China Thoughts

The most recent flareup between the Global American Empire and China has brought forth all of the usual commentary about the rise of China, its plans for Taiwan and the relative decline of America. The underlying assumption is that China could take Taiwan if it wanted and there is not much the United States can do about it, short of a nuclear strike on mainland China. Further, it is assumed that China will one day make its move on Taiwan when it feels the time is right.

This is an odd set of assumptions. If China can take Taiwan and wants to take Taiwan, then why are they not taking Taiwan? The standard answer is that they think they can wait out the American empire. That could be true but there is good evidence to suggest the clock is ticking in her ability to make war. China is hitting the wall demographically and she knows it. They have a lot of young military age males right now, but a decade from now they will be nearing middle-age.

The more likely reason for China’s hesitance is that taking Taiwan would be an enormous gamble. It is a big island with no beaches. It has great ports, but those are heavily defended. The Taiwanese military is exceptionally good. They have the best weapons America can produce and they may have the best air defense system on the planet, thanks to America using Taiwan as a listening post. At the top of the island is advanced radar used to listen to the Chinese.

Even if America does not come in to defend Taiwan, China would be facing something similar to what the Marines faced in the Battle of Saipan. The Japanese were dug in and the besieging Americans had to first create a beachhead and then root out the Japanese from the well defended positions. It took 70,000 Marines to root out the 30,000 Japanese defending the island. The Americans suffered 14,000 casualties while only one thousand Japanese survived.

The big difference is that Taiwan will fully mobilize their army of over a million men and be dug into a highly urbanized island of twenty-three million. That means the Chinese will need to mobilize a two million man invasion force. The general rule is you need at least a two-to-one advantage as the attacker. China has the people, but mobilizing, organizing and coordinating such a force is a huge task. That also means the Taiwanese will have months to prepare for the assault.

The Chinese certainly have gamed this out many times and they understand the mathematics of conquering Taiwan. That said, it is all theory as the Chinese have not waged serious war in a long time. The last large scale amphibious landing on a populated Pacific island was in World War II. An attack on Taiwan would be the first of its kind in the era of high tech weaponry. As the Russians have been learning in Ukraine, technology has radically changed the battlefield.

For example, cheap drones have proven to be a valuable tool. The Ukrainians had a lot of these to start the war and they proved to be a big problem. The Russians had to alter their tactics to account for this new weapon. One reason the fight in Ukraine has settled into an artillery duel is it is too easy for defenders to use cheap drones to disrupt the lines of the attacker. Cheap drones have a limited range, so the Russians operate outside that range to soften up Ukrainian positions.

Taiwan is not a backward kleptocracy. It is one the most high tech societies on the planet and they make most of the world’s chips. Taiwan could deploy massive swarms of cheap drones against the ships of an attacker. That is another lesson from Ukraine with regards to drones. This weapon does not require a lot of infrastructure to operate so artillery strikes are not a great deterrent. As long as you have soldiers who can do the minimum you can keep using your drone weapons.

Another aspect of cheap drone technology is they can be turned into what the industry calls a loitering munition. This is a weapon that flies over an area program to look for targets like tanks and supply vehicles. Once it spots one, it then attacks the target, usually by flying into it. One result of this has been that the Donbas militias which make up the bulk of the infantry in the Donbas have to operate from cover. There is no cover in the straight between China and Taiwan.

When you examine what is going on in the Donbas, it becomes clear that technology has had some unexpected consequences to war fighting. It is not the cutting edge technology that is shaping the battlefield. It is the commodified technology that is changing the mathematics. A defender employing lots of cheap drones against the attackers expensive assets has a clear edge. If it takes ten cheap missiles to take out an expensive tank, that is a good deal.

This is the problem China now faces with Taiwan. Their invasion fleet would be awfully expensive and the Taiwanese would have lots of targets. The Chinese would have to follow the Russian lead in the Donbas. That means siege warfare. China would have to blockade the island and relentlessly shell the urban areas hoping to degrade their communications and defense. The most likely result would be China eventually conquering a bombed out island with millions of dead.

Technology has made China less vulnerable to American military power by diminishing the value of sea power. Those giant carriers can now be hit from a long distance by ship-killing missiles. The same technology, however, is making Taiwan less vulnerable to Chinese military pressure. The same ship killing missiles can be used against an invasion force and cheap drones can radically increase the cost on infantry trying to assault Taiwanese defenses.

The point of all this is that the blithe assertions about the Chinese ability to take Taiwan are completely wrong. It would be a massive undertaking and even under ideal conditions it would create an enormous strain on China. Add back in unlimited submarine warfare from the American side and the taking of Taiwan becomes a massively expensive gamble. Further add in the closing of Western markets and taking Taiwan no longer makes any sense at all.

That is another lesson of Ukraine. The Russians have weathered the economic war because they are not dependent on the American economy. Russia primarily exports commodities into the global market. There is no practical way for Washington cut the Russians out of the marketplace. China, on the other hand, imports commodities and sells finished goods. Washington can cut off the sale of finished goods. It can also shift production to other areas, which is currently happening.

A blockade of Taiwan would certainly mean a blockade of Chinese goods not only by the United States but by Europe. The American Navy still controls the shipping lanes in the Pacific and China can do nothing about it. Unlike the Russian economy, the Chinese economy has no way around this problem. An attach on Taiwan would bring about a massive shock to the Chinese economy and that is before the West unleashed a currency war on the yuan.

The reason China is making a lot of noise but not doing anything rash over the Pelosi stunt is she understands the dilemma. Because of China’s dependence on Western markets, she has to be much more delicate in how she responds to American provocation than the Russians. That means increasing the flow of bribes into the imperial capital in order to get more friendly voices in Congress. It means a more flexible approach to the Russia issue.

The bottom line with China is that the threat she poses is not her agility to wage conventional war against her neighbors. The real threat of China is her ability to purchase favors in Washington. The Taiwan issue is a nice way for the American ruling class to shift the focus from that problem. The Chinese know this and mostly likely see the Pelosi trip as a demand for bigger bribes. If they do not want to see more trips to Taiwan, then they better hire better lobbyists.


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229 thoughts on “China Thoughts

  1. This is why China is trying to subvert Taiwan, by using Chinese plants to destabilize the country. Eventually they’ll ask the Chinese to walk in, or at least that’s the plan.

  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Taiwan

    Taiwan has less than 1 child per female in the last couple years, a terrifying population collapse, and only South Korea is worse. Much like the North/South Korea tensions, the problem that authoritarian governments have healthier family life is the heart of the conflict.

    I stand by my prediction that both China and Taiwan want to reunite, and are only faking a short term conflict to do as much damage possible to the West before the inevitable reunification. There’s no actual heat between them like between Russia and Ukraine.

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  3. A lot of the viewpoints regarding China invading Taiwan are due to the posters being white. For the last 40 plus years there have been no inter country wars in Eastern Asia with the exception of a brief border skirmish in 1987 to 1988 between Thailand and Laos.

    Bombing and invading countries you don’t like or to demonstrate your alphaness is really a white and Jewish thing. When it does happen these days among non whites, it most likely involves Whites or Israeli Jews at least behind the scenes.

    For example you aren’t going to find the Asean or China bombing Jakarta because they want the Acea Muslim province to be its own country like the US and NATO bombed Serbia to break up Yugoslavia.

    There are a lot of examples of historical animosity here in Eastern Asia but they don’t turn into wars these days. You also don’t find the consistent need to force new cultural values on other countries. That again is a white and Jewish thing. China isn’t going to start a cultural revolution in Cambodia to increase transsexual rights.

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    • So will China invade Taiwan? It probably isn’t at the top of the list. They have a lot of ways to pull the two countries together. The wild card is their losing face

  4. Worth noting that 2/3 of Taiwanese were against the visit.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/02/mood-shifts-in-taiwan-as-nancy-pelosi-visit-raises-fears-of-war

    Of course Taiwan is a democracy which means that the public has little say in these issues. Over 70 percent of Taiwanese are against anal marriage but they got it anyway because the Supreme Court decided anal marriage is who they are as a people.

    There are a lot of non military measures China is implementing that will hurt Taiwan including banning sales of sand to Taiwan. China supplies over 90 percent of Taiwan sand. So goodbye concrete in Taiwan construction. The majority of Taiwan’s exports go to China. If China was to ban all Taiwanese exports to China, the Taiwanese economy would crater.

    China has a policy of just slowly pulling Taiwan closer and closer to China. That is why the GAE empire pulls stunts like this.

    Chinese culture is built around owning real estate. Chinese are not interested in going around the globe causing conflict. They want to go around the globe making money and buying real estate. However, the worst thing that can happen to a Chinese male is losing face. Pelosi made sure that Chinese lost face. right now I bet that the majority of chinese will be willing to forego a property in Vancouver to gain face. So she succeed in destabilizing that region. Also, the US taught the Chinese, just like they taught the Russian people, that diplomacy is impossible with American Empire.

  5. “…and they make most of the world’s chips“

    China cannot invade Taiwan without collapsing the Chinese economy because they can’t invade Taiwan without destroying Taiwan. And they cannot feed their people without massive imports. That rules out the nuclear deterrent. They would starve to death in a protracted conflict.

    The military issues are correct, but the economics are driving this.

  6. “ The general rule is you need at least a two-to-one advantage as the attacker. ”

    Military doctrine is you need five-to-one advantage in an urban environment and three-to-one advantage everywhere else. The requirement is even worse than it sounds, since every defender who can carry a weapon contributes to their combat power, while only the maneuver forces (infantry, armor, etc,) contribute to the attacker’s power.

    • That’s why it was obvious that Russia’s feint toward Kiev was just that, a movement designed to stop reinforcements going to the Dombass.

      Large swathes of the neocon filth seemed to think that 30,000 men were to mount a serious attack on a city of 2 million plus.

      Like the covid scam, the Ukraine affair has certainly sorted the sheep from the goats.

  7. The biggest issue for the PRC when it comes to the Taiwan question is whether it is worth risking their global standing and economy to conquer an island that will be a burned out wreck by the time they take out the last Taiwanese stronghold. It would require a months-long siege that will cost them dearly in both lives and destroyed equipment.

