Japan, Koreas, China and Taiwan regional issues

Blackshoe

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
Taiwan for its size is rich, but its economy is about $680B vs china $18T. it can certainly increase its defense budget to 4% GDP from the current 2%. but they also have to consider the opposite political party. dramatically increase military spending doesn't go well with locals.
their best bet is asy. warfare, diesel sub, anti-ship/air/mobile sam, cruise missile etc etc. F35 etc. would take so much of their budget for everything else.
IMHO, bigger problem for Taiwan is they've maxed out on competency for the capability they have.

Or said differently, they've reached the point where even spending more to buy more systems might not get them that much, since I don't think they'd employ it terribly effectively. My experience with one other country in this thread title is they've hit that wall along time ago.

And buying more competence is much harder than buying more gear (especially when you've got a domestic industry that can manufacture the stuff).
 

swerve

Super Moderator
It should be noted that Germany didn't put its economy on to a war footing until 1942. If it had done that in 1939 things might have turned out a bit different.
The German economy was on a war footing in 1939, but for the war Hitler planned, not what happened. German plans were for a series of short, sharp, victorious wars, with rebuilding of the armed forces in between. That was largely because the economy couldn't support continuous all-out war until there had been conquests to loot. 1942 was when the Germans tried to adjust their economy to fit the new reality, using the territories they'd conquered. Much of the increases in production weren't achievable earlier. The resources were not to hand.

Many of the biggest weaknesses, such as the reliance on horse-drawn transport, were a consequence of the underlying economy not being able to provide enough motorised transport, however it was organised. The resources weren't there. A fully motorised army couldn't be fuelled.

Resources had to be reallocated to domestic freight transport in 1940-41 because the railways were on the brink of collapse from lack of investment (it had gone to arms production) & inland waterways were short of barges partly for the same reason & partly because of losses in the build-up for Sealion (thanks, RAF). There were physical limits, & the war economy kept running up against them. It got round manpower shortages by pulling in millions of workers from occupied territories, but at the cost of lower quality, & that wasn't possible until there had been conquests. It couldn't get round some others, such as oil.

Increasing production pre-war was limited by resources & imports. Paying for more imports needed exports to earn hard currency, but more exports meant less weapons production. Nevertheless, Germany was spending a very high proportion of national income on the armed forces, & squeezing consumption to pay for it.
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
And don't forget oil. one of the great restraints Germany and the main reason for their armed forces high reliance on horses for logistics and moving their field artillery was a lack of domestic crude oil production.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
And don't forget oil. one of the great restraints Germany and the main reason for their armed forces high reliance on horses for logistics and moving their field artillery was a lack of domestic crude oil production.
No gas and oil production 80 years later is still an issue and gave Russia a pass on some of their recent ugly behaviour due to German reliance on foreign fossil fuel. $hit canning their nuclear power production prior to having a viable replacement didn’t help either. Hopefully the crisis ends or new energy imports are found before next winter.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
And don't forget oil. one of the great restraints Germany and the main reason for their armed forces high reliance on horses for logistics and moving their field artillery was a lack of domestic crude oil production.
Yes, I said so.
Many of the biggest weaknesses, such as the reliance on horse-drawn transport, were a consequence of the underlying economy not being able to provide enough motorised transport, however it was organised. The resources weren't there. A fully motorised army couldn't be fuelled.
There were physical limits, & the war economy kept running up against them. It got round manpower shortages by pulling in millions of workers from occupied territories, but at the cost of lower quality, & that wasn't possible until there had been conquests. It couldn't get round some others, such as oil.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
don't know if this is true or not, ive not found it yet on Japanese news channels.
Japan always claim the 4 southern islands of Kuril (those closes to Hokaido). So it's not a false news, as it is already long standing claim, that goes back to end of WW2.


This Video can bit shown the latest development on the dispute. So whatever happens in Ukraine and Japan involvement with US and Western trade sanction to Russia, it's still part of old dispute.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member

A link past the paywall can be found here. In short, the LDP's Research Commission on Security panel is finalising a recommendation to Fumio Kishida, which they will make later this month, to raise defence spending to 2% of GDP within 5 years and obtain the ability to attack enemy bases. I think it more likely than not that both measures will be adopted, especially as the F-15JSI upgrade was reported to come with the ability to launch JASSM. Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine I thought we'd be looking at as much as 7-10 years to increase the budget to 2%, but now I think the LDP will want to get on with it.

