China is Here, Mr. Burton July 8, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
Back in 2006 I spent some time pointing out the perils of China’s rapid military buildup, and noted that their strategy was to drive the US out of Asia and establish a Chinese hegemony. And of course, first on the list of tasty treats for the Chinese hegemonists would be Taiwan.
We’ve had a lot of discussions about the weakness of China’s economy and demographics, but I was never convinced that those were enough to stop China’s inexorable march forward. And now it appears that they weren’t – China thinks it has arrived:
The bad news first. The People’s Republic of China now believes it can successfully prevent the United States from intervening in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or some other military assault by Beijing.
…Beijing believes it can attack Taiwan or another neighbor while also bloodlessly deterring U.S. intervention. It would do so by deploying such overwhelmingly strong military forces — ballistic missiles, aircraft carriers, jet fighters, and the like — that Washington dare not get involved.
The knock-on effects of deterring America could be world-changing. “Backing away from our commitments to protect Taiwan, Japan, or the Philippines would be tantamount to ceding East Asia to China’s domination,” Roger Cliff, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, said at the same U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing on Jan. 30.
The author of the article claims that China is underestimating the importance of our nuclear submarines, and that may be so. Or maybe not.
In any case, this is part of China’s long-term strategy. The question is not if they’ll pull the trigger, but when. It’s just a question of their impatience vs. the perceived cost of making a move.
Which is why it makes a lot of sense for them to move before the current administration is replaced. I’m thinking 2016 will be ideal for them.