Decisions that the US Congress and the White House make on US Navy spending could affect the likelihood and outcome of a US-China military conflict over Taiwan, a congressional report said.
“Some observers consider such a conflict to be very unlikely, in part because of significant US-Chinese economic linkages and the tremendous damage that such a conflict could cause on both sides,” the report said.
Nevertheless, the report said the question of how the US should respond to China’s military modernization effort is a “key issue” in US defense planning.
The US Congressional Research Service report — China Naval Modernization: Implications for US Navy Capabilities — was written by Ronald O’Rourke, a specialist in naval affairs.
It said China’s naval modernization is oriented toward addressing the situation with Taiwan, “militarily if need be.”
“China wants its military to be capable of acting as an anti-access/area-denial force — a force that can deter US intervention in a conflict in China’s near-seas region over Taiwan or failing that delay the arrival or reduce the effectiveness of intervening US forces,” O’Rourke said in the report.
O’Rourke quoted US military reports as saying China is developing remote-controlled underwater vehicles, and torpedo and mine systems capable of area denial “in a Taiwan scenario.”
Estimates put China’s inventory of mines in excess of 50,000.
Although aircraft carriers might have some value for China in a Taiwan-related conflict, they are not considered critical because Taiwan is within range of land-based Chinese aircraft, the report said.
While China might be building large amphibious ships to defend territorial claims in the East and South China seas, the vessels would “be of value for conducting amphibious landings in Taiwan,” it said.
The report also quotes a US intelligence document as saying that China’s military is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against US aircraft carriers in a potential conflict over Taiwan.
Given the pace of Chinese naval modernization, the report said that the gap in military capability between Taiwan and China would continue to widen in Beijing’s favor over the coming years.
“The People’s Republic of China views reunification with Taiwan as an immutable, long-term goal and hopes to prevent any other actor from intervening in a Taiwan scenario,” the report said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions