Jump to content

China vs Taiwan please?


Oxide
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 2 weeks later...

CSIS came out with a long brief about this weekend's local elections in Taiwan: https://www.csis.org/analysis/green-wave (URL is clickbait).

There's nothing new in there for people who have followed Taiwan in recent years, but it's a good primer for people who might still have a bit of an outdated view of how Taiwanese people think about China. In particular, the Chinese government has a vested interest in perpetutating the incorrect notion that most people in Taiwan believe Taiwan and China to be the same country, just with temporarily opposing governments. In reality, that's a historical quirk of the constitution, and not something taken seriously by most Taiwanese people.

This is the piece I am most interested in following...

Quote

Most critically, if the referendum does succeed, it will add 540,000 new voters to Taiwan’s electorate, who will be able to cast ballots in the 2024 general election—which is not insignificant when considering that this demographic is likely to bolster pan-green candidates across the field. In addition, if the constitutional amendment passes, it will be the first of its kind and showcase that constitutional amendments are electorally viable. This is likely to generate momentum among pro-independence groups in Taiwan that seek to revise other parts of the ROC constitution, including abandoning territorial claims, which currently includes land under the jurisdiction of the PRC—and which would be viewed by Beijing as an escalatory, “separatist” move to further “de-Sinicize” Taiwan.

I am not sure how things will go in the referendum to lower the voting age to 18. It would seem to be uncontroversial to bring the laws in line with other democratic countries, but perhaps there is reluctance from people who are hyper-aware of the impact these sorts of changes might have on China's approach to cross-strait relations.

This quote also touches on the information war, which is already in full swing.

Quote

While questions on China and cross-strait relations typically fall to the backburner in local elections, Beijing has over the past decade become increasingly focused on—and, arguably, increasingly adept at—trying to influence Taiwan’s local elections to its preferred outcome. [...] Perhaps the most prominent effort has been through disinformation campaigns—as seen in the 2018 local elections—but the PRC has also infiltrated local media, targeted and co-opted local grassroots groups, and implemented a “divide-and-conquer” approach to the island’s various localities.

For a deeper dive on what these kinds of Chinese government-sponsored disinformation campaigns look like, here's a relevant piece from New Bloom earlier this year: https://newbloommag.net/2022/05/16/tw-china-train-disinformation/ And a more recent one on the role of Chinese government-sponsored media: https://newbloommag.net/2022/10/24/pan-blue-media-disinformation/ Other democratic countries around the world are being targeted in the same ways, and I think it's important for us to remain vigilant.

New Bloom also has a lot more detailed English-language information on the various candidates and issues in the local elections. Worth a read, if you're interested.

Edited by alison
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/19/2021 at 8:58 AM, Bil Hardenberger said:

GMT games has a boardgame game on this subject:  Next War Taiwan

Responding to this rather old post, the above-mentioned game:

https://www.gmtgames.com/p-894-next-war-taiwan-2nd-edition.aspx

 is recommended by a staffer from the Marine Corps University in this twitter thread as next best thing to the military's own wargame.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I definitely want a Combat Mission title covering a war between China and the US/Taiwan. But I think we will get a better product if BFC waits a bit on this one. It is generally much easier to model events after they happen then it is to try to guess what year the war will take place in and what Chinese and Taiwanese force composition will look like by then. CMBS is going to need a lot of work now that it is no longer hypothetical, and I think if BFC were to release a Taiwan focused Combat Mission today it will just find itself in the same position before too long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/27/2022 at 7:40 AM, cesmonkey said:

Responding to this rather old post, the above-mentioned game:
https://www.gmtgames.com/p-894-next-war-taiwan-2nd-edition.aspx
 is recommended by a staffer from the Marine Corps University in this twitter thread as next best thing to the military's own wargame.

No. RED team are not seriously trying an opposed landing on the (densely populated) northwest coast?

....Where reservists can guide spotter drones and fire Javelins from their bedroom windows into landing craft, as they struggle to steer around the breakwaters and shoals to reach the very limited landing sites.

