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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » DEBATE!!! China VS Taiwan

   
Author Topic: DEBATE!!! China VS Taiwan
Sid Meier
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Alright, I want a debate between people with informed views on the subject and not just an opinion. The arguement is does China have the ability to "unite" with Taiwan (peacefully or forcfully). When it will happen and will the USA interfear? And if so, will they be able to make a difference?

A few things comes to mind when considering this scenario:

China has a pop of more than 1,000,000,000 people. With a middle class of 300,000,000. (equal to the whole pop of the USA) with a GNP of more then 7,000,000,000,000 dollars.

The USA, Japan, Canada and many others have a vested buisness commitment to both Taiwan and China. But China I believe outweighs Chinas.

Numbers, China has about the worlds largest airforce, 2,400,000 man army (0fficially but can consrcipt millions more). China is not an "out dated under-trained army" Since Mao died China's reorganization of the PLA, the updated of older equipment to newer types, and the development of newer electronic and digital equipment has continued unhindered and is accelerating.

To me it is a complete matter of when it happens. Now America is commited to Iraq, could they defend Taiwan if China takes advantage?? Or if they wait 10-15 years for their military to equal the states in equipment could America still the the ability to give a fight? A Democrat administration could after Iraq begin massive budget cuts to the armed forces to relieve America's debt totaling more then 3,000,000,000,000$ officially the worlds largest debtor nation.

This is an informed discussion/debate between I hope mature people, this is complete speculation and not nessasarily a prediction of what will happen. For all we know the Buggers could invade [Wink] [Razz] .

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no. 6
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Seems to me that the U.S. still has the Pacific Fleet, so could probably supply Naval support.

Japan seems to me to be the most likely to resist Taiwan's invasion, if it ever comes to that.

China doesn't want to get into what they would term a civil war. I think they'd just like to make Taiwan "Hong Kong II". We've still got a long way to go before blows come about.

In short: The jury is still out. [Dont Know]

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Noemon
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This wouldn't happen to be related to some assignment you've been given would it?
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urbanX
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Well the U.S. Navy and Air Force are not as invested in Iraq as the Army and Marines are. In know for sure that the Air Force heavy bombers in Guam, well with-in range of the China mainland. On Okinawa, Japan there are two full squadrons of F-15C, AWACS, and Airtankers (refuelers). All within under a hour's flight time from Taiwan. Kadena AB(the base on Okinawa) has room for hundreds of additional aircraft. Anderson AB (the base on Guam) has room for hundreds of aircraft. The completed an exercise this summer to test if it could surge 7 aircraft carrier battle groups at the same time. They passed. Right now there is already 1 carrier battle group in the area. Guam can now be used as a staging area for the Stealth Bomber. Japan also has hundreds of F-16's and F-15's. So in closing as far as an air war goes the US should be able to provide that.
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TheHumanTarget
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China doesn't want a forceful integration of Taiwan for many reasons. They would much rather provide an incentive to re-integrate through economic means.

The first reason military action would be avoided is because of the dissension it would create between Russia, Japan, India, Pakistan, most European countries, and the U.S., not to mention internal regions of China that would use this as an excuse to attempt succession.

Any attack by China would automatically trigger treaties between the U.S. and Taiwan, the U.S. and Japan, the U.S. and Australia, and the U.S. and the Phillipines, creating an initial coalition of countries. In addition, NATO members would inevitably be drawn in to the conflict.

China may be able to field the largest single military force, but cannot match the combined might of the industrialized world.

Second, there is no reason to forcefully integrate Taiwan. Taiwan provides no strategic, economic, or tangible benefit to China. The symbolic gesture would be important, but doesn't outweigh the risks of military action or the risk of crippling their burgeoning economy by ostrasizing themselves from the rest of the world.

The more prudent move on China's part is to continue their economic growth until they can leverage their currency against the dollar, making the U.S. a less important partner in Taiwans economy, and moving public sentiment towards a Hong Kong type of arrangement with China.

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TMedina
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Taiwan is a point of honor and principle than any meaningful strategic target.

As to whether or not we could successfully intervene...opinions differ wildly.

If we assume China's air offense/defense capability to be limited, the US and interested allies could dominate the airwar.

