Japan, Koreas, China and Taiwan regional issues

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
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.
Oh yeah, in that respects diplomats aren't completely unlike lawyers. They like nice-sounding but vague language that doesn't commit their nation to anything more than it has to do.

Like the treaties over Ukraine's sovereignty. In 2014, US diplomats no doubt made a lot of comments along the line of "oh, well Ukraine we're sorry if you thought we were promising to defend you if Russia started slicing bits off you, but no that wasn't what we were doing. Bet you wished you'd held on to those nuclear weapons now, am I right?"

But sometimes politicians make statements that overstep those nice, carefully worded documents and a country has to suck it up one way (stand by the new agreement) or another (not abide by it and lose credibility with other friendly states).
 
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weaponwh

Member
dont think that really matter, china had always been creating their plan/build up around US intervention since 96. otherwise they would invade taiwan years ago. Their assumption is US maybe japan will intervene, and they are building their military/plan around that.
 

koxinga

Well-Known Member
dont think that really matter, china had always been creating their plan/build up around US intervention since 96. otherwise they would invade taiwan years ago. Their assumption is US maybe japan will intervene, and they are building their military/plan around that.
It is the job of any military to assume the worst and have a plan for it. But plans are just that, plans. Xi's perception of the risks/rewards of invading Taiwan will drive which plan to choose and to what extent of execution they will take.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
otherwise they would invade taiwan years ago.
China would prefer not too invade; would rather wait or hope that the political environment becomes conducive for peaceful reunification. If it felt it had no choice however then it would invade and would be willing to enter into a conflict with the U.S. should it intervene.

 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
dont think that really matter, china had always been creating their plan/build up around US intervention since 96. otherwise they would invade taiwan years ago. Their assumption is US maybe japan will intervene, and they are building their military/plan around that.
Years ago they didn't have the capability to pull off a successful invasion. Even now it's still risky. You must remember that the CCP's political validity and future within the PRC hinges upon a successful investment of Taiwan if they decide to invade. Don't forget it's a core policy and they cannot afford to fail. If they launch an invasion and it all turns to custard, the CCP will be in real political trouble, because even it won't be able to hide such a military disaster.

Next point is that we know the PLA is riddled with corruption, but what is unknown is how much that corruption has impacted upon the PLA's combat capability. Is it the same as the impacts as evidenced in the Russian military performance in Ukraine? They looked really good in exercises, but then they were mostly scripted. The PLA looks good in exercises too and they are mostly scripted. How will their C2 and troops respond when live rounds are coming their way and it's a real enemy who has a script and plan of their own? That is the question.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
If they launch an invasion and it all turns to custard, the CCP will be in real political trouble, because even it won't be able to hide such a military disaster.
Whoever heads the CCP and his underlings will be in trouble; not the CCP itself. It's reputation might be tarnished and it might lose some support but its overall political position would remain unchanged; there is no opposition and I can't see China's masses rising up against the CCP.

We also have to take note that although a portion of the public might not be in favour of the CCP or its leadership; doesn't mean they are opposed towards an invasion of Taiwan; don't subscribe to the notion of Taiwan being an integral part of China and are opposed to the idea of the U.S. and its allies of interfering in a Chinese domestic dispute and trying to block China's rise.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Whoever heads the CCP and his underlings will be in trouble; not the CCP itself. It's reputation might be tarnished and it might lose some support but its overall political position would remain unchanged; there is no opposition and I can't see China's masses rising up against the CCP.

We also have to take note that although a portion of the public might not be in favour of the CCP or its leadership; doesn't mean they are opposed towards an invasion of Taiwan; don't subscribe to the notion of Taiwan being an integral part of China and are opposed to the idea of the U.S. and its allies of interfering in a Chinese domestic dispute and trying to block China's rise.
The CCP is having a rough time in the cities that are locked down. There have been recent protests in Shanghai over the lockdown because of people starving to death or unable to obtain medical treatment. The protests haven't been aimed at Xi, but at the CCP. People have also complained on Weibo and other social media sites and the censors are being over worked taking the posts down, hence posts ended remaining up a lot longer than normal. That's unusual because the 50 cent army is usually highly effective.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
I could be wrong but despite all the dissatisfaction against the CCP; it's position is still extremely secure and things haven't reached a stage where people are actually advocating the removal of the CCP.

