WAR CHINA THREATENS TO INVADE TAIWAN

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

Sun, 10/10/2021 - 3:43am

Countering China’s Gray Zone Strategy
By Dr. Peter Layton

Introduction
China’s gray zone activities grind remorseless on
but in so doing are creating an opposing pushback. As is customary, the paradoxical nature
of war applies in that those impacted by a damaging strategy will over time devise optimized counter-moves.


In general, gray-zone activities

involve purposefully pursuing political objectives through carefully designed operations; moving cautiously towards the objectives rather than seeking decisive results quickly; acting to remain below key escalatory thresholds so as to avoid war; and using all instruments of national power, particularly non-military and non-kinetic tools.


These characteristics mean gray zone is not hybrid war. This is, as the name suggests, a type of warfare, that deliberately uses armed violence

to try to conclusively win a campaign, as Russia’s involvements in the Ukraine, Syria and Libya highlight. Some argue that modern Russian hybrid war approach uses all means up to conventional military operations to support an information campaign aiming to gain “control over the fundamental worldview and orientation of a state”,
shift its geostrategic alignment, and shape its governance. China’s gray zone actions aim for strategic advantage as is explained below, but today’s Russian hybrid war model much more ambitiously tries for regime change.


China’s Strategy


Today’s China is an interesting case in having a long tradition of strategic thinking devised centuries before the country forcibly expanded to its current territorial extent. The actions of its predecessor East Asian states led to the formulation of strategic principles that in some respects are quite different to the strategic principles devised in Greece at a similar time, and on which European strategic thinkers later built.


Arguably, this difference is most evident in the early Chinese notion that strategies effectively have no endpoint. Time is perceived as a river that flows ever onwards with reality a process that continually unfolds. Drawing on Sun Tzu, Francois Jullien

(p.127), writes:


“Winning a hundred battles in a hundred battles” is really no more than “a mediocre result,” however grandiose it seems. In truth, the acme of the military art is to get the enemy to “give in” in advance and to do so discreetly, by intervening upstream before the conflict unfolds and thus without having to join serious battle subsequently. …By detecting the conditions for various possibilities in advance, such a strategist can mastermind the evolution of a situation from a distance, steering it in the desired direction.


If European strategic thinkers placed great emphasis on using one’s agency to shape the world, early Chinese strategic thinkers stressed exploiting the course the world was already on. For the Chinese, the old investment saying, “The trend is your friend,” has held true.


Given such a foundation, this is seemingly a great time for today’s Chinese Communist Party strategists. Gaining strategic advantage

, or shi, deemed by some
as the foundational principle behind most Chinese actions in the international system, mainly involves working with the flow. China simply needs to manipulate and reinforce what are seen as very favorable great trends to succeed.


The most important trend

perceived by the Party and its followers is that ‘the East is rising, the West is in decline and the tide of history is flowing in China’s favour.’ Within this idea are three nested notions: the international system is understood as becoming multipolar and so providing abundant space for China to strategically maneuver within; China’s strongest card, economics, is the dominant force shaping the world today and not military might; and modern Chinese culture is morally superior
based on the Party’s repetitive marketing of it having peaceful intentions.


China’s gray zone activities are both made possible by these self-perceived trends and designed to bolster them. The Party’s strategists use gray zone tactics to try to give China a persistent, enduring strategic advantage over others. In contrast, Western strategists would instead seek to achieve a well-defined objective by a certain time. Maintaining a permanent strategic advantage requires China to use gray zone forever.


Strategic advantage is a somewhat vague term. In the gray zone context, it means having control of the situation when taking all factors into account, an ability to set the agenda of the issue in question, having the initiative, forcing the opponent to always consider your response first before they take any action, the opponent respecting your capabilities and potentially self-policing, and annexing others’ imaginations and so constraining their strategic thinking. Strategic advantage is thus a belief about the present context rather than a quantifiable material circumstance, although such a belief may be influenced by the local military force disposition.


The PLA Science of Military Strategy (pp. 193-211)

details how China’s gray zone strategy is consequently incremental, slowly nibbling away at the edges, making use of diverse military and non-military measures, being careful not to drive others into a major war, controlled at the highest Party levels and enduring. A pushback by another country may mean a temporary Chinese pullback, but the Party’s gray zone strategists will be back better than ever having learnt from their short-term reversal. China’s particular gray zone model is an approach that is a forever drain on the other, smaller country’s resources.


Pushback


Mirroring China’s incrementalism by responding with a measured forward planning approach might be effective and efficient. Each individual pushback taken would be a separate and discrete step in itself, evaluated for success after use, adjusted or abandoned as necessary, and a means to sense and understand the Chinese gray zone environment.


To achieve success, Chinese gray-zone activities integrate a number of different means

across multiple domains. For example, in the South China Sea case, the so-called ‘cabbage strategy’ can include commercial fishing boats, the armed maritime militia, fisheries patrol vessels, Coast Guard ships and naval warships of various types, PLA Navy and PLA Air Force aircraft, and at times oil rig platforms
. These may all operate in conjunction with social media campaigns, radio misdirection, cyberwarfare and GPS interference. This array of means when combined are much more formidable in prosecuting a gray-zone action than if used individually.


A measured approach

might accept this and not try to deter the gray-zone activity as a whole. Instead, such a concept might aim to disaggregate the collective threat into individual un-supporting means, and then counter specific vulnerable components of China’s gray zone operation as was practical. This could be further customised in each of the various regions in which China is undertaking gray-zone activities. The land border with India, the South China Sea, and the Senkaku Islands
all feature different types of gray-zone activities, although all strive to advance incrementally.


Accordingly, the aim might be to disaggregate the collective threat into individual un-supporting means, and then counter specific vulnerable components of China’s gray zone operation as was practical. This means seeking marginal gains. Just as the impact of gray-zone activities stems from the cumulative effect of carefully coordinated actions, a measured approach seeks to tip the balance in small steps.


A way to consider this is to think of it as a performance. The measured approach is then built around the defending elements considered most likely to be useable in a gray-zone situation, rather than around the most capable elements in terms of dispensing punishment. These most capable defending elements may not be credible to Chinese decision-makers as they may think their use is improbable given all involved have a strong desire to avoid military escalation.


As part of this measured approach the decision-makers involved would be factored in. The specific decision-makers at the various levels controlling a local gray-zone activity may have goals, motivations and vulnerabilities that can be worked out and exploited. The more these actors can be understood, the more personalized the pushback measures can be made and the more effective they will be.


The overall intent of these steps is to frustrate, undermine, and deny the individual Chinese elements being used in a combined manner in the local gray-zone action. As frustrations mount up, these may tip the balance away from gray-zone activities being an attractive option for Chinese statecraft.