But PLAF has won air supremacy (at some cost)! Great, so what targets are your (fixed wing) CAS going to pinpoint and neutralise, in that string of beach towns?

...Let me guess, they're also going to try a bold heliborne coup de main to capture Taoyuan airport, then send commandos in cars straight into the center of Taipei. Decapitation strike! 

(I hear those work really well when the local population is longing to be liberated from its own elected government in favor of brutal satraps appointed from a distant imperial capital)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/12/920eaa7f46c8-japan-to-expand-okinawa-based-ground-force-unit-amid-china-threat.html

The Defense Ministry plans to double the number of infantry regiments under the Ground Self-Defense Force's 15th Brigade to two.... the equivalent of a division.

image_l.jpg

****

Hmm, perhaps freeing up the Marines to rebase elsewhere, hmm?  Or to threaten to do so.....

I would buy property on Taiwan in a second if they came in.  Because that would mean the Chinese Canada.

P.S. The state just banned extramarital scx in Indonesia. Much more of this Islamopuritanical nonsense and Hindu majority Bali is gonna follow Timor for the exits, backed by ANZUS, as before. 

For all the drunken Aussies using it as their Cancun, the Balinese have kept their own culture and have always disliked the Javanese (like pretty much all non-Javanese Indonesians). I'm eyeing property in Ubud too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tangentially related to this topic, but for those interested, a good (though quite USA-hawkish) book review that includes the strategic importance of TSMC and also touches on the military uses of chips.

I am going to add this book to my reading list:

https://asiatimes.com/2022/12/the-semiconductor-industry-and-the-china-challenge/

 

Edited by LongLeftFlank
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

PLA_Army_Amphibous_Landing-1024x682.jpg

https://warontherocks.com/2022/12/is-china-planning-to-attack-taiwan-a-careful-consideration-of-available-evidence-says-no/

Opinion piece:

There is a conspicuous lack of evidence that the government has decided to pursue a military solution.... Chinese leaders routinely direct the military to prepare for Taiwan contingencies.

Neither has Beijing made any effort to rally public sentiment in favor of war against the island.... a course of action that would very likely shock the public, lead to severe economic disruption, and expose many people to serious harm or death. National unification may be a popular idea among Chinese citizens, but war isn’t.

The wargames favored at U.S. think tanks typically explore the devastating first few days of conflict but rarely consider what might happen afterwards. 

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/2022/08/12/in-think-tanks-taiwan-war-game-us-beats-china-at-high-cost/

LF5RKZKEBRCBLHJBHSIE2WLL6A.jpg

Some variants had Japan involved from the start. The Philippines allowed U.S. basing in some iterations, but not others. Game moderators permitted U.S. strikes on mainland China in some, but not others.

In a version earlier in the week, the United States lost 700 aircraft over the three-week battle.

War games once dominated discussions but fell to a low point during the counterinsurgency decades of the early 2000s.

A heavy element in the Marine planning for a war with China is its Marine Littoral Regiment, a still-forming unit that is experimenting with new weapons systems, formations and employment strategies....

In every scenario, once the conflict stars there’s a “forest of Chinese ships” around Taiwan. In other games the Chinese military sunk an entire Amphibious Ready Group twice.... every single time no Marine made it to the beaches of Taiwan

The Marines’ key weapon, the Naval Strike Missile, simply can’t shoot far enough with its 100 nautical mile range.... If I’m not on Taiwan, that weapon is basically useless.

While the China team had early successes, they lost far too much and took too many strikes on their ports and supply chain to continue the fight.

By the end of the game, the China team had more than 30 battalions on Taiwan, quite a feat in under three weeks of battle.

But the U.S. was able to cut off the Chinese resupply entirely, leaving thousands of simulated Chinese soldiers foraging for food, low on ammunition and trying to outmaneuver U.S. forces in a cat-and-mouse fight.