A Taiwan invasion that goes wrong will be a huge embarrassment for the CCP and would lead to discontent but whether it actually effects the ability of the CCP to continue to lead the country is IMO doubtful.
 

koxinga

Well-Known Member
Dissatisfaction with CCP's handling of the COVID lockdowns doesn't translate to popular dissent. We need to be careful about projections on how Chinese citizens actually feel about the situation. From the point of a Western person, the social controls that CCP imposed would be unacceptable in their society. But from the Chinese citizen's perspective, I don't think it is the same.

Strictly an opinion
The younger generation are more vocal and complain about restrictions such as this, but they also deeply invested in idea of China's rise as a superpower. While they are ambivalent about the CCP, changing the political system is probably seen as directly seen as a direct threat to those ambitions. Nationalism trumps communism in China these days. If the Great Leap Forward/Cultural Revolution did not result in regime change, I doubt the situation today is a deal breaker.

Re Taiwan,
Those who are prepared to accept Taiwan as an independent country in China is a minority and that is taking into account CCP suppressing these people who believe so. So armed action against Taiwan is likely to have support and even a failed invasion is unlikely to change their internal political situation.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
Dissatisfaction with CCP's handling of the COVID lockdowns doesn't translate to popular dissent.
No it doesn't indeed but could be the start of more forms of dissent over other things in the future and would be viewed with concern by the political leadership; a shape of things to come if in the future certain things are not addressed to public satisfaction; a sign.

The younger generation are more vocal and complain about restrictions such as this, but they also deeply invested in idea of China's rise as a superpower.
Indeed. Many would adopt the view that outside powers are being hypocritical when it comes to human rights and other issues and that the intention is to prevent or slow the rise of China. They way they see it; despite attempts by the U.S. and its ''stooges' [some of which are Asian]; China will inevitably become a great power and is already well on its way there irrespective of what others think or do.

How we as outsiders perceive things can be profoundly different with how the Chinse perceive them.

They also remember the time when a weak China was exploited by outside powers. Take the Shanghai International Settlement. Even today decades later it's viewed with nostalgia by some but to the Chinese is a reminder of a time when outsiders took advantage and humiliated China for their own selfish imperialistic ends.

Those who are prepared to accept Taiwan as an independent country in China is a minority
Most Chinese are of the view that Taiwan is an integral part of China and though they might rather not have a conflict over it; understand that it may be needed. A Taiwanese invasion that goes badly and leads to large number of casualties will probably not have a serious impact on the CCP per see but rather its leadership.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
No it doesn't indeed but could be the start of more forms of dissent over other things in the future and would be viewed with concern by the political leadership; a shape of things to come if in the future certain things are not addressed to public satisfaction; a sign.



Indeed. Many would adopt the view that outside powers are being hypocritical when it comes to human rights and other issues and that the intention is to prevent or slow the rise of China. They way they see it; despite attempts by the U.S. and its ''stooges' [some of which are Asian]; China will inevitably become a great power and is already well on its way there irrespective of what others think or do.

How we as outsiders perceive things can be profoundly different with how the Chinse perceive them.

They also remember the time when a weak China was exploited by outside powers. Take the Shanghai International Settlement. Even today decades later it's viewed with nostalgia by some but to the Chinese is a reminder of a time when outsiders took advantage and humiliated China for their own selfish imperialistic ends.