However, I would be loathe to underestimate China's ability to mass produce simple air defense measures - with our limited ability to provide timely reinforcements to the area, any loss would be difficult to absorb.

The sea/land front is again, another matter. As of last report, the US fleet is more technologically advanced, but whether or not that can provide a meaningful edge against Chinese numbers is another matter.

Additionally, how would Chinese forces bridge the gap from the mainland to the island? Would we be able to repel a human wave of landing craft? Do we have more ammunition then they have bodies to throw?

That said, I agree with the political and economic viewpoints listed - although with China's new pact with India, the US Military may not be able to claim technological superiority for much longer.

-Trevor

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TheHumanTarget
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TMedina,
What's interesting to point out about China's pact with India is that it's an econmic pact, not a military pact. The only way that it would make sense for India to support China is if China overtook the U.S. in affecting India's economy.

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TMedina
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I mentioned the new pact in terms of technological superiority.

India may never support China directly with military forces, but coupling India's software with China's hardware (how's that for innuendo?) means that China will have access to a sudden boost in effective technology.

And any significant increase in technology will see an inevitable manifestation in the technological sophistication of their military.

-Trevor

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Noemon
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I still say Sid's first post sounds like the text from an assignment sheet. The misspellings might make you think otherwise, but I've had many, many students who copied material down (writing out the questions before answering them and that sort of thing) who miscopied, inserting spelling and grammatical errors into the text as they went along.
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edgardu
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China is happy with the status quo. They'll only be forced to move if Taiwan officially declares itself a separate state. This is something no nation wants to happen as China will be forced to invade and US and allies will be honor bound to step in.

It is more in the US's interest to pressure Taiwan not to openly declare independence.

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Sid Meier
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[ROFL]

C'mon I WISH one of my teachers in highschool-college would assign me this kind of assignment. But NOOOO they have to be a bunch of stuck ups who follow the curiculum like fanatics. No actually since reading Shadow series I've been speculating about a China action vs Taiwan, but Ya Hong-Kong II is what I myself wish for since it is the best possibly non violent possibility.

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Lyrhawn
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Taiwan won't join with China until China's economic situation comes more closely into alignment with Taiwain's. Also, there are the basic issues of freedom and human rights. Taiwan will never trade down to China's system of rule. Who would trade away their human rights to a country that chased them away from the mainland to begin with 50 years ago?

As for how things would go if they wanted to do it forcefully, good luck. Taiwan's air force is nothing to shake a stick at, and will become only more powerful if the US sells them more advanced weapons. The air power on Okinawa enough could repel most of what China would throw at us. Their homegrown fighters are way behind ours technologically. Their Russian made Sukhois and Migs aren't bad, for the newer generation stuff, but still are no match for an American strike eagle squadron paired with AWACS and a nice supply of KC-135s.

Even if that couldn't deter them, we still have at least two active aircraft carriers in that area, with more that could be moved in to support. That's hundreds more planes. B-2's and F-117's could bomb any fixed emplacement Chinese radar stations, and our navy could easily shred their's to pieces. Regardless of the air and naval war, China just doesn't have the support to move a large ground force past the Formosa Strait. Not at the moment anyway. Their biggest advantage is numbers, and they won't have it anymore.

The current escalation in tensions, caused by both sides of the problem, is only making the situation more volatile, not less. I don't see China as able to make any real move on the Taiwan anytime soon. I doubt China would nuke Taiwan, there's just no point, they wouldn't get anything out of it, and they would receive such insane sanctions from the rest of the world, it would set them back developmentally for a century. I'd call it a stalemate.

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Sid Meier
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Well a 100 planes doesnt matter if you say have 1000 missles? If think its in China's capactity to have possible large amounts of them to reduce america's teck lead (assuming they fought now) plus their own super huge airforce beat them off long enough for China using both ambpibious and airborn troops to size a beach head/port inwhich to pour higly trained troops in + the sabatours and sleeper agents already in place to cause confusion. I think that if China took it by surprise and siezes the island fast enough they can hold against whatever america can throw. And without a close by area to build up a troops for an "overlord" stlye counter invasion America can't do a thing. This is assuming its a fight just between America and China you can never tell what all the other countries will do.
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Telperion the Silver
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We could totally own China if we really tried. They are still barely beyond 1970's tech. We have Aegis.