    When talking about area denial, this strategy cuts both ways. The much ballyhooed naval ballistic missiles that the media depicts as being “carrier killers” aren’t going to be as impactful as many think since a carrier is just a tiny speck in the ocean. Satellites normally can’t do real-time over the horizon targeting, so they’d need something to help the ballistic missiles with mid-course guidance.

    The Soviets had a version of the Tu-95 bomber that provided mid-course targeting updates automatically to their Tu-26-launched Mach 3 AS-6 Kingfish missiles and Sunburn sub-launched missiles to allow them to find the carrier battle group. This specialized Bear used a giant, powerful radar and the electronic emissions of the CVBG to find it, but it was a big, vulnerable target that would’ve been easy meat for any prowling F-14 or F-18.

    Any Chinese plane with a similar role would face an even more dangerous and shorter life considering the potency of the Standard SAMs carried by our carrier escorts and the force multiplier effect of the active electronically scanned array radars in the noses of our F-18 Super Hornets, which means they can track dozens of targets while shooting at other ones.

    The Super Hornet isn’t a great performer when it comes to acceleration or altitude performance, but it can carry a ton of AIM-120s and its radar can even be used to jam enemy radars with a concentrated illumination of RF energy.

    Area denial is going to be the way the Taiwanese prevent a landing in the first place. The Taiwanese will simply mine the straits and use their small fleet of diesel electric submarines to wreak havoc on any invasion fleet. Sweeping those mines is a dangerous, slow procedure that would require absolute air and sea supremacy because the minesweepers are slow, vulnerable and largely unarmed. They could use anything from submarines to fishing boats to lay a field of mines that would be a massive and dangerous obstacle. One mine hit, as evidenced by the U.S. Navy’s issues with Iranian mines in the Persian Gulf, can sink a frigate or destroyer-sized ship or knock it out of action for a year or two for expensive repairs. The USS Samuel B. Roberts almost sunk because the mine it set off broke the frigate’s keel.

    I also don’t know if the PRC has the sealift capability to transport millions of troops to a contested port. Between the mines, subs and air attacks, every transport ship lost will be a irreplaceable blow.

    The PRC air force has better equipment and superior numbers to the Taiwanese, but the defenders won’t be pushovers. The Taiwanese have invested heavily in SAMs and AAA and Chinese losses of aircraft and pilots will be in the hundreds, if not thousands if an operation was commenced. Also, the Taiwanese have an extensive network of underground hangars carved out of the hills and can repair their runways in hours. F-16s and Mirages can easily use highways as landing strips.

    A guerilla campaign using homemade drones, IEDs and snipers in the hilly Taiwanese terrain would be hellacious to root out and eliminate. There’d be no rear areas for the PRC and their vigilance would have to be eternal.

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    • So what your saying is;

      China trying to take Taiwan is a horrible, losing proposition.

      (I was going to post just the above comment, and then I thought,” humans are making decisions so I guess anything goes”.)

  8. A lot of back and forth diplomatic gaming here. But in the end, the question will be, do the Taiwanese Tech billionaires want to see their physical plants destroyed in a war? As long as the mainland Chinese government is willing to guarantee their continued control over their firms, what difference would it make? The rest of it is just labelling. Behaviorally, there is no difference between Taiwanese and mainland Chinese. The Pelosi stunt is an act of desperation, just like Nixon’s visit to China. Arriving at a foreign place with hat in hand is not the actions of the master, it is the actions of the supplicant.
    Regards,
    Mike

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    • I’d advise, as always, never to “follow the money.”

      Profit/graft/grift are individual motivations. We are not ruled by individuals. We’re ruled by *mass urges* (of the ruling/professional class, because our loser urges don’t count).

      Current_urge is extreme sadism against people like us. Nothing can outvote it, outmaneuver it, out-“realism” it, etc. If it can hurt us, they do it. If it can help us, they don’t. They’re often wrong, but they never vary.

      What “China policy” hurts us most? Antagonize their government while owning it and/or being owned by it.

      So they do that.

      They only want to watch us die.

      • our government is owned by the group that that uses the slogan the biden campaign used . build back better. they also want the 30 buy 30 that Biden is trying to achieve . along with a lot of other “common” goals . what are they trying to prove with wine grandma’s trip ? who knows.

    • I don’t know about their business practices but Taiwanese behave dramatically different to mainland Chinese. The former are by and large aspirational middle class types, the latter have taken the habit of acting like peasants after seven decades of Communism.

    • Mderpelding

      Your saying the Taiwan Tech billionaires should just “trust” the Chinese government.

      Hong Kong could not be reached for comment.

      And therein lies the rub.

      If the Chinks want to destroy the physical plants in Thailand, I’m not saying the world will be pushed back to the stone age, but electronic manufacturing will be set back years. Semiconductor foundries aren’t built overnight.

      Interesting times indeed.

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  9. Z-man, I’d take issue with pretty much most/all of your assertions. Drones are over-rated. Sure there is various propaganda video but short-range drones can be dealt with by radio jamming. Which both sides have done. Other tricks are GPS spoofing, drone hijacking, and microwave blasting. I would not say they are useless, and in very great masses (which from my observation and I could be wrong neither side really has) they could be decisive but for now I don’t see it.

    As for China, they have one big reason and its called Xi Xinping for invading Taiwan. Xi does not like or want the current export market which creates alternative power centers to his own. See Jack Ma. He has also based his rule on Chinese Nationalism and Nancy’s escapades are designed to make him look weak and stupid. It is not going to go unanswered. Xi cannot afford that — his seminal experience was his family being purged as Red Princes and himself being sent to a pig farm living in a cave for 7 years. He knows the price of internal failure in power politics. Evergrande is falling apart with most of Chinese Real Estate being the primary savings method for Chinese. People are going to be left with nothing so conquering Taiwan and finishing “unfinished business” matters to the only one in China who matters.

    Also the US is weak. The US Navy is a woke joke. The Chinese are likely to first bombard Taiwan and blockade, then send airborne troops to land masses of their own troops, they need take only one airport or rapidly construct one. China has more to gain by war than the US. The US cannot survive without Chinese manufactured goods and it will take decades to replace them as a source of manufactured goods. They are the critical component supplier for basically most of what the US requires just to function: auto and truck parts, diesel engine components for railroads, airliner parts, components for military avionics, ship board systems, FAA radars, and the like. Probably a lot more I’m not thinking of. We provide them with some food and oil. Xi would not mind exporters being bankrupted as then they will be beholden to him for rescue and be reoriented towards the controlled domestic market. Various exporters have been behaving for the past two years as if this was coming (in junking long term relationships for quick money now) so I expect it is.

    At this point Xi has to take action or he looks weak and stupid to his very dangerous rivals.

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    • China can’t feed China.

      They have two aircraft carriers that we can sink whenever we want leaving the Pacific food shopping lanes under US control.

      Trump’s sanctions on China had China by the balls because he held the Sword of Damocles over their US based food supply.

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      • I imagine the Russians could shoot them some wheat, but I am also not sure whether a change in dietary habits would be feasible to those in China accustomed to rice as the staple cereal grain. Maybe genetically-determined gluten intolerance might put a kibosh on this? Certainly meat availability might pose some issues, too.

        A billion malnourished Chinese might be a problem for the Party. You know, the old Mandate of Heaven issue might surface.

        But I just don’t know about these speculative issues.

    • Excellent comments. I love the Zman, but I think you’ve nailed it. And as for Xi’s possible actions harming the Chinese economy, he’s had no qualms whatsoever about instigating massive lockdowns just to screw his exports to the US. As you say, not losing face is the key. If I were Taiwanese, I’d be frightened right now.

  10. Osteii: “…why would the Chinks even care about some barmy old broad popping into Taipei for a photo-op?”

    I’ve seen two good’uns:

    1. Xi says, ‘You help me get reelected, I help you get reelected”.

    2. The barmy old broad’s husband pulled a pump-and-dump on semiconductor shares.

    A third: Evergrande, Hunan bank collapse and something something central related? What in blue blazes is the name of China’s bank system, anyways?

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  11. You neglect a few important points z. First, there is another explanation to why China is waiting to move on Taiwan in addition to “Waiting out the GAE.” They aren’t just actively bribing Washington, they have numerous people on their payroll in the Taiwan government. There’s a huge number of people in their government in favor of reunification as a result of this infiltration. China realizes how easily democracy becomes corrupted, and may also be simply waiting to buy enough votes to have Taiwan “choose” reunification.

    Secondly, another big factor that favors war with the Chinese: they have an entire generation where the males vastly outnumber females because of the one child policy (somewhere around 3/1 I believe). All these unmarried males can be a blessing in a war, but also a problem domestically because they will become sexually frustrates, listless, and without purpose or hope. Sure, some of the more wealthy males will go to Vietnam to basically purchase a bride, but this is certainly not an option for the majority. Anyway, a war would serve a need for them in this department. Maybe that doesn’t necessarily mean Taiwan. It could be a border war with India too I suppose.

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  12. The PRC will not invade Taiwan. The Chinese have no experience in amphibious operations, which are among the most difficult military operations to pull off and the island would be a tough nut to crack even if the initial invasion were not pushed back into the sea. An invasion of Taiwan would probably need to a nuclear-armed Japan and South Korea, which the PRC definitely does not want. Wait and there will be a peaceful reunion between the PRC and Taiwan.

    Insofar as Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine is concerned, my impression is that old-fashioned trenches and bunkers are holding back the Russian forces and their Lugansk and Donest allies more than drones. Let’s see what happens when the Russian forces break through the last heavily fortified positions held by the Ukrainian Army.

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    • I’ve made similar points elsewhere. An amphibious assault across the Strait would be enormously complex and costly. I doubt whether the PLA has invested much time and effort in the training and maneuvers that would be necessary for an operation that would necessarily dwarf the effort that was necessary for D-Day. If they’ve read their Sun Tzu (who poetically stated salient but not very esoteric points), they have some appreciation of the potential difficulties ahead–not to mention their actual capabilities. (the contrarian and eccentric author and policy wonk Edward Luttwak commented on the latter issue in a very readable essay in unherd.com). It didn’t cross my mind until now that the PLA might try bombarding Taiwan into submission with drones and SSMs, but I’m not sure that they can do that, either. The main island of the ROC is a much bigger target than was Pantelleria (1943). As to the Russians, I believe they’ve liberated the Donbass area and are more concerned with consolidating their gains, from which they can’t be ejected, and are not interested in conquering Gallant Ukraine, as most Westerners naively believe. They’re waiting for the Ukrainians to acknowledge defeat and sign a Brest-Litovsk-style agreement. The longer this goes on, the worse it gets for the Ukrainians condemned to live under the Kiev/Galician junta.

