Asia Tensions
A UK carrier strike group, a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer and U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by flagships USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson conduct operations in the Philippine Sea on Oct 3. Photo: Jason Tarleton/U.S. Navy via AP
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Taiwan tensions raise fears of U.S.-China conflict in Asia

45 Comments
By DAVID RISING

After sending a record number of military aircraft to harass Taiwan over China's National Day holiday, Beijing has toned down the saber rattling but tensions remain high, with the rhetoric and reasoning behind the exercises unchanged.

Experts agree a direct conflict is unlikely at the moment, but as the future of self-ruled Taiwan increasingly becomes a powder keg, a mishap or miscalculation could lead to confrontation while Chinese and American ambitions are at odds.

China seeks to bring the strategically and symbolically important island back under its control, and the U.S. sees Taiwan in the context of broader challenges from China.

"From the U.S. perspective, the concept of a great power rivalry with China has driven this back up the agenda," said Henry Boyd, a Britain-based defense analyst with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"The need to stand up to China is a strong enough motivating factor that not taking this fight would also be seen as a betrayal of American national interests."

China claims Taiwan as its own, and controlling the island is a key component of Beijing's political and military thinking. Leader Xi Jinping on the weekend again emphasized "reunification of the nation must be realized, and will definitely be realized" - a goal made more realistic with massive improvements to China's armed forces over the last two decades.

In response, the U.S. has been increasing support for Taiwan and more broadly turning its focus to the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday emphasized that American support for Taiwan is "rock solid," saying "we have also been very clear that we are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan."

Washington's longstanding policy has been to provide political and military support for Taiwan, while not explicitly promising to defend it from a Chinese attack.

The two sides came perhaps the closest to blows in 1996, when China, irked by what it saw as increasing American support for Taiwan, decided to flex its muscle with exercises that included firing missiles into the waters some 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Taiwan's coast ahead of Taiwan's first popular presidential election.

The U.S. responded with its own show of force, sending two aircraft carrier groups to the region. At the time, China had no aircraft carriers and little means to threaten the American ships, and it backed down.

Stung by the episode, China embarked upon a massive overhaul of its military, and 25 years later, it has significantly improved missile defenses that could easily strike back, and equipped or built its own aircraft carriers.

The U.S. Defense Department's recent report to Congress noted that in 2000, it assessed China's armed forces to be "a sizable but mostly archaic military" but that today it is a rival, having already surpassed the American military in some areas including shipbuilding to the point where it now has the world's largest navy.

Counting ships isn't the best way to compare capabilities - the U.S. Navy has 11 aircraft carriers to China's two, for example - but in the event of a conflict over Taiwan, China would be able to deploy almost the entirety of its naval forces, and also has land-based anti-ship missiles to add to the fight, said Boyd, a co-author of IISS's annual Military Balance assessment of global armed forces.

"China's concept of operations regarding Taiwan is that if they can delay the U.S. presence in the fight, or restrict the numbers that they're able to put into the fight because we're able to hold their forward assets at some level of risk, they can beat the Taiwanese before the Americans show up in enough force to do something about it," he said.

Taiwan's own strategy is the mirror image - delaying China long enough for the U.S. and its allies to show up in force. It has significant military forces itself, and the advantage of fighting on its home turf. A recent policy paper also notes the need for asymmetric measures, which could include things like missile attacks on mainland China ammunition or fuel dumps.

Taiwan's defense department's assessment of China's capabilities, presented to parliament in August and obtained by The Associated Press, says China already has the ability to seal Taiwan's ports and airports, but currently lacks the transport and logistical support for large-scale joint landing operations - though is improving by the day.

In a new strategic guidance policy last week, U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, identified China as the "most significant" long-term challenge.

"For the first time in at least a generation, we have a strategic competitor who possesses naval capabilities that rival our own, and who seeks to aggressively employ its forces to challenge U.S. principles, partnerships and prosperity," the paper said.