The measured approach is not containment or even rollback in the territorial understanding of these words. Instead, it’s a response to an unwanted activity, leaving China with the unwelcome choice of other stopping its activity or moving to escalate. The latter is improbable given the success of China’s gray zone activities rely on today’s peace holding. Escalation would globally signal a significant Chinese Communist Party failure. Nevertheless, any pushback, even verbal complaints, carries risk and would need managing.


The Chinese Communist Party’s gray zone activities are both a feature of our time and reflective of them. In terms of the life cycle of a strategy, Chinese gray zone activities have arguably reached their Clausewitzian culminating point

. Countries are starting to take actions in response, reorient their defence force structures accordingly and, most worryingly for China, beginning to come together to act collectively. The Party’s chosen strategy has reached a point where it might have achieved the greatest effects for the effort expended. Beyond this point, greater efforts may well yield diminishing effects and bring only marginally greater benefits.


China could sense this and move to another strategy, hopefully abandoning its present course and shifting to a better future where it plays by the rules. On the other hand, the Party may double down, embracing a downwards spiral into belligerence and wolf-warrior antagonism. The deaths of Indian soldiers

on its border with China in mid-2020 are very concerning in that they suggest Chinese gray zone activities may grow more aggressive and violent. The future is uncertain and so prudence would suggest being prepared, both today and tomorrow, for good and bad possibilities.

About the Author(s)
Peter Layton
Peter Layton is a Visiting Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University. A former RAAF Group Captain, he has extensive defense experience, including in the Pentagon and at National Defense University. He holds a doctorate in grand strategy. He is the author of the book ‘Grand Strategy’.
 

jward

passin' thru
Asia Pacific
China says it carried out beach landing drills in province opposite Taiwan
Reuters



2 minute read
The sun sets over China's southeastern coast of Fujian as seen from Taiwan's frontline island of Kinmen on September 11, 2004. REUTERS/Richard Chung

The sun sets over China's southeastern coast of Fujian as seen from Taiwan's frontline island of Kinmen on September 11, 2004. REUTERS/Richard Chung
BEIJING, Oct 11 (Reuters) - China's military said on Monday it had carried out beach landing and assault drills in the province directly across the sea from Taiwan, though it did not link the exercises to current tensions with Taipei.
Democratically ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has complained of stepped-up military and political pressure from Beijing to force it to accept Chinese rule, including massed air force incursions into Taiwan's air defence identification zone. read more
The official People's Liberation Army Daily newspaper, in a brief report on its Weibo microblogging account, said the drills had been carried out "in recent days" in the southern part of Fujian province.
The action had involved "shock" troops, sappers and boat specialists, the Chinese military newspaper added. The troops were "divided into multiple waves to grab the beach and perform combat tasks at different stages", it added, without providing further details.

It showed a video of soldiers in small boats storming a beach, throwing smoke grenades, breaking through barbed wire defences and digging trenches in the sand.
The drills appeared to involve a small number of troops.
The weather was clear and the seas were calm - suggesting the drill did not happen on Monday as southern Fujian is currently being affected by a tropical storm passing between Taiwan and the Philippines.
Fujian would be a key launching site for any Chinese invasion of Taiwan due to its geographical proximity.

China routinely carries out military exercises up and down its coast as well as in the disputed South China Sea.
Taiwan has denounced what it calls China's coercive tactics against it and says it will defend itself if attacked.
Over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated a vow to "reunify" Taiwan, and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will not be forced to bow to China.
Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Andrew Heavens
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Taiwan hopes for exchanges with US National Guard
Military also calls for more US weapons maintenance facilities in Taiwan
774

By Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2021/10/12 14:11
Major General Yu Chien-feng, director-general of the Taiwan military mission in the U.S.

Major General Yu Chien-feng, director-general of the Taiwan military mission in the U.S. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan delegation at the annual United States-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference hopes for exchanges with the U.S. National Guard, reports said Tuesday (Oct. 12).
While the Ministry of National Defense (MND) did not send a delegation to the Oct. 10-12 event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, military representatives already in the U.S. did take part in the discussions in Leesburg, Virginia.
In a speech at the conference, Taiwan’s chief military envoy in the U.S. Yu Chien-feng (余劍鋒) first explained the growing nature of China’s threats against the country, including the almost daily intrusions of Chinese military planes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (AIDZ), CNA reported. Recent military maneuvers by the communist country were also more specifically targeted and more realistic, he said.
Yu went on to shed light on Taiwan’s plans to reform its military reserves system. Once its Defense Reserve Mobilization Agency launches in January 2022, it should be able to conduct mutual visits and exchanges with the U.S. National Guard, the major general said.
Online attack and defense drills and exchanges of intelligence were also useful aspects for future U.S.-Taiwan military cooperation, according to Yu. The officer closed off his conference address with a call for more U.S. military repair and maintenance facilities to be stationed in Taiwan, which would raise the efficiency of both the Taiwan military and of U.S. forces active in the Asia-Pacific region.
 

Techwreck

Senior Member
Looks like Russia sees which way the wind is blowing.

The Taiwan leader pretty much stuck her finger in China's eye on the reunification that China demands.

This may be a problem that can't be solved or bought off with voluminous quantities of US Federal Reserve notes, which seems to be our main weapon today.
Of course there's still the strongly worded statements and threats of sanctions.

Taiwan is going to be assimilated.
It looks pretty clear that the installed regime here in the US may huff, puff and condemn on camera for their media's narrative, but won't kinetically go up against their chicom sponsors.

I really appreciate the news hounds who bring the updates on this situation.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
JUST IN - Taiwan is part of China, says Russian FM Lavrov

MORE - Moscow not ruling out the temporary shutdown of all US, Russian diplomatic missions says Russian Deputy FM Ryabkov.
View: https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1447871135337566210?t=xK8zAVkYr-PHV7xMMc6rtA&s=19
It's in Moscow's long term interests for the CCP to be taken down a few pegs. Any kinetic move by Beijing is going to cost them, never mind what it will cost "the West".

All Moscow has to do is stay out of the way and they have a stronger position when the smoke clears.
 

Techwreck

Senior Member
That's what it will come down to when they jump on Taiwan.

There's no way the Obama/Biden regime will nuke China.

I don't believe we will actually engage China's aggression militarily as they swarm Taiwan.

