China Wise in Subduing Taiwan Economically, Stupid in Using Force

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen gives a speech during the National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, October 10, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

On October 3, Washington Free Beacon revealed in its report “China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020” China’s plan to take Taiwan by military force by the year 2020. Such rumor has been quite common so that Taiwan people must have got used to it. This time was different because it was allegedly based on Chinese internal documents so that according to Reuters’ report “Taiwan president pledges to defend freedoms despite China pressure” on October 10, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen responded in her National Day speech by saying “we need to use all our power to defend Taiwan’s democratic and freedom values and lifestyle”, stressing the need of military defense. That is why Taiwan is talking with the US on the import of quite a few weapons. Such weapon purchases greatly reduce Taiwan’s financial resources for improvement of its stagnant economy.

Moreover, the threat of attack and need for defense greatly heightened the tension, making outside investors afraid of investing in Taiwan and native funds flee Taiwan.

Tsai is stupid in adopting a hardline attitude to aggravate the tension instead of making efforts to ease the tension.

Chinese leaders are even more stupid if they really have drawn a plan to take Taiwan by force.

What will they get? A Taiwan reduced to ruins by war? A Taiwan with no funds or talents as most rich and talented people are able to flee and will not return to rebuild Taiwan?

China’s wise way is to tighten the screw on Taiwan by military threat to scare away capital and talents, reducing Chinese tourists to Taiwan to greatly reduce Taiwan’s income from tourism, eliminating the economic preferential policies it has granted to Tsai’s pro-Beijing predecessor and attracting Taiwan capital and talents to China with preferential policies. By so doing, it can make Taiwan’s economy seriously suffer and thus subdue Taiwan without firing even a shot.

China is doing precisely that and with quite much success. Why shall Chinese leaders do otherwise? Why will they risk a war with the US in invading Taiwan?

Comment on Washington Free Beacon’s and Reuters’ reports, which can respectively be found at and


China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020

Book based on internal documents says Beijing’s invasion plan would trigger U.S.-China conflict

Bill Gertz October 3, 2017 5:00 am

China has drawn up secret military plans to take over the island of Taiwan by 2020, an action that would likely lead to a larger U.S.-China conventional or nuclear war, according to newly-disclosed internal Chinese military documents.

The secret war plan drawn up by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Chinese Communist Party’s armed forces, calls for massive missile attacks on the island, along with a naval and air blockade that is followed by amphibious beach landing assaults using up to 400,000 troops.

The plans and operations are outlined in a new book published this week, The Chinese Invasion Threat by Ian Easton, a China affairs analyst with the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank.

The danger of a Taiwan conflict has grown in recent years even as current tensions between Washington and Beijing are mainly the result of U.S. opposition to Chinese militarization in the South China Sea and China’s covert support of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

“Of all the powder kegs out there, the potential for a war over Taiwan is by far the largest and most explosive,” the 290-page book states, adding that the growing likelihood of a war over Taiwan will dominate worries within the Pentagon for years to come.

“China has made clear that its primary external objective is attaining the ability to apply overwhelming force against Taiwan during a conflict, and if necessary destroy American-led coalition forces,” the books says.

Democratic-ruled Taiwan poses an existential threat to China’s communist leaders because the island, located some 90 miles off the southeast coast “serves as a beacon of freedom for ethnically Chinese people everywhere,” the book states.

“Consequently, the PLA considers the invasion of Taiwan to be its most critical mission, and it is this envisioned future war that drives China’s military buildup.”

Parts of the PLA invasion scheme were first revealed publicly by the Taiwan Defense Ministry in late 2013. The plan calls for military operations against the island to be carried out by 2020.

The invasion program was confirmed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping during the major Communist Party meeting five years ago when Xi committed to “continue the 2020 Plan, whereby we build and deploy a complete operational capability to use force against Taiwan by that year.”

Other internal PLA writings that surfaced recently indicate China is ready to use force when it believes non-military means are not successful in forcing the capitulation to Beijing’s demands, and if the United States can be kept out of the battle.

Current U.S. law under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act requires the United States to provide defensive weaponry to Taiwan to prevent the use of force against the island.