For me the main question is what a doubling of the budget in 5 years would bring. We won't know until the updated National Security Strategy is released officially. But even hypothetically it's a question I struggle with. An extra $50 billion in current prices is a lot of money for defence forces like the SDF. And compared to something like the German military they seem to have a good availability rate of planes, ships and one would assume vehicles.

I'd be interested in any views as to what the SDF's shopping list is likely to be.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Interesting. I would hesitate to try and suggest what capabilities that they may acquire because it will depend upon what they will find politically acceptable domestically. The increase in defence spending itself is a big change and all the recent constitutional changes surrounding defence are still taking time or people to get used too. To many changes to quickly can be quite unsettling.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member

Japan has signed a defence access agreement with the UK. This will allow for faster deployment of personnel to each other's country and allow joint training and disaster relief. Such closer defence ties bodes well for the cooperation over the Tempest and F-X fighter projects.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
This article describes some of the debate wrt future SK naval requirements. It seems a K-SSN may have greater support than a carrier. Interesting decision for the US, either support it, try to talk SK out of this requirement or let the French partner with them. Any US support would mean Japan getting equal opportunity. Given NK advances with sub launched missiles and a desire for their own SSNs, any preventive actions on K-SSNs might sour US-SK relations. Even a French SK partnership would be a problem for the US as Japan might expect US support for a SSN of their own.
 
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Ananda

The Bunker Group

I put it in here cause it is not only related to Taiwan only, but throughout region of East Asia and probably the wholle Asia Pacific.

Biden being ask; 'you do not want to involve militarily in defending Ukraine, however are you going to involve militarily on Taiwan ?'

He then say yes he will do it on Taiwan. That's increase the ante on the game.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro

I put it in here cause it is not only related to Taiwan only, but throughout region of East Asia and probably the wholle Asia Pacific.

Biden being ask; 'you do not want to involve militarily in defending Ukraine, however are you going to involve militarily on Taiwan ?'

He then say yes he will do it on Taiwan. That's increase the ante on the game.
Looking at the footage on todays TV I’m not sure if Biden knows what he said.
Not for the first time the White House has been scrambling to assure the world that that’s not what he really said and the unchanged policy position is……..
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
at the footage on todays TV I’m not sure if Biden knows what he said.
Yeah, after he said that he seems bit lost a bit, but after that he confirmed it again. So I don't know what to make of this.

Because the question is quite straight forward, "you don't want to involve militarily on Ukraine, but are you want to do it with Taiwan". Still he did say in Poland in front of US serviceman to be prepared to go to Ukraine. Something that White House then rectify in hurry.

The White House tried to spin Biden’s comments as reiterating a commitment to “provide Taiwan with the military means to defend itself.” But Biden has previously ignored the practiced imprecision of his predecessors with regard to China and Taiwan during his presidency.
That's from NYT, however even with that, he is quite clear on saying that he will do further for Taiwan then just supply armament like in Ukraine.

Off course it is can also turn out later on with further effort by his team to push down the ante. If that happens it will raise further questions how serious other leadership can treat current US President comment.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Looking at the footage on todays TV I’m not sure if Biden knows what he said.
Not for the first time the White House has been scrambling to assure the world that that’s not what he really said and the unchanged policy position is……..
Well the White House haven't denied it or walked it back either. Neither has SECDEF “As the president said, our ‘One China’ policy has not changed. He reiterated that policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters at the Pentagon. US ‘playing with fire’ on Taiwan, China warns: Xinhua | Politics News | Al Jazeera So it's not a change in policy per se WRT the One China policy, but POTUS's stating that an invasion or blockade of Taiwan by the PRC is not acceptable.

What remains unsaid is that the US and other nations can reverse their One China policy stance and that would put the cat amongst the pigeons. The CCP thinks that the One China Policy is sacrosanct and unbreakable, but at the end of the day it still depends upon other nations wilful acquiescence. That can change.
 
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Ananda

The Bunker Group
So it's not a change in policy per se WRT the One China policy, but POTUS's stating that an invasion or blockade of Taiwan by the PRC is not acceptable.
Ngati the question is right now (at least from me), commitment from "giving Taiwan with military means to defend it self" and the comments from him on commitment to involved militarily and do more then what US did in Ukraine.

