Posted by Churchill on March 27, 2004 at 19:31:25:
In Reply to: My novel about China posted by T. J. McFadden on September 03, 2000 at 21:42:29:
I doubt very much mainland China would resort to the use of brute force. She has now so well ensconced in a far superior position.
There are three very serious problems for Taiwan independence, but not Taiwan prosperity.
1. Mainland China’s projected gross superiority in military and economic prowess, perhaps 10 or 20 to 1 over Taiwan.
2. Mainland diplomatic predominance is the status quo that would be very difficult to change. Even if Taiwan were to declare independence, no reasonable and responsible major country would recognize its statehood. Why? The world wants peace. If Taiwan were to declare independence in 2012 or 2016, mainland China did not at all have to use force at once or ever. All her has to do is to imply imminent attack and build up her military at a somewhat faster pace. She puts the world on notice with subtlety: recognition means war on Taiwan. Taiwan cannot control global recognition, without which declaration eventually is pointless, only heightens awareness of urgency from mainland China’s perspective.
When people in Taiwan say that can’t stand the threat of hundreds of missiles “pointing at Taiwan”, they are not technologically realistic. In 2020 or 2025, thousands of guided missiles all over mainland China would be able to reach Taiwan. A poodle cannot ask a Rottweilor to not grow muscles and teeth. Mainland China’s sheer size and economy would drive toward this condition. Even without heightened militarism, mainland China would likely have to ability to elect to destroy 0.01% of Taiwan, or 1%, or 10%.
3. The USA absolutely dreads going to war with mainland China, but she might for uncontrollable idealistic and compulsive reasons. Can the US afford to just defeat mainland China in a few battles and then allow anti-American sentiment to foment among 1.3 million people who are economically on the upsurge? Democratic progress in mainland China is happening. Would the US want to change that? Can the USA foot the bill of over a trillion (Iraq times 80) dollars to democratize mainland China?
In c. 2020 to 2030, mainland China would threaten to cartel Taiwan’s energy supply. As an island, Taiwan is quite vulnerable to attrition. I simply don’t think how Taiwan in 2030 would have the nerve to initiate multiple and repeated major military campaigns to break free from mainland hold. It would be difficult for the USA to interference directly; to say the least doing so could precipitate into mayhem for Taiwan. As an island, Taiwan would be paralyzed without much bloodshed. Mainland China can set up this threat without the commitment of gross violence; this flexibility can be deployed over and over again, as her gets stronger and stronger decade by decade.
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