China, over its National Day weekend at the beginning of the month, sent a record 149 military aircraft southwest of Taiwan in strike group formations - in international airspace but into the island's buffer zone, prompting Taiwan to scramble its defenses.

On Monday, China announced it had carried out beach landing and assault drills in the mainland province directly opposite Taiwan.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson of the mainland government's Taiwan Affairs Office, justified the actions as necessary, saying Wednesday they were provoked by "Taiwan independence forces" colluding with "external forces."

"With every step the Chinese are trying to change the status quo and normalize the situation through this salami slicing," said Hoo Tiang Boon, coordinator of the China program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. "They know Taiwan cannot do anything about it, and the danger is that possibility of miscalculations or mishaps do exist."

Taiwan and China split in 1949 amid a civil war, with Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists fleeing to the island as Mao Zedong's Communists swept to power.

In a 2019 defense white paper, Beijing said it advocates "peaceful reunification of the country" - a phrase repeated by Xi over the weekend - but is also unequivocal in its goals.

"China must and will be reunited," the paper reads. "We make no promise to renounce the use of force, and reserve the option of taking all necessary measures."

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, meantime, has been making the case for more global support, writing in the most recent edition of Foreign Affairs magazine that "if Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system."

"A failure to defend Taiwan would not only be catastrophic for the Taiwanese," she wrote. "It would overturn a security architecture that has allowed for peace and extraordinary economic development in the region for seven decades."

U.S. law requires it to assist Taiwan in maintaining a defensive capability and to treat threats to the island as a matter of "grave concern."

Washington has recently acknowledged that U.S. special forces are on the island in a training capacity, and it has been stepping up multinational maneuvers in the region as part of a stated commitment to a "free and open Indo-Pacific." They included an exercise involving 17 ships from six navies - the U.S., Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand off the Japanese island of Okinawa earlier this month.

The so-called Quad group of nations - the U.S., Australia, India and Japan - on Thursday were concluding joint exercises in the Bay of Bengal, which Japan's Defense Ministry said showed their resolve to uphold "fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law."

Washington also signed a deal last month in concert with Britain to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, which China said would "seriously damage regional peace and stability."

"The Americans are trying to bring in the allies on a united front," said Hoo. "There's a growing internationalization of the Taiwan issue."

Right now, neither side's armed forces feels fully prepared for a conflict over Taiwan, but in the end it may not be their decision, Boyd said.

"It's not going to be up to the military," he said. "It's going to be up to the politicians."

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


45 Comments
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I have to say that one of the mistakes of the Obama administration (in my opinion) was to allow the PRC to build up sand banks on rocks in the S. China Sea and establish facts of the ground international law be damned.

I think it is critical to ramp up the ability to support and reinforce Taiwan's ability to remain self-governing and democratic in the face of Fascism with Chinese Characteristics.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

It's not going to be up to the military," he said. “It's going to be up to the politicians.

It is the politicians that start wars for their own ego's. People die by the thousands because a few people want to exert their will over a people not currently under their control.

This will not be a religious war, thank goodness. But it will be a war that was not necessary. It can only be started by China invading a land not its own, to rule people not under it's influence. Jinping Xi has delusions of grandeur and that is generally the reason one nation invades a peaceful neighbor.

If China is unable to reach its goal's without violently taking freedom away from others, it has no business at the top and will spend little time there if it reaches it.

China may not like other nations, their democracy and personal freedoms, but it has no right to make or force others to bend to it's will. It will only make more enemies for itself as it does internally when it represses an new section of its own citizens.

Time for China to back off and concentrate on internal matters rather than conquest of territory and other people.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Experts agree a direct conflict is unlikely at the moment

A conflict is not going to happen until after the Winter Olympics if at all. China hosting the Olympics and fighting a war at the same time is not reality.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

I agree with all the very intelligent comments so far, and I’d just add that another potential danger is Xi deciding to invade Taiwan as a distraction from internal domestic problems, should his current self-destructive economic course lead to widespread dissatisfaction with the CCP within China.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

There will be no war. Raising fears to sell more arms is what it is.