China currently is using non-lethal means—psychological, diplomatic, propaganda, and informational warfare—against Taiwan. Once these are exhausted, the plan for large-scale amphibious assault will be carried out.

Any attempt by the Chinese military to take the island will be difficult and costly, the book says. The island has rough, mountainous terrain that has created a wind tunnel effect in the strait that produces very difficult weather for carrying troop and weapons transports, both air and sea.

Taiwan is around 230 miles long and 90 miles wide. Taiwanese military forces have been preparing for an invasion since Chinese nationalist forces first took refuge on the island at the end of the civil war with the communists in 1949.

However, since the 1980s, China has been rapidly building up its military capabilities for a battle to forcibly unify the island with the mainland. Over 1,000 ballistic and cruise missiles currently are stationed within range of the Taiwan.

According to the book, China’s invasion plan is known as the Joint Island Attack Campaign.

“Only by militarily occupying The Island can we fundamentally conquer the ‘separatist’ force’s natural living space, and totally end the long military standoff across the Strait,” one PLA field manual states.

The war plan calls for rapidly capturing the capital Taipei and destroying the government; seizing other major cities and clearing out surviving defenders; and occupying the entire country.

Military operations will emphasize speed and surprise to overwhelm coastal defenses and create so much destruction in the early phase that Taiwan would surrender before the U.S. military can deploy forces to the area.

“The conceptual plan, which is referred to in internal PLA writings as the Joint Island Attack Campaign, appears to be highly centralized and updated regularly based on the latest intelligence, weapons production, and lessons learned from exercises and training,” the book says.

The campaign is one of China’s most closely held secrets but has been discussed in internal military manuals and technical writings that recently leaked from within the PLA.

“These provide an extraordinarily detailed look into Chinese thinking on this campaign,” the book says.

The step-by-step invasion process will involve three phases: blockade and bombing, amphibious landing, and combat operations on the island.

Several layers of a naval and air blockade and massive missile strikes on 1,000 targets will be used in the first phase. China then plans to launch sea-borne assaults with an armada of warships against 14 possible beach sites.

“Before the invaders began landing along Taiwan’s coast, the PLA would launch wave after wave of missiles, rockets, bombs, and artillery shells, pounding shoreline defenses, while electronic jammers scrambled communications,” the book says.

The PLA believes a future invasion of Taiwan is inevitable, although the exact time is uncertain.

China regards Taiwan as a “renegade province” and considers reuniting the island with the mainland part of larger Chinese strategic goals of achieving global dominance.

“In the end, only by directly conquering and controlling the island can we realize national unification … otherwise ‘separatist’ forces, even if they momentarily compromise under pressure, can reignite like dormant ashes under the right conditions,” one PLA document states.

A PLA field manual warns that Taiwan’s geography and defenses will require massive and masterful military campaigns that will be extremely challenging, requiring great sacrifices.

A restricted PLA manual, “Course Book on the Taiwan Strait’s Military Geography” warned military officers that external militaries could use Taiwan to cut off China’s trade lines and for use as a U.S. military base to blockade China.

Also, many of China’s seaborne oil imports, pass through the Taiwan Strait and are highly vulnerable to military interdiction. “So protecting the security of this strategic maritime passageway is not just a military activity alone, but rather an act of national strategy,” the manual says.

China also regards Taiwan as a critical chokepoint for Japan and could be used by China to choke its rival.

On the information warfare front, China plans to use the internet and other media outlets to wage psychological warfare aimed at weakening Taiwan’s resistance prior to a main attack.

Psychological warfare actions will be combined with legal and media warfare and other political warfare tools.

An internal Chinese military report outlines the use of information operations:

Utilize legal warfare and public opinion warfare together with psychological warfare to divide and erode the island’s solid willpower and lower the island’s combat strength. Of these, utilize legal warfare against the enemy’s political groups and their so-called ‘allies’ as a form of psychological attack. Clearly make the case that a joint attack campaign against the main island is legally justifiable and based on a continued, and internal, war of liberation…utilize public opinion warfare against the enemy’s military groups as a form of psychological attack. Point out the benefits of giving up their support for ‘independence’ with effective messaging themes…Use the Internet media heavily against non-governmental groups on the island and the masses as a form of psychological attack. Proactively spread propaganda regarding the benefits of unification for the nation and the people, and erode the social foundation of the ‘separatist’ forces on the island.