Most Chinese are of the view that Taiwan is an integral part of China and though they might rather not have a conflict over it; understand that it may be needed. A Taiwanese invasion that goes badly and leads to large number of casualties will probably not have a serious impact on the CCP per see but rather its leadership.
One has to wonder about the consequences of a failed invasion resulting in a huge number of casualties from one child families. Would this impact the leadership, probably, the CCP, maybe.
 
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koxinga

Well-Known Member
Indeed. Many would adopt the view that outside powers are being hypocritical when it comes to human rights and other issues and that the intention is to prevent or slow the rise of China. They way they see it; despite attempts by the U.S. and its ''stooges' [some of which are Asian]; China will inevitably become a great power and is already well on its way there irrespective of what others think or do.

How we as outsiders perceive things can be profoundly different with how the Chinse perceive them.

They also remember the time when a weak China was exploited by outside powers. Take the Shanghai International Settlement. Even today decades later it's viewed with nostalgia by some but to the Chinese is a reminder of a time when outsiders took advantage and humiliated China for their own selfish imperialistic ends.
There have been a gradual change in the views of Chinese citizens w.r.t to democracy over the last 40 years, which I feel that outsiders, especially Western people do not seem to grasp and often project their own views. (I am a third generation overseas chinese with familial connections in the mainland)

During the 1980s, China was still recovering from the failures of the Cultural Revolution. With détente, gradual interactions with the outside world gave the citizens a glimpse of what they were missing. TNM 1989, IMO, was a reaction the uncertainty of the post-Mao situation, poor economic and social conditions and a belief that western styled, participatory democracy could be a solution to these problems. The takeaway for the Chinese leadership (rightly or wrongly) was the root cause of 1989 was largely economical. The other takeaway is the movement was largely lead by intellectuals (students) in an urban context and isn't a widespread movement.

This two takeaways are important because post TNM 1989, Chinese socio-economic development was driven with this two ideas in mind. It was not obvious under Deng (outright push to get wealthy first), Jiang (attempting to reinterprete Marxism with Chinese characteristics under the Three Represents), and Hu (harmonious society). But under Xi, his push for a xiaokang society (prosperity for all), and chinese dream would align directly with the two takeways of giving people their piece of bacon and a big idea (rise of china) as a powerful anchor for CCP's continued existence.

Mismanagement of the COVID situation is indeed a challenge, but I see it has largely transitory for now. It has not de-legitimised the CCP yet and it would only be an issue if this continues indefinitely (because there are only so many local officials that can take the blame for "poor local implementation").
 

weaponwh

Member
China would prefer not too invade; would rather wait or hope that the political environment becomes conducive for peaceful reunification. If it felt it had no choice however then it would invade and would be willing to enter into a conflict with the U.S. should it intervene.
true they prefer get taiwan peacefully, but they always planned for US intervention. my guess is if they really want to invade, it will be 2035 later, they have to make sure they have enough military deterrence, and have the economy to handle potential economic sanctions.
relation will also change if KMT is in power. as long as taiwan not recognize as an independent country, mainland china can wait for the right moment.
 

weaponwh

Member
It is the job of any military to assume the worst and have a plan for it. But plans are just that, plans. Xi's perception of the risks/rewards of invading Taiwan will drive which plan to choose and to what extent of execution they will take.
after seeing russia-ukraine war, CCP would probably agree in the next 5-10 years, there is too much risk and no rewards. also time is on china side, not on taiwan side, as long as china economy grow, every decade, they just get more powerful. so they probably wait and see but prepare for the worst. whos knows maybe KMT will be in power, then the relationship will be warm up again.
 

koxinga

Well-Known Member
true they prefer get taiwan peacefully, but they always planned for US intervention. my guess is if they really want to invade, it will be 2035 later, they have to make sure they have enough military deterrence, and have the economy to handle potential economic sanctions.
relation will also change if KMT is in power. as long as taiwan not recognize as an independent country, mainland china can wait for the right moment.
The Chinese position on the trigger factors for an invasion of Taiwan has always been consistent. The talk in the last 6 - 8 months in Western media about unilateral Chinese military adventurism, in my opinion, has no basis. The media pickup on speeches that Xi does back in Oct 2021 and assumes it is a prelude to invasion.