As effectively as the chicoms have bought off our institutions and government, my guess is that Taiwan will fall quite quickly, probably before they can get Joe awake and into some fresh Depends.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
As long as China is content with Taiwan for now I dont think we will do much of anything. If they go after Japan or Australia then I think we will get involved. But with this admin who knows. They may sacrifice a carrier group to provide a show of force. With Russia seemingly on Chinas side they will start stirring crap up in the Ukraine and the Baltics to keep Europe busy.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
As long as China is content with Taiwan for now I dont think we will do much of anything. If they go after Japan or Australia then I think we will get involved. But with this admin who knows. They may sacrifice a carrier group to provide a show of force. With Russia seemingly on Chinas side they will start stirring crap up in the Ukraine and the Baltics to keep Europe busy.
1634073044851.png
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
That's what it will come down to when they jump on Taiwan.

There's no way the Obama/Biden regime will nuke China.

I don't believe we will actually engage China's aggression militarily as they swarm Taiwan.

As effectively as the chicoms have bought off our institutions and government, my guess is that Taiwan will fall quite quickly, probably before they can get Joe awake and into some fresh Depends.
The fact is that any military move upon Taiwan by the PRC has to include cutting off any possibility of aid to the island. That means neutralizing allied bases and military capabilities in US bases in Guam/US, Japan, Australia South Korea and the Philippines.

That makes the late summer of 1914 look like a slow walk to Armageddon.....the CCP has to hit first and hard which opens up the MAD scenario.
 

Techwreck

Senior Member
I don't know if that's a fact anymore Housecarl.

If our installed leadership is as compromised by the chicoms as it increasingly appears, I just don't see us dropping the gloves and going at it militarily with the CCP.

The smaller countries will take their lead from the US, and with Biden and Milley pulling the levers, my fear is that the US would end up letting Taiwan be "reunified" without actual military engagement.

If the chicoms do hit our bases, like one would expect in a sane world, then yeah, all bets are off.

The chicoms seem to have the patience and SunTzu-ness to achieve their goals incrementally, and may believe or even know that they are at a point where they can take Taiwan without taking on the west.
And they might be right.

I sure don't know how this plays out, but then I would never have imagined us paying off the Taliban, abandoning our people in A-stan, and getting out on their timeline with our tail between our legs.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I don't know if that's a fact anymore Housecarl.

If our installed leadership is as compromised by the chicoms as it increasingly appears, I just don't see us dropping the gloves and going at it militarily with the CCP.

The smaller countries will take their lead from the US, and with Biden and Milley pulling the levers, my fear is that the US would end up letting Taiwan be "reunified" without actual military engagement.

If the chicoms do hit our bases, like one would expect in a sane world, then yeah, all bets are off.

The chicoms seem to have the patience and SunTzu-ness to achieve their goals incrementally, and may believe or even know that they are at a point where they can take Taiwan without taking on the west.
And they might be right.

I sure don't know how this plays out, but then I would never have imagined us paying off the Taliban, abandoning our people in A-stan, and getting out on their timeline with our tail between our legs.
EndGameWW3

@EndGameWW3

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This guy knows how the game works...
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Imeniaan

@imeniaan
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Replying to @EndGameWW3
US presidents don't call the shots, The US military complex does. They are your real rulers.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
I don't know if that's a fact anymore Housecarl.

If our installed leadership is as compromised by the chicoms as it increasingly appears, I just don't see us dropping the gloves and going at it militarily with the CCP.

The smaller countries will take their lead from the US, and with Biden and Milley pulling the levers, my fear is that the US would end up letting Taiwan be "reunified" without actual military engagement.

If the chicoms do hit our bases, like one would expect in a sane world, then yeah, all bets are off.

The chicoms seem to have the patience and SunTzu-ness to achieve their goals incrementally, and may believe or even know that they are at a point where they can take Taiwan without taking on the west.
And they might be right.

I sure don't know how this plays out, but then I would never have imagined us paying off the Taliban, abandoning our people in A-stan, and getting out on their timeline with our tail between our legs.
If you're Beijing would you take the risk that your bought/compromised people would stay that way or in control?
 

vector7

Veteran Member
I don't know if that's a fact anymore Housecarl.

If our installed leadership is as compromised by the chicoms as it increasingly appears, I just don't see us dropping the gloves and going at it militarily with the CCP.

The smaller countries will take their lead from the US, and with Biden and Milley pulling the levers, my fear is that the US would end up letting Taiwan be "reunified" without actual military engagement.

If the chicoms do hit our bases, like one would expect in a sane world, then yeah, all bets are off.

The chicoms seem to have the patience and SunTzu-ness to achieve their goals incrementally, and may believe or even know that they are at a point where they can take Taiwan without taking on the west.
And they might be right.

I sure don't know how this plays out, but then I would never have imagined us paying off the Taliban, abandoning our people in A-stan, and getting out on their timeline with our tail between our legs.
Watch what they do not what they say.

Look at what the CCP did to HK during the China bio-weapon release.

They subdued all resistance as the world was distracted.

The DNC/DS signed on and started a Revolution and continued pursuing their ongoing COUP to destroy Trump and steal the 2020 election.

The CCP is hand and glove with the DNC/DS.

The Russian's are all on board with the CCP to take down the US. They want Alaska back and possibly parts of Canada.

China is playing the DNC/DS to look the other way as they assimilate their neighbors and if for some reason they don't they'll have Russia hit us from behind as they've been preparing militarily for decades and now have their (Russian) population fully positioned to make a first a strike scenario and absorb a counter strike from the West.

After the USA out of the way then they Russia and CCP may begin to square off towards each other. The US is the only thing that stands in their way of their long range goals of a bi-polar regional domination.
 

jward

passin' thru
On Internet Freedom, China and Taiwan Are Worlds Apart

One is ranked as the most oppressive digital environment. The other is among the freest.

Sarah Cook


By Sarah Cook and Allie Funk

October 12, 2021
On Internet Freedom, China and Taiwan Are Worlds Apart

Credit: Depositphotos
Only 110 miles of water separate mainland China and the island of Taiwan. But when it comes to governance and human rights – and especially internet freedom – the two might as well be on different planets.

Freedom House’s “Freedom on the Net 2021” report – which included an assessment of Taiwan for the first time – lays out the differences in stark relief. China’s government, ruling over a massive population of 989 million internet users, was ranked as the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom for the seventh consecutive year, earning the country a meager score of 10 on the index’s 100-point internet freedom scale. By contrast, Taiwan emerged as the fifth freest online environment among the 70 countries assessed. It received a score of 80 on the same scale and surpassed many older democracies, including the United States.

The 70-point gap between China and Taiwan reflects the alternate online universes in which their respective netizens operate.

In China, for example, authorities over the past year censored calls for an independent investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and complaints about Chinese-produced vaccines. Ordinary users faced severe legal repercussions – including extrajudicial detention, torture, and prison terms of over 10 years – for activities like criticizing Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, speaking openly about their religious beliefs, or communicating with family members and others overseas.