  13. Forget Taiwan. China’s future security depends on three things.

    First, build an alternative to the dollar for trade. This is a monumental task, but it’s vital to China’s (and many other countries’) independence.

    Second, move toward more domestic consumption to be less dependent on US and Europe.

    Third, secure energy supplies, either from Russia or the Middle East.

    Taiwan is an after-thought compared to these issues.

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  14. An exceptionally persuasive piece, verging on airtight, I’d say. But there is one question: why would the Chinks even care about some barmy old broad popping into Taipei for a photo-op? And why would future monkeyshines of this stripe be vexatious enough to cause them to shell out more funk money in DC? I just don’t get it.

    As an aside, I get the sense that Z is becoming less bullish on Russia’s prospects in the Ukraine.

    • Maybe China, like Russia, is formidable but not dominant. The empire is certainly in decline but still formidable as well.

      With that said, I’d bet China ultimately achieves its aims, just not smashingly like the fanboys would have it.

      I also suspect the empire wants a place in the multipolar world, sort of like how it jumped to the US when the UK declined. That probably plays a large part.

      Imo Ukraine is a negotiation with slavic characteristics, this face saving game might be a negotiation with Chinese characteristics.

        • I’m not a scholar on these things, but my impression having worked/been educated with Chinese is that they’re very prideful. Not just an honor culture thing among their own, but generally. Often a facade of dismissiveness or high-handedness, but they care about their reputation among outsiders. It’s a serious weak spot.

          For what that’s worth. Could be wrong, but it’s the impression I get.

          • Mainlander Chinese are a PITA to deal with in general. They’re impolite, arrogant, cold, dismissive, and contain no consideration for others. Ostei calls face saving “childish”, and for the most part I can’t disagree, but I think it’s one of the few things that keeps the Chinese civil enough to work together.

          • The Chinese are at the bottom of list as far as business dealings. Indians are a challenge, but compliant. The Japanese are like Germans. They get the work done without too much drama. Arabs and Israelis are a huge challenge until you get the hang of it.

            In my experience, the Chinese are unpredictably unreliable. Part of it is culture, for sure, but they treat outsiders like idiots and they think it is funny.

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          • The thing I noticed in computer science interacting with both Chinamen is that they absolutely believe themselves to be more intelligent than Whites. Mind you, it isn’t that they believe themselves likely to be more intelligent than whites based on IQ distribution, but that every single white person must be dumber than them.

            I’ve had similar experiences with Jews dumber than I being convinced they’re smarter by virtue of being Jewish, but they also possess the social skills to not express that sentiment overtly. Chinese will say it right to your face, owing to the fabulously polite culture they’ve crafted over centuries of torturing animals and waging war against the concept of sanitation.

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      • Russia seems to be doing fine. They’re grinding down Ukraine’s trained soldiers and making slow, but very steady progress.

        The problem for Russia comes after they capture the Donbas. The Donbas is heavily Russian, so the Russians are more liberators than conquerors. Southern Ukraine is also has a good amount of Russians, so that could be in play.

        But at some point the Russians will move into ethnically Ukrainian territory, and that will be more tricky.

        The Russians need an exit plan. Former German Chancellor Schroeder threw up a decent plan the other day. Russia gets Donbas and land bridge to Crimea. Ukraine gets “armed” neutrality. Russia also gets off of the west bank of the Dnieper.

        Russia’s problem is that Ukraine will never agree to disarmed neutrality, so Russia now will have a seriously belligerent and extremely well-armed neighbor. That poses a problem.

        One possibility is that Russia takes southern Ukraine and everything east of the Dnieper River. This would give them a river barrier and some additional land as a buffer. Sure, the remaining Ukraine probably joins NATO, but it was going to be more or less a part of NATO anyway, even if technically neutral.

        But that’s a major operation. In addition, some of that newly Russian land will be occupied by Ukrainians who might start an insurrection.

        My point is that Russia will face some tough choices once it take the Donbas.

        • If the Ukraine, or its rump, becomes a permanent adjunct of the GAE, then Russia has failed, IMO. Keeping AINO off of Russia’s doorstep must be top priority.

        • Russia is doing to Ukraine what they did to Georgia: nibble off the ethnic Russian areas and destabilize the country so that it can’t join NATO.

          They don’t need to do much more. Then, sit back and strangle the Western economies by slowing the gas pipeline and wheat flows.

    • Can’t speak for Z, but the “bullish” on Russian prospects in the Ukraine was wrt the ultimate outcome. It may cost more than originally thought, but the eventual outcome still appears the same.

      • Correct. I got a lot wrong with regards to the timing of events, but the outcomes were easy to see. The timing has fooled most Western observers because we are conditioned to think of war in terms of territory. The Russians are trying to destroy and army, which is a radically different agenda than conquering territory.

    • They used it as an opportunity to build animosity and esperit de corp among it’s people. It also gives them an excuse without being too alarming to place military assets in position.

  15. I don’t see how the Chinese can establish beach bridgeheads on the Western coast without blasting the island to ruins. They won’t have air superiority, given US involvement, and the Taiwanese army given its strength, entrenchment and home based artillery support will be able to throw the Chinese at sea before they can secure the landing of more materiel.
    The Taiwanese live under a siege mentality since the Fifties and as a result are pretty pugnacious, see their parliamentary ‘debates’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMvkusAI9DM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uephkhhpmc8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp32VLQyUf8
    For these reasons I agree with today’s post in that the military option is unfeasible for China to pursue.

    The alternative to the above would be to fully blockade Taiwan and starve it to submission, but to do that the Chinese will need to occupy the southern islands of Okinawa. And even if they don’t try to occupy them, I cannot see Japan and South Korea simply watching as China gains open access to the Pacific Ocean (this is the main reason for the hostilities).

    Also any political subterfuge or trade war to obtain the island bloodlessly will likely fail because as China gains open sea routes, it will be too much of a threat for Japan’s and South Korea’s own sea lines.
    So in my view it’s easy to see China checkmated on this Taiwan issue.

    • What if China takes a page from globohomo and just color revolutionizes Taiwan? A Taipei Maidan would be a lot quicker and cheaper than war.

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      • I can’t even imagine how intensely the espionage war is currently ramping up in Taiwan.
        How can the Chinese beat globohomo -backed by its East Asia satellites- on its own field of excellence?

      • That’s more or less what the PRC has tried to do for decades. In the long run it might work, but it hasn’t in the 70-something years that it’s been tried.

  16. I’m sorry, but I think all the casuistry expended upon analyzing Nancy’s trip to Taiwan is overblown and unnecessary. I will go out on a limb here: The simple fact of the matter is that China made a big mistake in not responding more forcefully to this. China should know by now that the United States has no realistic prospect of getting itself on a war footing. American society is disorganized, restive, and broke. If China wants to set up an alternative to the US Dollar, it needs to show itself as the strong horse, as someone its global partners can rely upon. This was a gigantic missed opportunity and it isn’t going to go well in the corridors of power in Beijing. I would bet that a lot of high level CCP officials are livid over this.

    As much as I hate to say it, this means that the US scored a geopolitical victory (probably its last) for now. This will set China back a few years as they figure out how to dispose of Emperor for Life Xi, but once they get a non-coward in office there is going to be hell to pay.

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    • Meh. How was China supposed to respond to some daffy has-been of a bint doing a bit of sight-seeing? This “incident” will be forgotten in a month or so and China will be no worse for wear because of it. In the big scheme of thing, it pales to near insignificance.

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      • First of all China should have said nothing, because the visit was meaningless. It’s fine to say nothing. But what you DON’T do is forbid someone to do something, and then do nothing when they cross that line.

        This is why everyone laughed at Obama with his constant declaring of “red lines” in Syria that Assad promptly violated.

        • Yes, ideally China should have ignored Pelosipalooza ’22. However, did they expressly FORBID her from traveling to Taiwan? Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t remember the language being quite that strong.

      • How was China supposed to respond

        Xi: Pelo-who? Pelo-what? Taiwan is importing Pelotons? Good for them, they need to get in better shape. Next question.

    • Nope. China will use this as a propaganda tool to motivate her people. Why would China rush? The longer it waits the weaker America becomes. The US is destroying itself and thus Taiwan’s defence is becoming weaker.

    • Looking at Wikipedia, or even the official sources, for the capabilities and equipment of militaries and their hardware is a joke. I have an uncle who retired from the Air Force reserve, but served with all three branches in his career. The topic of emergency landings on aircraft carriers came up. He said, “If I ever had to land my Cessna on an aircraft carrier, I would just get on the radio and tell them I was coming in. They would turn into the wind and accelerate to my stall speed, and I would just drop on to the deck.”

      We said, “That’s impossible. An aircraft carrier maxes out at 30 knots. A Cessna stalls at 47 knots.”

      He just said, “You’re looking at the official speeds? They don’t publish the real top speeds. When they want to, they can run those things at just about any speed they want. You know how there can be a Tsunami in the South Pacific and then two days later a carrier from Japan is down there? Those things move a lot faster than they say they can.”

      Ever since then, I have enjoyed reading Wikipedia for it’s nerd value. But I take all of their military stats with a big grain of salt.

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  17. Overall, a good analysis. I dd some quick Googling and came up with this: The USA relies on China for about 20% of its total imports. I have not checked, but I assume that among those are many critical items. If China took Taiwan, most of our (and probably the world’s) semiconductors would be cut off, perhaps for a long time. The mere loss of Chinese imports would be a huge blow to the US economy. We used to make this stuff here, but could we again? Not in any short time framework and it would be at multiples of the cost we now pay.

    In sum, what would China gain by taking Taiwan, even if it could at zero cost? Right now, roughly half of Taiwan’s exports go to China. Even considering it all separate, is still considerably less than what China sells USA alone. So yes, they’d gain an economic advantage, but in export terms, only an incremental jump.

    The status quo seems fine for everyone. Both sides get to saber rattle occasionally, while commerce and lining of pockets of politicians continue apace.