As for Taiwan we must defend them. Why? Because it was a compromise. After WWII we agreed that we would let the new China government be a permanent member of the UN Security Council in exchange for the independence of Taiwan which was now home to the orignal government of China.

That's why it blows my mind that China is still rabid about Taiwan. What? Don't they want to remain on the Security Council?

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urbanX
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quote:
And without a close by area to build up a troops for an "overlord" stlye counter invasion America can't do a thing.
Hey Sid, does Okinawa count as being close enough? It's only 384 miles from taiwan. It already has US military bases. Kadena AB has easily enough space for hundreds of aircraft. Fighter planes from Kadena can be over tawain in 15 minutes.
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TMedina
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China doesn't like losing face and Taiwan's bid for independence, however small, is an act of defiance.

As for China's inability to defend her airspace - we still lost planes over Iraq and I'm willing to bet China can muster more modern defenses than Iraq did.

And permit me to remind you, mixing Chinese hardware with Indian software is going to see a substantial increase in what China can field, particularly since they aren't shy about how they spend their money.

I also have reservations about "owning" China - that's a lot of ground and I don't believe the US Military, concerned with public relations, is willing to engage in the kind of war necessary to dominate such a massive ground force.

And with as much money as we've spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, can you imagine the bill for a China-Taiwan exchange?

Quick question though - does anyone else know off-hand what other countries, if any, support Taiwan in name, if not action?

-Trevor

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Lyrhawn
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Overwhelming China's air defenses wouldn't be that hard. Remember in 1990 Iraq was given a huge state of the art and incredibly expensive modern air defense network from Russia. It was supposed to be one of the best in the world, but American stealth aircraft bombed it into nonexistance.

You can have all the fancy ground emplacements you want, but if F-117's and B-2's can blow them up, they aren't really worth much are they?

I don't know about 'owning' China. Certainly we could crush their navy, and deal a massive blow to their air defense network, but that's really the extent of the damage we could do without mobilizing some huge force, which I don't think exists in the American military. All our ground troops are tied up in Iraq, which is a moot point anyway, as China's standing army outnumbers ours by a lot.

If we wanted to though, we could stop them from taking Taiwan. The only delicate issue is the nuclear one. Would the Chinese risk a nuke attack on Taiwan? Or Okinawa? Or mainland Japan? They are arrogant and unpredictable (much as the Americans are, but we aren't stupid enough to nuke anyone these days).

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Twk128
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Depends on a lot of things, naturally. Unfortuntely, I'd say that OSC's depictions of Chinese bureaucracy aren't too far off. Add the right instability to the political leadership, something possible due to the rabid indoctrination of their overall citizenry, to an unrealistically trigger-happy military and you have the recipe for a downward spiral.

And we do have the heart to use Nukes, we being the 'States. We just haven't had the reason to yet. China's belligerency would be adequate cause.

In the end, any "invasion" plans are built on self-delusion, a speciality of the ruling class here. Pride comes before a fall, they say, and there are few cultures more self-righteously proud than the Chinese. Especially when they know how close to false that pride is. If they are less than "great," then they feel that they are not in their rightful place in the world, and, while not a "wounded enemy" in any real sense of the term, will behave in some ways accordingly because of the self perception of reduced greatness or relevance.

At least, right now, popular indignation is directed towards Japan.

My 1.64 mao, or, if you prefer, 16.4 fen.

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Sid Meier
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Nice, remember noone expected German to go through the Ardennes not just once but TWICE!

Next, did Europe fight for the Sudutenland?

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TMedina
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The environmental blowback from a nuke or several would be far worse for China than anything it could gain from the now radioactive and useless real estate.

-Trevor

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orlox
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If I were China, my goal would be to make the US abandon Taiwan willingly and rejoin with the reluctant province much in the Hong Kong model.

The Chinese Navy is a long way from challenging the US but there are political and economic weapons that will prove much more effective anyway.

Taiwan is not really a viable state. Everybody knows that reunification will happen someday.