In Taiwan, by comparison, netizens and journalists regularly critique the actions and policies of President Tsai Ing-wen, including the government’s handling of the pandemic amid a vaccine shortage, without fear of reprisal. Activists use platforms and apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Signal – which are blocked in China – to share news about local political and social issues while also voicing support for persecuted Hong Kongers, Uighurs, Tibetans, or Falun Gong practitioners in China.

https://thediplomat.com/subscriptions/



Contrasting Regulatory Landscapes

Diplomat Brief


“Freedom on the Net 2021” documented the ways in which authorities in both China and Taiwan have moved to step up regulation of the booming tech sector, despite taking radically different approaches.

The Chinese government and its powerful regulator – the Cyberspace Administration of China – have been among the most aggressive state actors worldwide in tightening control over technology firms, employing new investigations and laws meant to address anti-competitive behavior and data abuse. For example, the Personal Information Protection Law adopted in August is the country’s first comprehensive attempt at limiting how companies collect, store, and use personal data; the law failed to address, however, how pervasive state surveillance itself systematically undermines data protection.

This year also brought new criminal penalties that reduce the space for unregulated speech in China. New restrictions on online self-publishing that took effect in January, for instance, require administrators of independently operated social media accounts to obtain a permit and refrain from commenting on a list of restricted topics. These and other censorship mechanisms in China are arbitrary, opaque, and inconsistently applied due to the weak rule of law provided by the authoritarian political system. Under legal changes that came into effect in March, those who defame national “heroes and martyrs” face up to three years’ imprisonment; detentions under the new legislation are already occurring.

In Taiwan, the government has kept to a more democratic path in regulating tech companies. The Telecommunications Management Act, which went into effect in July 2020, relaxed previous requirements for internet service providers to register and obtain a specific amount of capital in order to operate in the country – changes that could contribute to a more diversified telecommunications market.

Other regulatory efforts in Taiwan have aimed to limit the impact of and enhance resilience against the onslaught of disinformation emanating from Beijing in a way that does not infringe on free expression, access to information, and other human rights. The draft Internet Audiovisual Service Management Act (IASMA) would enhance the transparency of streaming platforms’ operations by requiring that certain companies report revenue and user statistics, provide users with an easy-to-use complaint mechanism about offending content, and ensure that companies’ terms of service clarify how data are collected and used.

Thus far, Taiwanese regulators have avoided blocking digital platforms and instituting other forms of technical censorship – a welcome distinction from the Chinese regime’s systematic filtering of disfavored websites. However, the IASMA requires companies to ensure that hosted content does not endanger national security, public order, or the moral good, or impair the emotional or physical well-being of youth. Regulators should ensure that these categories of speech are narrowly and proportionately defined so that companies are not encouraged to err on the side of censorship and remove protected political, social, and religious speech in their efforts to comply with the law.

Shades of Gray

Notwithstanding the vast gap in performance, there are exceptions to both China’s dismal repression of internet freedom and Taiwan’s strong protections. In China, the government and tech sector have delivered widespread and expanding access to internet communications and technologies, including the development and rollout of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks. And Chinese investigative journalists, activists, bloggers, and ordinary internet users deserve credit for continuing to demand accountability for government abuses, criticizing the authorities’ response to the pandemic, and sharing information about other sensitive topics, all despite a growing risk of criminal penalties.

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In Taiwan, certain laws dole out disproportionate punishments for defamation and spreading false information, and internet users have been investigated, prosecuted, and fined for their online speech. Criminal penalties for disinformation and defamation are prone to arbitrary application and abuse by prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, and charges can do damage even if they are eventually thrown out by an independent judiciary. Last September, for example, a music teacher was investigated for a Facebook post claiming that lunch provided at a government cabinet meeting was extravagant and an abuse of public funds, though a court later dismissed the case. Separately, while Taiwan’s surveillance laws and procedures are a far cry from the pervasive and comprehensive monitoring system that exists in China, they have nevertheless undermined privacy rights in practice. The draft Technology Investigation Act, proposed in September 2020, would enhance the government’s ability to access private communications stored on people’s electronic devices.

Global Implications

The vast difference between internet freedom conditions in China and those in Taiwan has profound implications not only for human rights, but also for international security and democratic values. The distorted online environment created by the Chinese regime, which also affects Taiwan through disinformation and political polarization, has fueled mistrust within each society and across the Taiwan Strait. Indeed, one of the most encouraging incidents of the past year was the brief glimmer of open communication and mutual understanding exhibited between Chinese and Taiwanese users that was facilitated by the Clubhouse live audio app in February, before it was abruptly blocked by government regulators and app stores in China.

The sophistication and aggression of Beijing’s information campaign against Taiwan should not be underestimated, nor should its potential to influence political and electoral outcomes. Although public-private partnerships have been relatively successful in fending off such attacks to date, especially surrounding the January 2020 general elections in Taiwan, the China-linked actors driving disinformation and political interference efforts are constantly innovating and exploring new tactics to more effectively influence Taiwanese voters of all ages.

Meanwhile, the demolition of media and internet freedom in Hong Kong since Beijing’s forced imposition of the National Security Law there last year demonstrates just how quickly the Communist Party regime can turn a previously vibrant information landscape into an authoritarian shadow of its former self, if given the chance.

There are many reasons for the United States, other democratic governments, and major technology firms to support and protect internet freedom in Taiwan. Doing so would obviously benefit the local population, but the latest “Freedom on the Net findings highlight how important the country is to the broader cause of global internet freedom, in which all societies share an interest. Democratic forces in Taiwan are exploring innovative and principled solutions to the challenge presented by Beijing’s expanding digital influence. The island also serves as a unique beacon of hope, possibility, and demonstrated success for the many millions of Chinese netizens who yearn for greater free expression, privacy, and other fundamental rights in their own country.

You have read 2 of your 5 free articles this month.
 

jward

passin' thru
While China's Intimidation of Taiwan Continues, U.S. Remains Committed to Taiwanese Self-Defense
Oct. 12, 2021 | BY C. Todd Lopez , DOD News


Since October 1, more than 100 Chinese military aircraft have moved provocatively through the air defense identification zones of nearby Taiwan — just over 100 miles to the east. Those military maneuvers serve only to create uncertainty in a part of the world where the U.S. wants to see stability and peace, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said.

35:07
Video Player




"The PRC [Peoples Republic of China] has stepped up efforts to intimidate and pressure Taiwan and other allies and partners, including increasing their military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan, the East China Sea and the South China Sea, which we believe are destabilizing and only increase the risk of miscalculation," Kirby said during a briefing today at the Pentagon.