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    • China does not (IMHO) drive it’s decision making solely through pragmatic thought. It is an ancient country with a long term perspective of its role in the world. To simply look at Taiwan as an economic asset and a bottom line consideration is to miss this historical perspective and thinking. The Chinese people are as patriotic as we once were and rightly proud of their accomplishments (economic, scientific, and cultural) and historically aware of how they were “done dirt” by the Western powers in the last couple of centuries. They teach this in their schools. Saber rattling can quickly turn into saber use if their “red lines” are crossed. Taiwan independence is one of them.

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      • Very salient points, but I have to raise an eyebrow at the “rightly proud” turn of phrase. The economic accomplishments of the last few decades have put them somewhat at a level where a high-IQ, homogenous people should have been all along. Their culture suits them fine but there’s much of it fundamentally distasteful to the typical reader of this blog. And their scientific accomplishments, well, such that they are since the end of the Mao era are heavily reliant on the groundwork already done by the lao wai and of course the (((you tai ren))).

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        • Name a country of size that within 2-3 generations went from third world backwater to 1st world, 2nd largest GDP country.

          Before I left the university, there were numerous collaborative associations with Chinese faculty among our faculty and those were always spoken of highly. Even today, any number of the papers I’ve seen on Covid and related aspects, have Chinese authors on them. They have proven they can do original research.

          That the Chinese have cut corners and “stolen” technology is not in question—it is their nature and culture—but not all technology has been stolen by them, much was in essence “given away” by greedy Western CEO’s in their contracting with Chinese businesses and compliance with CCP joint venture policy. You denigrate the intellectual advantage that their people possess as a race at your own peril.

          China has discoveries and technology very old, not just during our Western IR. Printing press, gun powder, and the like. It is not for nothing, Fauci was contracting with their biological/genomic labs for research.

          I’m not a Sinophile. I’d prefer to have little or nothing to do with them as they are not Western in values and people, but they are a dangerous adversary and in that I will not underestimate or denigrate them. We have, to our disadvantage, done way to much of that since Nixon’s reapproachment with Moa.

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          • Gunpowder, there is no conclusive proof it is a Chinese invention. Beware the kumbaya propaganda.
            Gunpowder may have been originated in India, and then spread Eastward as well as west. Or directly in Europe: handcannons from the XIII century were found in France.
            Certainly, only in Europe the true military potentialities were understood and, as centuries went by, harnessed by the fullest.

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          • True. The Chinese are a talented people, but the willing transfer of American knowledge and capital gave them a hell of a head start.

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          • Painter, consider this. Whatever leg up China got via Western technology, and how they got it was the same opportunity any other 3rd world country had available at that time. Yet…here is China 50 years on and the other countries are where?

            I’d say the difference is the people and their innate ability—from which derives their culture of course. Once that was unleashed, China rose as a world economic power.

            We were once like them, but we forgo how we got to our present condition, so are declining.

          • FWIW, from what I have heard with people who deal with Chinese in tech/hard science, they are very hard working and good at learning techniques, memorizing, etc., but not particularly good at creative thinking, outside the box, etc.

            There seems to be a lot of that here too – mistaking good memorization of received facts for “critical thinking.”

          • Hey now, Templar, I learned a cool new phrase!

            the lao wai and the (((you tai ren))).

            Say it with me, ten times.

      • I had a dream that George Michael was still alive and he and Andrew Ridgely reformed Wham and performed concerts in China like they did in the 80s. I sawi Xi and Nancy, arm in arm, bopping along to Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. Everything was peace, love, and good times between our nations.

  18. Last time I bought something, and the time before that, and the time before that…it was made in China. Everything is made in China. Your cell phones are made in China. Yeah, there are exceptions and the percentages are not always 100%, but the vast majority of about everything we are dependent on still comes from there. Hell, take a walk through Walmart and see if you can find a US product outside of food.

    So tell me how an embargo hurts China more than us? Our embargo on Russia fails to hurt Russia, but is just about killing us right now, albeit in this regard we could do better for ourselves. A Chinese embargo will hurt even worse. The Chinese economy may implode, but they control their populace as we could never hope to. Hell, they lockdown entire cities to control the Wuflu.

    That being the case, the bad boy in me hopes for such an event. Harsh medicine, but the patient needs the treatment before he’s too weak to survive the “cure”.

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    • The Chinese probably think, long term, it would be better to buy out Tiawan than invade it, and given the easy corruptibility inherent in democracies by foreign actors, I don’t think they’re wrong.

      Just look how easy it was for Soviet infiltrators to get to the highest levels of government in the 1900’s. It’s an open secret FDR’s administration was full of Soviet spies.

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    • One thing that was highlighted at the peak of the coof hysteria was exactly how dependent the US is on Chinese production of things like basic medicines and industrial products.

      Setting aside any arguments about effectiveness, it was shown that the US was totally incapable of ramping up the production of face coverings that were pieces of fabric with strings attached to the sides.

      On top of that, you had multiple players in the US running grifts handing money to the Chinese to import the face coverings the US could not produce.

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  19. Are young Taiwanese men so in love with the values of the GAE that they are willing to fight against their ethnic brothers for it? Are they willing to die for multinational companies, the great reset, forced COVID shots, gay pride parades, transgender, BLM, drag queen story hour, feminism, and endless immigration from 3rd world countries? I find that tough to believe. Although it is not really analogous I would expect Taiwanese men to reconsider, similar to what we saw in Afghanistan, when it was predicted the GAE army would hold off the Taliban. In the end, the Taliban represents the true and natural governing structure of Afghanistan, so the question is who do the Taiwanese want to be ruled by, especially as the US and its empire is starting to crumble?

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      • The two groups of people who fled Ukraine in haste on the first day of the invasion were oligarchs (with exception of Akhmetov) and the Africans who were subcontracted to do the low level work in the sex trade, controlling and managing the white cattle. The Ukrainians ARE dying for “multinational companies, the great reset, forced COVID shots, gay pride parades, transgender, BLM, drag queen story hour, feminism, and endless immigration from 3rd world countries.” I doubt ruled class Taiwanese Chinese are significantly more wise.

        Regular ruled people overwhelmingly do what they are told by those in authority unless authority has been systematically and thoroughly delegitimized. China WILL win in the end. Time is on their side. The culture of the GAE is corrosive and anyone who stands with the GAE will eventually lose internal cohesion and hence legitimacy in the end. The Chinese don’t need to convince every last peasant. Taiwan’s ruling class is the product of GAE democracy. That brand grows more toxic every day and nature always wins in the end.

    • Good point. What does Taiwan gain through independence? If one looks to the mainland, one sees similar prosperity among the people in the CCP blend of communism and capitalism. Even at the upper levels of society, China has billionaires and other such capitalist oligarchs. Seems to me, Taiwan at the typical “Joe” level has little to lose in a Chinese mainland reunification. It has to be the Taiwanese elite that see the possibility of their replacement in a Chinese take over, supplemented by our elite fears as well.

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      • And yet, over the years polling has consistently shown that the Taiwanese favor the maintenance of their de facto independence. They’ve gone over 125 years without being affixed to the mainland and now have two generations of experience with a liberal political system. Despite the assumption that East Asians tend toward a hive mentality, the Taiwanese have been quite successful in developing a culture that allows for dissension and competing ideologies. And to that point, everyone is aware of what’s befallen Hong Kong in the last quarter century.

        In general, the Taiwanese would likely reconcile themselves with unification so long as it wasn’t under the aegis of the CCP.

        • Just a thought…

          Taiwan as constituted is fine with operating under a form of federalism, but the CCP, like the regime perpetrated by the Illinois Ape, Lincoln, and as all authoritarian centralizers do, wants to rule, not with discretion and a lighter hand, but ultimately as the sole decider of all forms of social arrangements. The continued existence of Taiwan as a federated state, but not under the fist of the CCP is perceived as a bad example given the cultural fragmentation of the nation of China. The regions, at least those most competent to manage their affairs more in line with their enlightened interest, may kind of like that idea, much to the displeasure of the centralizing, authoritarian CCP. The CCP certainly seems to want to bring Hong Kong to heel, but with some genuine resistance, likely not merely originating from Western IC meddling. Taiwan, of course, is well aware of the CCP’s not so subtle endgame for Hong Kong, and is planning accordingly.

        • As long as a vote has no ramifications, as in a war or diminished prosperity, a preference for status quo is expected. Note, there is no meaningful move to ask the people for a referendum on independence, which China has said will immediately entail war.

          Once those considerations change, then we may see change in the population attitude—assuming the people are given a say. That the Taiwanese seem to be a reasonable trading ally, I have no concerns. They seem to have played the game straight.

          • Except the choice between the two major domestic parties does involve rather significant ramifications for Taiwanese security and long term viability. The voting options they have are more pronounced than those of Americans.

      • “What does Taiwan gain through independence?”

        That question was probably answered by Hong Kong. Taiwanese guys I listened to at the time claimed they viewed HK’s handover as a proxy for what Taiwanese reunification would lead to… and they didn’t like what they saw. Political crackdowns, secret police etc. I suspect that CIA/MI6 fomented HK’s student uprisings for exactly that reason, to poison-pill Taiwan against the idea of following suit.

        Be that as it may, China’s self-inflicted zero-Covid lockdowns probably aren’t changing their minds.

        Like all island countries in the Pacific, Taiwan’s survival involves playing one foreign aggressor off another. That’s probably why they do business with China, to ensure that any blockade would instantly hurt PRC as much as them.

        The winning move for China is political subversion/bribery, which happens to be GAE’s favorite game.

  20. John Mearsheimer seems convinced that a serious conflict between China and the US is inevitable. Wrote about it in an added chapter to the update edition in 2003 and that chapter alone makes it worth reading.

    He was famously spot on about Ukraine years before the current dust up; he’s a realist about great power politics, not a dreamer.

    That said, it doesn’t have to be a direct confrontation aka China v US over Taiwan. The US and the USSR fought proxy wars that cost millions of lives though, and there’s every reason to believe that more of the same is coming in our lifetimes.

    Taiwan is just the first dance at the new bloody ball.

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  21. China 2021 Total Fertility Rate: 1.16 children per woman
    Taiwan 2021 Total Fertility Rate: 0.98 children per woman

    At this point it’s a race to see which retirement home will outlast the other retirement home. It’s entirely possible that the conflict (and most conflict in Asia) will eventually just be dropped as old people have other concerns than sticking it to their ideological opponents.