Once the U.S. gets its forces flowing into theater, the result is almost unchangeable — the U.S. wins, but at a heavy cost.... the Chinese Navy ceased to exist in any functional capacity after a few weeks of U.S. strikes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taiwan has lengthened their conscription back to a year again: https://newbloommag.net/2022/12/27/military-conscription-one-year/. I get the sense it's not popular, especially not among wealthier folks, but I think a welcome change for some will be the salary boost to ~20000NTD (~650USD) per month. That's less than minimum wage, but enough to cover a room and groceries even in Taipei, so it might reduce young people's sense that they are "losing" the time.

Meanwhile yesterday the Chinese flew dozens of planes over the median line again, and as usual nobody cared. From the article....

Quote

It is significant to see Ukraine brought up as the primary rationale for lengthening the draft period, rather than the nearer-at-hand live-fire exercises that China conducted around Taiwan in August. Taiwanese society primarily did not react to the live-fire exercises, perhaps having become inured to Chinese threats over past decades, and discussion of lengthening the draft picked up in intensity after the invasion of Ukraine–with Ukraine serving as a proxy issue that repackaged Taiwan’s longstanding concerns about military threats from China.

The DPP was seen as having a rare window of opportunity to push for extending the draft after the invasion of Ukraine that it might not have otherwise had during the Tsai administration’s tenure. Yet it is also possible to view China’s live-fire exercises as a form of overreach in this way, in granting further political impetus to the Tsai administration for lengthening the draft. In this way, this proves a way in which Chinese military threats directed at Taiwan may intend to frighten Taiwan into submission, but sometimes have the opposite effect.

One thing I wonder is if the Chinese saber-rattling is less for Taiwan than for the US (and, of course, their domestic audience). I suspect theirs is long play to try to make the average American think twice about whether defending an island on the other side of the Pacific is worthwhile. If America's collective will to defend democracy is eroded, that will make China's designs more achievable.

Edited by alison
Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/chinese-fleet-militarised-ships-threat-trade-taiwan-386v50q3g

The Chinese government demands all merchant shipping is dual military and civilian use and roll-on, roll-off ferries have been designed and used for military exercises including landing operations. “Each Chinese ship is a ship of war. The crews chiefly consist of military personnel,” said Holslag. “In China ships need to be built to military specifications to allow them to transport tanks. Ferries have to be able to sail the high seas and can bring tanks and amphibious craft on land.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, LongLeftFlank said:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/chinese-fleet-militarised-ships-threat-trade-taiwan-386v50q3g

The Chinese government demands all merchant shipping is dual military and civilian use and roll-on, roll-off ferries have been designed and used for military exercises including landing operations. “Each Chinese ship is a ship of war. The crews chiefly consist of military personnel,” said Holslag. “In China ships need to be built to military specifications to allow them to transport tanks. Ferries have to be able to sail the high seas and can bring tanks and amphibious craft on land.”

Interesting. Makes all their shipping legitimate military targets, since they're "reserve" troop transports...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

CSIS doing some wargaming on the opening salvos...

Quote

CSIS developed a wargame for a Chinese amphibious invasion of Taiwan and ran it 24 times. In most scenarios, the United States/Taiwan/Japan defeated a conventional amphibious invasion by China and maintained an autonomous Taiwan. However, this defense came at high cost. The United States and its allies lost dozens of ships, hundreds of aircraft, and tens of thousands of servicemembers. Taiwan saw its economy devastated. Further, the high losses damaged the U.S. global position for many years. China also lost heavily, and failure to occupy Taiwan might destabilize Chinese Communist Party rule. Victory is therefore not enough. The United States needs to strengthen deterrence immediately.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

China is in a position in which they can wait and let the tides change on their own.

 

My fear is that if Battlefront releases a game on this topic, then the topic will come to fruition as their mystic powers manifest yet another real-life conflict.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

IMHO, a Taiwan vs China game is actually a naval game. US subs vs the Chinese fleet.
 

I haven’t completely read the thread, but China can’t knock down our air power enough to do substantial para drops. Now if you game it where there is only no or limited US air cover and no US naval involvement then you’ve got yourself a game.  
 

I agree with @Lethaface, a blockade would be China’s way of “testing the waters” around Taiwan. That would force the US to run the blockade and at that point China backs down or there’s a shooting war. Surely Taiwan isn’t important enough to risk getting into a war with your biggest customer. 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Probus said:

IMHO, a Taiwan vs China game is actually a naval game. US subs vs the Chinese fleet.
 