A senior cybersecurity official at the Pentagon has quit saying because he thought it was impossible for the US to compete with China on AI. "We have no competing fighting chance against China in fifteen to twenty years. Right now, it's already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion," he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/10/12/pentagon-official-says-he-resigned-because-us-cybersecurity-no-match-china.html

China is going to keep pushing AI putting the pedal to the metal. The US will keep wasting money on it military budget while China invests in 6G. There's lot of fear-mongering and other forms of propaganda to try and convince countries to militarize and purchase more arms

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Right now the best strategy is to bolster Taiwan’s defenses with modern and effective weapons. While maintaining with absolute certainty that Xi's militaristic expansionist ambitions to annex the island - much like Mao did to Tibet - are totally unacceptable to the global community. The cost for eating a porcupine Taiwan must be too high militarily, and the cost of enslaving Taiwan must be nothing short of total rejection by the international community, regardless of economic cost.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Never, ever trust China. They desperately want Taiwan - FACT. And have shown through their extreme warlike behaviour theyll do anything to take it.

The West, AUKUS and QUAD will be there and ready if the Communists start anything. Ready for peace - Prepared for war.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Lmao! Yes, the world’s two largest economies that are inextricably intertwined will get into a shooting war.

Look globalism keeping the peace.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Fighto!Today  04:49 pm JST

Never, ever trust China. They desperately want Taiwan - FACT. And have shown through their extreme warlike behaviour theyll do anything to take it. 

The West, AUKUS and QUAD will be there and ready if the Communists start anything. Ready for peace - Prepared for war.

Wow.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

A war between China and the US would be the worst scenario.

And especially because North Korea will jump in, and what that means everyone knows.

The world has to stand together against the aggressor China.

A peaceful sign, that the world don't ignore China's behaviour would be, that each country boycott the Olympic winter games.

No country should send any athlete to China.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

No country should send any athlete to China.

100% agree.

Any nation that sends athletes; any athlete who attends, tacitly supports mass genocide.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

No need to tag team it, cobber.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Countries can be as inextricably and economically linked as you like but that has never prevented a power hungry autocratic from launching a war of conquest. Precisely the same arguments were put forward regarding Europe before the First World War, that didn't stop the Kaiser from sacrificing the lives of millions and destroying his country and economy.

Autocrats living in their own little bubble, out of contact with their own people and lacking empathy like Pooh Bear and the Kaiser can become a very real threat that economics have no real leverage on. Add in paranoia at being toppled and a nice military victory to distract the masses and whip up nationalist fervour which they can ride becomes overwhelmingly attractive.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In light of Biden and Co. wrapping things up in the sandbox, they need a new 'enemy' to justify defense spending.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Japan is helping to preserve peace in Asia by refusing the US the right to launch military interventions out of Okinawa, ensuring that US cannot intervene effectively and let PLA take Taiwan in about a week.

Had Japan granted the US the permission to operate out of Okinawa, then Taiwan has a slim chance of repelling PLA invasion, but then Tokyo faces the threat of Chinese ballistic missile strikes if Japan agreed.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I have to say that one of the mistakes of the Obama administration (in my opinion) was to allow the PRC to build up sand banks on rocks in the S. China Sea and establish facts of the ground international law be damned. 

I think it is critical to ramp up the ability to support and reinforce Taiwan's ability to remain self-governing and democratic in the face of Fascism with Chinese Characteristics.

For once I do agree with you.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

China is not going to invade Taiwan, a ludicrous scenario.

The Pacific Ocean is no longer an American Lake. Patrolling the Asian coast with USA carrier groups is arrogant and dangerous. The British, how possibly is is their presence in the Pacific justified - that's rhetorical - to answer, it is not.

Yanqui Go Home!

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

China is not going to invade Taiwan, a ludicrous scenario.

China is banking that the rest of the world believes that as well.

The Pacific Ocean is no longer an American Lake. Patrolling the Asian coast with USA carrier groups is arrogant and dangerous.

I disagree,

Yanqui Go Home!