Taiwan’s leaders also will be targeted in bombing strikes, including the presidential office in Taipei and other government leadership headquarters.

A PLA document tells military leaders to find leadership organizations and their defenses.

“Then you should use high tech weapons that have a strong capability to penetrate their airspace with precision and destructiveness to execute fierce strikes against their head person(s),” the document says. “Assure they are successfully knocked out with one punch.”

Chinese commandos also will be used to abduct or kill Taiwan’s key political and military leaders, weapons experts, and scientists using clandestine means and direct attacks.

China, according to the book, would “almost certainly” fail in its full-scale invasion of Taiwan but its military appears driven to prepare and carry out such an attack.

“China’s leaders recognize the roadblocks in their path and will continue to invest heavily in strategic deception, intelligence collection, psychological warfare, joint training, and advanced weapons,” the book says.

“Barring countervailing efforts, their investments could result in a world-shaking conflict and an immense human tragedy.”

For the Pentagon, China’s plan to seize Taiwan has worried those in the Air Force who expect Chinese missile and other attacks on nearby U.S. bases, notably Japan’s Kadena air base, a central U.S. military hub in the Pacific.

American Navy officials fear Chinese submarines will sink U.S. aircraft carriers or the USS Blue Ridge, the region’s only command ship.

“No one seemed clear on exactly what might happen, but all were sure a future Chinese surprise attack would be worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined,” the book says.

Others note that a Taiwan conflict could rapidly escalate to a U.S.-China nuclear war.

“The trigger could very well be an accident or innocent act, something calculated as benign but perceived as hostile,” the book says. “It may go down in history as an infamous event, or it may not be understood what exactly happened. Like the case of World War I, the true cause may be debated for a century and still undecided.”

Rick Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said the book presents important policy prescriptions for deterring war. The use of restricted Chinese military writings also provides new clues to Chinese intentions, plans and its ambitions to conquer Taiwan.

“What Easton has done is provide a vital warning to America and its allies, China could try to invade Taiwan as early as the first half of the next decade,” Fisher said. “That means we are right now in a Taiwan Straits crisis and we need to react like we are in a crisis or we risk falling into a war we have successfully avoided since 1950.”

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Source: Washington Free Beacon “China’s Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020”

Note: This is Washington Free Beacon’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.

China air force says to continue with flight drills at sea: CCTV

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The Chinese air force will keep conducting drills at sea regardless of whatever interference it may encounter, China’s state broadcaster reported, following reports that Chinese warplanes flew near Japan and Taiwan in recent days.

“The air force’s distant sea training has become normal, systemic and practical,” China Central Television quoted air force spokesman Shen Jinke late on Thursday as saying.

The operations “have faced and dealt with a variety of forms of interference and obstruction, but no matter the obstruction we will carry on just as in the past,” Shen said.

“No matter who shadows us we will fly often and frequently,” he said, adding that the flights were legal and reasonable.

The air force said on its microblog earlier this month its planes had recently flown through both the Miyako Strait – which lies between two southern Japanese islands – and the Bashi Channel that separates Taiwan and the Philippines.

China’s long-range flight drills at sea, which started three years ago, were not targeted at any specific country or region, Shen was quoted as saying.

But the flights have raised concern among China’s neighbors.

On Tuesday, Taiwan’s defense ministry responded to a series of recent flybys by Chinese fighter and reconnaissance aircraft, saying the self-governed island was prepared to defend itself against China.

Beijing claims Taiwan as a part of China and has never ruled out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, warning that any moves towards formal independence could prompt an armed response.

Japan’s air force regularly scrambles jets to monitor and chase away nearby Chinese military planes, fearing that China’s probing of its air defenses is part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) south towards Taiwan.

Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Michael Perry

Source: Reuters “China air force says to continue with flight drills at sea: CCTV”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Taiwan says Chinese aircraft flew near island in military exercise

TAIPEI (Reuters) – China flew several fighter and reconnaissance aircraft near Taiwan in a training exercise, the self-ruled island’s defense ministry said on Friday.

