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  • China and Taiwan and USA and Nukes and the future

    China is currently in the mist of a large prolonged military build up of its armed forces in preparation for resolving the Taiwan issue. It appears that once again, our multi-billion dollar intelligence bureaucracy has done a good job of identifying hardware but the issue of Chinese intent and plans appears to be foggy, at least regarding intelligence released in the public arena.


    If China goes after Taiwan, should the USA respond? If China goes nuclear, should the USA respond?

  • #2
    I think the growing global concensus is that Taiwan is a part of China. I don't believe anyone supports Bejing using force to establish reunification. The US is very concerned with China's military modernization program. If Beijing did invade Taiwan, the US could be inclined to intervene. Not doing so after so many years of support might undermine our position in the region.

    The solution to the problem lays in negotiations. I believe the only way to prevent a costly cross-straits conflict would be to bring China and Taiwan to the peace tables. Hong Kong might provide somekind of model for a China-Taiwan solution. Example: Taiwan abandons efforts to seek independence, and agrees to answer to Beijing. China agrees not to invade, or impose laws that would rob Taiwan of economic prosperity and human rights.

    I don't believe it is efficient to continue to rely on deterence as a means of defending Taiwan. America can't stock China's military modernization program. We are not as powerful as we use to be diplomatically. Beijing knows the world would by default side against the US because it is the country that they have better communications and understanding with. Furthermore, I think support for defending Taiwan is declining in the US, even though the Bush administration appears to have deepened our military assistance to the island. I'd prefer we not have to answer "What to do" because I'm certain the solutions will be very unpleasant.

    I think division is counter-productive at this point. China and Taiwan would benefit from decreasing the hostitilies. If they go to war, both economies would suffer, and the cost both in lives, money, and natural resources might exceed their capacity. I think there is room for compromise, and with the right diplomatic strategy a solution can be reached.

    As for Chinese intent. The country is still something of a mystery to the west. While it pursues military modernization, Beijing continues to reject internationalism. Corruption, over-population, splittism, crime, and high un-employment, among other things are all problems that Beijing must address for her survival. It deals with some effectively, and others foolishly (which is the case in any government).

    China's greatest threat to the world might be internal instability. If China fails to control and repair domestic fault lines, it could see a major crack. We think a cross-strait war is bad. Imagine large-scale civil disorder and chaos in China.

    As for the use of nuclear weapons. If China uses nuclear weapons against the US, we should respond in kind. However, I don't think that is likely. Beijing is very level-headed and cautious, almost too cautious. They'd likely try to avoid using nukes. And if they don't fire at us, I would oppose attacking them.

    However, for the sake of China, the US, Taiwan, and the world, I pray leaders are smart enough to avoid creating conditions where such a scenario is possible. I am confident we can if everyone dropped the egos and grandstanding to find real solutions to make life better for all relevant parties and future generations.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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    • #3
      If/when China gets a grip on it's modernisation, Taiwan will probably find circumstances are such that they will wish to reunify, under special conditions.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't think the USA would directly participate in a China/Taiwan war, unless directly attacked by China. They will of course condemn the attack and demand an immediately withdrawal of chinese forces, they might even sell Taiwan some high tech US equipment (AEGIS) but thats it. As soon as the war is over and maybe a year of sanctions everything will slowly go back to normal, business as usuall, China is far to important for the US economy to drop her entirely.
        "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

        Henry Alfred Kissinger

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        • #5
          I think you are all still avoiding the hard question. If China has decided(or decides) that it will use military force, should the USA respond if Taiwan is attacked by China?

          If China enacts a blockade of Taiwan, should the USA use force to end it?

          Taiwan has unofficially announced that in the event of war, Taiwan will attempt to attack the Three Gorges Dam (biggest by far in the world). Recently, a Chinese general stated that China would go nuclear on Taiwan if the attack was successful. Should the USA respond with nukes if China nukes Taiwan only (not the uSA)?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Custer6
            I think you are all still avoiding the hard question. If China has decided(or decides) that it will use military force, should the USA respond if Taiwan is attacked by China?

            If China enacts a blockade of Taiwan, should the USA use force to end it?