Despite the recent Chinese show of force, Kirby said the U.S. remains committed to keeping the Taiwan Strait a peaceful region.
"We will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people of Taiwan, and our commitment to Taiwan is rock solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the strait and within the region," Kirby said.
Kirby also said that the U.S. is interested in ensuring that Taiwan continues to be able to defend itself.



A navy ship moves through the water.



"We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and that's why we're going to continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability," he said.
Kirby said the department would like for Beijing to honor its own commitments to peace and stability in the region.
"We're urging Beijing to cease this military, diplomatic and economic pressure, and the coercion against ... Taiwan," he said.


Related Transcript: Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby Holds a Press Briefing


Please see source for video
Posted for fair use
 

jward

passin' thru
China says military drills near Taiwan a 'just' move
Reuters

Chinese and Taiwanese national flags are displayed alongside a military airplane in this illustration taken April 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Chinese and Taiwanese national flags are displayed alongside a military airplane in this illustration taken April 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
BEIJING, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Chinese military exercises near Taiwan are targeted at forces promoting the island's formal independence and are a "just" move to protect peace and stability, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said on Wednesday.
It also said the exercises are aimed at interference by external forces.
Military tensions with China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, are at their worst in more than 40 years, Taiwan's defence minister said last week, adding China will be capable of mounting a "full scale" invasion by 2025.
He was speaking after China mounted four straight days of mass air force incursions into Taiwan's air defence identification zone that began Oct. 1, part of a pattern of what Taipei views as stepped up military harassment by Beijing.

Speaking at a regular news briefing in Beijing, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said the cause of current tensions was Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) "collusion" with foreign force and "provocations" over seeking Taiwan's independence.
Chinese drills are aimed at this collusion - a veiled reference to U.S. support for Taiwan - and separatist activities, protecting the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, he added.
"They are absolutely just actions," Ma said.
"The DPP authorities' hyping of the so-called 'military threat' of the mainland is to completely invert right and wrong, and a bogus accusation," he added.

"If the DPP authorities obstinately persist in going about things the wrong way, and do not know how to draw back from the edge, it will only push Taiwan into a more dangerous situation."
Taiwan says it is an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, and will defend its freedom and democracy.
Despite Ma's comments, both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen made relatively conciliatory speeches at the weekend, even as Xi vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and Tsai said they would not be forced to bow to China.
Xi did not mention resorting to force over Taiwan, while Tsai reiterated a desire for peace and dialogue with China.
Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Tom Hogue and Raju Gopalakrishnan
 

jward

passin' thru
How to Prevent an Accidental War Over Taiwan
Beijing and Taipei Are One Blunder Away From Open Conflict
By Bonny Lin and David Sacks
October 12, 2021​


Walking in front of a Taiwanese fighter jet at Makung Air Force Base, Taiwan, September 2020
Yimou Lee / Reuters

On October 1, the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing sent 38 military aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, the most it had ever sent in a single day. The following day, Beijing broke its record again by sending 39 aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ. And then on October 4, it sent 56, shattering the daily record once more in a year in which China has flown military aircraft into the ADIZ on 173 days.
China appears to be rehearsing for joint combat operations near Taiwan. In addition to increasing the frequency of its flights, China is integrating a large number of fighter jets with nuclear-capable bombers and assets focused on antisubmarine warfare and air surveillance. China is demonstrating its ability to conduct military operations against Taiwan at all hours, 365 days of the year. It may also be expanding and routinizing these flights to desensitize Taiwan and the United States to Chinese military operations near the island, allowing Beijing to more easily disguise preparations for an actual attack on Taiwan as part of “normal” activities.

China’s increasingly aggressive behavior makes a cross-strait emergency more likely. But the risk of a crisis stems less from the possibility of an immediate Chinese invasion than from an accident or a miscalculation that turns deadly—a midair collision between Chinese and Taiwanese jets, for instance, or a Chinese decision to violate Taiwan’s sovereign airspace that prompts Taiwan to shoot down the plane. Beijing will probably continue to escalate its coercive efforts, sending aircraft closer to Taiwan and possibly even over the island itself. At a certain point, Taipei will be forced to respond—whether with enhanced surveillance and warnings or with military force. The United States must therefore work with Taiwan to preempt and respond to China’s military activities without triggering a crisis. Preparing for a full-scale Chinese invasion of Taiwan is no longer a sufficient U.S. strategy. Washington must also prepare for a blunder or a miscue that has the potential to explode into open conflict.

TIT FOR TAT
As China has ratcheted up its coercive behavior, Taiwan has refined its responses. Initially, Taipei scrambled fighter jets to intercept each approaching Chinese aircraft. By early 2021, however, the daily strain of doing so had prompted Taiwan to rely more on ground-based air defense systems to monitor Chinese intrusions. And the island’s leaders know that even these measures will be insufficient if China continues to escalate: Taiwan’s 2021 Quadrennial Defense Review, for instance, states that Taipei will adopt a tougher response as the enemy draws closer. According to multiple media reports, officials from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, air force, and coast guard have openly discussed a range of responses to Chinese military operations, based on their nature and their distance to the island. Some reports suggest that Taiwan may have already established three separate zones: a “surveillance” zone for Chinese activities within 30 nautical miles of Taiwan, a “warning” zone for activities within 24 nautical miles, and a “destruction” zone for activities within 12 nautical miles.

Within the destruction zone, Taiwan’s air force has reportedly formulated some standard operating procedures—for instance, by preparing to intercept intruding aircraft or to force them to land. If such aircraft are perceived to have hostile intent, Taiwan’s air force could lock its radar on the aircraft, fire warning shots, or even strike first to shoot them down. To prevent escalation, individual Taiwanese pilots are not allowed to shoot first unless the air force headquarters orders them to do so. In a crisis, the air force may be able to authorize such strikes without further approval from Taiwan’s most senior military and political officials.

These potential responses are comparable to those one might expect from countries facing similar threats. South Korea, for instance, fired hundreds of warning shots in 2019, when Russian aircraft intruded into the airspace over the disputed Dokdo Islands, known in Japan as the Takeshima Islands. Indeed, it would be politically untenable for any Taiwanese leader not to defend Taiwan from Chinese incursions. Although U.S. officials might prefer that Taiwan’s leaders not expend their limited military resources responding to Chinese military flights, domestic political imperatives will likely force them to do so.