Despite decades of growing trade across the Taiwan Strait, China has never renounced the use of force, if necessary, to reclaim what it considers a breakaway province to which the defeated Nationalists fled after losing a civil war in 1949.

“We were in a position to monitor their movements from the beginning to the end,” defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said, describing what he called a routine exercise. “There’s nothing for our people to worry about.”

The ministry released two photographs, one showing a Chinese warplane as it flew near Taiwan on Thursday.

The Chinese government has not issued a statement on the exercise.

In a similar military exercise last week, China flew six warplanes over the Miyako Strait between Japan’s islands of Miyako and Okinawa to the northeast of Taiwan, which Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had also monitored.

Such exercises were legal and proper and Japan should “get used to it”, China’s defense ministry said at the time.

The flyover by the formation of Xian H-6 bombers was “unusual”, Japan’s defense ministry said in a statement, but added there had been no violation of the country’s airspace.

China’s navy and air force have held exercises in the Western Pacific in recent months, as they hone their ability to operate far from home shores.

Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Source: Reuters “Taiwan says Chinese aircraft flew near island in military exercise”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

China’s Official Media Advocates War if US Sends Warship to Taiwan

Reuters says in its report today titled “China upset about ‘negative’ Taiwan content in U.S. defense bill”, “China said on Monday it had lodged a stern complaint with the United States after the U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a big annual defense bill that would expand exchanges with self-ruled Taiwan.”

The defense bill Reuters refers to in its report is the United States’ National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which also proposes expanding training and exercises with Taiwan including what Reuters fails to mention in its report: NDAA provides that US warships may berth in Taiwan ports.

Global Times, a newspaper under Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece People’s Daily is more bellicose in its editorial on that. It regards such move of US warships as US support for Taiwan independence that China can never allow.

Therefore, Global Times says that China shall announce that the US shall not cross that bottom line. If a US warship stays at a Taiwan port, China shall conduct military attack at the military facilities in that port. If Taiwan dares to conduct counterattack, PLA shall attack the Taiwan military that conducts the counterattack. If the US warship participates in Taiwan’s counterattack, China shall sink the warship.

The editorial says that China is making great efforts for its peaceful rise but shall be brave to fight. Only in that way can China’s economic and military strength be powerful deterrence to “Taiwan independence” forces inside and outside Taiwan.

Is that editorial mere bluffing? Global times is often used by Chinese authorities to show its stance that they do not want to uphold openly. China first of all wants win-win cooperation with the US but is also clear of the conflicts between the two powers. The most serious conflict is US support for Taiwan. China and the US are able to maintain good ties as the US has made clear that it opposes Taiwan independence.

However, a US warship in a Taiwan port even a short visit indicates US support for Taiwan independence.

Chinese people remember well the humiliation they suffer in nearly a century in the past when China was bullied by foreign powers. One of the worst humiliations was its loss to Japan in its first war with Japan resulting in its ceding of Taiwan to Japan.

It recovered Taiwan due to the victory of World War II. Will Chinese people allow China to be humiliated in losing Taiwan again? If Chinese Communist Party dare not fight, they will overthrow it.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report and Global Time’s editorial. I give summary translation of Global Times editorial. Full text of the editorial in Chinese can be viewed at while that of Reuters report can be viewed at

China says Taiwan remarks on dissident Liu ‘very dangerous’

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen poses for photographs during an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Office in Taipei, Taiwan April 27, 2017.Tyrone Siu/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) – China accused Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen of aggravating tension across the Taiwan Strait on Friday, citing her comments following the death of Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo as an example of “repeated arbitrary attacks”.

Tsai said on Thursday that the self-ruled island hoped China could show self-confidence and promote political reform, after the dissident Liu died of cancer.

“Only through democracy, in which every Chinese person has freedom and respect, can China truly become a proud and important country,” she said.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying that such “reckless” comments were “very dangerous” for cross-strait relations.

Liu, who died aged 61, was sentenced to 11 years jail in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms.