That is exactly what China and North Korea want.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Samit BasuToday  06:54 pm JST

Japan is helping to preserve peace in Asia by refusing the US the right to launch military interventions out of Okinawa,

Cite? You typically use facts, but you do have an anti-Japan bent and this assertion doesn’t accord with my understanding.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

America will not be able to have a major war against China. The blow to the American economy would be enormous and the loss of vital imports.

China is not in a strong enough position to invade Taiwan. Maybe by 2025.

When China does invade America won't able to do anything about it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The CCP in China would definitely invade Taiwan, in two likely situations;

1) Given the weak and ineffectual Trump admin response to the Hong Kong takeover, Xi and CCP may be over-confident, and think they can get away with an invasion of Taiwan with minimum consequences....

2) Nationalism is always the "get out of jail card" the CCP uses whenever there is a major problem the government can't solve - economic instability caused by bad loans, an energy crisis, or similar failure...

Dangerous times...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

and the cost of enslaving Taiwan 

Don’t be silly. No one is going to enslave the Taiwanese. They’re the same Han people with the same language plus dialects. It’s like saying the Japanese are going to enslave Osakans or the Americans are going to enslave Oklahomans.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The US agreement to treat Taiwan as part of One China, regardless of what they actually think, was contingent on a peaceful settlement of the “Taiwan Question.” If the settlement becomes non-peaceful, then the US will feel obligated to recognize Taiwan as a separate country again, and then we will have a mess that won’t be beneficial to anybody. Things are currently unbalanced due to Chinese aggression and US inattention to it. The agreement needs constant attention, with give and take, for it to work beneficially. It will be difficult to put things back into balance, but all this acting out is in aid of that. Nobody can predict what will happen at this point.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

WWIII coming soon.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Taiwan is the world biggest supplier of important chips. Once it goes down, the whole world economy goes down with it. Whether the world like it or not, they can't distance themselves from this conflict thinking it's just a US-China problem.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'd like to see Xi's face if the US and a few other countries officially recognized Taiwan as an independent country. He'd freak out. And that's what I think a majority of us would love to see. And arming Taiwan with nukes would be a good step, too. Another 'Cuban Missile Crisis' would be good for the world right now. Escalate. Stick it down his throat.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My wife had a quick and clever idea, moving the Okinawa stationed forces to Taiwan. Okinawans happy, Taiwan happy, China a bit more tamed and Japan still has support from the other U.S. bases and an enforced JSDF. Immediately applauded her for that theoretical strategy…

0 ( +3 / -3 )

America will not be able to have a major war against China.

Who knows. nothing should be ruled out, but if China wants to strike at Taiwan, now would be the time or at least within this admin timeframe.

The blow to the American economy would be enormous and the loss of vital imports.

As bad as it is already in American, I doubt a loss of a few trillion here or there will make a significant difference.

China is not in a strong enough position to invade Taiwan. Maybe by 2025

Many thought the same about Russia going into Crimea and how did that work out?

When China does invade America won't able to do anything about it.

Well, that probably will not happen unless we get another term of this admin. which I doubt.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

1) Given the weak and ineffectual Trump admin response to the Hong Kong takeover,

And Biden is doing what? crickets.....

Xi and CCP may be over-confident, and think they can get away with an invasion of Taiwan with minimum consequences....

If they decide to invade Taiwan it will be with the next 3 years without a doubt.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The island bases China has made mean nothing. Too far away and sitting ducks to cruise missile attack. Any Chinese attack will happen from the mainland.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In the modern world, the only way a small democracy can resist the attentions of a fascist dictatorship is by having a nuclear armed response. If Israel was provided with nuclear capability so should Taiwan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@P.Smith

Cite?

https://www.businessinsider.com/not-clear-us-others-would-help-taiwan-if-china-attacked-2021-5

Fears of a Chinese attack on Taiwan are growing, and Taiwan isn't sure who would help if it happened

Japan has recently been more vocal about Taiwan, but Tokyo has made no official statements about how it would respond to an invasion. Japan has a pacifist constitution, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that his recent expression of support in a joint statement with President Joe Biden "does not presuppose military involvement at all."

