriers by themselves in South China Sea and then blame China. Wait for a big false flag in the next few months. Bomb NYC with a nuke is the next false flag as well. Get ready folks, the great reset is coming to your neighborhood soon.

My children, I will now reveal a bit more about the enemy’s plan to you because the time is very soon to be upon you. I have told you before that the mighty naval aircraft carriers Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln will be struck and draw America into a massive conflict. Many other naval ships will be struck as well and America’s dominance on the seas will be over. This will be a false flag attack. (This means the country this is reported to be the one attacking is not the true attacker) America will then retaliate and strike the country that was supposed to be the attacker of the ships. Then the fiery kickoff event in New York City will occur, during which the tower that bears the name of Donald Trump will be struck and be in flames by an attack from within (another false flag attack) that will look like a nuclear weapon has been used. It will also be made to look like Donald Trump is slain but I have told you he is a fall guy. A fall guy simply plays a roll where they are made to look like they are having something terrible happen to them, like being harmed or even killed and it is no different on the stage that is this world.
The lead fall guy is Donald Trump. This fall shall be his fall which is yet another reason I have called him by that name. I have also called him Saul and Belshazzar because of similarities he has with them. He was selected by the worldly elite and exalted by men. I allowed him to be in the position that he is in to test the hearts of men and most have failed this test. Some have thought of him as their savior to bring back greatness but some even now think he is the AntiChrist. He is neither, he is an actor, a fall guy playing the role that he was given to play by those over him. He is and has been complicit with the master plan of the enemy. He has been controlled behind the scenes by the one who is coming back on the world stage, Barack Hussein Obama the final AntiChrist. Trump will be taken away and the dollar will collapse and then current world economic system will collapse as well because the American dollar has been in control of it. This collapse will result in the use of a digital worldwide currency which will be brought about by Obama and his mark. There will be famine, riots, chaos, martial law, civil war and death everywhere but especially in big cities. After Obama returns the most severe persecution My body has ever faced shall ensue. I shall protect My chosen, elect, 144000 for they shall help Me in the great harvest and the oil and the wine shall not be harmed.

Posted by: Judgement | Aug 6 2022 20:33 utc | 65

Imagine a time, when China refuses to produce iPhone, iPads and Macbooks...and Windows laptops...

Posted by: rp | Aug 6 2022 20:48 utc | 66

I only know two families of Taiwanese origin and in both cases at least one member of the family works or has worked in China. They have friends in China etc.

One thing that may be significant for many in Taiwan is the abolition of the one child policy. I am making a bit of a guess but I suspect that much of Taiwanese hostility to China would have been driven by fear of that policy. While I fully understand why China introduced that policy, at a human level I suspect it was very stressful.

Put it this way, if I had been a resident in Taiwan in say even 2010, that policy would have pushed me to vote for independence. Selfish - yes I know but it would still have been a factor.

Posted by: watcher | Aug 6 2022 20:50 utc | 67

Posted by: Judgement | Aug 6 2022 20:33 utc | 65

Wow that sounds crazy, which by the way was what I was thinking to myself when listening to two guys talking to each other on Bitchute about things that would come to pass. That must have been in 2018. And it did come to pass.

Posted by: Jonathan W | Aug 6 2022 20:50 utc | 68

And to think that China's actions in regard to Taiwan are just the prelude to the first chapter of a book that reads 10,000 pages. Paraphrasing Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin, China hasn't even gotten serious yet.

Posted by: ViseGrip | Aug 6 2022 21:01 utc | 69

Here is a useful starting point towards ending grievances and beginning dialogue:

BTW, I nominate James as leader of the Vancouver Island Liberation Front, [VILF].

Posted by: Paul | Aug 6 2022 21:03 utc | 70

It is unlikely China will attack Taiwan militarily. Even though the odds favor China, I don't think Xi and the CCP will take the risk. if the invasion failed, that would be the end of the CCP.