I haven’t completely read the thread, but China can’t knock down our air power enough to do substantial para drops. Now if you game it where there is only no or limited US air cover and no US naval involvement then you’ve got yourself a game.  
 

I agree with @Lethaface, a blockade would be China’s way of “testing the waters” around Taiwan. That would force the US to run the blockade and at that point China backs down or there’s a shooting war. Surely Taiwan isn’t important enough to risk getting into a war with your biggest customer. 😉

 

There was an interesting documentary about 'the world map according to China' on Dutch TV a while back. It might be country blocked and quite some parts are in Dutch obviosuly, but there are quite some interviews in English and you can skip the narration:

https://www.vpro.nl/programmas/tegenlicht/kijk/afleveringen/2022-2023/de-wereldkaart-volgens-china.html

 

Edited by Lethaface
Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/us-air-force-general-predicts-war-china-2025-memo-rcna67967

"A four-star Air Force general sent a memo on Friday to the officers he commands that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two years...

In the memo sent Friday and obtained by NBC News, Gen. Mike Minihan, head of Air Mobility Command, said, “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025.”

General Minihan said in the memo that because both Taiwan and the U.S. will have presidential elections in 2024, the U.S. will be “distracted,” and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have an opportunity to move on Taiwan.
 
...addressed to all air wing commanders in Air Mobility Command and other Air Force operational commanders, and orders them to report all major efforts to prepare for the China fight to (General) Minihan by Feb. 28. 
 
He also provides a window into one capability the U.S. is considering for possible conflict with China — commercial drone swarms. He directs the KC-135 units to prepare for “delivering 100 off-the-shelf size and type UAVs from a single aircraft.” 
Edited by Erwin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Budget time.

I saw that too, on ZeroHedge; they never miss a doomer take. Human civilisation should have all come crashing down no later than 2007, except the preppers stackin' the Phizz, 9mm and 30.06.

And naval blockades bite multiple ways, quickly.  Even if the US Navy won't enforce one at once, Lloyds sure as hell will.

Nice fragile global supply chain you've got there, guv. Pity if sumfink... happened to it.

And good luck absorbing all that grossly overbuilt 95% export oriented production capacity at home, Mr. Xi. Because Russia, Myanmar and Laos can't pay for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm curious if anyone here has been to or at least studied Taiwan from a geographic POV. I only see the word "mountain" used once in the entire thread. Even absent of U.S. involvement, Taiwan is a veritable natural fortress. It's basically Switzerland condensed into a postage stamp with a zillion mountains all over the place many of which directly face potential avenues of approach. Mountains are nightmare fuel for any offensive army. That has not changed even with modern military advancements. China has virtually zero experience mounting amphibious assaults. China has virtually zero combat experience in general. Their mountain combat experience is derived from playing Medieval Times on the Indian border. What little we've seen of them operationally has left a lot to criticize (e.g., Vietnam) and it's pretty easy to surmise their open water logistics system would be a hot mess. I just have a hard time seeing this working for them.

 

As far as outside help is concerned... the US Navy would absolutely, 100% annihilate anything China puts in the water. I'm not sure what the wargames chitchat is there. China doesn't have any substantial open water experience at all, meanwhile that's the U.S.'s wheelhouse through and through and they've been wargaming it for decades now.

 

Others are right about the long game -- the reality is China doesn't actually need to invade Taiwan. They can just wait it out. And they can also pressure it greatly from within, which they have been doing. There are pro-mainlanders within the political system of Taiwan.

Edited by Khalerick
fluff
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in Taiwan. The vast majority of the population here does not live in the mountains. I can't imagine the PLA would care to spend a lot of resources trying to control what geographically might be the largest portion of the country but demographically and politically is not especially significant. I don't know much about military operations, so perhaps there is some strategic value in controlling a position on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, but I suspect any invading force would have their hands full just trying to cross the plains where all the people live.

I think there are two parallel discussions on this thread, and they're not the same thing.

