Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

China threat not ‘outdated’

One must wonder what compelled Mike Chang to sing us such a lullaby (“Unification threat fears an outdated mindset,” Oct. 30, page 8).

As far as I’m aware, Taiwan’s deadliest enemy, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), has never given up its claim to Taiwan as a part of China or its claim to a right of forcible unification.

He seems oblivious of, or prepared to ignore, the clear and present danger posed to democratic Taiwan by the PRC’s People’s Liberation Army, Navy and Air Force.

Mike asks: “Would it really be that easy for China to attack Taiwan?”

He tries, but fails to answer his own question, for he is of two minds.

First, he claims with virtually no support: “Taiwan’s military ... is sufficient to defend the nation.”

Then, as if trying to back away from his spurious claim, he adds: “If China wants to launch an attack, it might not necessarily gain the upper hand.”

Which is it, Mikey?

The only support he offered for the first claim is based on Taiwan’s relative military strength. First, he pulls No. 17 out of his hat and claims that is Taiwan’s ranking among the world’s military powers.

There are problems with that claim. Mike fails to give his definition of military strength, attribute that ranking or even provide any context, i.e., the ranking of Taiwan’s only enemy, the PRC.

According to Wikipedia, the PRC’s overall military strength is ranked No. 3, while Taiwan is No. 13.

However, relative military strength does not matter. I imagine most readers picture a PRC attack as a conventional amphibious assault, a la D-Day.

In the conventional wisdom, the way to stop one is to sink amphibious ships with air and naval forces before they can land the troops.

At the moment, Taiwan has those forces, but all of its warships are packed together in a few small coastal ports, while virtually all of its warplanes are parked on the ground at a few airbases, making all of them easy targets for a concentrated missile attack.

Does it require an “outdated mindset” to worry about such things?

A conventional amphibious assault is not the only, nor even the most likely, form a PRC attack could take. As China’s navy has been stockpiling sea mines and building new submarines as fast as possible for a few decades now, a blockade would be quite feasible and relatively bloodless. The big risk with that is foreign intervention.

Probably the fastest, most risk-free way to get President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) or her successor to sue for peace would be salvoes of missiles with poison gas warheads.

Does anyone dare say the blood-stained Chinese Communist Party would not try that? This must be further evidence of my outdated mindset.

6Ts Jarhead

(name withheld on request)

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