Murphy's Law: China Attacks Japan And Gets Away With It

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October 21,2008:  South Korea and Japan are concerned about the Chinese military buildup, because the most likely Chinese strategy calls for attacks on U.S. aircraft stationed in Japan and South Korea. It works like this. The closest airbase to Taiwan, with U.S. warplanes, is Kadena (800 kilometers away) in Japan (Okinawa, actually). Obviously, if the Chinese want to prevent prompt U.S. aircraft reinforcements heading for Taiwan, they would attack Kadena. The Chinese have over a hundred ballistic missiles within range of Kadena. A few dozen of these, using submunitions, could shut down Kadena, and destroy many aircraft. Japan has some anti-missile defenses, but these are on the main islands, over 500 kilometers to the north.

Farther away are bases in South Korea (1,200 kilometers) and Guam (2,400 kilometers). China is cozy with North Korea, but would probably not try and coerce the North Koreans to invade (to prevent the U.S. warplanes from flying off to Taiwan). But, again, Chinese missiles are within range of U.S. air bases in South Korea, sufficient to do much damage, and delay aircraft from quickly moving off to Taiwan. Guam, which is U.S. territory, is reachable by only a few Chinese missiles, but is so far away that many aerial tankers would be needed to move combat ready aircraft to Taiwan quickly.

The Japanese and South Koreans have to decide, perhaps without telling the Americans, if they would just absorb this attack, and not declare war on China. This is what the Chinese would like, and they have probably discreetly raised the issue. By promising to only attack the Americans, the Chinese could isolate Taiwan for quick conquest, and avoid a war with Japan and South Korea. This conflict would mainly be naval and air forces cutting off Chinese trade and doing great damage to the Chinese economy (and control the current Communist Party officials have in their unpopular police state.)

 


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