    The USA is screwed too. But even the USA has people, which China won’t have soon. Unless they have become highly automated (which is possible), simple demographics dictate that China will never be very powerful outside of her immediate region. As always.

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    • The problem with this thinking is it just presumes trends just go on forever unchanged. A large population reduction can be reversed pretty quickly.

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        • Sure it can. You can get 13, 14, 15 kids out of a woman.
          Japan is the place to watch. They have aged, but have not tried to replace the Japanese people with foreigners. IIRC, adult diapers started outselling baby diapers about 10 years ago. They live exceptionally long though.

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      • Unfortunately, with the inherent fragility of modern technology that’s “good” (petrochemical agriculture, modern interlocked and highly dependent economies) as well as “evil” (nuclear weapons, malevolent uses of genetics and other tech), a large population increase can be reversed even faster. 🙁

    • We are approaching a world where Africans are half the world population, and there’s no way to feed everyone. Decline is inevitable. When a new empire rises from the ashes in a couple centuries, let’s hope they figure out the fertility grinder that makes high IQ people with comfort not want to have kids.

      Personal theory is a future great nation will have to artificially force deprivation on its population from a young age on. The current theme is comfort and affluence creates a vicious loop where more comfort is wanted, and kids being the burden that they are, are removed from the picture.

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      • That is reminiscent of Frank Herbert’s thinking from Dune, wherein both of the chief warrior traditions, the Fremen, and the Imperial Sardaukar were enforced to live in hostile environments in which life and death decisions being a constant eventuated in a hardened mindset in their societies’ expressions toward the Other.

      • let’s hope they figure out the fertility grinder that makes high IQ people with comfort not want to have kids.

        That grinder is economic and cultural uncertainty (real or imagined, but often, mostly imagined). Convince them that your heritage is evil/not worth perpetuating, or you are “suffering” if you don’t vacay in Europe annually. Or make milk cost $6 gal while getting 2% annual raise on your prestigious minimum wage job. Just heard one place offering $40k annual salary for Ph.D.s.

    • For all the attention the One Child Policy gets, the Taiwanese birth rate concurrently plummeted. Gen-X Taiwanese typically have multiple siblings, while Millennials have one or none. It happened overnight, like the Catholic churches emptying out in Trudeau-era Quebec.

    • The USA has what, 350M counting IA’s. China has a billion more and those billion scrape the land in more or less subsistence farming. Their one child “rural surplus” feeds their cities and industry growth, leaving their depopulated farms to be joined into more efficient units. In short, I still believe China can shrink in population far more than the USA and maintain its 1st world standing wrt technology, while the USA imports low IQ bodies that can not.

      China is not running out of “people assets” nor is the USA gaining “people assets” through immigration.

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      • Their population reduction will be a blessing after they get through the current demographic hump of caring for the pulse of aged. This happened to our ancestors after the Black Death: sharp population reduction increases availability of land (and other resources) per person and makes more valuable their labor, leading to higher quality of life. The only thing that might trip them up is dysgenic breeding and I don’t know how much of that is happening in China.

      • Building on your points. China is, to my understanding, a far more homogeneous nation. That probably means more social stability in a major crisis. In marked contrast, the USA has been comparatively diverse for decades and is importing low-value immigrants like there’s no tomorrow. In a major crisis here, a large portion of the recent arrivals (and, sadly, much of the legacy population) will be classified as “useless eaters” to be removed by any means necessary.

  22. Meh. I think this saber-rattling visit is the prelude to the inevitable “offramp” in Ukraine.

    The Biden/Pelosi gang understands that the Ukraine sh*t sandwich is a big political user. There was a Gallup Poll (I know, probably unreliable but still…) out yesterday saying that only 1% of Americans think relations with Russia are a major problem. 1 fricking percent !! Inflation however was a huge concern.

    So it’s a smokescreen for the upcoming Ukraine peace talks. The commodity markets are starting to sniff this out. Oil and grains prices have been very weak both leading up to and in the midst of this “visit”.

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    • Despite doing everything they can to prolong the war in Ukraine, our rulers will then tell us how wonderful they are for ending the war.

      This is consistent with their SOP. They have done the same with Covid.

  23. The obstacle to China taking Taiwan is not military but economic. As noted by others, they can just cut Taiwan off and wait them out. If/when China decides it can take the economic decoupling, it will take Taiwan as well without any sealift, invasion or anything like it.

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  24. Is the Taiwanese military “exceptionally good”? I wonder about that. Although Taiwan maintains universal military duty as an obligation for young adults, the actual training and requirements have been dumbed down in much the same way we’ve bent the rules for our newly pozzed military. The Taiwanese are not a terribly masculine people and there’s very little in the way of a martial spirit. Relying on 2 million men to defend the islands against fellow Han is probably a recipe for disaster. I can’t see them digging in and fighting to the last man. Practical considerations would rule the day.

    The trump card the Taiwanese hold is likely a secret nuclear option and/or a back door threat to knock out the Three Gorges, which would result in millions of deaths on the mainland, something that could possibly bring down the Mao Dynasty.

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    • Americans I know who have trained with the Taiwanese say they are the best soldiers they have encountered. That said, drilling is not fighting. As the great philosopher Mike Tyson said, “everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face.” The Russians experienced that early in the war with Ukraine. Many of their expectations were wrong and the relative strength of the various parts of their military were not exactly what they expected either.

      This is even more of an issue for China, however. Land powers tend not to perform well at sea. China has no wealth of experience to tap into to frame their expectations. They literally have no one in their navy who has commanded a dingy in combat. Learning on the job while commanding an aircraft carrier will bring unknown unknowns to the battle.

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      • I suspect that the Taiwanese military has an impressive talented tenth but in the event of an invasion or full-scale conflict, the rank and file would by necessity be filled with conscripts that don’t have the stomach for what would be required.

        The CCP would portray the conflict as a battle against the GAE, giving their soldiers a racial impetus that would be lacking in the defensive Taiwanese.

        • You keep bringing up the conscript issue, yet also name their point – meat bags. Really, that’s what they’re for, to fill squads and soak up rounds. The ones that survive and get the necessary grit get cycled into other units with experience. The East Asians put far less emphasis on preserving their own living than the West. That’s not to say they’ll wantonly sacrifice their soldiers for dumb stuff, but a soldier dying isn’t a soldier perishing”, but a soldier doing his job.

          • In my estimation, many Taiwanese wouldn’t even bother serving as cannon fodder, they’d just lay down arms. The country’s citizens embody the same grill and chill mindset of normie-cons. They very much want to preserve a past way of life, but they’re not terribly interested in putting down their phones and working on its preservation.

          • This response is really for KGB, but the page format won’t allow me to directly respond to him:

            Your assessment of the situation is definitely supported by the behavior of the South Korean Army during the Korean War and the South Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War.

            No matter how much training and money the South Koreans and South Vietnamese received from “Uncer Sam”, neither group had the will or grit to actually kill their Northern brethren.

            I suspect the Taiwanese would behave the same way. If they were told in no uncertain terms that if they laid down their arms they could keep their civilian jobs and still play on their cell phones, I can easily imagine them doing exactly that. “Democracy” is a pretty vague and misty thing to die for, once it comes down to it.

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      • Given what modern (relatively) low-tech drones and other (relatively) low-cost offensive weapons can do, I suspect that at the start of hostilities, the average aircraft carrier’s life expectancy will be measured in hours, if not days.

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  25. They are getting antsy because America is currently led by doddering geriatric morons. This state of affairs will not last much longer.

    Unknown is the effect of pozzing the US military too. According to Terrance Popp on JewTube, warriors with three or four deployments under their belt are bailing out in droves because of the enforced faggotry and vibrancy of the new army. They retire and muster out, and are replaced by lesbians, low IQ blacks, and emotional women.

    When the disaster in the ‘Kraine was first starting, we were regaled with pics of old grannies and babas and hotties with AK47s promising to water their flower gardens with Russian blood. I wonder whatever happened to them all?

    Whatever it was…I think you’ll see the same thing in the American military if things get serious.

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    • “This state of affairs will not last much longer.”

      Why? Even if the current geriatrics die off there is the B team / 2nd stringers waiting to hop in their place.

      I’m baffled by statements like this. Without an outside corrective force things can persist by inertia for a LONG time. If you are going to say this quantify it and dignify it with evidence otherwise its wishful thinking at best.

      The main analog to this is that “revolution will be here soon”. Preppers and related have been beating this drum for at least 20 years. Still waiting… it is not so different from the far left wanting reality to comport with their worldview.

      Just because you WANT a thing to be a certain way, doesn’t mean it is that way. Men can be women, blacks are just as capable as Asians, solar and wind are just as good as petrochemicals, and on and on…

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  26. It should also be taken into account that a bloody repulse of an invasion of Taiwan would almost certainly bring down the current leadership, and threaten the control of the CCP itself. Many mainland Chinese are very unhappy with Xi’s leadership, and this includes many senior members of the CCP. A full scale invasion would be a very dangerous gambit indeed.

    But of course, China doesn’t really want to invade. What they want to do is to frighten Taiwan into capitulation without invasion. And of course, they can make life very difficult indeed for Taiwan, and ratcheting up tensions, then turning them down is a great low-cost way for increasing the pressure on Taiwan’s leadership. The problem is, is that while Xi is not stupid by any stretch of the imagination, he is also monumentally arrogant, and not used to taking “no” for an answer. He might blunder China into a situation prematurely. Interesting times…

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    • Many mainland Chinese are very unhappy with Xi’s leadership,

      How unusual. No one in the US finds fault with Joe Biden’s performance. All the British are enthusiastic about the reign of Boris Johnson. Macron is a deity in France.

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      • Agreed, and a disastrous, bloody, unnecessary war would bring down any of these leaders as well. Xi is probably more popular than any of the leaders you named right now, but that’s a low bar to clear, and the dissatisfaction is there. The Chinese people are not a monolith, no people is.

    • Some folks are always unhappy with whomever runs things. You should find a number of such in any organization. The question is, what numbers and more so, what power do they have?

      Xi’s position before he ascended to it was term limited. He had that changed so that he could be President for life. Is that a CCP in which his enemies outnumber his supporters? And I need not point out that there is only one party allowed in China, so Xi’s replacement is just as problematic as in the US with our own “uniparty”. I have no doubt Xi can/will be replaced if he miscalculates, but the modern Chinese seem to no longer put their leadership up against a wall as a retirement plan so he has that going for him.

