Is Taiwan provoking China now to quickly hook the US and get an invasion from the mainland while PLA is still relatively unprepared?


Taiwan’s President says the threat from China is increasing ‘every day’ and confirms presence of US military trainers on the island

If the Kānaka Maoli in Hawaii had said to CNN that SF soldiers from China were secretly training in the volcanic mountains, the US Army would have attacked these Chinese forces in a New York minute. China however has so far only threatened Taiwan with a flyover and done near-island drills with live ammo. Global Times:

Tsai confirms US military presence in Taiwan, ‘to face consequences for breaking red line’

“In a recent interview with CNN published on Thursday, Taiwan’s regional leader Tsai Ing-wen confirmed for the first time that US troops are present on the island.”

“Tsai’s move has stepped on the red line, and she will surely face consequences coming from the Chinese mainland, including more military activities, said experts from both sides of the Taiwan Straits.” (…)

(My comment: Stepped on the red line, but not crossed it?)

“Chiu warned that there is no way the Chinese mainland will just stand by and watch, and that the cross-Straits tension is bound to escalate following Tsai’s latest statement.” (…)

“The mainland needs to strengthen military presence as well, including all necessary activities conducted by military aircraft and vessels to crackdown the secessionist attempt within the island that was backed by the US, said Li Fei, a professor on Taiwan studies at Xiamen University.”

“In addition to condemning the revelation, the Chinese mainland should take real actions to make the US and Taiwan secessionists pay the price, like “slamming nails into the hands of the US and Taiwan to make them hurt,” Tang said.” (…)

“A day earlier, transport and attack helicopters of the PLA were spotted for the first time conducting training in the same area, which experts said displayed the PLA’s grasp of the region.”

Redline: US troops must not station in Taiwan: Global Times editorial

“What Tsai said is widely seen as a “breakthrough.” Asked about Tsai’s comments before the island’s “Legislative Yuan” on Thursday, the leader of the defense authority of Taiwan, Chiu Kuo-cheng, seemed to try to soften the impact. He stressed that the US military presence is only to assist with the training of local forces, which is part of personnel exchanges, and no US troops are stationed on the island.”

“The US military cannot be stationed in Taiwan, and this is a red line both the US and Taiwan are aware of. …” (…)

“In the past two years, Taiwan and the US predicted that the PLA will take over Taiwan in a few years. This is the source of their anxiety and panic. On the one hand, they are clear about the fact that war may come sooner if they cross the red line that the US stations troops in Taiwan. But on the other, they have pinned their hopes that such adventurism can deter the mainland from taking military action. Taking into consideration opportunism in the approval rating, they just keep changing their words. Once the mainland shows strength, they become cowardly.” (…)

“Facing the provocation and struggle of the DPP authority, we don’t need to ask ourselves why we still don’t resort to force or if we should draw another red line. We should believe in the country’s strategic considerations and ability of control. …”

Tsai is inviting trouble by confirming presence of US troops on Taiwan: Global Times editorial

“Regardless of the purpose, the fact that US troops are stationed in Taiwan has crossed the bottom line. It is one of the most dangerous factors that could trigger a war in the Taiwan Straits. If the authority of the Democratic Progressive Party sees that the mainland does not take military actions today, it then believes that the mainland will not take military actions in the future and that the mainland will indulge any of their behavior to harm the country’s sovereignty, this is an extremely dangerous misjudgment. They try to divide and betray China’s sovereignty, and degenerate to sheer separatist traitors. History will not forgive them. The Chinese mainland has the ability to execute the history’s just judgment on them.”

But if PLA had already a good chance to win a war now they would of course attack Taiwan, because passivity (without a good and credible reason) is tantamount to admitting that the island is not really part of China.

If natives in Hawaii had said to Pentagon that Chinese forces are training them would not everybody interpret such a provocation as basically being an invitation to start a war?

Beijing however appears to need more time. I wildly speculate that CCP will probably wait until autumn 2023, giving them two years to prepare before the US presidential election in 2024 and before America has developed 1) a defense against hypersonic missiles, and 2) a satellite protection system, in 2026 or 2027.


Senior US general warns China’s military progress is ‘stunning’ as US is hampered by ‘brutal’ bureaucracy

“The outgoing Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Hyten, echoed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s characterization of China as a “pacing threat” while calling Russia the most imminent threat.” (…)

“”It’s not just the United States but the United States and our allies because that’s the thing that really changes the game,” Hyten added. “If it’s the United States only, it’s going to be problematic in five years. But if it’s the United States and our allies I think we can be good for a while.””

“Hyten’s comments come a week after a US hypersonic test failed and as tensions between the US and China remain high over the issue of Taiwan. …” (…)

“But he made clear that Russia is the most imminent threat to the US because of their more than 1500 deployed nuclear weapons, saying that China has roughly 20 percent of that.” (…)

“He said the US has carried out nine hypersonic tests in around the last five years while the “Chinese have done hundreds.””

