Where will World War III break out?Try Taiwan

Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Ever wondered where World War III broke out?

A clear and awkward consensus has emerged in the American national security community. Taiwan Strait It is the place most likely to have a major war between the United States and China. It may start soon, and such conflicts may soon escalate into a nuclear conflict.

In March, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the major US foreign policy organization, released a report concluding that Taiwan has become “the most dangerous flash point in the world.” There, a series of unique and awkward geopolitical developments collude to make shooting battles more likely than ever between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. Recently, Admiral John Aquilino, a newly appointed U.S. military commander in the Indo-Pacific region, said the potential for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to invade Taiwan was “much closer than we think.” It was.

Since the establishment of pro-Western governments on the island after Mao Zedong’s victory in the 1949 Chinese Civil War, Beijing has been conducting a patient and systematic campaign to reestablish the sovereignty of today’s prosperous island. It was. 24 million autonomous democracy with a high-tech-oriented economy and a strategically irreplaceable semiconductor industry.

Taiwan has an army of 300,000 members and more than 400 jet fighters, but the main deterrent to prevent Beijing from occupying the island was US military force. Washington’s “strategic ambiguity” policy has been successful for 40 years both in preventing China from occupying the island and discouraging Taiwanese from proclaiming independence. Current US policy officially recognizes China as the only Chinese state, but also promises military and political support to Taiwan. The Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 states that the United States “considers every effort to determine Taiwan’s future by means other than peaceful means as a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific and as a serious concern for the United States.” Is declared.

When Trump builds a cave to the west and throws Taiwan under the bus

Therefore, the United States has not promised to protect the island, but has left the option to do so. It also signaled Beijing that it tends to do so through various diplomatic and military channels. This policy, also known as “double deterrence,” has recently been under considerable pressure. Xi Jinping President, are intended to be realized sooner rather than later unification, quite severe, and even more has been providing a number of warlike message. Indeed, Xi sees today’s unification as an integral part of its “national rejuvenation” strategy, with China occupying its legitimate position on the world stage and he “increasing the importance of China. Given, as Xi said in a recent speech, “China must and will unite … we will not abandon the use of power.”

Chinese leaders refused to speak to President Donald Trump in 2016 until the United States reaffirmed that it would not change its “one China” policy, and Chinese officials have recently been even more relaxed than the Trump administration. Specific restrictions on US political and military communication with Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, have expressed fierce opposition to President Joe Biden’s decision to do so, calling this decision unjustified interference with China’s internal affairs. , Militaryly provocative.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Navy is the world’s most powerful navy after the US Navy, increasing the frequency and intensity of live-fire training in the Taiwan Strait. Chinese ships and aircraft regularly harass the US Navy and air patrols operating in the high seas of the South China Sea. Beijing diplomats have bullied neighbors like the Philippines and Vietnam, accepted their territorial claims, and accelerated campaigns to enter into exploitative contracts with Chinese companies.

A major concern for U.S. policy makers and military strategists is steadily improving the designed “no access / area denial” feature, as defense expert Michelle Fronoy wrote in a recent issue. That is. Diplomatic issues, “To prevent the United States from projecting military force into East Asia to protect its interests and allies. As a result, when a conflict begins, the United States no longer quickly achieves its aerial, space, or maritime advantage. You can’t expect it to. The US military will have to fight to gain an edge and maintain it in the face of ongoing efforts to disrupt and degrade the combat management network. “

Meanwhile, Beijing has also organized a sophisticated and complex information warfare campaign on Taiwan itself. According to Rush Doshi, director of the Brookings Institution’s China Strategic Project, the initiative means “supporting China’s favored candidates and instilling distrust in Taiwan’s democracy.” Beijing even dominates one of the island’s largest media conglomerates to form a favorable perception of what life under its control is, adopting many media outlets on the island Did.

Xi and his Chinese Communist colleagues share the view that most Western experts agree that the United States is a declining force and is no longer suitable for leadership in international affairs, not to mention East Asia. I will. This belief itself is a very volatile factor for Sino-US relations. That is because the United States tends to fuel Beijing’s sense of lack of interest in East and Southeast Asia and the willingness to protect its allies.