A major factor is whether the PLA attacks bases in Japan. "I think in that case you'd see very close cooperation between the US and Japan to respond militarily and perhaps even to try and support Taiwan," Cooper said.

But it's not clear that Japan and the US have a plan for such a scenario or have even discussed one.

"That, I think, is in fact why the alliance has to talk about this now," Cooper said. "We can't just assume that we know what either Washington or Tokyo would do in a crisis."

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"From the U.S. perspective, the concept of a great power rivalry with China has driven this back up the agenda," 

The US does not care about Taiwan, Uyghurs, "democracy".. In fact they do not care about any country, they only care about themselves and maintain their commercial dominance regardless of ethics, they are only trying to destabilize the unstoppable advance and progress of China, US will lose its first place and have afraid that that inevitable day will come..

A conflict is not going to happen until after the Winter Olympics if at all. China hosting the Olympics and fighting a war at the same time is not reality.

WWIII coming soon.

That is not going to happen, to no one and much less to China and the US a war would be convenient, China would stop its advance and the US would go bankrupt, there will be skirmishes and other strategic garbage but from there they will not happen..

Never, ever trust China. They desperately want Taiwan - FACT. And have shown through their extreme warlike behaviour theyll do anything to take it.

China is not desperate, he has until 2049 for reunification to celebrate the centennial of the revolution..

By the way, never, ever trust US..

The West, AUKUS and QUAD will be there and ready if the Communists start anything. Ready for peace - Prepared for war.

Little justice league, playing to be the good ones, lol..

Don’t be silly. No one is going to enslave the Taiwanese. They’re the same Han people with the same language plus dialects. It’s like saying the Japanese are going to enslave Osakans or the Americans are going to enslave Oklahomans.

Very well said !!..

America will not be able to have a major war against China. The blow to the American economy would be enormous and the loss of vital imports.

China is not in a strong enough position to invade Taiwan. Maybe by 2025.

When China does invade America won't able to do anything about it.

That's right, the whole truth, although I think it will be in a peaceful way and in more years, the unification is unstoppable ..

A peaceful sign, that the world don't ignore China's behaviour would be, that each country boycott the Olympic winter games.

No country should send any athlete to China.

Keep dreaming, lol..

China is not going to invade Taiwan, a ludicrous scenario.

It is the chaos and fear that the US wants to make the world believe for its benefit.

The Pacific Ocean is no longer an American Lake. Patrolling the Asian coast with USA carrier groups is arrogant and dangerous. The British, how possibly is is their presence in the Pacific justified - that's rhetorical - to answer, it is not.

That's right, US exceptionalism no longer exists, the world is not theirs.

Yanqui Go Home!

AMEN !!..

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Zichi,you would be the first one hit in Japan, China do.not have the capacity to invade the US,unless with cheap Chinese goods

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Western private equity firms who bought out corporations threw their countrymen out of work and wantonly disregarded the security of their countries to move manufacturing to China to make more money that went to shareholders.

Today, the US needs China more than China needs the US. Don't believe me? Look at the impact of supply chain problems now and imagine what it would/will be like when China intentionally reduces exports.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Just because China says they have something it doesn't mean it works. If you see that I have what appears to be a gun and it could very well be one but the question remains is it real and does it work. Recently China displayed all the new aircraft they have etc... Everything they had was based on a design that was made in the US. Copy copy copy!! I know what it takes to design test and manufactured advanced weapon need I not say more. The question is when you get into a dog fight and pulling g-loads will the aircraft withstand those. A scared person display what they appear to have, a confident man does not show his cards he only puts them down when he needs to!!! China is a pitbull with no teeth. The CCP in china will take out Xi before any bombs are dropped.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

a small skirmish would do the world of good and push China back. Words aren't working

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I know an old guy who used to say that the world needs a good war every 20 years to thin out the population.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Xi was force to come out and change his aggressive talk in his last speech on Taiwan, Changing his talk from "any means" to "peaceful means". This was a couple of day after a phone call with Biden. This alone was not what has change police so quickly. The PLA also are applying pressure on Xi. This says to me that the Generals lack the attitude for a invasion. Biden pressure on Xi alone could not change Xi attitude. To me to get Xi to turn over so quick it must be the PLA lack of backing Xi invading Taiwan plan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I hate violence but I hate bullies even more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

1) Given the weak and ineffectual Trump admin response to the Hong Kong takeover,

And Biden is doing what? crickets.....