Posted by: Quentin R | Aug 6 2022 21:10 utc | 71

Ghan-buri-Ghan @44--

Since this year's SCO Summit will be held in Samarkand on September 15-16, IMO it's very probable that an agreement will occur between India and China at the insistance of other SCO members leading to the cancellation of that exercise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 21:15 utc | 72

Ten Truths That Can’t Be Published Under The U.S. Regime

Written by Eric ZUESSE on 04/08/2022

1.The overthrow of Yanukovych in Ukraine in February 2014 was a U.S. coup, and definitely not a democratic revolution there.

2. The U.S. Government and its ‘news’-media lied — didn’t merely “err” — to deceive the U.S. public to believe the “Saddam’s WMD” falsehoods that were used to ‘justify’ criminally invading Iraq on 20 March 2003.

READ ON . . . USE THE LINK . . .
All about the Empire of Lies aka the USA !

Posted by: MD | Aug 6 2022 21:17 utc | 73

Many interesting discussions of China's defensive capabilities against US forces, but one almost never runs across a discussion of US vulnerabilities in China decides to attack US mainland. US air defenses seem deficient to the point of fraudulent. Unlike the Ukraine proxy war, many Taiwan scenarios entail US / China direct confrontations. Is China only to play defense?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 6 2022 21:18 utc | 74

James @ 12, DH @ 37:

The current population distribution in Taiwan, with the highest densities concentrated along the western coast from Taipei in the north to Kaohsiung in the south, and the central hinterland and east coast having low population densities (Wikipedia articles on Taiwan and Taiwan demographics feature a good visual representation on a map) probably reflect past historical migrations and post-1945 economic and social policies and trends.

In the past, before 1900, Chinese migration to Taiwan was from Fujian (more or less facing Taiwan across the Taiwan strait) and most Chinese settlements were on the western side of the island. These settlements later became Taiwan's major cities. For whatever reason, the Chinese preferred to stay close to the sea, for ease of communication with Fujian and because their livelihoods depended on the sea perhaps. Inland areas in Taiwan were mountainous and defended by indigenous communities. Mountain peoples tend to have the benefit of having the higher ground.

Taiwan's later development during Japanese colonial times and then after 1950 when it was taken over by the Guomindang (Kuomintang) was based around these cities. Taiwanese economic development must have focused on centralisation and concentration of resources in the towns and cities on the western coast, especially in the capital Taipei and large cities like Kaohsiung, in the way economic development in Japan and South Korea has tended to concentrate resources and infrastructure, and thus population, in and around their capital cities. I've heard that half of SK's population lives in Seoul and its metropolitan area.

About 78 - 80% of Taiwan's people live in urban areas so out of a population of 23 million, you're looking at 18.4 million at most living along the western coast of Taiwan. Also fertility rates in Taiwan are low, perhaps for reasons similar to those that explain low fertility rates in Japan and SK. When so many people are concentrated in tight urban settlements to be close to work, schools, transport and entertainment, land becomes expensive and subject to speculation, property prices skyrocket, cost of living outpaces wage and salary increases, people end up living in small but expensive apartments, working long hours and suffering burn out. All of this is not conducive to marriage and family life.

There is a YouTube channel Asianometry, run and hosted by a Taiwanese guy, that posts short but detailed mini-documentaries on economic and social issues in various East and Southeast Asian countries which are worth a look. These documentaries tend to be short on broader historical and political context, and the detail in them can be such that you may need to watch them twice at least, but they have good and interesting topics. The recent mini-documentaries on aspects of life in SK - elderly poverty, the proliferation of tutoring colleges - are very interesting. Asianometry has one on low wages and salaries in Taiwan but I haven't seen that one yet.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 6 2022 21:18 utc | 75

sln2002 @45: re:"friend-shoring"

Do these idiots not comprehend how capitalism works? How cringe-inducingly ignorant can a Treasury Secretary be? It is like these fools who natter on about "fixing" capitalism saying silly things like "We should do..."

