The U.S. wants to arm Taiwan with so much weaponry that the tiny island off the coast of mainland China would be able to stand up to an invasion.
The New York Times, citing unnamed U.S. officials, reported that the reality is that Beijing would likely enforce a blockade of the island before its invasion attempt.
The report said the U.S. studied the Chinese military’s exercise around the island after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit in August and determined that it would become increasingly difficult to supply Taiwan with weapons once an invasion is underway.
The idea is that the island would be able to hold off the invaders until other countries also intervene.
Jacob Stokes, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, told the Times that stockpiling Taiwan is currently a “very active point of discussion.” Stokes, who also advised Biden on Asia policy while he was vice president, told the paper that the question is also what the best strategy is to harden the defenses so “Chinese missiles can’t destroy it.”
President Biden told reporters four times in the past year that the U.S. would come to the defense of Taipei if China invaded only to have his comments walked back by the White House that said the U.S.’s position of strategic ambiguity has not changed.
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on the tense relationship between Washington and Beijing over the Taiwan issue. Part of the problem has been inconsistency out of Washington. (See “TAIWAN VS. CHINA: UKRAINE WAR SETS THE STAGE” 5 Apr 2022, “PRODUCING NEW ENEMIES FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER” (9 Aug 2022 and “WHAT CELENTE HAS SAID IS NOW PROOF: POLL SHOWS MOST AMERICANS CAN’T FIND UKRAINE OR TAIWAN ON A MAP” 16 August 2022.)
We have reported that the Ukraine War has been studied by Taipei and Washington to learn effective ways to counter an invasion by a more powerful neighbor.
Taiwan spent a record $17 billion on its military in 2022 and, in January, its parliament approved $8.6 billion more that will be earmarked for precision missiles and high-efficiency naval ships.
But Taiwan has seen the relative success that Ukrainian troops are having in defending Kyiv and could turn more of its attention to guerilla warfare.
Taiwan has been particularly impressed with Ukraine’s use of drones, according to The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. is pushing for Taiwan to shun the big-purchase items and instead opt for smaller, more mobile weapons, according to the Times’s report.
AntiWar.com noted that the Biden administration recently OK’d a $1.1 billion arms deal for Taipei that includes 60 Harpoon anti-ship missiles and the Senate hopes to pass legislation that would provide Taiwan with up to $6.5 billion in military aid.
The island would not stand a change in a direct conflict with China. Beijing spends about 25 times the amount Taipei does on its defenses. China also has a hundred times as many ground-force troops as the island.
TREND FORECAST: Despite these grandstanding visits and vows of support, we forecast that just as Beijing has clamped down on Hong Kong protests and taken full control, so, too, will they take control of Taiwan when they are ready.
Despite condemnations when they do so, there will be no military forces from other nations that will challenge Communist China’s military might. Indeed, America, with the largest military in the world, has not won a war since World War II and cannot even win against third-world nations, such as Afghanistan, after invading that nation some 20 years ago.
“60 Minutes” aired an episode on Sunday night that focused on Taiwan and living under the threat of a Chinese invasion. The report said many in Taiwan are not concerned about a Chinese attack. The report noted that Beijing has promised that if there were re-unification, Taiwan could maintain many of its freedoms.
One Taiwanese writer compared the threat to global warming: “You know it’s there and it’s going to get worse… but mostly though people go about their lives. What can one individual really do?”
The Ukraine invasion showed that the U.S. is willing to offer support by exporting military equipment and level sanctions, but it does not want to fight China in a war that it would lose.
We have noted several times where U.S. President Joe Biden said American troops would spring to the defense of the island, but that will not happen. Washington would do all it can to form a Pacific NATO, like it is doing now, and provide Taiwan with more weapons than they have soldiers to fire them.
Should war break out between China and Taiwan, we forecast the Taiwanese military will not aggressively fight back, since doing so would result in millions of deaths and mass destruction