Thanks for agreeing with me - Trump did nothing when the CCP took-over HK - except give them more money to keep getting his clothing line made there...

Xi and CCP may be over-confident, and think they can get away with an invasion of Taiwan with minimum consequences....

If they decide to invade Taiwan it will be with the next 3 years without a doubt.

""Without a doubt"? Sure, just like "Trump will win in a landslide"....and "Georgia won't turn Blue"...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to say that one of the mistakes of the Obama administration (in my opinion) was to allow the PRC to build up sand banks on rocks in the S. China Sea and establish facts of the ground international law be damned.

Short of starting a war, what do you think the US should have done? It's all well and good to say "stop them" but how does a nation do that short of using military force and risking a war with China? A lot of the weapons coming on line now started development ten or twelve years ago if that tells you anything. I can also tell you there was a lot of fear that referring to China as an enemy back then would have been shouted down by corporate, cough cough gag "leaders", who's firms were heavily invested in China. It was just something you could not say in public fearing exposing your leadership to vocal criticism..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The US does not care about Taiwan, Uyghurs, "democracy"..

They do, don’t know where you get that myth from, this is why so many Taiwanese have relocated to the US as well as trying to send aid and arms as well as trade with the island nation

That is not going to happen, to no one and much less to China and the US a war would be convenient, China would stop its advance and the US would go bankrupt,

As well as China, both economies are intertwined, the bigger difference is, the US holds more patents and is more innovative, whereas the Chinese are in constant violation of intellectual property theft worldwide.

China is not desperate, he has until 2049 for reunification to celebrate the centennial of the revolution..

And the US and international community will be right there waiting and watching.

By the way, never, ever trust US..

The US is not perfect, but when it comes to freedom and democracy, China is the absolute last country on planet Earth that people would ever trust.

That's right, the whole truth, although I think it will be in a peaceful way and in more years, the unification is unstoppable ..

I seriously doubt it, unless China really wants to go to war with the international community and I doubt it wants that.

It is the chaos and fear that the US wants to make the world believe for its benefit.

Not the US, it’s China that thinks it can bully and annex anyone and any country it wants.

That's right, US exceptionalism no longer exists, the world is not theirs.

Oh, it exists, if it didn’t, millions would be moving to China to seek a better life.

>

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The PLA also are applying pressure on Xi. This says to me that the Generals lack the attitude for a invasion. Biden pressure on Xi alone could not change Xi attitude. To me to get Xi to turn over so quick it must be the PLA lack of backing Xi invading Taiwan plan.

In late summer or early autumn 2017 a faction of the PLA tried to depose Xi. Three of the PLAs top generals went to prison for life. A fourth "committed suicide" while in home detention prior to his trial. It was very soon after this that Xi leaned on the Central Committee to end term limits for the General Secretary of the CCP and President of the PRC, along with eliminating the maximum age for members of the Central Committee so Xi could keep his aging courtier of political supporters in power. The PLA is riven by factions and there is a great resentment that officers in the logistics and support functions advance faster than those in the combat arms, leading to situations where Generals that have served less time but on the support side often outrank longer serving officers in the combat arms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Today, the US needs China more than China needs the US

There is no shortage of countries that would dearly love to replace China in that supply chain. If you scratch the surface and do some reading you will discover many US companies are finding suppliers and subcontractors in places like Mexico and Brazil. Big global corporations used to say "China plus one", meaning they kept part of their production outside of China, just in case. Now companies are finding suppliers elsewhere. It won't happen overnight but the trend is clear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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