They don't get it!

You don't get a say where investment capital goes in capitalism, even if you are the Treasury Secretary. "The Market" (hallowed be Its name) decides that, and it is all about ROI and not at all about who "shares your values delusions.". When you are thinking about "we" collectively controlling investment capital you are thinking of socialism. You need a revolution to get from here to there.

"We just need to provide the proper incentives to get investors to invest the way we want!"

You mean incentives that will make unprofitable investments become profitable? Incentives that will protect poorly-considered investments from being crushed by competition from intrinsically more profitable and productive investments made somewhere else? What you are actually talking about is endless massive taxpayer subsidies and stringent protectionism. If that could have worked for the imperial "Free Market" they would have done it back in the 1970s.

Protip: That cannot work for a capitalist empire. It is the economic equivalent of trying to fly by pulling up on your own bootstraps.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 6 2022 21:20 utc | 76

There are a lot of factors in play here.

China has the world's largest navy, in numbers of hulls (not size or tonnage).

Pentagon says China is World's Largest navy

It would be fighting near its shores, with support from land based aircraft and a missile umbrella.

If the West aka US+Aus+NZ+Japan wanted to intervene they would be at the end of long supply chains. We've seen how quickly inventories of missiles, bombs and fuel get exhausted with the intensity of modern combat.

China also has its Maritime Militia, probably several hundred “fishing vessels” which, while ostensibly civilian, would act as scouts and intel gatherers, while not actually combatants. This is fairly dodgy, in terms of international law, but presents militaries with a dilemma: they can't fire on them, but they are providing CISR for the PLA Navy.

Chinese Maritime Militia

On the other side, Taiwan is very, very defensible: it wouldn't be a push-over to invade. The Japanese heavily fortified it during WW2 and since then this defensive system has been extended. The US military, at the top of its amphibious warfare game, planned to invade in 1945, and called it off because the casualties were estimated to be horrendous.

There are only about 14 beaches on the West side suitable for landings: they are heavily fortified and zero'd in for artillery. Once ashore the invading force would be involved in the worst kind of urban fighting, on hostile terrain. Artillery and missiles could be launched from mountain bunkers on the invaders.

This book outlines how difficult it would be for China to invade Taiwan and succeed:

Easton, Ian. The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan’s Defense and American Strategy in Asia Eastbridge Books. It's a sobering read.

We have seen lessons from Ukraine: even poorly-trained conscripts can fight well from defensive positions. Although the large reserve forces that Taiwan can muster are thought to be something of a joke, if the invasion caused a resurgence of Taiwanese nationalism, it would be very difficult to dig them out without appalling civilian casualties.

Thus the blockade strategy is more realistic, plus appealing to the Taiwanese people: “We are your brothers and sisters, please reunify and we will keep the One Country, Two Systems, so nothing much will change.”

However Ian Easton suggests that the hawkish factions of the CPC and Chinese military hold a long grudge against Taiwan and want to punish it, because they are the “traitors and Japanese collaborators” who were the enemy in the civil war, and it is a running sore. You might think this was a long time ago, but the children and grandchildren of Mao's revolutionaries are now senior cadres and, apparently, feel a need for revenge. It's not just the US's leaders that have irrational and counterproductive obsessions.

Posted by: JulianJ | Aug 6 2022 21:22 utc | 77

Quentin R @71--

IMO, there's no need for China to invade. An air and sea blockade will be more than sufficient--Taiwan isn't Cuba. As mentioned, China has Taiwan in a bag and is slowly closing its ties. At the same time China will vastly increase the talk about reunification being required for Chinese rejuvenation, that the English speakers don't give a damn about the genuine interests of Chinese or Taiwanese and only cares about its own selfish interests, which is global domination--the same goal Japan once had. If you've followed the recent events, you'll know why Japan will be included in such talk.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 21:24 utc | 78

@c1ue #56

No doubt under heavy US pressure (since the operational cost of a US fab is at least 50% higher than in Asia), TSMC is building a new ~$20bn fab physically in the US (Arizona). Those assets (assuming it's actually built) are obviously at risk, as is their intellectual property.

