China - and the dangerous drift to war in Asia

So, they're making moves as if ready to square up to India while at the same time winding up everyone in their local area and the USA. Are they calling bluff, think they can take them all on at some point in a straight conflict or some other plan?
 
More detail.

'China has installed a new platform in the Paracel Islands of the South China Sea, with satellite images revealing Beijing’s continuing quest for power in the disputed area. Recent satellite imagery shows a new structure that appears to be anchored on the north edge of the Bombay Reef, with solar panels and a radome (a dome protecting radar or other equipment) on top.

'According to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, the dome appears to be an “Ocean E-Station”, a component of a larger “Blue Ocean Information Network” which the Chinese government is developing to aid its “exploration, exploitation and control” of the region. Judging by the dates of comparative satellite images, the dome was set up sometime between April and July this year. It was most likely developed by the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), which has developed at least two types of these stations to expand its information collection and networks of communication. Trade brochures provided by the CETC say the machines’ purpose is to “conduct electronic surveillance, provide maritime communications, aid in search-and-rescue, and monitor the ocean environment” — but the superstructure conceals any other facilities or equipment it could contain.'



China has installed a new platform in the Paracel Islands of the South China Sea. Picture: CSIS/AMTISource:Supplied

Beijing’s new weapon in the South China Sea
 
This is just a statement, and a very regularly repeated statement, of the obvious. It is a no real news day so they've got find something. Imagine Arthur Scargill and the flying pickets had 'withdrawn' to the Isle of Wight in 1985 and set up the Miners Republic of Britain, or Trump fails to get re-elected and grabs Alaska as the independent 'Last Great American State of Alaska; we/they would have moved to get it back immediately and with military force if necessary. China didn't have the amphibious capability in 1949 so the nationalists got away with it then, but times change.
 
This is just a statement, and a very regularly repeated statement, of the obvious. It is a no real news day so they've got find something. Imagine Arthur Scargill and the flying pickets had 'withdrawn' to the Isle of Wight in 1985 and set up the Miners Republic of Britain, or Trump fails to get re-elected and grabs Alaska as the independent 'Last Great American State of Alaska; we/they would have moved to get it back immediately and with military force if necessary. China didn't have the amphibious capability in 1949 so the nationalists got away with it then, but times change.
I wouldn't be quite so sure. The PRC is far more assertive than has been the case hitherto.

IMHO, at some point, and sooner rather than later, there is going to be a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

What happens then is anyone's guess, but it may well be the ouverture to the Third World War.
 
I wouldn't be quite so sure. The PRC is far more assertive than has been the case hitherto.

IMHO, at some point, and sooner rather than later, there is going to be a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

What happens then is anyone's guess, but it may well be the overture to the Third World War.
I'd suggest far more likely is that at some point the US will decide Taiwan is no longer worth supporting, at which point the Taiwanese will see the writing on the wall and agree to reunification. The balance will be between bellicose US presidents trying to 'fight' China politically and economically and more pragmatic one who realises that business with China is far better for all concerned.
 
IMHO, at some point, and sooner rather than later, there is going to be a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
The PRC has long realised that an opposed landing on Taiwan is the best way to ensure a humiliating defeat.

The nearest possible embarkation point is about half again as far from the nearest point on Taiwan island as the embarkation ports were from the Normandy beaches, never mind whether that point is practicable for an amphibious assault. They would have to cross that distance under at best contested airspace and in the face of the third most-capable navy in the Pacific, even assuming the Japanese and US stayed out. They would have no element of surprise as Taiwanese ground surveillance radar and satellite imagery track their military movements on the coast down to sub-unit level. Their HUMINT capabilities are also pretty well-developed and much less well-reported than the reverse flow.

Even assuming they could create a viable beachhead, they'd have to reinforce and maintain this across almost 200km of hostile and highly-temperamental ocean while fighting through a conurbation the size of the Midlands and terrain that would make a mountain goat blench, against a well-trained and motivated opponent fighting from prepared positions and on home soil.

The only way Taiwan will be ruled from Beijing is if the Taiwanese people want it that way. While I can envisage conditions under which that might happen, they're nowhere near fruition. Taiwan will remain self-governing and de facto independent for the foreseeable future.
 
I'd suggest far more likely is that at some point the US will decide Taiwan is no longer worth supporting, at which point the Taiwanese will see the writing on the wall and agree to reunification. The balance will be between bellicose US presidents trying to 'fight' China politically and economically and more pragmatic one who realises that business with China is far better for all concerned.
A possible scenario. However should this happen other Western-leaning countries will see how Taiwan has been sacrificed in the name of expediency, and act accordingly. This could be through re-armament, or pledging themselves as being pro-China, and anti-US.

Either way the credibility of the US will be taking a severe knock. The reprucusions will be felt in NATO.

The world will become a much more unstable and dangerous place.
 
Remember 'China, China, China': acting U.S. defense chief | Reuters
Reportedly, another ‘condition of anonymity’ moment; it looks like Shanahan who is the temporary replacement for Mattis, is trying to get a point across:
“Acting Secretary Shanahan told the team to focus on the national defense strategy and to keep this effort moving forward,” the U.S. defense official told reporters.

“While we’re focused on ongoing operations, acting Secretary Shanahan told the team to remember China, China, China.”

Shanahan was due to participate in a cabinet meeting later on Wednesday.
 
Looks like Britain hopes to establish a naval base in Singapore or Brunei, according to this article in the SCMP.
Britain’s planned naval base seen as ‘muscle-flexing’ against China

Given that we lost face in Singapore in WW2, I doubt if they will want us back, but who can tell.

Interesting that a new base in the Caribbean is also being considered.
This seems the inevitable result of owning the supercarrier. We believe we are a world power and should engage in a neo-imperialist global strategy. In the meantime the real enemy we can genuinely deter is given far less attention.
 
A possible scenario. However should this happen other Western-leaning countries will see how Taiwan has been sacrificed in the name of expediency, and act accordingly. This could be through re-armament, or pledging themselves as being pro-China, and anti-US.

Either way the credibility of the US will be taking a severe knock. The repercussions will be felt in NATO.

The world will become a much more unstable and dangerous place.
Yes, but at some time the US will get passed by China and probably India too. If I were directing UK foreign policy I'd be looking at not relying on the US in Europe and making friends with India in the East, but I suspect we still believe in the 'special relationship' and will continue to do so until far later than was wise.
 
If I were directing UK foreign policy I'd be looking at not relying on the US in Europe and making friends with India in the East
If it were me, I'd not believe there was a possibility of any meaningful friendship of peers with India, let alone that it could provide a benefit worth the price.
 
Well you take your pick it's India or China.
One which is competently governed and at least has a consistent, predictable and familiar view of how the world operates even if they want to rearrange the positions of the respective players; the other teetering on the verge of failure and unable to manage basic internal affairs like public health or internal security without bringing birth-station into it.

Who to choose, who to choose...
 
One which is competently governed and at least has a consistent, predictable and familiar view of how the world operates even if they want to rearrange the positions of the respective players; the other teetering on the verge of failure and unable to manage basic internal affairs like public health or internal security without bringing birth-station into it.

Who to choose, who to choose...
Alternately one of which is a working democracy, or one of which still believes you cna solve the 'muslim problem' by 'reeducation' in camps.
 

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