America must prepare for war with China over Taiwan – Community News
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America must prepare for war with China over Taiwan

China’s massive investment in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could show that China is preparing to fundamentally change the status quo and preparing for a possible war with the United States over Taiwan. To deter China, the United States must quickly build its military forces in the Pacific, continue to strengthen military alliances in the region to ensure access to bases in times of conflict, and accelerate deliveries of purchased military equipment to Taiwan.

Taiwan is of great geopolitical importance to the United States. A thriving democracy is one of the freest societies in the world. As World War II US Navy Admiral Ernest King said, Taiwan is the “cork in the bottle” for Japan. Whoever controls Taiwan will control the lifelines of Japan and the Republic of Korea. Chinese control of Taiwan will give it massive influence over both Japan and Korea, fundamentally altering the strategic calculation in East Asia and giving China the long-sought opportunity to Finlandize both countries.

Perhaps most importantly, Taiwan is the center for advanced semiconductor manufacturing; the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) prides itself on having the most advanced foundry in the world. Chinese control of TSMC would bring huge economic benefits to it and lead to the world becoming dependent on an authoritarian regime for advanced semiconductors — all that would mean for the integrity of supply chains. Advanced semiconductors are the petroleum of the digital age. America must not allow an authoritarian regime bent on supplanting the United States to take over these vital manufacturing facilities.

Time is not on our side. Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-Cheng testified before his congress on Oct. 6 that “China will bring costs down to its lowest level by 2025. It has the capacity now, but it won’t go to war easily as it will fight with many others.” things to take into account.” As Chiu argues, China probably already thinks it is capable of taking Taiwan.

China’s calculation of the use of force against Taiwan is complex and includes – but not limited to – internal stability, Taiwanese developments and military dynamism. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has created a popular nationalist narrative that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people will be achieved through unification with Taiwan. Chinese President Xi Jinping is targeting the annexation of Taiwan. He is likely to serve an unprecedented third five-year term as president at the fall 2022 party congress, giving him internal political freedom to use force to achieve his unification goal.

Xi will aim to ease tensions in Sino-US relations to ensure a successful Winter Olympics in Beijing in early 2022 and by being re-selected as party leader in the fall of 2022. Once his position is secured, Xi will release the pressure stepping up on Taiwan ahead of Taiwan’s presidential election in early 2024, leaving 2023 a potentially dangerous year.

Beijing does not want Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to be succeeded by her vice president, Lai Qing-te, in early 2024. Lai is a popular politician who is strongly committed to human rights and the sovereignty and nation of Taiwan. The prospect of his successor Tsai would no doubt lead Beijing to accelerate its efforts to take Taiwan.

Taiwan has attempted to transform itself into a “prickly porcupine” with its indigenous production of asymmetric weapons, as well as purchases of new US-made systems. Based on announced arms sales deals, many of these new US-made systems won’t be up and running in Taiwanese services until mid to late 2020, giving Beijing a chance to take Taiwan in 2023 or 2024. Speeding up key delivery asymmetric systems could help change Beijing’s calculus.

Taiwan must prepare its people for conflict and ensure it has enough emergency supplies to survive a Chinese attack. There is also an urgent need for increased resources from Taiwan’s security forces to gather intelligence on China and to investigate and disrupt China’s efforts to further develop and deploy fifth column troops in Taiwan.

Senior US military officers are shocked by the PLA’s rapid transformation. The US armed forces are trying to change to better fight the PLA in the Pacific, but face difficult logistics and armed forces projection in a Taiwan scenario. The sheer size of the Pacific makes it vital that the US has made allied commitments to use bases in the region in times of conflict. Restoring relations with the Philippines in the post-Duterte era to gain access to Clark Airbase and Subic Bay could be beneficial. It is essential to ensure that US bases in Japan are used in times of conflict.

Nevertheless, geographic space and logistical issues will complicate a timely US military response; it could take several weeks for the US to have enough troops in the region to challenge the PLA in the battlespace around Taiwan. Having more troops stationed in the Pacific could help accelerate a US response.

If China were to attack Taiwan, they would likely use a massive cyber and electronic warfare attack to paralyze the island. They would combine this with rocket attacks on key military and government centers to decapitate Taiwan’s leadership. The PLA would also use special forces attacks and air and sea landings to try and defeat Taiwan quickly. Extending Taiwan’s effective resistance until US troops arrive should be a major goal of US security policy.

President BidenJoe Biden’s DescendantsMarcus Garvey Call on Biden to Posthumously Pardon Civil Rights Leader has said at least three times that the US would defend Taiwan if it were attacked by China. His administration must make clear to the American people why defending Taiwan is critical to the United States and deploy the resources necessary to stop China from attacking Taiwan.

Accordingly, the United States must bolster our armed forces in the region, work with Taiwan to quickly transform it into a true spiny porcupine that is resilient so it can last for a longer period of time, and ensure that we have rock-solid alliance commitments that make it allow the US to use bases on the territory of the allied countries. Time is not on our side. We must act now.

David Sauer is a retired senior CIA officer who has served as station chief and deputy station chief in multiple overseas command positions in East Asia and South Asia.