Posted by: Billb | Aug 6 2022 21:24 utc | 79

I wonder if Nancy's trip to China has the sole purpose of weakening Xi Jinping in the selection process for the next party leader? It is difficult to understand what is going on from my Western perspective.
Xi Jinping battles for credibility ahead of 20th Communist Party congress

Newt Gingrich's trip to Taiwan was also months before a Party Congress that meets once every 5 years to set policy. In a similar situation Taiwan was added to the tour at the last minute. Apparently China agreed as long as he did not fly to Taiwan directly from China

“I told them we will defend Taiwan. Period,” he had said while talking to the media at the end of his China tour. He claimed that the Chinese were made clear that if any forceful change in the status quo with Taiwan would be pursued, America would be obliged to defend the island. However, he also acknowledged the One-China policy of the US.
US House Speaker Newt Gingrich's 1997 Taiwan Visit & Nancy Pelosi's Trip — Know Beijing's Response Then & Now

That is some blunt talk form Gingrich at a time when China was weaker militarily.

Posted by: circumspect | Aug 6 2022 21:27 utc | 80

The Unification Process have resumed at a Faster Pace.

Murica were sabotaging the Process, since they lacked the Industrial Capacity to replace the Volume of Chip Shipments that would have been lost as Murica were due to Sanction Everything CHN-based. TSMC should be considered as a Consumable+Extractable+Expendable Asset for Murican Oligarchs.

1) The Exercises that surround the Island will continue now and will reoccur. This "Checkmates" any Intervention-Approach by AUKUS/NATO/EU on the Island. "No Fly Zones" and "Blockades" are inherent in these Exercise Areas - both can be expanded quickly.

Any Engagement by the TWN_Provincial Militia will be first met with AirStrikes, escalated to TBM/CarrierKillers, Hypersonics, and Supersonics on Military Airfields, Bases, Ships, Aircraft, Tanks, Artillery, Gear+Ammo. Airborne Troops can be placed on StandBy if SHTF; but as long as the PLA Focus on the TWN_Provincial Militia, there shouldn't be much of a Panic.

2) Humanitarian Air/Sealift Corridors to the Mainland - if/when established will solidify PLA's Position. As long as Civilian+Food+Fuel+Medical+Rx Traffic can Travel To/From the Mainland, the Civilians shouldn't starve out or Die from Lack of Medical Facilities.

3) Traffic from "Unfriendlies" - AUKUS/NATO/EU can be blocked.

4) These can be kept up INDEFINITELY; and the USA_CIA/NED-Funded DPP will probably have to Resign and Surrender to Beijing. Murica-Funded will probably get Incarcerated then possibly Deported.

Posted by: IronForge | Aug 6 2022 21:30 utc | 81

“Compare this to the USA, where there was no vote. Like there is no referendum on WW3. The people of the USA do not get a say in the decisions. And no, the people do not get representation through elections.”

Posted by: Eugene | Aug 6 2022 19:02 utc | 39


The people of Western Europe were not consulted by their countries’ and the EU leaders when the decision was taken to plunge Western Europe into a cold, dark, depression in the coming winter. Like their counterparts in the USA, the leadership is beefing up the police and unbundling them from local populations so that the threat posed by the people is neutralised, something that the DDR didn’t even dare to try.

The is no democracy and little freedom remaining in the “free” and “democratic” world.

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Aug 6 2022 21:31 utc | 82

JulianJ @ 77

China could also stand off and fire missiles into its infrastructure for a year smashing military installations, firing positions, bridges, stores and anything it feels necessary to destroy. It does not need to land one foot on the island to set them back 100 years

Posted by: circumspect | Aug 6 2022 21:32 utc | 83

Mutual-aid v. winner take all

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 6 2022 21:32 utc | 84

The reason for the eastern side of Taiwan being undeveloped is really simple, folks. It is all mountains! It is much more difficult to build there, and that includes roads and other transportation infrastructure.