And there is the generally ominous problem of China’s long-term intent. Western international affairs and the majority of Chinese scholars now refuse to portray new claims in the Indo-Pacific region as an integral part of Beijing’s “peaceful rise”, with a strategy for regional hegemony in Asia, and perhaps Asia. In the long run, which we believe we are pursuing, it is even a direct challenge to US global leadership.

Among those who appear to be buying this interpretation of China’s foreign policy, we count President Joe Biden, who said on March 25: A powerful country in the world. That doesn’t happen on my watch. “

Biden’s China strategy is almost always off to a great start. This is primarily due to taking solid and dramatic steps at home and abroad to reach out to major allies and partners and rejoin many international organizations to support America’s declining fame and reputation. And pass the most ambitious domestic reform bill since the New Deal. In addition, he is a Japan-US-Australia-India Strategic Dialogue (India, Japan) with the aim of developing a joint strategy to contain China’s naval forces and strong diplomatic efforts to bring America’s Asian allies and partners into orbit. , Australia) warmly accepted.

But the feeling that China may sooner or later want to capture Taiwan before Biden mobilizes allies and redirects US military assets from the Middle East to the Pacific is active in the strategic world about the future of strategic ambiguity. Caused a lot of controversy. Richard Haass, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, Diplomatic issues Together with his colleague David Sachs, the policy went beyond its usefulness, arguing that Washington should declare that its troops would actually come to Taiwan’s aid to repel the Chinese invasion. Such a clear directive argues that Hass and Sax “can strengthen US-China relations in the long run by improving deterrence and reducing the risk of war in the Taiwan Strait.”

Three other major US-China relations scholars published a critique of Hassax’s essay a few weeks later. Diplomatic issues, And vice versa: Disambiguation would be seen as a very provocative move that could cause such an aggression by China. According to Bonnie S. Glaser of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, such a move “could force Xi’s hand because he could not take decisive action. [against the U.S. and Taiwan] It will expose him to domestic criticism and jeopardize his bid to become a lifelong leader in China. She argues that under current policy, “Xi is unlikely to endanger the interests of other China in urgently achieving this goal.” It is much better to issue a personal warning if the new U.S. president maintains official ambiguity and seems imminent about the serious consequences of carrying out such an operation on the Chinese president. good.

Land Corporation’s Michael J. Fox agrees with Glazer’s criticism of fully guaranteeing US aid. action. “And such a guarantee seems to require Taiwan to have important US troops stationed in Taiwan as a signal of determination, a move that will surely encourage China’s military response.” Instead of preventing it, “Mazar wrote. Security guarantees “can easily cause a series of inevitable conflicts.”

Other certainty to maintain the status quo as the Biden administration is in the business of developing basic rules and protocols with Beijing to restore US military deterrence and manage increasingly fierce competition. There is a reason. Biden could enthusiastically challenge China’s attack on Taiwan, given the sheer volume of island-mainland integration, given that the balance of power in the region has changed significantly. You need to seriously consider whether it makes strategic sense. A far more important issue for the people of Beijing and China than maintaining Taiwan’s autonomy is for the Biden administration and the people of the United States.

The prospect of a US military clash in the Taiwan Strait, which all experts agree, is unhappy. Taiwan is 100 miles from mainland China and 5,000 miles from the base of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. Given China’s formidable A2 / AD capabilities, the US military will suffer significant losses simply trying to sail into the strait, not to mention the intensifying conflict. It has long been an open secret in Washington that the Chinese team regularly beats the US team in Pentagon war games. In March of this year, Air Force Vice Admiral S. Clinton Hinote told Yahoo News that the US team had lost the “number” of recent war games and “it wasn’t the only one” in recent games (September last year). We were losing, but we were losing faster. “

Is maintaining Taiwan’s autonomy worth the lives of thousands of Americans? Or is it a nuclear war? To be sure, the answer is no longer a twist of “yes”.

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

Put your top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!

The Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside digs deeper into the stories that matter to you. learn more.

Posted on