  27. The U.S.’s economy is a disaster. China’s economy is a disaster (perhaps even worse than the U.S.). Both country’s “elites” are on the ropes. What a convenient time for a war.

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  28. The inland Chinese and the island Chinese probably communicate all the time. Sheesh, they’re the same people. Some rank and file inland Chinese may covet a Western, Taiwanese lifestyle but many inland Chinese likely don’t and many more inland Chinese may not know a thing about Taiwan. An effectively censored media. “Occupying” Taiwan seems an odd idea. Millions of inland Chinese are going to push millions of island Chinese into the sea? Is inland China overflowing with Chinese and needs more room?

    If the BRI highlights the coming pan-Asian century, with the dollar going the way of the Agentine peso, the business of the world, to cop Calvin Coolidge’s phrase about America from a hundred years ago, will still be business. A land of broke peasants, which may be the Project for the Post-American Century, can’t do much but sell its resources for the meta-yuan its population will need to buy electric vehicles and other green stuff.

    • Chinese and Taiwanese dislike each other fervidly and there is mutual distrust. You can experience that in any university campus in the West.

      • Actors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are popular in all three locations and star in cinematic productions made in all three.

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        • Name actors are a scarce resource and given there is a free market they work for the highest bidder. Your comment should be reframed in terms of why there is a free market between China and Taiwan, if the two are at each other’s throat.
          I’d answer that up until now free market was convenient for all parties. With the recent tensions, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the screws tighten on it.

          Hong Kong is now the same dystopian nightmare as China, that’s why the recent protests. People don’t want to live in police states.

          • The recent protests in Hong Kong were funded by the GAE and run by the CIA, they were a fake and gay op like all the other color revolutions out there (including the 2020 one in the USA).

            If CNN told me that the Hong Kong protests were about a deep desire for “democracy” then I know that’s not the reality. Especially after all the protest leaders started meeting with State Department and US politicians.

          • @Mycale: the Hong Kong may have been funded by CiA, certainly were amplified by the Western media, but for sure they gained spontaneous local support.

            The Chinese curtailed freedoms that were given for acquired by Hong-Kongers. The atmosphere of oppressive conformism in China is/was not present in Taiwan or HK, where you could say anything you like, and you don’t have the certainty ( in the US is only the feeling) of being constantly surveilled.

        • Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson were massively popular in those three locations too, but that doesn’t mean they wanted to have anything to do with Africans on their soil.

          The Taiwan/Mainland split on American campuses is an interesting dynamic. This is just my anecdotal observation, but the Chinese who attend even middling American colleges are typically quite well off, whereas the Taiwanese who study abroad come from a fairly broad strata of society. I have no idea what that means in terms of the animosity one can observe between the two groups, but it’s something to keep in mind. I’ve sat with a contingent of Taiwanese students from Penn State while attending the Little League World Series, and they were rabidly pro-independence, far more so than the typical man on the street back home. Why? And what does that mean for the future Taiwanese leadership?

          • Check out the life of Chang Kai Shek and the history of the Chinese civil war, which technically is still ongoing. There is very very bad blood, and the hatred gets passed down the generations. Many Taiwanese are mainlanders who have been 3 generations in exile.
            The Kuomintang fought the Japanese and is still a powerful party in Taiwanese politics.

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    • They could and then the Taiwanese would unleash their anti-ship weapons on Chinese shipping. Look at a map and there is no way to get in and out of China by sea without being on good terms with Taiwan. As soon as China made a move, all shipping comes to a halt and we have a global conflict.

      Again, if China is willing to pay an enormous price she can take Taiwan, but the benefit does not outweigh the cost in the short and medium term.

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      • Taiwan is joined at the cultural and ethnic hip with China and it goes back centuries.
        The idea that China needs to invade and take over Taiwan is preposterous on its face. This is the same kind of nonsense you were hearing about Hong Kong and China several years ago. The comparisons between Ukraine and Russia are absolutely not germane to Taiwan/China. In short, the relationship between the CCP and Taiwan is and always will be much stronger than Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan is not going to be a vassal of the United States ever, by its own choice. And the United States will never forcefully impose its will on the Taiwanese people. Why? Because Taiwan by and large does not want the United States meddling in its business, that’s why.

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        • Taiwan is by all effects a vassal of the US now (it depends from the US for its military and economic survival, its politics are heavily influenced by the US).

          Taiwan is what remains of Nationalist China. That’s the political entity that got invaded by Japan in the Thirties, so it has an older and better claim to mainland China than the Communists.
          The Taiwanese are
          – partly natives to the island, which if I recall correctly did not belong to the Chinese Empire until the 1600s, when the Portuguese were kicked out from it by rebels fleeing the Chinese Manchu empire in the mainland. It was also part of Japan up to the end of WW2. So less Chinese than the mainland.
          – partly descendants of exiled Chang-Kai-Shek followers, who have no love for the CCP in the mainland.

          Plus, the Taiwanese have seen what happened to Hong Kong after it joined China. They are not willing to let got their Westernised way of living, and this may be the most potent factor of resistance.

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          • They’re not, actually. The Taiwanese (those who’d migrated from Fujian a couple hundred years prior) that grew up in the decades prior to WWII were in general more inclined to life under the Japanese than the Nationalists. The Japs had massively improved the island’s infrastructure and had maintained a system of law and order that went out the window upon the arrival of the Nationalists. To this day, your average Taiwanese speaker – a linguistic tell that your clan has been on the island for far more than a century – still uses the Mandarin term wai sheng ren, or “outsider” to describe the descendants of the Nationalists.

          • Chinese of any kind are late comers to Taiwan. There are, after all, native Taiwanese that have been there for longer than anyone can determine, though they’re now picturesque tourist attractions in the hills. Which is better than the deal the American natives got.

          • wai sheng ren, or “outsider”

            We knew nothing of Islam before 9-11; now I think we’re going to learn a very great deal about the inscrutable East.

        • In most languages words have genders: masculine, feminine and (in some languages) neuter. English only uses gender to designate things that actually have a sex. But there are two exceptions in English: a country may be referred to in the feminine gender (she, her) as may be a ship. It isn’t wrong to use the neuter (it) to refer to a country or a ship, but it is also grammatically correct and perhaps a bit more elegant to use the feminine gender. As for the United States, historian Shelby Foote once said that the American Civil War was fought over the issue of whether one should use the plural or the singular form of the verb in referring to it or her.

      • Taiwanese weaponry requires fuel and without it the weapons are inert. China can also take more damage than Taiwan. So, if Taiwan uses all it’s fuel sending off drones and missiles, what can it do after that. China can rebuild what Taiwan breaks; Taiwan can’t rebuild unless China allows them. Obviously, no conflict is painless but it really does appear that China has more strengths and fewer weaknesses than Taiwan and could hold a siege longer than Taiwan could resist it. I don’t know if they have the will to do it, but it’s at least feasible.

        • I never said otherwise. It is not a question of if China can conquer Taiwan, but at hat cost. That cost is much higher than most appreciate. The benefit of conquering what may become a bombed out island full of dead people is also not so obvious.

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        • Taiwan is not alone in this.
          The Chinese navy can blockade the West coast, and even then they have to first seize the Penghu island chain.
          Taiwan’s Eastern coast is less developed, but there are small ports there also, and the nearest island are called Yonaguni, Taketomi, Ishigaki, Tarama and Miyakojima. I don’t need to tell you to which rapidly rearming, and historically extremely pugnacious country these islands belong to.
          And there is also the already fully operational big army and navy of South Korea to account for.
          Even a blockade of the island will be a nearly impossible task for China to accomplish.

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          • I don’t know why they’d need to take Penghu to affect a blockade of the east coast. And even if they did, it could probably be accomplished fairly easily, unlike the main island. It’s not the most fortified location, although I did get scolded by a flight attendant once for having my camera on as our flight approached Magong. No aerial pictures were allowed apparently, despite the existence of Google Earth.

          • @KGB: Obviously you cannot approach Taiwan in a straight line and bypass a large island in the middle of the sea route at the same time.
            Penghu is a bottleneck, they have to take it and as such it is a perfect first line for a defense in depth of Taiwan. Chinese vessels could be shelled from there not much after they leave China.
            If Penghu gets heavily fortified it may turn out to be the equivalent of Avdivka, which is a suburban development of Donetsk just outside the highway belt whence the Ukrainians still shell the city proper. After 8 years of war they have not be dislodged from there yet.

          • You’re talking about assaulting Okinawa, then. Lol, kind of think the JSDF might take some issues with that. The US Navy would probably want to chime in on one of their most important military positions being pushed up against.

          • @KGB: Penghu obviously shields the Western coast of Taiwan.
            The Eastern coast instead can be supported by the southern Okinawa islands.
            I state that clearly in my comment.

      • Even then China can be blocked by others. Look at the main shipping lanes in the region. All it takes is to plug the Malakka Strait for Chinese transports.
        Even if victorious, the Chinese will be trapped themselves afterwars.

        Regardless, both sides aren’t ready. PLA is currently testing the big landing craft while Taiwan is buying anti-ship Harpoons and upgrading its air force. They’re also buying Abrams tanks to modernize their outdated armored forces.

        • Perhaps the Chinese might not find the Indians particularly respectful of the Indian Ocean sealanes given the Chinese cozying up to the Pakistanis in major ways of late. Things can get complicated.

      • “… if China is willing to pay an enormous price she can take Taiwan, but the benefit does not outweigh the cost in the short and medium term.”

        The assumption here is that wars are started and fought by rational actors. I maintain they are not. China as has been said has time on her side, but that’s rational reasoning and not necessarily certain to prevail in the future. Hell, look at the “unnecessary” wars we’ve gotten into recently.

      • Thanks for the laugh.

        I’m sure China is trembling at the thought of the US air-forces Semi-submersible fighters.

        The purpose of the US military is to loot the US tax payer.

        Ask the Taliban.

        • You mean the 80,000 dead ones? Sure, there are lots of boondoggles, cost over-runs, and shitty overpriced weapons systems in the US military, but it can still kill lots of people and break lots of things, and wile it’s gradually being destroyed by Wokeness, it still has lots of kick left.