The eastern side of Taiwan is super-beautiful territory, but you wouldn't want to commute to your job in the city from there.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 6 2022 21:35 utc | 85

A valuable comparator for Australians in regard to Taiwan is that Taiwan is half the size of Tasmania and has 23,359,928 million people compared to 513,400 (mostly related) people in Tasmania. Taiwan grows about 30% of its food needs. And for this easily blockaded sitting duck, according to our comprador ruling class, we will fight the PLA with an 11 surface ship navy, an air force that would have to be re-fuelled mid flight over Indonesia, three nuclear powered subs to be delivered in 2040 (the PLAN will in sporting fashion apparently wait for their delivery before attacking Taiwan) and a 57 tank army. Australia is the Ukraine of the Pacific. "Tie Me Kangaroo Sport" plays softly as the White Mans Empire in Asia, sinking Titanic like, slips with terrible wailing and shouting from the bewildered deluded passengers, below the cold bitter waters of history.

Posted by: Paul McGrory | Aug 6 2022 21:35 utc | 86

JulianJ @77--

You just gave the reason why Xi Jinping is China's Commander in Chief. Read his speeches on reunification as a precondition for China's rejuvenation to understand what sort of strategy he'll employ.

Paul Damascene @74--

There's no need for China to attack the Outlaw US Empire's mainland. However, I do expect China to send a missile--perhaps an entire salvo--over the bow of the next Empire warship transiting China's waters, which is the entire Taiwan Strait. Yes, the vessel(s) will be warned, perhaps more than once. That was one of the points of all the live-fire exercises. China's message to the Outlaw US Empire is that there will be no more games. I rather doubt any USN captain will forge ahead after a salvo of missiles just passed in front of its bow.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 21:38 utc | 87

For those many keen aficionados of Australian culture on this site, the ditty is of course "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport." Apologies. Composed by the convicted sex criminal Rolf Harris. You Germans have Ludwig. We have Rolf.

Posted by: Paul McGrory | Aug 6 2022 21:44 utc | 88

William Gruff @85--

Also unmentioned is the Eastern side is the weather side where all the typhoons impact which has shaped the island's topography. The smart place to live is on the leeward--West--side.

circumspect @83--

I doubt such a strategy is being considered by Xi given his speeches on reunification and rejuvenation. Yes, I keep harping on those. Why? Because Xi sets policy via such speeches. Plus, a minority is busily manipulating the majority on Taiwan, and it would be extremely foolish and way out of character for China/Xi to commit such a folly. Recall its Global South audience and China's strict adherence to the UN Charter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 21:48 utc | 89

Another possibility I've not seen discussed is that Russia might play a role in a China / US confrontation comparable to that of the US in Ukraine: At least conceivably Russian *ex* military through Wagner might sell / staff the turnover lend / lease of Russian subs, S500 / S550, Zircons / Kalibrs, TU-160s, SU-57s, etc...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 6 2022 21:48 utc | 90

Could people stop referring to China "invading" Taiwan.
right now Taiwan is recognised by the UN and almost all of the the world including the US as part of China.

Hence invasion is not possible.

The concept of national defense come to mind.

Especially when the chief provocateur is War Monger in Chief the US Empire

Failing to understand this basic principle will render all further "analysis" as futile and pointless, like failing to understand that China is not going to act militarily unless it is absolutely the only resort. And if they do they will be protecting Taiwan not invading it.

Posted by: K | Aug 6 2022 21:50 utc | 91

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 21:38 utc | 87
Dont assume it would be USN. It could be one of the sturdy vessels of the plucky Australian navy. Also Australia is flying RAAF P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft over PRC's EEZ. Kill the chicken to scare the monkey. Plenty of crowing chooks over here in Australia mate.