So far, Chinese military aircraft have yet to fly within 12 nautical miles of the main island of Taiwan, at least according to public reports. But China has flown progressively closer to southwest Taiwan and to Pratas Island, which Taiwan administers and which sits roughly 275 miles from Taiwan in the South China Sea. If tensions continue to rise, China’s past flight paths and training exercises suggest that Beijing could readily escalate air operations in at least one of three ways: by flying closer to Taiwan, including to the east side of the island or near the center or north of the Taiwan Strait; by undermining Taiwan’s control of Pratas or other offshore islands that Taiwan administers, likely with regular overflights; and, most provocatively, by flying directly over Taiwan.
Taipei could feel compelled to shoot down a Chinese aircraft.
The first option would expand the geographic scope of Chinese military activities beyond the southwest corner of the ADIZ and bring Chinese aircraft closer to more sensitive and less fortified regions of Taiwan. The second and third options are more dangerous, however. To challenge Taiwan’s administration of Pratas, China could routinize flights over it, forcing Taiwan to either defend its airspace or acquiesce to regular Chinese incursions. Such flights could also serve as a test of Taiwan’s defenses and response before China attempts a flyover of the main island.

China might also attempt to use one of these escalatory maneuvers to force Taipei to be the first to use kinetic force, which could then justify a larger Chinese punitive operation against Taiwan. The Global Times, a nationalist state-run daily, has called the reported division of Taiwan’s airspace into defensive zones “especially ridiculous,” declaring that the Chinese military is “prepared to send warplanes to fly across the island of Taiwan to declare sovereignty.” While Chinese officials have been less explicit, they have argued that military operations and exercises against Taiwan are legitimate and necessary to safeguard Chinese sovereignty.

If Beijing disregards Taiwan’s possible redlines, it risks triggering a crisis—especially if its military aircraft enter the island’s reported “destruction” zone. Aggressive maneuvering by Chinese or Taiwanese pilots could result in an unintended midair fatality akin to the one that occurred in 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft, resulting in the death of the Chinese pilot and forcing the U.S. plane to make an emergency landing in China. Should China attempt to fly military aircraft directly over Taiwan itself, Taipei could feel that it has no option but to shoot down the aircraft.

Even an accidental collision in the Taiwan Strait could spiral out of control. Since the 1958 Taiwan Strait crisis, when China shelled Taiwan’s offshore islands, neither side has suffered a fatality in a cross-strait encounter. If that were to change today, however, both sides would be ill equipped to manage the domestic political fallout—and both could be forced into tougher and more inflexible positions. If a Chinese fighter pilot were to be killed, moreover, Beijing could decide to eschew diplomacy until after it has punished Taiwan. And because cross-strait communication channels have been dormant for over five years, mutual misperceptions could easily result in further escalation.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

To be sure, the United States must prepare for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, which means ensuring that it has the military capability to prevent China from capturing the island and making clear to Beijing that an unprovoked attack would come with a heavy price. But the United States must also prepare for the more likely near-term cause of a crisis in the Taiwan Strait: an accident or miscommunication that pushes both sides to the brink of war.

To that end, Washington should invest in making Taiwan more resilient and better able to withstand Chinese military pressure. It should also help Taiwan deter China’s most threatening activities and work with Taiwan to develop responses to its neighbor’s provocations. For instance, U.S. and Taiwanese officials could conduct tabletop exercises focused on heightened Chinese aggression that falls short of war, helping Taiwan’s national security leaders think through the implications of different responses, including defending potential redlines.
Washington should help Taiwan develop responses to China's provocations.
To prepare for the possibility of a military or paramilitary incident in the Taiwan Strait, the United States should prioritize maintaining reliable crisis communication channels with both China and Taiwan. Washington could also privately communicate some of Taipei’s redlines to Beijing and warn Chinese leaders against testing them. At the same time, it could work with allies and partners to impress upon China the destabilizing consequences of its coercive behavior against Taiwan. Where appropriate, the United States may even want to encourage Taipei to publicly reveal some of its thinking on Chinese military activities, signaling when and why it may have to respond with military force.


As China escalates its military coercion of Taiwan, the risk of an accidental crisis will only increase. Taiwan and the United States should continue to work together to deter a Chinese invasion of the island, but that agenda is no longer enough to prevent a conflict. Taipei and Washington must also develop responses to Chinese military pressure that reduce the risk of a potentially deadly miscue or blunder. Years ago, U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly told Chinese President Xi Jinping that “the only thing worse than a war is an unintentional war.” Now, as the risk of such a war over Taiwan increases, it is incumbent upon Biden to help stave it off.

 

jward

passin' thru
Taiwan secessionists stage ‘doomsday madness’ in seeking foreign support

Mainland warning against secessionism not just talking; separatists to be judged, condemned by history

Published: Oct 13, 2021 12:50 AM


Two Su-35 fighter jets and a H-6K bomber fly in formation on May 11, 2018. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force conducted patrol training over China's island of Taiwan.File photo:China Military

Two Su-35 fighter jets and a H-6K bomber fly in formation on May 11, 2018. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force conducted patrol training over China's island of Taiwan.File photo:China Military

Taiwan secessionist authorities continue to seek support, including military ones, from the US to disrupt the national reunification of China, and this proves that the message of the Chinese mainland of a peaceful solution toward Taiwan compatriots and the serious warning to authorities on the island have been ignored, with experts from both sides of the Taiwan Straits saying this is "the last madness" of the secessionists before their doomsday, and the hope of a peaceful solution to the Taiwan question is declining sharply.

In a meeting on the defense industry between the US and the island of Taiwan in the US from Sunday to Tuesday, Yu Chien-Feng, a defense representative of the island to the US, read a letter from the island's defense authorities, claiming that Taiwan's armed forces are eyeing an "asymmetric war" against the Chinese mainland, hoping to "deny the enemy from the other side of the Straits, attack the enemy from the sea, destroy the enemy at shore and eliminate the enemy on the beach," Taiwan media reported on Tuesday.

The secessionist Democratic Progressive Party's leaders including its head Tsai Ing-wen continue to make provocative secessionist statements and acts.

After Tsai implied a "two-state theory" on Sunday, You Si-kun, a politician of the DPP and head of Taiwan's legislative body, also made a shocking statement that the DPP authority "might build formal diplomatic ties with the US" by 2028 as China-US relations are worsening and the so-called "Taiwan-US" ties are rising, according to Taiwan media on Monday.

Shao Zong-hai, a former Taiwan politician and member of the KMT, and a scholar on cross-Straits relations, told the Global Times on Tuesday that all of these acts prove that the DPP authority has no sincerity and intention to seek a peaceful solution with the mainland over the Taiwan question, and insists on secessionism. So the mainland has to consider how to safeguard the national sovereignty of China and resolve the Taiwan question once and for all by force.

Huang Chih-hsien, an expert on Taiwan affairs and a TV commentator from the island, said that the public of Taiwan should be aware of the danger, and the selfish nature of the DPP and its politicians serves the interests of the US to contain the Chinese mainland. "Taiwan should become a part of the national rejuvenation of China, rather than a tool of US hegemony."



