Japan, Koreas, China and Taiwan regional issues

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member



Apparently the US ambassador didn't take questions - but I guess he didn't need to. Just being there was a sign that Biden isn't going to roll-back Trump's last minute relaxation of regulations on meetings with Taiwanese officials.

At this point, does China wonder if it can split Taipei and Washington through concessions to the US, or does it just give up and assume it's in for another rocky 4 years?
|"Whipps said nobody could dictate who his Pacific country of fewer than 20,000 people was friends with, recalling China’s decision in 2017 to effectively ban tour groups, branding it an illegal destination due to its lack of diplomatic status."|

Ah...thats why. For years Lion Air had often charterflights from Denpasar to Macau, then continue to Palau, and after that back again via Macau to Denpasar (DPS-MFM-ROR-MFM-DPS), but suddenly before the Covid-19 pandemic these flights stopped.
 

CheeZe

Active Member
Things are getting rather tense again in the Taiwan area.

China flanks Taiwan with military exercises in air and sea (msn.com)
Taiwan warns it will fight to 'the very last day' if attacked as China steps up its military activity nearby (msn.com)

And the USN continues to exercise its right to freedom of navigation.
U.S. warship transits Taiwan Strait amid China tensions (msn.com)

Quite honestly - I'm not sure what has caused the PRC to decide to ratchet up the tensions. Did I miss something from my COVID bunker?

As a whole, this production seems rather self-defeating. If they're trying to coax the Taiwanese into the One China camp, they're not going to achieve it by threatening them. If the goal is to intimidate them, I don't see the Taiwanese treating this any differently than previous intimidation attempts.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Xi either doesn't know the story of the sun & the north wind, or doesn't believe it. He consistently chooses bullying & intimidation over diplomacy. To him, looking strong seems to be an end, not an aim.
 

Arji

New Member
If the goal is to intimidate them, I don't see the Taiwanese treating this any differently than previous intimidation attempts.
From a logistical standpoint, everytime China encroach on Taiwanese airspace, the Taiwanese will have to scramble jets. They do this over and over again, not only as a way to intimidate and test their readiness, but to inflict attritional damage, racking up operational cost, jet fuel, and wear and tear of Taiwanese equipment. It's probably only a part of it, but it's multiple birds with one stone kind of deal.

And it's not just jet, this tactics probably applies to the sea portion as well.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
not just jet, this tactics probably applies to the sea portion as well.
Agree probably it is part of PRC tactics on atrition game with ROC. However playing atrition strategy also cut both ways. PLAN and PLAF on doing this will be cost them more as they are need to be in sea and air longer than ROC assets.

In paper with PRC much bigger resources they can do it longer than ROC. However just wandering can PLAN-PLAF continue doing it at similar frequencies if they are also has to prepared similar agresive patrol in SCS and in East Sea against Japan ? PRC at same time opening multiple fronts. This is one thing that I don't get on PRC way of thinking, instead focus one by one, they are opening multiple fronts of confrontation in same time. Their resources is huge, but not limitless.
 

Arji

New Member
This is one thing that I don't get on PRC way of thinking, instead focus one by one, they are opening multiple fronts of confrontation in same time
Probably because most of the world is still distracted by domestic issues (COVID, etc), probably because Biden is still new in office, probably because they can afford to with their positive post-Covid economic outlook... Could be all of them I suspect.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Agree probably it is part of PRC tactics on atrition game with ROC. However playing atrition strategy also cut both ways. PLAN and PLAF on doing this will be cost them more as they are need to be in sea and air longer than ROC assets.

In paper with PRC much bigger resources they can do it longer than ROC. However just wandering can PLAN-PLAF continue doing it at similar frequencies if they are also has to prepared similar agresive patrol in SCS and in East Sea against Japan ? PRC at same time opening multiple fronts. This is one thing that I don't get on PRC way of thinking, instead focus one by one, they are opening multiple fronts of confrontation in same time. Their resources is huge, but not limitless.
The PRC are now starting to use gray warfare against Taiwan from the looks of it. They have been doing the same against India in the Himalayas. Its just short of all out war and if starts getting out of hand they can decrease the pressure without being defeated in battle. I wouldn't be surprised if they use it against the Japanese soon WRT the Senukaku Islands.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
From a logistical standpoint, everytime China encroach on Taiwanese airspace, the Taiwanese will have to scramble jets.
It might have been a valid tactic for a while, but the Taiwanese government said recently they're no longer scrambling every time Chinese planes fly towards Taiwan - instead they're now tracking them with air-defence batteries. That rather implies they know what Beijing's game is and are refusing to play.

So there has to be a different reason these flights are being continued.
 