Posted by: Paul McGrory | Aug 6 2022 21:50 utc | 92

Col. Doug MacGregor:
We can't win a war against China.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 6 2022 21:52 utc | 93

Thanks for your thoughtful response. Though you're very likely right, and I hope you are, if we get to the point of US firing on Chinese territory, then US should not assume that China will not fire on Hawaii or Alaska or Los Angeles. No need for it to be nuclear. Or an EMP is another vulnerability --given weak US air defenses -- likely to be a greater danger to US than China.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 6 2022 21:56 utc | 94

b wrote:

The U.S. would rather want to help Taiwan by other means. But how?

In my opinion, it is wrong to assume that the US wishes to "help" Taiwan. Help in what way? For what reason? Is helping others in character with the way the US has acted over the last century and a half?

One shouldn't conflate a strategic goal to undermine China with an intention to help Taiwan. In fact, if the larger goal is to undermine Eurasia as whole, burning down that corner of the continent would fit quite nicely with the current fire burning a large swathe of Eastern Europe. Europeans vs Europeans, Chinese vs Chinese. I see a pattern.

What is missing is a Central Asian regional conflict and they can achieve a ring of fire.

Posted by: robin | Aug 6 2022 22:05 utc | 95

You don't get a say where investment capital goes in capitalism, even if you are the Treasury Secretary. "The Market" (hallowed be Its name) decides that, and it is all about ROI and not at all about who "shares your values delusions.". When you are thinking about "we" collectively controlling investment capital you are thinking of socialism. You need a revolution to get from here to there.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 6 2022 21:20 utc | 76

Well yeah, that's more or less Marxism 101.

Fully concur btw.

Posted by: Tichy | Aug 6 2022 22:11 utc | 96

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 21:38 utc | 87

Trouble for the USA is the unpredictability of those sea mountains. They appear where you do not expect them. Oddly enough they are often shaped like submarines and destroyers.

Posted by: watcher | Aug 6 2022 22:13 utc | 97

K @91--

Precisely, which is why I mentioned the UN Charter, and earlier referred the historically illiterate commentator to read the history of Japan's colonization of the island. The entire historical line proves Formosa/Taiwan to be Chinese whose status as a former colony has yet to end, thus the term reunification, which wasn't required for rejuvenation until after 1949.

Paul Damascene @94--

Thanks for your reply. It would be sheer folly for the Outlaw US Empire to engage China in a shooting war over anything; we already have a trade and cyber war, and perhaps a bio-war, and that's too much already.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2022 22:15 utc | 98

@ Paul | Aug 6 2022 21:03 utc | 70

thanks paul.. i am not up for the challenge..i hate politics! i am baffled at australias adoption of usa foreign policy.. it makes no sense given the proximity of australia to china... maybe these aussie politicians get financial support for this stupidity?

@ Jen | Aug 6 2022 21:18 utc | 75

thanks jen.. interesting and relevant info and data... i have a friend from vancouver island who has been living in taiwan for about 14 years steady now... he lives in the taichung city area.. i get updates from him and he sends me the high mountain oolong tea that john mentions earlier in the thread - which is awesome btw... he has invited my wife and i to come and stay with him, but we have yet to do it... we visited him in taipai in a 7 hour stop over on the way to georgetown malaysia, but have not ventured off the taipai airport - yet... we may take him up on this yet, hopefully before he moves back here... he's had taiwan girlfriends, but he refuses to marry.. interesting cat... we are both drummers, and he plays drums but teaches esl as his main gig in taiwan... if we ever do this, i want to take a trip to china as well when their...airfare is cheap taiwan to china return...

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2022 22:17 utc | 99

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 6 2022 21:48 utc | 90

Depends on timing Paul

Wagner et all will have a lot to deal with in the next two years in Ukraine. However by speeding up the pipelines to china, Russia will play a huge part. they might well send in military aid to protect the pipeline - that would make sense for both nations.

Posted by: watcher | Aug 6 2022 22:17 utc | 100

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