Warning and promise

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on Saturday at a gathering marking the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution. He said that the Taiwan question arose out of the weakness and chaos of the Chinese nation, and will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality.

The role of Taiwan compatriots is significant but also limited in overthrowing the rule of secessionist authorities and proxies that serve foreign forces on the island. As in history, the people on the island have also failed to resist the foreign invasion, while the mainland had no strength to protect the island in the late Qing Dynasty. Without the strength and determination of the Chinese nation, the Taiwan question will not be resolved successfully, said a Beijing-based expert on Taiwan affairs who requested anonymity.

"To eventually resolve the Taiwan question, the power and determination of the Chinese people, especially the military might of the mainland, are essential," the expert said.

Xi also warned the secessionists and foreign forces who intend to interfere in China's national reunification process. "Taiwan independence" secessionism is the biggest obstacle to national reunification, and a serious threat to national rejuvenation, he said.

Xi stressed that "Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland, and seek to split the country will come to no good end," and "they will be disdained by the people and condemned by history." The Taiwan question is purely an internal matter for China, one which brooks no external interference, he noted.

The anonymous expert said that "The mainland's warning against secessionism is not just talking the talk, and whether the solution will be peaceful or not, the secessionists will be judged, condemned and punished. This is not just a warning, but also a serious promise from the Communist Party of China (CPC) to the Chinese nation."

Li Fei, a professor at the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, said that the DPP politicians' recent provocative statements and acts reflect their last madness before their doom. "The mainland has already issued a blacklist of Taiwan secessionists, and this proves that the mainland will separate the secessionists and other political groups and ordinary people on the island. And no matter what kind of solution, peaceful or not, those blacklisted will be brought to justice."

Rising anger

Xi's remarks about warning secessionists and foreign forces on Saturday have received rapturous applause from the audience, and a similar applause also happened in Tiananmen Square when he talked about similar topic during his speech to mark the 100th anniversary of the CPC's founding on July 1.

Analysts said this proves that the Chinese public is eager to resolve the Taiwan question and punish secessionism, as the secessionist authorities on the island and foreign forces, especially the US, have seriously offended and provoked the Chinese public in the mainland. The anger has been raised to the highest level and continues to grow. This will make the future of the Taiwan Straits situation unlikely remain peaceful.

National reunification efforts by the Chinese mainland could be done peacefully, by force, or a mixture of both. The non-peaceful solution would include imposing a blockade, striking hostile targets on the island, attacking the peripheral islands, or landing on the island of Taiwan, said Zhang Wensheng, a deputy dean of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University.

A cartoonist identified as "JeffHoly" on Sina Weibo released a series of drawings that illustrate the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Chinese social media, which received thousands of likes.

In an exclusive interview with the Global Times on Tuesday, the author told the Global Times that he would update the series with the PLA Air Force and Rocket Force to illustrate all types of forces' battle scenarios. Many web users said "I hope this will come true as soon as possible."



Attack - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist

Attack - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist "JeffHoly." Picture: courtesy of JeffHoly

Hopeless resistance

Yu, the military head on the island who went to the US to seek military supports recently, claimed that Taiwan's armed forces are eyeing an "asymmetric war" against the PLA as the Taiwan military head know that the Chinese mainland has an overwhelming military advantage over them, and they need to prove to the US that they have the courage to defend themselves and resist the reunification launched by the mainland.

While the Taiwan military does have a certain level of asymmetric warfare capability since it is on the defense, such plans are not enough to help it defeat the PLA because its weapons and equipment are inferior to those of the Chinese mainland, in terms of both quality and quantity, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The hardware Taiwan wants to use in asymmetric warfare, including artillery, aircraft, missiles and ships, would likely be destroyed by long-range precision strikes from the PLA, Wei said.

As the PLA has displayed its capabilities over the past year, Taiwan's defense authorities also began to realize the power gap between them and the PLA, as Yu said the PLA aircraft's frequent operations near the island of Taiwan and Taiwan-administered Dongsha Islands in the South China Sea are "threatening," and the PLA can break the first and second island chains and reach the third island chain.

Some defense scholars in Taiwan recently suggested that the island arm Dongsha Islands to counter PLA aircraft drills, but this would also be a futile attempt to resist reunification by force, analysts said.

Even if the islands are militarized, the PLA can still easily take over them when necessary, as the Taiwan military does not have air superiority and control of the sea, taihainet.com, a Chinese mainland news website on the Taiwan question, said on Tuesday.

As of press time, more than 150 PLA aircraft have held drills in Taiwan's self-proclaimed southwest air defense identification zone, between Taiwan island and the Dongsha Islands, since October. Many of them are advanced J-16 fighter jets and H-6 bombers, and experts said more will join similar exercises in the future.

During Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province from September 28 to October 3, the PLA Air Force for the first time displayed the J-16D aircraft, which was developed based on the multirole J-16 specifically for electronic warfare. This has drawn speculations on the island that some J-16s involved in exercises near Taiwan were of this type.

Citing defense scholars, Taiwan media recently said that the J-16D is not such a big deal and the Taiwan military has many ways to fight it.

In response, Wei said that the PLA's electronic warfare capability is superior to the Taiwan military's on all fronts, and with the J-16D, which can suppress and jam hostile radar, communications and command systems, the PLA can paralyze the Taiwan military, essentially making it "brain dead."

In a possible scenario widely predicted by many analysts, the PLA could start with electronic warfare, deafening and blinding the Taiwan military, then rain down long-range rockets and missiles, destroying most of Taiwan's weapons and equipment as well as command centers.

This will be followed by air strikes led by stealth aircraft which will seize air superiority, and at the same time, warships, including aircraft carriers, will secure sea lanes for an amphibious assault and block the island from foreign intervention, according to military analysts.

Heavily-armed troops will cross the Straits on landing ships, and eventually secure the island, they noted.

The PLA Daily published a commentary on its front page on Tuesday titled "The historic mission of the complete reunification of the motherland must be realized."

When that time comes, Taiwan secessionists will end up miserable and face the judgment of justice, Wei said.