But it is just the Chinese have been very adroit in applying pressure and letting pressure go. They do it in the SCS, they do it with China, Japan, testing their ADIZs. Their way of rattling the cage and keeping countries on the edge. Some of these speeches are just peppered with standard statements/positions..

It is low cost to them, but high cost to the affected party. Taking
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
There have been a gradual change in the views of Chinese citizens w.r.t to democracy over the last 40 years, which I feel that outsiders, especially Western people do not seem to grasp and often project their own views. (I am a third generation overseas chinese with familial connections in the mainland)
Those fools in western capitals, academia, and think tanks, who had and have convinced themselves that China will become democratic through trade and intercourse with the outside world don't have an actual clue. Not once in its history has China ever had democracy; it's an alien concept to them. Would or do they really want democracy? Is democracy actually the best form of government for China and the Chinese culture? No one outside of China has ever bothered to ask those to very fundamental questions; they have all just assumed. It is very much Edward Said's Orientalism in full flight. The next assumption that they made was that Deng's reforms would bring democracy, but Deng's reforms were only economic and never political. They had superimposed their own views, thought processes, and philosophies on Deng and the CCP. Doesn't work that way, and 40 years later they are still doing it. They just don't learn.
 

koxinga

Well-Known Member
They just don't learn.
For us overseas Chinese, we see it clearly because of cultural reasons. Western people see it in their own lens, and find it difficult (especially to the decision makers) to change their lens every now and then.

Political systems have always been a means to an end in Chinese history. The ends have always been about common prosperity. This the reason why there is no dicotomy for the average Chinese citizen in enjoying the fruits of western capitalism while trying their best to ignore who is running the show in Beijing. The CCP recognizes this and this is why they will not see the need to share power willingly or change as long as this gravvy train still runs.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
Not once in its history has China ever had democracy; it's an alien concept to them.
It's the same with almost any country outside of Europe and North America, though. India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, democracy was an alien concept to them as well until it arrived. Try explaining the merits of a public vote to a 19th century daimyo, sang-in or peasant, you'd be considered mad.

The reason democracy couldn't work in China right now is because the CCP has destroyed all civic society and taught Chinese to suspect rather than trust each other. It doesn't mean the process couldn't be reversed. But that would require the CCP to cooperate, and in that respect you're right that there was never any reason to believe that democracy would naturally occur in China.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
to suspect rather than trust each other
I would think the issue is not about suspecting or trusting each other but the fact that the population has long been used to living under a firm hand; that of an authoritarian government [whether the CCP, Kuomintang or the Manchus] that tolerate little dissent or criticism and who expects everyone to conform/behave.

It doesn't mean the process couldn't be reversed.
It can but at what cost? Will the transition be a painless and unchaotic one or does a high price in blood have to be paid before democracy can emerge? We must also not fall under the illusion that a democratic China will be eager to ingratiate itself with the West and others; a democratic China might even be more assertive in standing up for its interests; whether it's Taiwan or the Spratlys.

But that would require the CCP to cooperate
Why would it cooperate? That would be contrary to its interests/well being.

believe that democracy would naturally occur in China.
It would not naturally occur in many places apart from China and also did not naturally occur in various places which are democratic now and have been for ages.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
Why would it cooperate? That would be contrary to its interests/well being.
It's unlikely the CCP will last forever. So a politician that believed in doing the best thing for their people might conclude that it was necessary to bring in reforms to avoid disaster. People like Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang genuinely believed that political change was good for China. It would have been fascinating to see a China where Zhao Ziyang had defeated the hardliners and resolved the protests peacefully, but we'll never know what it would have been like for sure.

It's equally possible - probably more likely at this point - that the CCP would prefer China becoming more like North Korea instead of a multi-party democracy. But it isn't set in stone.
 
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