China on Taiwan: The Last Resort is Fighting to Unify

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Talented leaders never want to go to war but are always ready for war in any circumstance, knowing that peace is only a delay and a readiness to fight. Peace can only be maintained if the defense force is strong enough to counter-destroy the enemy. If China loses Taiwan, its ambition will be dashed, but the use of consolidated military power to unify it will be disastrous. The United States and its allies will send a large number of missiles to the island, including forming an anti-China coalition movement, confiscating all Chinese assets on US soil and allies, imposing severe economic sanctions on trade with China, and possibly blocking China’s shipping lanes. China, besides losing both its military and its economy, has damaged its international image and its goal of becoming a world superpower, as well as facing the difficulty of controlling over 23 million Taiwanese.

Furthermore, Japan will embrace the opportunity to strengthen its military in order to safeguard national security. China continues to adhere to Deng Xiaoping’s principle that “strong men must not give up their own last resort” amid the tough scenario of Taiwan’s unification. The phrase “Chinese last resort”, in Chinese leaders’ minds means “to raise troops to attack.” China too believes that complicated issues will present possibilities. “It is not necessary to be a fool to cry over a problem; but, it is necessary to be a great person to convert a problem into an opportunity.” So, how should China proceed?

There is no distinction between right and wrong in battle; only who can win and survive. The courageous and hero triumph, but the dead, even the corpse are unable to be cremated. For China, be extremely cautious, and if you must fight, win quickly. China prevailed using the classic Chinese strategic game of Weiqi of winning without fighting.  The Weiqi game suggests that China must first discover a checkmate point and cut Taiwan’s relations from the rest of the world. Taiwan must be besieged and isolated. This is a psychological and strategic battle to ensure that if an armed conflict arises, China will easily win. “Before fighting, the wise must think ahead and seek victory,” Sun Wu stated.

China has urged some countries to cut diplomatic ties and stop trading with Taiwan in order to ensure its victory in the diplomatic and economic battles. To win the battle, the Chinese army has prepared for the largest siege in the 21st century and prepared both strategically and psychologically. China sees Taiwan’s breathe and hope has always been based on the United States and allies. Therefore, China’s main obstacles to unifying Taiwan are the US and allies. China, which regards the South China Sea as its territorial integrity, has expanded its air bases, navies, and artificial islands to equip the South China Sea with military technology and communications.

To do so, China would have to increase its standby power and extend its control over the surrounding area. China also sees that even if it beats Taiwan, defeating the United States in Asia will depend on its naval and air forces. Therefore, building a strong navy and air force have become top priorities for China. After expanding its power in the South China Sea, China has expanded its naval presence in the East China Sea to confront Japan and the United States in the Pacific. China regularly sends warships and reconnaissance aircraft, fighter jets, and drills in these two seas, and then flies around Taiwan.

In December 2016, the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning held a naval exercise in the Yellow Sea, provoking a confrontation with US troops in South Korea. Two days later, they moved to the south to train in the East China Sea, facing US and Japanese troops. A day later, on December 25, China launched an aircraft carrier into the Strait of Miyako, near the US military base on Okinawa. Then they move around the Taiwan Strait from north to east and enter the Bashi Channel to conduct exercises in the South China Sea for more than 10 days.

It entered the Taiwan Strait from the South China Sea after the exercise. Currently, Chinese aircraft carriers and fighter jets, as well as Chinese ships, are actively operating in those seas and straits. China is also building a third aircraft carrier and intends to increase its aircraft fleet by 2030. China also sees that if war breaks out, the United States and allies could block trade routes in the Strait of Malacca, which would have a serious impact on China’s economy. Perhaps it is because of these reasons  that China is trying to significantly expand its influence over Burma and oppose international sanctions imposed on Burma’s military regime. China has also offered to transport goods directly through Burma to China, besides to building oil and gas pipelines.

By besieging these major seas, China could also directly threaten Taiwan and cut off arms supplies if war broke out. According to US strategists, China is likely to invade Taiwan by 2027. But this is only the conclusion of the last resort. China may have to control Taiwan’s airspace and sea and cause internal divisions first. Only then can China force Taiwan to unite peacefully. Even if the war is to be fought, it may be psychological warfare. In addition, by disturbing and threatening Japan and provoking tensions with India, which led to a slight clash, including the threat of a disputed country in the South China Sea, it also poses a threat to Taiwan. The United States and its allies, as well as Taiwan itself, have sought to respond to China’s strategy by stepping up anti-China forces and increasing their commitment to defending Taiwan and increasing arms sales to the island in response to Chinese threats.

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