Most favorable conditions for the Chinese in these negotiations is to have the US pressuring Taiwan to come to terms.

Fortune is with the patient. Beyond the cavernous trade advantage, China has been underwritng American military adventures and indeed, America's own Social Security system through the purchase of treasuries by the billions. As near as I can tell, no one even knows exactly what the total debt is.

America is already in a weakened position and it is only getting worse. Already, China could devastate the US economy by flooding the market with the treasuries they already hold.

But pressure is a better strategy than a single blow in the long run. China will continue to buy. Occassionally, they may strategically NOT buy. Perhaps even sell some...

And the trade advantage will accrue.

And someday, probably sooner than later, it will be in America's interest to encourage Taiwan to negotiate terms.

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Noemon
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quote:
Taiwan is not really a viable state.
Could you elaborate on that?
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orlox
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Both sides want to reunify, just under what conditions. It is an island city that imports every scrape of food it eats.
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orlox
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I exaggerate a bit. Younger Taiwanese are more likeky to believe that they could maintain independence but even then they don't discount reunification as long as they get to vote.

And they have a thriving fishery etc. but still import the vast majority of their food. On the other hand, they can afford it.

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Noemon
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quote:
It is an island city that imports every scrape of food it eats.
Calling it an "island city" isn't really accurate. It's an island, yes, but it's only a little smaller than Maryland and Rhode Island combined, and it's got a number of cities (not to mention satellite islands with settlements of their own). Are you maybe thinking of Singapore?

[ April 15, 2005, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: Noemon ]

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Beren One Hand
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Should Taiwan support Japan's bid for a seat in the Security Council?

Edited to add:

Since my grandparents were farmers in Taiwan, I guess I should stick up for our agricultural prowess. [Smile]

quote:
According to the COA, there were approximately 307,000 hectares of rice fields in Taiwan in 2002, 25,000 hectares less than the previous year, producing 1.8 million tons on two crops. Rice harvest in Taiwan continued to exceed the annual demand. This surplus was largely attributed to changes in people's dietary habits....

 Over 30 types of fruit are cultivated in Taiwan. Such deciduous varieties as apples, pears, and peaches thrive at high elevations, while citrus fruits, bananas, pineapples, lychees, longans, mangoes, papayas, persimmons, loquats, and guavas
Taiwan Year Book

We don't have vast natural resources like China or the United States, but we won't exactly starve either. [Razz]

[ April 16, 2005, 01:43 PM: Message edited by: Beren One Hand ]

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orlox
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It is my understanding that only about 1 per cent of the land is used for permanent crops and that this tends to be in a small band between the mountains and the otherwise continuous urban sprall.

Regardless, I used the agriculture to support a hopelessly sweeping claim that the state isn't viable. Laziness mostly. Such a claim deserves more than a glib reference. Besides, in the global economy nobody feeds themselves any more. Even the American breadbasket imported more food than it exported this year.

I don't mean to remedy the situation with the proper argumentation. Again laziness. Not even the US recognizes Taiwan as an independent state and Taiwan itself remains committed to reunification so proper argumentation could be considered moot anyway.

[ April 16, 2005, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: orlox ]

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Cmcguckin
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First time here, thought I would add my two cents:

Besides our military's superiority (not in number but in quality, technology, etc.) and the fact that we have the second, third, and fourth largest Air Forces (AF, Navy, ANG), China has become dependent on a couple of things:

1) Trade with the U.S. - We could embargo all imports of Chinese-made goods. That would cripple their economy (more than it would hurt ours).

2) Foreign (Persian Gulf) Oil - China is locked into oil as much or more than we are. And since we have the most singularly lethal and effective naval force, we can prevent oil tankers from reaching China. Effectively shut down their ability to make war.

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fugu13
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The US trade deficit with China will be around $200 billion this year. Note that a lot of this is finished goods whose production is directed by US firms. A complete embargo on trade with China would ruin every economy in the world which participated in significant global trade, and likely a few of the others just from the general backwash.
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TMedina
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Seriously - take a look at the label the next time you go shopping.

The production and manufacturing workers have been feeling for years what the IT staffers are feeling now.

-Trevor

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