Last edited:

weaponwh

Member
As a whole, this production seems rather self-defeating. If they're trying to coax the Taiwanese into the One China camp, they're not going to achieve it by threatening them. If the goal is to intimidate them, I don't see the Taiwanese treating this any differently than previous intimidation attempts.
well tension always been high when DPP in charge(or whoever doesn't recognize 92 consensus), US & china relation is not good either in recent years. then there is the US ambassador visit + join coast guard between US & taiwan, which china likely gonna respond. Usually they respond with some military exercise near taiwan after some join venture between US & taiwan or DPP election that china is not happy with. think 96. also china military on the raise over the decades, so they might just start doing these exercise as regular event now. Now if KMT get elected again and recognize 92 consensus etc, the tension should get lower in the region.
 
Last edited:

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
well tension always been high when DPP in charge(or whoever doesn't recognize 92 consensus), US & china relation is not good either in recent years.
1. In Taiwanese domestic politics, parliamentary brawls in the legislative Yuan is the norm (BBC has covered this) — DPP foreign policy is an extension of their domestic approach, of political theatre over substance. It’s like a reality show gone wrong, in a country where politicians are thugs and the thugs are throwing improvised explosive devices in Taipei's red-light district — as part of their dispute management method.

2. Punching, hair pulling, throwing plastic bottles and water balloons, as well as splashing cups of water on the faces of rival party legislators are common scenes in Taiwanese politics. Air-horns and filibustering — more like shouting — are also used to drown out one's opponents. I would suggest that it’s not a good idea to try to treat the CCP in China the way DPP treats KMT at home. It is the norm for Taiwanese legislators to throw chairs at each other when they brawled over the ruling DPP's bills, which the opposition (headed by the KMT) will always claim benefits cities and counties loyal to the DPP and is aimed at helping the party win forthcoming elections.

3. Tensions with China is a calculated DPP choice; and I am not sure that foreign countries like the US, Japan or Australia should approve or take sides between the differing cross-straights choices made or to be made by DPP or KMT. DPP raises tensions with China for political gain; and to gain support for their intermittent weapons build programs for armoured vehicles, jets, ships and submarines.

4. Taiwan needs a bi-partisan approach to dealing with China and deciding on appropriate funding levels for the domestic weapons build programs; if not they will just keep flip-flopping at every change of government. There is no doubt Taiwan is deliberately under-investing in defence by choice under both DPP and KMT; so I am not sure how they can be helped, if they don’t want to help themselves.
 
Last edited:

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
Usually they respond with some military exercise near taiwan after some join venture between US & taiwan or DPP election that china is not happy with. think 96.
Except that previously it was a one-off occurance. Now it's every week, with no sign of stopping. That is an escalation by the CCP.

China is also doing the same to Japan, constantly making it scramble for no obvious reason other than that Tokyo has an independent foreign policy that doesn't always align with Beijing's.
 

weaponwh

Member
Except that previously it was a one-off occurance. Now it's every week, with no sign of stopping. That is an escalation by the CCP.

China is also doing the same to Japan, constantly making it scramble for no obvious reason other than that Tokyo has an independent foreign policy that doesn't always align with Beijing's.
when DPP in charge and doesn't recognize the 92 consensus, we know the relationship between taiwan/china gonna cool down. Also unlike 2001ish when DPP was in charge, china military/economy was very different . their military/economy is advancing, anyone can see they gonna have regular exercise due to these advancement, before they just dont have the capability/tension wasn't high enough and lock the financial support to do these exercise all the time. also i can see if say KMT in charge, they may well lower the exercise rate. as china military/economy advance, they are going to expand these exercise, i haven't seen any power doesn't increase their military spending/training when their economy is growing at 6%+, especially given the tension in the region.
as for that one time thing in 96, china military back then was outdated, which why they revamp their military after 96. so in term of economy/military of china today, its night and day difference. we can't expect same thing like in 96, they would just backoff when US carrier group passing through taiwan strait. as china economy/military grow, these exercise may well become regular event, especially if tension is high in the region.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
when DPP in charge and doesn't recognize the 92 consensus, we know the relationship between taiwan/china gonna cool down.
The DPP also won the 2016 election, not just the 2020 election. There's no actual reason for the sudden surge in incursions based on previous behaviour.

You also ignored by point about Japan. Why is the CCP threatening Japanese airspace so regularly now?

