Forces: China Organizes to Take Taiwan


May 14, 2024: Chinese leader Xi Jinping has decided to seize or try to seize Taiwan before the end of the decade. Xi realizes Taiwan has a say in this matter and wants to mobilize sufficient forces and create the right psychological conditions in China and Taiwan. This includes having Chinese naval and air forces operating near Taiwan on a regular basis so the Taiwanese military is not alarmed every time Chinese forces operate near the island.

Some of these forces that regularly appear off the Taiwanese cast are those that would be used if China were seeking to blockade Taiwan. Chinese military forces will eventually blockade Taiwan and prevent any ships from getting in or out.

Preparations are also being made inside China. Laws have been passed allowing China to quickly nationalize foreign assets as part of a program to keep the Chinese people supplied if there is an international embargo and economic sanctions. China also plans to increase its emergency petroleum stockpile so there will be supplies for years of isolation. China is also building a pipeline to get petroleum to areas that normally receive it from the nearest coastal city and port. China is purchasing oil from as many suppliers as possible as these nations will feel the economic pain if China is embargoed because it seized Taiwan.

Xi Jinping expects most of the nations in the world to oppose a seizure of Taiwan. To deal with that, China is reducing its holdings of American government bonds. This reduces the damage to China if the United States declares war and seizes whatever Chinese assets it can. China hopes such a war will not involve much military action beyond that needed to blockade China. According to Chinese plans, that blockade would last a few years and would then be lifted because so many nations want to end their economic suffering because trade with China was blocked. China is the second largest (after the US) trading nation in the world and taking Chinese trade out of circulation would cause worldwide suffering. In theory, it would be worse for China but not if China can build up large enough reserves of essential industrial supplies to survive the economic catastrophe China created. These Chinese moves would lead to economic disruption outside China for years and have a lasting impact that could take a decade or more to recover from.

The Chinese plans are theoretical at the moment even though China is quietly implementing some aspects of their surviving the expected worldwide economic disruption a seizure of Taiwan would lead to. Another problem is that enough details of the Chinese plan have become known to trading partners and nations willing to use military and economic force to block a Chinese attack on Taiwan. China wants to avoid a war but Taiwan and its military allies, especially the United States, are willing to meet force with force. China doesn’t want to get into a war because its forces are untested and, as recent corruption scandals have demonstrated, led by generals who are more concerned with getting rich than getting ready for war.  

Taiwan and its allies have been increasing their military preparations for over a decade. This began before the current Chinese economic and military activities and China is now seen reacting to efforts to make the Chinese plans more difficult to implement. Taiwan has purchased new weapons as well as increasing stockpiles of ones it already has. That means more warships, warplanes, and equipment for ground forces.

Taiwan is the most troublesome independent portion of China. After World War II Taiwan acquired protection from the United States before the new communist Chinese government could get organized and do anything about the troublesome Chinese province of Taiwan.

China is also having problems getting control of territories in the South China Sea which historically were not Chinese. The Philippines and other nations bordering the South China Sea oppose Chinese efforts to take control of this watery region. In this case the opposition also has support from the United States and several other major powers in East Asia and Europe.

Similar situations exist because of islands off the Chinese coast controlled by Taiwan. A current example is China pretending to be angry at Taiwan because two Chinese citizens drowned when their speed boat overturned while they were trying to evade a Taiwanese coast guard ship. China responded that they would increase security around a small group of Taiwanese-controlled islands off the Chinese coast that China also claims.

Taiwan defended the actions of its coast guard because Chinese fishing boats and other vessels were operating in Taiwan-controlled waters, especially around the Kinmen and Matsu islands which sit a short distance from China’s coast. China’s coast guard declared that it would strengthen its maritime law enforcement forces and carry out regular law enforcement patrols and inspections in the waters around Kinmen and Xiamen. China insists that this is needed to maintain order and safeguard the safety of fishermen’s lives and property.

Chinese and Taiwanese fishing boats have been operating in the Xiamen-Kinmen maritime area since ancient times, and Taiwan points out that there never were any prohibited or restricted waters in that area. China’s government professes goodwill towards Taiwan’s people but will never tolerate Taiwan’s disregard for the safety of Chinese fishermen. Taiwan continues to enforce the rules that ban unauthorized Chinese access to Taiwan’s waters around Kinmen. However, ships which carry no name, have no certification or port registration carry out continuous intrusions and make dangerous moves when trying to flee, lead to unfortunate incidents nobody wants to see or take responsibility for.

Kinmen, along with Matsu, has been controlled by Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan after losing to Mao Zedong’s communists and the new communist People’s Republic of China. Kinmen was the site of frequent fighting during the 1950’s but is today a popular tourist destination, though many of the islets which are part of the island group are heavily fortified by Taiwan’s military and off limits to civilians.

Taiwan rejects Chinese sovereignty claims and accuses China of waging what it calls gray-zone warfare. This includes the Chinese use of irregular tactics to exhaust a foe without actually resorting to open combat, including sending civilian ships into or close to Taiwanese waters.

Taiwanese support their government’s resistance to this Chinese aggression. China is still seeking ways to take control of Taiwan and reincorporate this lost province” into China. Taiwanese do not want their country to become a Chinese province. As an independent state, Taiwan has prospered and became a major manufacturer of electronic devices and electronic components which are purchased by companies in the Americas and Europe as well as those in East Asia like Japan, South Korea, and many more in southeast Asia. China has become a major market for Taiwanese electronics and Taiwanese manufacturers have opened some factories in China. Taiwan is still where most of the production takes place and one reason China has for not attacking Taiwan is to avoid damaging the Taiwanese electronic components industry. Taiwan is a major world producer of these electronic components and an innovator when it comes to designing new components. The rest of the world would not appreciate China attacking Taiwan and disrupting all that electronics manufacturing and development of new items.



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