            Taiwan has unofficially announced that in the event of war, Taiwan will attempt to attack the Three Gorges Dam (biggest by far in the world). Recently, a Chinese general stated that China would go nuclear on Taiwan if the attack was successful. Should the USA respond with nukes if China nukes Taiwan only (not the uSA)?

            no. it's not really any of our business.
            "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Custer6
              If China has decided(or decides) that it will use military force, should the USA respond if Taiwan is attacked by China?
              Yeah, but only in the same way that it supported Israel in 1973 - by providing supplies and using all diplomatic avenues possible to bring the war to a speedy conclusion. As with Israel and the Arab countries, neither China or Taiwan have the ability to realistically inflict mortal damage on each other, and the war is eminently containable.

              If China enacts a blockade of Taiwan, should the USA use force to end it?
              Only as a last resort. A counter-blokade of China would probably be more effective, and could feasibly be implimented without a shot being fired - blockades generally work through civilian ships avoiding the blockade zone, and the blockading power doesn't usually need to do much to actually enforce an effective blockade.

              Taiwan has unofficially announced that in the event of war, Taiwan will attempt to attack the Three Gorges Dam (biggest by far in the world). Recently, a Chinese general stated that China would go nuclear on Taiwan if the attack was successful. Should the USA respond with nukes if China nukes Taiwan only (not the uSA)?
              No, of course not - China would retailiate in kind and the greatest disarster in human history would result from this and the American retaliation on China. In the Cold War no-one really believed that the Americans would commit national suicide if the Soviets nuked a European city, and the same applies to Taiwan.

              As things stand, there's no real risk of war breaking out across the Taiwan Strait - the Chinese have no capacity to occupy Taiwan and the resulting American blockade and santions would cripple the Chinese economy, resulting in the 'Communists' losing power. Similarly, the Taiwanese long ago droped the belief that they were going to liberate China from the Communists.
              Owner and operator, Armed Forces of the Asia Pacific
              Forum administrator, www.orbat.com
              Co-administrator, www.historic-battles.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Custer6
                I think you are all still avoiding the hard question. If China has decided(or decides) that it will use military force, should the USA respond if Taiwan is attacked by China?
                It is a very hard question to answer because the consequences of war seems to outweigh any argument accept avoidance.

                I would urge the United States to use direct military force to repel a Chinese attack on Taiwan. Asia is a very important region to America. Our prestige would be compromised if we did not commit our resources to check Beijing.

                Originally posted by Custer6
                If China enacts a blockade of Taiwan, should the USA use force to end it?
                Yes. Either that, or implement sanctions.

                Originally posted by Custer6
                Taiwan has unofficially announced that in the event of war, Taiwan will attempt to attack the Three Gorges Dam (biggest by far in the world). Recently, a Chinese general stated that China would go nuclear on Taiwan if the attack was successful. Should the USA respond with nukes if China nukes Taiwan only (not the uSA)?
                If Taiwan got stupid and attacked the Three Gorges Dam, the US should not respond to the Chinese response, and should withdraw assistance to the island. The damage inflicted downstream by such an attack could very well equal that of a nuclear attack (if not greater). So Taiwan would be asking for an *sskicking.

                Having said all this, I want to emphasize my extreme reluctance to go to war with China. I think Taiwan should be re-unified with China. However, we'd be sending the wrong the message if we were to expose Taiwan to the kind of treatment Beijing has unleashed on other "splittist" factions of the country. Thus, we should find ways to reunify Taiwan with China, while upholding generally accepted ideals of government conduct.
                "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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                • #9
                  china

                  funny how people would be ready to die for Taiwan... not to mention that the china economy is so integrated now with the world's that no sane business (and therefore government) would want a conflict with China.

                  the most probable outcome is that both countries will merge (well, unite) at some point.

                  however, for wargame fans, a conflict could be interesting.

                  First, China cannot loose militarly. no one could hope to significantly attack the Chineese mainland without escalating, or risking severe losses.