Also unlike 2001ish when DPP was in charge, china military/economy was very different.
The PLA are not doing anything particularly sophisticated, they're flying aircraft into Taiwan's ADIZ. That's not exactly challenging.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
when DPP in charge and doesn't recognize the 92 consensus, we know the relationship between taiwan/china gonna cool down. Also unlike 2001ish when DPP was in charge, china military/economy was very different . their military/economy is advancing, anyone can see they gonna have regular exercise due to these advancement, before they just dont have the capability/tension wasn't high enough and lock the financial support to do these exercise all the time. also i can see if say KMT in charge, they may well lower the exercise rate. as china military/economy advance, they are going to expand these exercise, i haven't seen any power doesn't increase their military spending/training when their economy is growing at 6%+, especially given the tension in the region.
as for that one time thing in 96, china military back then was outdated, which why they revamp their military after 96. so in term of economy/military of china today, its night and day difference. we can't expect same thing like in 96, they would just backoff when US carrier group passing through taiwan strait. as china economy/military grow, these exercise may well become regular event, especially if tension is high in the region.
Of course you are ignoring the fact that one major source of tension in the region are the illegal actions of the PRC itself in the SCS.
 

weaponwh

Member
The DPP also won the 2016 election, not just the 2020 election. There's no actual reason for the sudden surge in incursions based on previous behaviour.

You also ignored by point about Japan. Why is the CCP threatening Japanese airspace so regularly now?



The PLA are not doing anything particularly sophisticated, they're flying aircraft into Taiwan's ADIZ. That's not exactly challenging.
dpp win election in 2016, the result was dramatic cooldown between the two after the current taiwness president decide against 92 consensus. taiwan tourist industry hurt badly after that.
whenever pro-independence party win, the relation between china-taiwan cool down, 96, 2001 ish . the surge of flyover is difference of capability between current china vs china in 96/2001. if china had the military capability back in 96 as right now, they gonna use it back then.

as for japan, its the same, china military/economy grows, they gonna train their pilots/sailor, given flash point is in the region. Heck i fully expect china to start doing regular exercise over ScS in the near future as their military continue to grow. As long they are not fly into territory airspace, not much can be done with it. Just like we have right to do FON, we can't prevent them from fly over international space. beside, china is japan largest trading partner, so i doubt things will go too far. Japan/SK also been quite over HK/xinjian issue too. historically, i haven't seen any rising power not exercise their new grow power.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
@weaponwh and @Musashi_kenshin, despite the fact that both of you have an in-depth understanding of the issues, both of you are talking past each other deliberately.

1. One of you is supportive of China, without being critical of the CCP’s choices — which in my view is harmful to China’s long term interests — different choices might yield better results that address China’s geo-political concerns. Some of China’s choices are seen as a real threat to her regional neighbours, which will lead to poorer outcomes as China’s power and influence grows; in this regard how Xi’s team manages Beijing’s relationship with Manila, Jakarta and Taipei bears watching (viz a viz the contest for influence against Tokyo and Washington).

(a) As Collin states: “Clearly, the PLA Navy is staging aggressive patrols from those outposts located within the Philippine EEZ, primarily Mischief Reef where the Houbei missile craft were spotted during air patrol by AFP late last month. This is nothing short of worrisome.” I agree with him that as the PLA(N) actively involved in the patrols, there are higher chances of it being called upon by CCG to respond if the latter is confronted by any ASEAN naval vessel. PLA(N) surface combatants are often superior other local navies they confront.​
(b) To use one example to illustrate, the US Navy’s P-8 aircraft already operate from Japan, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. Does China want to force Indonesia’s hands (when it is nominally non-aligned)?​
(c) Beijing issued new threats against Taiwan at a time of near unprecedented tensions around the island nation, saying its military "won't stand a chance" if China chose to invade. See : China Issues New Threats to Taiwan: ‘The Island’s Military Won’t Stand a Chance’

2. The other of you is supportive of Taiwan, without being critical of the DPP’s choices — which in my view is harmful to Taiwan’s long term interests — different choices might yield better results.

(a) Turns out that it’s not only China that’s supposedly unhappy over Singapore’s military training in Taiwan — some Taiwanese aren’t that happy with it either. Specifically, Taiwanese villagers who have been protesting against the SAF, and even throwing “missiles” at the Singapore flag, when they have an issue with the Taiwanese authorities — typical political BS of blaming others when it is a purely local Taiwanese issue. I would like to thank the DPP for forcing a choice — of continuing to train in Taiwan but to re-focus it on specific areas that can’t be easily replicated in Australia.​

(b) As I see it, DPP likes to force choices on others, such that even friendly Singapore has had spend billions to redeploy to new training locations like Guam and scale up exercises in Australia, instead of keeping to the status quo. Taiwanese behaviour is driving the Singapore Army to scale down and re-focus its military exercises in Taiwan. It is easy to understand that Singapore’s unilateral military training in Taiwan enhances Taiwanese security — but this relationship that Singapore maintains is seemly not appreciated by some politicians in Taiwan.​

(c) In contrast to Taiwan, the welcome mat is put out by the Australians for Singaporean troops in Shoalwater Bay and this is done under the glare of the media in both countries — in a manner that affirms that both countries are best mates, no matter who is in power in Australia.​

3. Biden’s foreign policy team are professionals and there are hard limits to their engagement with Taiwan — despite the bipartisan support to be more firm in meeting the State Department’s obligations under the Taiwan Relations Act. They are not going to rush in to judgment like Trump or make the same diplomatic mistakes of Bush II.

4. The Taiwanese need to help themselves by being consistent, instead of stirring tensions and crying wolf. Unlike Taiwan, Japan is doing well in managing her tensions with China and developing geo-political options along with a naval force structure that serves as an effective counter to these growing PLA(N) naval and grey zone threats as represented by China’s People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM), unlike Taiwan’s belated and incoherent defence planning.

5. Can we all please engage in some reflexivity, so that we can learn from each other? Many thanks.
 
Last edited:

Musashi_kenshin

Active Member
OPSSG, you've made some fair points about Taiwanese domestic politics in the past. My comments were merely to address the suggestion that the PLA's now routine incursions are consistent with previous behaviour.

As I see it, DPP likes to force choices on others
No comment on ties with Singapore, as I know so little about them. It may be well that Singapore should be welcomed more warmly.

However, I have little sympathy with the US being forced to make decisions, because for a long time Taiwan (and even East Asia) was a neglected policy area, with former presidents making concessions to Beijing for no reason other than they appeared to be following the Chamberlain appeasement strategy - and I used to hear cynical comments about State Department officials retiring to quickly take up positions with consultancy firms that had lucrative contracts with Chinese businesses/organisations.

Taiwan is obviously important to the global economy due to its chip production. When supplies were good, countries took that for granted and spurned attempts for high-level talks. Then recently there was a supply problem, and suddenly even countries like Germany that are relatively pro-China were falling over themselves to get in touch with Taipei to discuss the situation. That doesn't really teach Taiwanese political parties how to interact in a positive way on the international stage, because it implies you need to cause problems to get attention.

Sort of on that note, it looks like the Trump administration's last minute changes to rules on direct links have been codified with a modifications.


Also a paywall free link here.

US officials can meet more freely with their Taiwanese counterparts under new Biden administration guidelines, in the latest move by the White House aimed at checking increased aggression by China in the region. The new rules, which were issued by the US state department on Friday, according to American officials, will ease decades-old restrictions that have hampered meetings between American and Taiwanese diplomats.

...

Under the new guidelines, US officials will be able to regularly host Taiwanese officials at federal government buildings. They will also be permitted to meet their counterparts at Taiwan’s economic and cultural offices, which serve as de facto embassies and consulates. US officials will also be able to attend events at Twin Oaks, a 17-acre estate in Washington that served as the residence of the Republican of China (Taiwan) ambassador until the US switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

But the US official said there would still be some “guard rails”, such as not allowing officials to attend functions at Twin Oaks on major Taiwanese holidays that might complicate the One China policy.
....
Although this is being spun (presumably by the State Department) as making both China and Taiwan happy, I don't think that Beijing will be pleased that there are now formal rules to allow for more high-profile meetings between US and Taiwanese officials. Granted they probably knew it was coming in some way, but I expect they still hoped it might not happen.

Hopefully more meetings between key personnel will lead to less risky behaviour and a more coordinated approach to regional issues.
 

weaponwh

Member
i dont think i'm support of mainland, there are many issue with its government. such as their claim over SCS is overreaching. But i also think both mainland taiwan has its own issue. many mainland chinese are overly nationalistic, and the ccp has no issue to use that. i also think China overreacting whenever some parliament member from some country x criticizing them. They also use their "wolf warrior" tactic abit too much.
as for taiwan, sometime watching their party dispute between each other is like watching amateur MMA.
 

CheeZe

Active Member
Any country and government is open to criticism. Your statement, however, blends the population and the government. The population of mainland China cannot be conflated with the CCP, just as we cannot say every Russian is a supporter of Putin. Just as many mainland Chinese are nationalistic, the opposite is equally true. Many are not at all. I've met right-wing Japanese nuts who claim nothing wrong happened in China. Likewise with Malaysians vis-a-vis Singapore. Some might say I am nationalistic about Singapore, though I don't think so. I just tend not to voice my criticism in public or amongst the many friends who work for the Singapore government.

For all the various faults in the regional governments, however, the PRC is one of two which are causing the most instability and insecurity in the region. The other being N. Korea, for obvious reasons. Since the PRC is a cause of rising tensions, blame is rightly placed on them. They are making themselves look like the villain to many countries and people.
 
Top