    • This is the correct analysis. First step is siege and starve. If Taiwan then escalates to offensive attacks on Chinese shipping then the PLA will escalate to targeted high-precision missile attacks on Taiwanese infrastructure and industry (sparing population centers/impact). The lights go out, people begin starving and are out of work, internal unrest leads to a change in leadership in Taiwan. And you better believe that there is also a very large contingent of PLA Fifth Columnists operating on the island that would begin sabotage operations to compound these problems. And don’t forget that the US abandoned South Vietnam, and more recently Afghanistan, as an example to the Taiwanese of how reliable the US is as a military partner. Finally, the purpose of the Chinese Belt & Road development program is to provide an alternative to ocean-dependent shipping lanes for its economy. Soon China will be able to move products across the Asian landmass in quantity to alternate inland trade routes and port facilities. And the real nuke in China’s arsenal is to sell off US Treasury bonds at a high discount and force the Fed to monetize all of this debt overnight. Hyperinflation in a heartbeat.

      • “And don’t forget that the US abandoned South Vietnam, and more recently Afghanistan, as an example to the Taiwanese of how reliable the US is as a military partner.”

        Irrelevant, since the US doesn’t occupy Taiwan, ergo is not responsible for its defense. In fact, Taiwan’s is technically not even a sovereign country and the US took pains in the past to maintain that image with whilst treating it like a de facto country so as to not piss off the PRC.

        • It’s not about boots on the ground, but rather trust that the US has your back. Taiwan is facing off against a Chinese behemoth and has no chance without US naval resources acting as a tripwire. In a game of “chicken” with the Chinese military, do you want to bet your life that the US Navy will run interference in the Taiwan Strait? China does not want to destroy Taiwan, they want to force it to capitulate. And it’s a fucking island that cannot feed itself, nor is self-sufficient in energy supply. Those are the weak points that will be exploited. Unless the US Navy goes hot to break the blockage, it’s only a matter of time until Taiwan must surrender. Now, do you really have confidence that Dementia Joe has your six?

  29. They have a lot of young military age males right now, but a decade from now they will be nearing middle-age.

    As the Russians have been learning in Ukraine, technology has radically changed the battlefield.

    So which one is it, millions of marines assaulting a beach or thousands of drones picking off WWII era armor and artillery? Wouldn’t it be more likely that a PLA fifth column compromise water supplies, use some form of debilitating aerosols, destroy the electrical and communications networks and cyberattacks on other infrastructure?

    The reality is that the US is a fading, failing empire, as seen by the silly appearance in a government jet of an 82-year-old ding bat that represents the smallest district in the country. Having no role in US diplomacy, Pelosi could have just as easily flown into Taipei by scheduled air service. Would the US have ignored a minor CCP functionary dropping in to Washington National in one of their military transports? Furthermore, at her advanced age San Fran Nan is unlikely to even see the results of her publicity stunt, just her latest of many.

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  30. ” It is not the cutting edge technology that is shaping the battlefield. It is the commodified technology that is changing the mathematics.

    Like to Soviet T-34 tanks vs the German Panzers and Tigers. The Soviet tanks were like armored tractors with a gun on top. But there were tens of thousands of them and they overwhelmed the Germans.

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    • The Soviets also realized the benefits of sloped armor on tanks well before the Germans did.

      The Tiger I is certainly an impressive vehicle, but all the nearly vertical armor surfaces don’t help its survivability.

      The Panther finally addressed the lack of sloped armor on the German side, but it was hamstrung by its complex, often fussy powertrain.

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      • Dude, that was a century ago. Thats like arguing the merits of rifled Parrot canon versus smoothbore at Chancellorsville. The history channel is thataway ->>>

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    • Your analogy would be even better if you used Sherman Tanks. The worse armored vehicle of the war wrt armor and turret gun. But they were small and reliable and easy to produce/ship. But gawd, they chewed up personnel.

      Had a HS chem teacher whose job it was to repair and refit them on the front lines in Europe. He’d go into the Sherman and wash out the personnel remains with a hose, weld up the smallish hole the antitank weapon left, then spay on a coat of interior paint which covered any destruction signs left. Some tanks he repaired more than once.

  31. Chinese problems with an invasion of Taiwan:
    Sealift – The Chinese don’t have enough even if they use civilian ferries. As Z said, crossing that straight in a hot war will cost a lot of ships. When the survivors get ashore, they will really need a 3 to 1 advantage at least as they’ll have no artillery for quite some time.

    American nuclear subs – still the only weapon systems we have that they do not have an answer for. Our attack subs would sink capital ships and put cruise missiles in inconvenient places at will.

    3. Nuclear wildcard – the Taiwanese have many nuclear power stations and could put together nuclear warheads in an afternoon.

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    • The biggest factors in a potential conflict are a) how much of the taiwanese infrastructure and manufacturing facilities would China like to keep intact and b) how much of it’s military assets is willing to lose? If China is willing to, say, rebuild ports and an airstrip, it won’t need to sacrifice as many soldiers.

    • Not sure you can produce any nuke from a normal power plant—definitely not in a day. The enrichment needed for one is not the same as the other—otherwise the entire planet’s nations with nuke power would be considered possessing such weapons. I assume these plants are inspected for folks attempting to enrich fuels. But cleaver people can do amazing things.

      Nothing stopping Taiwan however from smuggling and stockpiling what is needed for a nuke bomb. But even then, assembly would seem problematic. But hell, if I were them, I’d do it.

    • From the physical standpoint, Taiwan is also a pretty tough nut to crack. It has crappy beaches, a rough, mountainous interior, and a nasty typhoon season. It’s notable that the United States considered invading Japanese-occupied Taiwan in WWII, and decided against it, and General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz were hardly casualty-averse pussies, when they though the stakes worth it. A Communist invasion of Taiwan would be one of the most difficult amphibious operations in history, far harder than D-Day. Xi would have to be desperate to try it, especially since there are so many other operations on the table.

    • I suppose one way of analyzing this is how China could attack/take Taiwan.

      The other is how China could attack/disable Taiwan’s backer. You don’t have to smash the TV if you cut the power cable.

  32. The wildcards in predicting Chinese behavior (and our Dear Leaders, as well) in a crisis that leads to war is the pride, arrogance, hubris and personal emnities inside the heads of the leadership in Bejing, Taipei, and “Washington” (until they get around to ripping down all the monuments to him and renaming the city for a Sacred Negro). While Z’s analysis is perfectly rational and logical, rationality and logical thinking often get thrown out the window first when it comes to the motivations for going to war. The Chinese have historical hatreds against the former European/American colonial powers going back to the 19th century, and on the AINO side, we have geriatric clowns with the emotional continence of a toddler making decisions, backed by a compliant set of Vichy Right lapdogs.

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  33. China also made noises when Trump congratulated Tsai Ing-wen upon assuming her presidency in 2016. We also had comments about provoking the Chinese back then.

    Although Taiwan is reached even by short-range ballistic missiles from China, the landing was always the biggest crutch. In the past Taiwanese air force used to be little outdated, but it’s no longer the case so the campaign would need to be overwhelming.

    The real threat is the Belt and Road initiative (Afghanistan was an important American outpost near the planned railway route), along with Chinese economy potentially escaping the dollar dictatorship. Raising big conflict when the Malakka Strait cannot be reliably protected is nuts. Island chains from east and south lock the Chinese in terms of naval force projection hence the base building in order to control at least the East and South China Seas. The only hope is to build the New Silk Road through Eurasia and hope for the US Navy to eventually rot under the changing demographics of the American Empire.

    • World War analogies are massively overused, but the parallels between the rise of Communist China and the rise of Wilhelmine Germany are real – and so are the attendant dangers. Prior to WWI, Germany saw itself as a power on the way up, while Britain and France were “”decadent” and on their way down – and this was basically true. Had the Germans been content to simply wait, Germany would have almost certainly dominated the continent, first economically, then politically. But Germany chose to present a military threat to the declining powers, and as it turned out, a military threat was the only thing that could get the Brits and Frogs to pull their socks up and display some energy, and in the end, this miscalculation destroyed Germany, and may yet end up destroying Western Civ. A catastrophe all around.

      I can easily see this happening due to Chinese arrogance and impatience. If China sunk a US aircraft carrier, with a loss of thousands of American lives, I can see the US pulling together and lashing out in fury. The US is most certainly a decadent power on the way down, but it still is the third-largest country on Earth, with a huge nuclear arsenal and a declining but still large high-tech industrial base, and unlike the case with Russia, a successful US nuclear first strike on China is possible. The US is very dangerous and unpredictable right now – the Chinese should remember the bright future of Germany in 1910 that arrogance and impatience botched, and walk very carefully..

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      • Germany chose to present a military threat to the declining powers

        “Germany” didn’t choose anything, it’s an abstraction. The course of German history, like that of all other countries, was determined by the actions of powerful and influential national figures. In hindsight, Bismarck’s unification of a number of duchies, prinicipalities and margaves into the German nation was a mistake for both the rest of Europe and the Teutons themselves. That’s what’s so strange about the re-unification of Germany, the rest of the world shouldn’t have allowed it.

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        • “ That’s what’s so strange about the re-unification of Germany, the rest of the world shouldn’t have allowed it.”

          Why not? It seems apparent that the “new” Germany cut its balls off decades ago. 🙁

        • ““Germany” didn’t choose anything, it’s an abstraction. The course of German history, like that of all other countries, was determined by the actions of powerful and influential national figures.”

          Well, obviously. I mean, we say things like “Japan attacked the US at Pearl Harbor”, that’s what we mean. It’s easier than saying “The Imperial Japanese Naval Air Arm attacked the US Pacific Fleet in the territory of Hawaii at the behest of the Gumbatsu and Zaibatsu ruling the Japanese Empire”. But I agree that the unification of Germany was, in hindsight, a mistake. So was the Nixon “Opening” to China, for that matter. Nixon consistently acted as if the US were the weaker party in negotiations with the PRC, much to the surprise and delight of Mao and Zhou. The “Shanghai Communiques” that established the current situation with regard to Taiwan need never have been signed – and should not have been.

          • That’s the frustrating part. At a time when we needed nothing from China and they needed everything, we treated with them as equals. Nixon and Carter had no reason to do anything other than say to Mao and Deng, “for the time being we’ll recognize both the ROC and the PRC. Take it or leave it”. And if the CCP balked at those terms, we walk away.

