Taiwan should vary its responses to Chinese patrols and simulate attacks on China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to an Aug. 22 article by retired US Navy admiral Dennis Blair on the Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s Web site.
The nation’s “intercept everything” policy is wasteful and allows China to study Taiwan’s combat preparedness, he said, adding that making responses unpredictable would confuse the enemy and put less strain on limited budgets.
Japan has similarly been intercepting all patrols, which frequently pass through waters near Okinawa and the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan. Scrambling forces to counter the patrols has put a strain on Japan’s resources.
Cooperating on drills and unifying response measures would serve the interests of Taiwan and Japan. Drills could incorporate Japan’s helicopter carriers in simulating attacks on the Liaoning, or employ islands in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture or in Penghu County in simulating responses to ground invasions.
Drills on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) could be timed to coincide with US freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea, destroying mock facilities that mimic China’s installations on contested islands in the South China Sea.
The drills would send a clear message to Beijing that China’s patrols in East Asia are only serving to increase the defense preparedness of its neighbors.
Nations use invasion simulations to show aggressive neighbors that they will not be intimidated. In September last year, Russia conducted a simulated attack on NATO countries that represented the destruction of ports and other key infrastructure.
“The Kremlin is rehearsing aggressive scenarios against its neighbors, training its army to attack the West. The exercise is also part of information warfare aimed at spreading uncertainty and fear,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said at the time.
Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region is proof that it is not afraid to act on the threats presented in drills. Similarly, China’s unilateral annexing of contested islands in the South China Sea shows that it is willing to act. NATO must respond in kind.
Satellite photographs taken earlier this year showed that China’s expansion of a naval base in its Fujian Province’s Xiapu County included “the construction of 24 aircraft shelters, taxiways and additional buildings,” while the “semi-dispersed nature of the new aircraft shelters ... is likely to reflect the frontline nature of the air base,” a May 14 report on the Defense News Web site said.
An April 13 article on the Independent Web site said that in the 12 months leading up to the article, Japan scrambled its fighter jets 1,168 times in response to Chinese aircraft, a historically high number that was “well above the previous high of 944 incidents in 1984, when Russian, rather than Chinese, aircraft triggered most of the scrambles.”
China hopes to extend its influence in the South China Sea and the Pacific, and is actively probing Japanese air defenses to see how it can do that, the Independent said.
During the Martial Law era, plans to inevitably “retake the Chinese mainland” were part of the regular rhetoric of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government. Until May this year, when the Ministry of National Defense announced changes to its military posturing, the annual Han Kuang military exercises had included simulated attacks on China.
Taiwan is becoming increasingly independence-minded. People want to distance themselves from authoritarian China and protect their hard-won democracy.
However, Taiwanese — and Japanese — cannot afford to become complacent in the face of Chinese aggression. Cooperative drills and selective demonstrations of force must become regular measures.
During the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s third leadership summit on Aug. 31, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said that the US wants to partner with the other members of the Quadrilaterial Security Dialogue — Australia, India and Japan — to establish an organization similar to NATO, to “respond to ... any potential challenge from China.” He said that the US’ purpose is to work with these nations and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to “create a critical mass around the shared values and interest of those parties,” and possibly attract more countries to establish an alliance comparable to
On August 24, 2020, the US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, made an important statement: “The Pentagon is Prepared for China.” Going forward, how might the Department of Defense team up with Taiwan to make itself even more prepared? No American wants to deter the next war by a paper-thin margin, and no one appreciates the value of strategic overmatch more than the war planners at the Pentagon. When the stakes are this high, you can bet they want to be super ready. In recent months, we have witnessed a veritable flood of high-level statements from US government leaders on
China has long sought shortcuts to developing semiconductor technologies and local supply chains by poaching engineers and experts from Taiwan and other nations. It is also suspected of stealing trade secrets from Taiwanese and US firms to fulfill its ambition of becoming a major player in the global semiconductor industry in the next decade. However, it takes more than just money and talent to build a semiconductor supply chain like the one which Taiwan and the US started to cultivate more than 30 years ago. Amid rising trade and technology tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, Beijing has become
With a new White House document in May — the “Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China” — the administration of US President Donald Trump has firmly set its hyper-competitive line to tackle geoeconomic and geostrategic rivalry, followed by several reinforcing speeches by Trump and other Cabinet-level officials. By identifying China as a near-equal rival, the strategy resonates well with the bipartisan consensus on China in today’s severely divided US. In the face of China’s rapidly growing aggression, the move is long overdue, yet relevant for the maintenance of the international “status quo.” The strategy seems to herald a new