China vs. Taiwan

China has been preparing for decades to invade the island democracy, which it claims as its sovereign territory, and recently has sharply escalated its threats and airspace incursions against Taiwan; with the U.S. preoccupied at home, is conflict brewing? Read story here.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called the U.S. commitment to defend Taiwan “rock solid” (read story here); and President Biden signaled his displeasure by sending a U.S. warship through the Taiwan strait (read that story here).

“One China” and “reunification” are the central to Chinese nationalism, and there are strategic reasons why Beijing wants to control the island. But Taiwanese democracy and Beijing’s authoritarianism are irreconcilable, so absorption of Taiwan into China is unlikely to happen peacefully, and China makes no secret of its intention to use force if necessary. Much of its current rapid military buildup is directed to that end.

But invading Taiwan is difficult; for a detailed analysis of the military problems involved, China’s strategy and Taiwan’s defensive capabilities, and what might happen if shooting started, read this book. For a brief description of what a war involving the U.S. might be like, and how prepared (or not) the U.S. is to fight it, read this article.

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  1. Mark S Adams #

    This is the continuation of the civil war that did not end in 1948.

    It is likely Taiwan on its own can exact enough of a price should China invade that thus far China continues to make noise, act provocatively,

    There is a greater chance that mistake or miscalculation. While Taiwan at the moment likely has no nuclear weapons it is a state that can quickly become a nuclear state.

  2. Roger Rabbit #

    Based on my reading, I doubt high casualties would deter China. Lack of military capability to invade Taiwan has held them back, but that’s changing, which is why the risk of a Chinese attack is rising. An aggressive leader in Beijing with a firm grip on power is another risk factor. There are many restraints on Taiwan building nuclear weapons (read about them here), but I wouldn’t be surprised if they have secret contingency plans; I’d be more surprised if they didn’t.

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