Global Times:

Milley’s ‘Sputnik moment’ remark a wild guess, doesn’t reflect reality

“After hyping up that China had tested a so-called new nuclear-capable hypersonic missile for a while, ignoring the clarification from China that it was “not missile, but a spacecraft,” the US military turned on the heat. On Wednesday, Gen. Mark Milley, the top US military official, described China’s recent test as a near “Sputnik moment.””

“”Sputnik moment,” a buzzword from the Cold War era at the peak of US-USSR tensions, was later identified as a point where one side perceives it is threatened and has to redouble efforts to catch up. Some also call the “Sputnik moment” a turning point in the Cold War.” (…)

“China has not pursued overwhelming military might, but only deterrence to protect itself. China has its own pace in building its military, and it has not at all intention to threaten US national security. …”

A second Sputnik moment in America is not in the interest of China, so Global Times will downplay Beijing’s violent capabilities while hegemonic US generals and the military-industrial complex in the West are motivated to exaggerate the threat. The truth is the first casualty of (cold) war.

Taiwan’s best choice is to “hide and bide” and simply pay lip service to the principle of “one country, two systems”, because the US will be better prepared to defend the island after 2030. The problem however is that China may pounce in 2023 perhaps, so maybe DPP wants to provoke a war now since Beijing is still relatively unprepared? If it really is a bait, will CCP fall for it? The rulers in Taiwan will of course deny that they are deliberately provoking a war, and that is perhaps true, but if they seek peace why are they escalating the situation by officially declaring that US soldiers operate in Taiwan? Poking the red beast like that appears to only make sense if Taipei rather fight now than later. Because CCP has shown no sign of being deterred after it first became known unofficially that US had soldiers on the island. It’s worth repeating: if natives in Hawaii had said to Pentagon that Chinese forces are training them would not everybody interpret such a provocation as basically being an invitation to start a war?

Taiwan is not yet a porcupine, far from it, and the US currently lacks the ability to deter China, so how is it rational in this vulnerable situation to “taunt” Beijing? Maybe Taipei wants the US to come in early as Superman, rescue democracy and then watch CCP crumble after a defeat caused by unpreparedness?

Of course, it’s possible that the risk-taking of the government in Taiwan is just the result of elite islanders being relatively delusional and incompetent, a flaw that’s also widespread among leaders in Beijing and Washington. Global Times:

If cross-Straits war breaks out, sudden surrender of Tsai authorities is expected

Underestimating the enemy is a classic mistake. Don’t start a war if you are not ready for a worst-case scenario.

If Taiwan continues to provoke China it will in the near future perhaps be good times for environmentalists who dislike car pollution in the West, because a Taiwan War can quickly escalate to cyber warfare, including hacking of many gas stations or hacking of other relatively vital services in the lands of AUKUS. The Jerusalem Post:

Iran cyberattack: 4,300 gas stations disrupted, Raisi decries attempted disorder

But what may keep Beijing from attacking Taiwan is that everybody knows that Cold War 2 is mainly about semiconductors, robots and AI. Geography is not essential in the new high-tech arms race. If Xi concludes that victory in CW2 depends on peaceful global trade he will probably postpone a Taiwan War as long as possible. After all, maybe Pentagon is not as innovative as many believes. In the CNN article above we can read that:

“Hyten also criticized the American attitude toward failure, arguing that it has curtailed development.”

“”We’ve decided that failure is bad,” Hyten said. “Nope, failure is part of the learning process. And if you want to get back to speed, you better figure out how to put speed back into [sic] and that means taking risk and that means learning from failures and that means failing fast and moving fast.”

“A failed test of a hypersonic glide vehicle last week underscored Hyten’s point. A rocket booster, used to accelerate a glide vehicle to hypersonic speeds, failed, the Pentagon said, and the rest of the test could not proceed. Officials have started a review of the test to find out why the rocket booster failed, and there is not currently a scheduled date for another test.”

“North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, meanwhile, has learned the lesson of failed tests to speed up development, Hyten argued.”

“Unlike Kim Jong Un’s father, Hyten said, “He decided not to kill scientists and engineers when they failed, he decided to encourage it and let them learn by failing. And they did. So the 118th biggest economy in the world — the 118th — has built an ICBM nuclear capability because they test and fail and understand risk.””

Is part of Pentagon woke because it wants to copy Facebook’s risky (and outdated?) strategy of “move fast and break things”? But if even North Korea can be innovative doesn’t it prove that it’s unnecessary to use wokeness as a recruitment tool? The Guardian:

CIA forges unity in diversity: everybody hates their ‘woke’ recruitment ad

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