The first one is still in status quo, but the later one is something else and can raise the ante. White House comment to refocus on the first one, seems shown White House back doing some 'damage' control again. However if Biden still strongly shown on later one, even with Single China Policy commitment, this's clear intentions by his administration to do more then Ukraine.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Ngati the question is right now (at least from me), commitment from "giving Taiwan with military means to defend it self" and the comments from him on commitment to involved militarily and do more then what US did in Ukraine.

The first one is still in status quo, but the later one is something else and can raise the ante. White House comment to refocus on the first one, seems shown White House back doing some 'damage' control again. However if Biden still strongly shown on later one, even with Single China Policy commitment, this's clear intentions by his administration to do more then Ukraine.
I like to think that he's taken the ambiguity away and cleared the air. It is my thought that because of Ukraine, a clear unambiguous message must be sent to Beijing that any aggressive action towards Taiwan is off limits.
 

ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Well the White House haven't denied it or walked it back either. Neither has SECDEF “As the president said, our ‘One China’ policy has not changed. He reiterated that policy and our commitment to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters at the Pentagon. US ‘playing with fire’ on Taiwan, China warns: Xinhua | Politics News | Al Jazeera So it's not a change in policy per se WRT the One China policy, but POTUS's stating that an invasion or blockade of Taiwan by the PRC is not acceptable.

What remains unsaid is that the US and other nations can reverse their One China policy stance and that would put the cat amongst the pigeons. The CCP thinks that the One China Policy is sacrosanct and unbreakable, but at the end of the day it still depends upon other nations wilful acquiescence. That can change.
The Taiwan Relations Act H.R.2479 - 96th Congress (1979-1980): Taiwan Relations Act is not a treaty and does not allow for the US to defend Taiwan.

It defines a “Strategic Ambiguity” and calls for the US to take all means to help Taiwan defend itself.

That position has not changed and this is not the first time Biden has blundered and suggested military intervention to assist Taiwan. On each occasion his staff have scrambled to reassure that the US position is unchanged.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Taiwan Relations Act H.R.2479 - 96th Congress (1979-1980): Taiwan Relations Act is not a treaty and does not allow for the US to defend Taiwan.
To add onto your excellent post, let me add a backgrounder, the 1979 U.S.-P.R.C. Joint Communique switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
  • In the Joint Communique, the U.S. recognized the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.
  • The Joint Communique also stated that the people of the U.S. will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) is responsible for implementing U.S. policy toward Taiwan.
To maintain regional stability, the U.S. approach is governed by its One-China policy [PDF]. It is based on several documents, such as three U.S.-China communiqués reached in 1972, 1978, and 1982 — at the time that the Carter administration established diplomatic relations with the PRC in 1979, it pledged to have unofficial relations with Taiwan through the AIT.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
The Taiwan Relations Act H.R.2479 - 96th Congress (1979-1980): Taiwan Relations Act is not a treaty and does not allow for the US to defend Taiwan.
Did you really mean that the TRA does not allow for the US to defend Taiwan? Because the use of the US military (externally at least) is at the discretion of the President. The President does not have to declare war to deploy the US military.

The TRA does not state that the US must defend Taiwan regardless of the circumstances, but it doesn't forbid it from doing so either.

  • In the Joint Communique, the U.S. recognized the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.
I thought that I should mention that recently the US State Department removed the reference to both points from its website on relations with Taiwan.

The State Department then said that its underlying policy hadn't changed. However, if that's true one has to ask why those references were removed. It wasn't an accident, it was deliberate especially given the Chinese notice these sorts of things.

Now before anyone gets excited and accuses me of drinking any beverages not widely sold or consumed in the UK, I am not suggesting this one act has unilaterally changed long-standing US policy. But it is probably a sign that policy is being gradually revised. Sort of using China's salami-slicing tactics against it.
 
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koxinga

Well-Known Member
There is a difference between "the President and the Congress shall determine the appropriate action in response to any such danger." (as per the TRA) versus "yes, that is the commitment we made" to the question that will the US get militarily involved.

The issue was his choice of the word "commitment", in the context of the reporter's question. It was an explicit declaration, which is the type of language typically associated with a MDT (mutual defense treaty). The TRA does not make the commitment, but left it open ended.

Diplomats are careful about such commitments because it binds / creates the expectation that the US will response on their behalf to any provocation. I suppose Biden is "plain speaking" to be charitable, but it is a poor choice of words, especially when the reporter was clearly fishing for this type of response.
 
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