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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1536 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: South China Sea: Satellite photos 'show weapons' built on islands


If I'm China, and I'm dealing with a US President-Elect who has decided that the One China Policy is suddenly negotiable, I'm going to immediately throw a bunch of defensive weapons systems all over the Spratlys, too.

Trump rolls back his Taiwanese gambits: you take down the CIWS and hide them in the warehouses for next time.

Trump refuses to roll back his Taiwanese gambits: you act like you own the South China Sea, point out that the only other claim is that of a genocidal madman, and draw attention to the hypocrisy of the United States and the Caribbean.

We've long known China intends to own the waters around Southeast Asia. They've just calculated that now's the time to make their play. I think they've got it.

user-inactivated  ·  1536 days ago  ·  link  ·  

China is all about the long game. All they have to do is be a few steps ahead of Trump and feed him bait to get what they want. And now we have the President of the Philippines admitting to personally killing prisoners when he was a mayor? If I was Taiwan, I'd be a bit concerned right now.

kleinbl00  ·  1536 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'd be shitting bricks.

China isn't going to take Taiwan militarily. But I can see them arranging the world around Taiwan such that annexing them and turning them into a Hong Kong/Macau special economic zone is the only viable way forward. I don't know near enough about the conflict but I know their president has been in office since May and I wonder if China makes a big show about "amnesty" and "acceptance" and the "New Middle Kingdom", might they be able to take it back?

Trump ain't gonna do shit and anybody after is gonna be too late.

user-inactivated  ·  1536 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    China isn't going to take Taiwan militarily.

Military action fucks up all the money being made. Before 2016 I'd argue that the US and China won't ever go to war because the $2 Trillion or so in mutual trade would evaporate before the first shells hit their targets. Besides, you and I know how that war would go. War declaration, big naval battle, second big naval battle or maybe a massive air campaign, then the loser of that second battle lobs nukes. War over in a week. Rats and cockroaches left to celebrate victory.

    But I can see them arranging the world around Taiwan such that annexing them and turning them into a Hong Kong/Macau special economic zone is the only viable way forward.

Yea, sort of where I see it as well. All they have to do is wait it out, and the Chinese have a habit of doing just that. Economies hate uncertainty. If the Chinese can find a way to not screw up the mess going on now in Hong Kong, they may have an "in" when it comes to talks with Taiwan over the Trump Presidency years. We have docs from Hong Kong and Taiwan in the hospital complex and I'd love to have the time to get to hang out with them and see where their heads are at.

kleinbl00  ·  1536 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There's a great quote in Asia's Cauldron where Kaplan is talking to some Vietnamese general about how amazingly friendly everyone is to him, even though he's an American. The general says (paraphrasing) "but Mr. Kaplan - Vietnam only went to war with you once! We've been at war with China for a thousand years and they're our largest trading partner!"

China has just enough WMD to convince you not to fuck with them. I also doubt they've got anything resembling the readiness of the American arsenal. But it won't come to that - they've got a piece on the big board which means they get to play Diplomacy for Grownups and they didn't even need to buy a whole Strategic Air Command. Anybody with any sense knows that you don't practice anything other than asymmetrical warfare if you want to be a world power - which is why the Chinese have focused their defenses on making US operations in the pacific theater unsafe, not unthinkable. All they have to do is arrange for the least disruptive move to be letting them snake Taiwan and control the China Sea and they're pretty much good.