                  Second, China would have to blockade (air and sea) Taiwan. That is tough to do, as Taiwan has strong navy and airforces

                  Third, invasion? tough one to do!

                  and on all, would the US(and others) intervene - against strong economic interests... (more and more goods are manufactured in China...) and if so, to what extent, on what policies, on what public opinion atmospheres


                  perhaps more interesting will be the US vs. China fight for oil resources. both economies will need oil. If china gets to the level of mass-consumption (waste) of the US economy, it will need 120% of the world's oil resources... even if it won't get to that level (it won't) europe, india, and the US will not like that too much.

                  look for US and Chineese task forces in the Indian Ocean and Spratleys having some ramming, etc. in the next decade.... good for Harpoon fans that
                  "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deltapooh
                    Asia is a very important region to America. Our prestige would be compromised if we did not commit our resources to check Beijing.
                    Yes. Either that, or implement sanctions.
                    just a quick note on your interesting points.
                    Prestige is not always a good reason to go to war.. and prestige is pretty low at the moment everywhere in the war. beeign a responsible nation would do much more to increase prestige, imho.

                    China is important to America, as is Taiwan, mainly for it's huge presence of US companies manufacturing good cheaper than in the US (one could arguie that that is the problem for the US as US manufactiring disappears in China/India delocalisations . that drives the US to be poorer as less people work. anyways liberalism/interventionism economic debate here).

                    plus, how would the Chineese/Taiwanese american population (voters/lobby) react?
                    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by piero1971
                      just a quick note on your interesting points.
                      Prestige is not always a good reason to go to war.. and prestige is pretty low at the moment everywhere in the war. beeign a responsible nation would do much more to increase prestige, imho.
                      I agree prestige is not always a good reason to go to war. However, this is one of the exceptions. If China attacks Taiwan, it would signal their desire to risk the US-China relationship to achieve it's goals. To allow such a challenge to go unanswered because we need China would encourage more aggressive policies by Beijing.

                      If this US-China relationship is so important, China won't invade the Taiwan, and embrace alternatives to military action.

                      update:

                      I should add I don't believe China will invade Taiwan. They might resort to economic sanctions, and a more aggressive foriegn policy, but not war. If the US does not believe it is in her best interest to defend Taiwan, we should pull back now to minimize our exposure in the future.

                      However, again, the best solution all the way around is to encourage negotiations. Furthermore, we should make it clear to Taiwan that declaring independence would be viewed as an act of aggression against China warranting our withdrawal from supporting them.
                      Last edited by Deltapooh; 22 Jun 04, 06:16.
                      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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                      • #12
                        spratleys

                        100% agree.

                        it will be interesting how the energy sources control will play out however. The spratley's area seem to be holding some oil fields under the ocean, and is contested by philipines, Indonesia, china, Vietnam, etc. that is a possible play for the emerging Chineese power....
                        "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                        • #13
                          Hello,

                          I think Bush should have declared Tawain an independent nation and grant her official recognition with all trappings of statehood bestowed upon her. Nixon was stupid to ignore Tawain, and I fear it's going to cost America dearly.

                          We need to get tough on China, and let her know who's the boss in Asia, and it's America. Let's take the stakes to a higher level, see who will fold out, I'm willing to bet it's going to be China. She has a lot to lose, it's in America's interests to ensure China will lose out.

                          If Tawain wants to reunify with China, that's fine with me, but let them do it as two nations, not a nation and a "renegrade" province, according to China. This will provide Tawain with huge leverage, as China is not likely to attack a country with official recognition of statehood.

                          Dan
                          Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                          "Aim small, miss small."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cheetah772
                            We need to get tough on China, and let her know who's the boss in Asia, and it's America.
                            Who's the boss in Asia?????? Or did you mean Europe?

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                            • #15
                              Recently, many US Congressmen are taking our lovely Dan (Cheetah)'s stand. ... not sure their intentions, but cannot rule out the election motivation entirely.

                              Well, things across the Strait is going more and more silly and hopeless. Best luck to all players and have fun... ---- it really hurts for me, a Chinese, to say this, but what else can I hope for?
                              Attn to ALL my opponents:

                              If you sent me your turn and after 24 hours, you still did not get anything from me, please be sure to post in the forum to ask for what is going on.

                              Remember, I ALWAYS reply within 24 hours, even if I do NOT have time to play my turn, in which case I will at least send you email to tell you that I will have to play it later, but I DO receive your turn.

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