            As an aside, my avatar is from a comic history of Taiwan and depicts a 1979 protest over the American decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Peking. The protesters are chanting “Down with the human rights hypocrite, Carter!”

      • Britain had a larger economy than Germany before and after WW1. According to Ludendorff Britain was the major enemy of Germany during the war. Not the US as you probably think.

        How was Britain decadent relative to Germany or for that matter the US?

        Might want to look at technological innovation during that period-I don’t think Germany trumps the UK.

        The German attack against the West was because the Prussian elite believed Germany was decadent and was going to be overtaken by Russia. There’s any amount of literature quoting Bismarck or Von Moltke the younger worrying over Russian industrial power and what it meant for Germany in the 1920s and 30s.

      • The Chinese strike me as pretty patient. No doubt also practical. Don’t know much about Taiwan’s agricultural industry, so not so sure how dependent they are on imported basic foods.

        I would agree a direct military action is probably the riskiest with the least upside. If America closed our markets to the Chinese, inflation in the U.S. would hit Argentinean levels.

  34. It’s a long game. As the GAE declines further Taiwan will ask to be bloodlessly re-assimilated. Think Phillipines but later on the time/decline scale.

  35. So long as the actors are rational, I think your analysis is sound.

    I’d note though, that they may not always be.
    I think in ww2 Hitler would have understood Russia would keep throwing bodies at Germany with abandon, and so would need to be hit as hard as possible, and ground to dust, because its rulers cared not for the Russians they were disposing of, or their interests, at all – and so would not let up until totally defeated.

    Regarding the English however it would have been hard to imagine they would keep throwing away their interests and empire to fight such a determined foe, that just wanted its own space and was not shaping up to deprive them of any of their interests at all. If the English cared about England, and were following their own interests, their throwing away their Empire, and everything of value, and oh so many English lives, just to rescue the Jewish Bolshevik program in the East, and smash their ethnic cousins who regarded them as brothers and in high esteem they would not make any sense. Certainly not to keep it up after an initial flurry of activity, when it became clear that the costs were going to be high and certainly not worth it, rational calculus should have held court and seen them withdraw and make peace. Even if Hitler understood that global rootless cosmopolitans had huge influence in England, it would be hard to understand that they would have so much influence over such a great and highly esteemed people, that the English would irrationally let everything they had be thrown away in service to them, and (in the end) deliver their own enslavement & destruction (to no possible gain for themselves).

    But the English, did make that irrational choice and stuck by it. To attack and invade and take war to Germany, and maintain it, in the most costliest fashion to their own interests, with near zero chance any of their efforts would work out in their own favour (given the determination of the German people to remain free, and not return to rootless cosmopolitan control easily).

    But of course the Chinese rule China, not people that hate the Chinese (unlike England and the Western world at the time of ww2 and today), and China is recovering from being beaten up (its recent history is geopolitical loss, not gain), so not striding around as an unassailable colossus, and so perhaps sanity CAN be expected. At least on their side.

    Worth remembering though… in this conflict, transposed onto ww2, they would be Germany.. and USA would be England..

    ..so how rational will the US be when push comes to shove? How reticent the rulers of the USA, to shed the lives of American soldiers they (not so) secretly hate and wish to see smashed up and dead anyway… they don’t mind turning their own cities they live in, into crime ridden hell-holes so long as it hurts the Heritage American stock already..

    Is it more likely that USA wants to make it so that China HAS to act? I’m not sure how they would do that, but I wouldn’t put it past them to be working out how to do it.

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    • If England had sought peace after Dunquerque they’d be mocked and called retreating losers up to present times by a dominant German continent. Winning the war if anything left the prestige of the nation intact or even increased.

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      • Small matter that the Hitler fanboiz forget is that he broke every international agreement he signed so his word meant nothing.

        Germans despise anyone who isn’t German ,including the English, so this cousin stuff is arrant nonsense. The German plan in WW2 was to exterminate the English,like they planned with the Poles and Ukrainians.Goring is on record saying that he didn’t care if the Norwegians and Dutch starved to death under German rule.

        Look at the way they behave over Brexit;trying to break up the UK and incite Irish terrorists to start their “brave” campaign against English civilians. Helmut Kohl twice threatened the UK with war over a Brexit referendum.Merkel broke every promise she made to Cameron. Everyday a new threat is issued by Germany against the Poles and Hungarians because they oppose German policy.

        Britain went out of its way to oppose WW2 through the Appeasement policy which did try to address the legitimate concerns of Germany.Why did you not mention this? Britain also opposed reparations after WW1 but was blocked by Belgium,France and the US. The British treated German POWs much better than the Usians did-especially following the Eisenhower Order.After WW2 when Britian had severe rationing the UK diverted meat supplies from the UK civilian population to feed the industrial workers of G|ermany to help Germany get back on its feet.

        Your “historical” account is literally more dishonest than Goebbels propaganda regarding the British.

        Wretched fellow!

  36. We joke about the incompetence of the GAE officer corps, but there is no doubt China is the same: military competence is way down on the list of qualifications for their military, if it isn’t an outright disqualifying factor (the place has more than a little experience with competing warlords tearing the place up).

    Still, there’s always the fear that they could start believing their own press releases and be pressed into action due to economic and political circumstances.

      • Many Chinese regard the military as massively corrupt, and Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is evidence of this. The Chinese are a dangerous foe, but there’s no sense in making them ten feet tall. They have their problems too.

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        • Yeah, but finding out who has the worse military problems after a conflict start is problematic. Look at Russia and Ukraine. Russia stumbled at first and adjusted, not just tactics, but in personnel leadership.

          War does that, the leadership at the start is not always the leadership that ends it. Do we really know who has the best talent on the bench?

          • The question is, do they? There’s probably enough latent talent in the GAE military to keep it adaptive and effective in a pinch.

            Something to ponder is that the late Soviets knew that their totalitarian army was long in the tooth and that without an “unenlisted officer corps” (sergeants, etc.) as in NATO their armies they would be outmaneuvered. From various videos from the Russian front it’s clear they give their non-officers a lot of leeway in coordinating with each other in accomplishing objectives. I would strongly suspect such a structure is still a giant no-no in China’s military. There’s the obvious totalitarian reasons, but even the concept itself is foreign to their culture; their whole history is pretty much “warlord plus an ocean of scrubs”.

          • There may have been enough latent talent (assuming it wasn’t let go for not vaxxing), but how much of that talent is like the White programmer or manager being tasked with training his gay BIPOC replacement or lower colleague who will pass him up for promotion. There could be a lot of ZFG in the making where that latent talent will just say F.O. or just phone it in from a distance.

  37. All quite true…But the main reasons for not taking Taiwan are: 1. that there is no reason to do because the current setup is quite beneficial to mainland China, which has a lot control over Taiwan without any effort, and 2.Taiwan’s dominant position in the cutting edge chip manufacturing industry, which benefits China both directly and indirectly, might be irreparably damaged…..The Han Chinese are very practical people in general, and the aphorism that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it, is second nature to them….

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      • If they were such long-ranged masterminds I would have thought that they wouldn’t have quadrupled down on the same mistakes Japan and South Korea did with their economic mismanagement in the ’80s and ’90s. No, what they have is hubris not wisdom, although as long as they aren’t burned by it they look like they’re making a smart play. It reminds me of modern Italy not caring about importing all of Africa because “lol, there’s always been an Italy, nothing can bring us down!”. True until it’s not.

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          • Perhaps they feel they’ve got bigger fish to fly than worrying about Gaia. Just like Taiwan, it’s their business, not ours.

          • Right. Going to Google Images and typing in the name of any Chinese river followed by pollution should disabuse anyone of thinking the Chinese are forward thinking in how they take care of their own country.

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          • Perhaps we in the west have been sold a false bill of goods about what a “clean environment” is or means. After all, the Chicago River was so polluted it caught fire multiple times… And yet Chicago is still there, the residents havent all died from toxic exposure (though maybe that explains the alien freak mayor?)

          • America did clean up its environmental act to a large extent in the 20th century. However, consider that to a degree (a large one, it appears to me) that cleaner environment came at a cost — factories and jobs left our country, never to return. Sure, it’s been fun buying all that low-cost stuff from the Far East, but turns out it has an insidious social cost, which we are only slowly becoming cognizant of.

      • If the aim of our planners was to collapse of the GAE, I’d say their long range planning was pretty good. For starters, many decades ago, they infiltrated our schools.

        They replaced a curriculum focused on reading, writing n ‘rithmetic, with Trotsky, Marx n Lenin, who produced ppl like Lennon. Imagine that.

        • The long range aim of our planners is a one world government run by the ZOG. Pelosi’s trip, as well as the current unpleasantness in Ukraine, is a message to back off the BRICS, at least to the extent it seeks to have an independent currency (independent of Zionist world banking). That is a red line that cannot be crossed.

  38. I’m coming around to the theory that the whole brouhaha was theater on both sides.

    Americans were beginning to realize that out politicians were being bribed by the chinese. So they both cooked up a scheme for a faux conflict as a coverup.

    Has there been any reason offered as to why Pelosi was going to Taiwan in the first place?

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    • Yes. The Pelosi and Biden crime families aren’t going to suddenly turn on China. Not with all the dirt the Chinese have on them.

    • I almost wonder if Pelosi’s stunt was a test run for her as President.

      Note how the regime is keeping Biden under wraps for positive Covid testing and Harris is nowhere to be found.

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  39. Then why were the Chinese bellicose? Why turn into “an international crisis” with a countdown clock? They precipitated their own humiliation then.

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    • They weren’t humiliated…the WH was forced to issue a statement the day before that the US did not support Taiwanese independence…A definite diplomatic victory for China…

    • The Chinese are always bellicose. It is an Asian thing. We often misread what this stuff means because we do not understand the internal dynamics very well. This could very well be a way for the party to pacify the military. The relationship between the party and the PLA has always bene a very delicate one.

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    • If you’ve ever seen two Chinese drivers squaring off after an accident, you’ll understand this “Asian thing”. They have a disrespect obsession the way American blacks do, though without the simian aggression.

  40. you can bribe people in AINO but good luck getting them to stay bought. China has immense internal problems and really is in quite a vulnerable state right now. And it’s not like Taiwan is immensely valuable real estate. No, Winnie will have to wait a long time for this jar of honey.

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