The landing operation - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist

The landing operation - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist "JeffHoly." Picture: courtesy of JeffHoly
The airborne operation in Taiwan - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist

The airborne operation in Taiwan - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist "JeffHoly." Picture: courtesy of JeffHoly
Destruction - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist

Destruction - one of the series drawings illustrates the national reunification executed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made by Chinese mainland cartoonist "JeffHoly." Picture: courtesy of JeffHoly

 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
US strengthens Asia-Pacific defences by deploying floating base for helicopters and hovercraft to Okinawa

    • The deployment of the USS Miguel Keith, America’s latest expeditionary staging base, follows a series of joint drills involving US carriers
    • One analyst said these exercises are a way of reminding the PLA of the superior strength of the forces the US can muster

Published: 11:00pm, 13 Oct 2021

The USS Miguel Keith sits at anchor off a US base in Okinawa. Photo: Handout

The USS Miguel Keith sits at anchor off a US base in Okinawa. Photo: Handout
The United States navy is strengthening its defences in the Asia-Pacific amid
ongoing tensions with China
by deploying its newest giant landing dock to Okinawa.

The USS Miguel Keith, an expeditionary staging base designed to transport large quantities of equipment and serve as a floating base for helicopters and hovercraft, was deployed to the White Beach naval base on the Japanese island on Friday, the US Navy said in a statement.
It will join the Seventh Fleet’s Expeditionary Strike Group and Marine Expeditionary Force, the statement added.
The Lewis B Puller-class vessel has a length of 240 metres (787 feet) and can provide logistical support for naval operations.

Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Tong said its presence further reinforces the American defences along the first island chain, a line of Pacific islands stretching from Japan to the Malay Peninsula, including Taiwan.


The chain plays an important role in US strategic thinking for the region and Chinese forces will have to pass through it to access the wider Pacific.

“The Okinawa-based USS Miguel Keith will be used as a de facto aircraft carrier platform for US amphibious forces, which would help the US stop the
People’s Liberation Army
from attempting to seize Diaoyu Islands,” Wong said, referring to the Japan-controlled islands also known as the Senkakus that both China and Japan claim.


The new deployment came as naval forces of the US, Japan, Australia and India
started a joint exercise under the Quad framework
on Tuesday.



The three-day Malabar exercise from Tuesday until Thursday in the Bay of Bengal involved the US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, two Japanese escort vessels, an Australian frigate and an Indian destroyer, according to the Japanese maritime self-defence force.

Last week the Carl Vinson joined two other carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan and Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth, along with ships from four other countries for an exercise in the South China Sea.

Lu Li-Shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy in Kaohsiung, said the deployment of the Miguel Keith and the recent joint naval drills were intended to remind China that the US could muster stronger forces.
Two US and a British carrier pictured with Japanese warships as part of a multinational exercise. Photo: Handout

Two US and a British carrier pictured with Japanese warships as part of a multinational exercise. Photo: Handout
“The PLA is expected to have put its third aircraft carrier … into service as early as 2030,” Lu said.

“But the US showed they could mobilise at least three aircraft carrier strike groups and other warships in a drill, a clear message to the PLA that ‘I can defeat you just now’.”
In a response to the increasing number of foreign warships conducting freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, the PLA recently held a drill in the waters that practised air-to-ship strike bombings and offensive mine laying, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.


Collin Koh, a maritime security analyst at Singapore’s S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the PLA had been upgrading its fighter jets and air-to-ship weapons, adding that the Miguel Keith and other similar warships have “limited self defence capability against high performance threats”.

Koh added “there’s also a new threat” in the shape of the
J-16D electronic combat jet
, which recently made its public debut at the Zhuhai air show.

The fighter can jam enemy air defence and radar systems and is only the second of kind after the US EA-18G Growler, although Koh said its “exact performance isn’t known”.
 

danielboon

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Beijing expected to take countermeasures after reports US troops are training Taiwanese military
  • Analysts say the PLA could step up combat preparations while others say Washington is willing to ‘play the Taiwan card’
  • The Chinese foreign ministry says the move goes against Washington’s previous commitments










The US has reportedly sent special operations troops to help train Taiwan’s military. Photo: Reuters

The US has reportedly sent special operations troops to help train Taiwan’s military. Photo: Reuters

Reports that American troops are helping to train the Taiwanese military
will make Beijing more vigilant towards the United States and prompt the Chinese military to step up its preparations for combat, according to mainland observers.

Citing US officials, The Wall Street Journal reported that two dozen members of US special-operations units and a contingent of marines had been in
Taiwan
for at least a year training troops in secret.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said the move went against Washington’s commitments to Beijing when the two sides established formal diplomatic relations on the basis of the one-China principle.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3151609/most-taiwanese-not-worried-beijing-will-attack-any-time-soon?module=hard_link&pgtype=article

Zhao said the United States had promised to sever formal diplomatic ties with Taipei, end a defence agreement and withdraw its troops from the island.


He added that China would take all necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Journal reported that a contingent of around 20 special operations and conventional forces had been conducting the training for more than a year on rotation. An unnamed US official later told Agence France-Presse that the report was broadly correct but the troops had been there for less than a year.

Last year the US and Taiwan denied Taiwanese media reports that US troops were training marines and special forces, and also declined to confirm the latest reports.

Pentagon spokesman John Supple said in a statement that Beijing had stepped up its efforts to intimidate and pressure Taiwan, “which we believe are destabilising and increase the risk of miscalculation”.

Taiwanese deputy defence minister Po Horng-huei said on Friday that the ministry would not comment on international cooperation and military exchanges, based on the usual practice.

Mainland observers said the presence of US military forces in Taiwan would infuriate Beijing and trigger strong countermeasures.
“The disclosure of the news will definitely arouse the Chinese government’s higher level of vigilance [towards the US],” Shi Yinhong, professor of international relations at Renmin University, said. “The move is very serious in nature and will become one of the factors triggering China to take tough action.”

Zhu Songling, a professor at the Institute of Taiwan Studies at Beijing Union University, said Washington was trying to bargain with Beijing by playing the Taiwan card, ahead of a possible virtual meeting between two countries’ leaders later this year.
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3151340/beijing-capable-taiwan-invasion-2025-islands-defence-minister?module=hard_link&pgtype=article

“The disclose of the training by US media is to show the close military links between the US and Taiwan, which will be used by the US side to bargain with Beijing during the coming leaders’ summit,” Zhu said.

Song Zhongping, a former People’s Liberation Army trainer, said the PLA must urgently prepare for combat to prevent foreign forces from interfering in the event of conflict.
“The US military has been secretly training the Taiwan military, the involvement of special operations forces this time is to strengthen the Taiwan military’s ability to counterattack, a move seriously damaging cross-strait relations,” Song said.

“What we need to do now is to prepare for a full-scale military struggle, especially considering that if there is a war in the Taiwan Strait, the PLA must resolve the Taiwan issue as quickly as possible and prevent foreign forces from interfering in the cause of China‘s reunification. The PLA needs to do all the preparations in this regard, which is a top priority.”

Song also said the
increased number of sorties near the island
by Chinese military aircraft showed that the PLA had been continuously strengthening its preparations.

 
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