On one hand, it would be cool to have a Combat Mission style game where we could play both Chinese and Taiwanese units duking it out in close quarters on a watery map, something like around the Erren river or Taoyuan airport, for example. Quadcopters. UGVs. Factories. Rice paddies. We all know that's a game that would exist more for fun than serious simming, but there's plenty of people on both sides of the strait who would love to play it.

The other topic is what a real-world invasion - or at least military-backed pressure - would look like. And that is likely to be continued economic punishment, diplomatic isolation, political manipulation, spreading of disinformation, cyberwarfare and ultimately a naval blockade and targeted missile strikes to try encourage a critical mass of the Taiwanese population to support a government capitulation. Not really something that can easily be wargamed in the traditional sense, although it could be interesting to see a political sim go there. I suppose Kinmen might be a plausible (and simable!) military target, but I'm not sure the Chinese government would want to risk what that might turn into unless they really feel out of options.

In the real-world scenario, I think the biggest question is just how strongly the US (and Japan) will stand by Taiwan. I have my doubts about the American people's resolve, and I think the Chinese government does too, which is why the PLA continues salami-slicing the median line, building bases all over the South China Sea and flying spy balloons over the continental US. The trouble is for most Taiwanese the status quo is seen as a better situation than increased tensions with China, whereas Americans are playing a different game - they have their own competition with China where Taiwan just exists as an abstract bargaining chip or domestic points-scoring exercise - so it's difficult to get a sense of just how serious the US government is about the country's defense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, alison said:

The trouble is for most Taiwanese the status quo is seen as a better situation than increased tensions with China, whereas Americans are playing a different game - they have their own competition with China where Taiwan just exists as an abstract bargaining chip or domestic points-scoring exercise - so it's difficult to get a sense of just how serious the US government is about the country's defense.

The USA/West can’t let Taiwan fall. Put simply, it would cause or risk a domino effect (of future invasions) that would not be acceptable. 
I do believe China is determined to keep pushing the line back to see how much the West will allow. 
As for a sim, oh yeah, I’d buy that! Before Ukraine, I would have thought air power would dominate any land battle. Now, you can easily create plausible scenarios with out it dominating the fight. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/6/2023 at 3:50 AM, Khalerick said:

I'm curious if anyone here has been to or at least studied Taiwan from a geographic POV. I only see the word "mountain" used once in the entire thread. Even absent of U.S. involvement, Taiwan is a veritable natural fortress. It's basically Switzerland condensed into a postage stamp with a zillion mountains all over the place many of which directly face potential avenues of approach. Mountains are nightmare fuel for any offensive army. That has not changed even with modern military advancements. China has virtually zero experience mounting amphibious assaults. China has virtually zero combat experience in general. Their mountain combat experience is derived from playing Medieval Times on the Indian border. What little we've seen of them operationally has left a lot to criticize (e.g., Vietnam) and it's pretty easy to surmise their open water logistics system would be a hot mess. I just have a hard time seeing this working for them.

 

As far as outside help is concerned... the US Navy would absolutely, 100% annihilate anything China puts in the water. I'm not sure what the wargames chitchat is there. China doesn't have any substantial open water experience at all, meanwhile that's the U.S.'s wheelhouse through and through and they've been wargaming it for decades now.

Agreed. They are however churning out ships faster than USA was during WWII. But if one picks for example the carrier issue, how much actual experience with massed sorties in a 'real' combat environment do they have even have?

At the same time we expect our militaries to not assume they are incompetent and actually (also) prepare for the eventuality they somehow are competent enough to pose a real threat. What else should they be doing? ;-).

On 2/6/2023 at 3:50 AM, Khalerick said:

Others are right about the long game -- the reality is China doesn't actually need to invade Taiwan. They can just wait it out. And they can also pressure it greatly from within, which they have been doing. There are pro-mainlanders within the political system of Taiwan.

China understands that afai can see. They are also playing the long game of fighting for what they think is their place under the sun though. They're not trying to lose any opportunities asserting their dominance, testing out 'the waters'. Miscalculations aren't unthinkable, from either side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...