Reiterating the Chinese government’s line, Ma said Liu was sentenced due to violating the law and that “China made all-out efforts to treat him humanely in accordance with the law”.

Beijing distrusts Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) because it traditionally advocates independence for Taiwan. Beijing says the island is part of China and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

Ma said Tsai and the DPP had “lifted the deceptive veil” of maintaining the status quo in cross-strait relations and that the repeated attacks were an attempt to pull ties back to “tensity and turbulence”.

“Such behavior is very dangerous,” he said, according to the Xinhua report, which was carried only in English.

China has bristled previously at Tsai’s comments on China’s political system.

In June, it issued an angry response when Tsai offered to help China transition to democracy while marking the 28th anniversary of 1989’s violent suppression of pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Reporting by Philip Wen; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Ben Blanchard

Source: Reuters “China says Taiwan remarks on dissident Liu ‘very dangerous’”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

Quiet success for China at G20 as Xi avoids drama and spotlight

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands prior to a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Saul Loeb/ Pool/File Photo

By Ben Blanchard | BEIJING Mon Jul 10, 2017 | 9:23am EDT

From U.S. anger over inaction on North Korea to a festering border dispute with India and the ailing Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, last week’s G20 summit was strewn with minefields for China’s President Xi Jinping.

By chance or by strategy, Xi and his officials picked their way through unscathed.

Beijing is ultra-sensitive about Xi’s image and ensuring he gets the respect it sees as his due as leader of an emerging superpower, especially when traveling to Western countries where it cannot so tightly control the public narrative.

Diplomatic sources in Beijing, speaking ahead of Xi’s trip to the G20 gathering in the German city of Hamburg, said Chinese officials had in private expressed nervousness that he could be asked awkward questions about North Korea, or the cancer-struck Liu, jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power”.

In the end it was U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid accusations Russia interfered in the U.S. election, and Trump’s refusal to return to the Paris climate agreement that dominated the limelight.

Xi, by contrast, avoided controversy in his bilateral meetings and reaffirmed China’s commitment to the Paris deal and to an open global economy, in what the official China Daily called the “burnishing of (his) reputation”.

“Nobody talked about the South China Sea. No one talked about trade. Everyone was happy with Xi. I think he played this well,” said Ulrich Speck, senior fellow at the Elcano Royal Institute in Brussels.

“All eyes were on Trump and Putin. But the fact that there was no U.S.-China clash was at least as important. Xi stayed out of the alpha-male fight. China presented itself as a partner to Europe.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Xi “made it clear that the G20 should adhere to taking the path of open development and mutual benefit leading to all-win results, support a multilateral trade mechanism, and promote international trade and investment”.

“China was in a good place at G20, with reasonable policies,” said Jin Canrong of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, who has advised the government on diplomatic matters.

“So President Xi was comfortable and positive there.”


Potentially the biggest test was Xi’s meeting with Trump, who in the run-up to Hamburg had voiced frustration over China’s inability to rein in its troublesome erstwhile ally, North Korea.

In the event, Trump returned to the conciliatory tone struck at their first meeting in April, telling the Chinese leader it was “an honor to have you as a friend” and he appreciated actions Xi had already taken to try to dissuade North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons.

Influential Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times said in an editorial on Monday that the Xi-Trump meeting had defied “the naysayers in the West”.

“Beijing and Washington saw friction on issues including Taiwan and the South China Sea ahead of the meeting, and there was speculation from Western public opinion that the China-U.S. ‘honeymoon’ had come to an end. But the Xi-Trump meeting repudiates such speculation,” the paper said.

Speaking to reporters later on Air Force One, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump-Xi meeting lasted more than an hour-and-a-half, and would have gone on longer had they not had to leave for other engagements.

Ruan Zongze, a former Chinese diplomat now with the China Institute of International Studies, a think-tank affiliated with the Foreign Ministry, said Xi was much more upbeat than when he spoke to Trump a few days ahead of G20 and mentioned certain unnamed “negative factors” in their relationship.

“Even on trade Trump underscored that he wants cooperation,” Ruan said.

China’s biggest concern had been U.S. policy toward self-ruled Taiwan, after the Trump administration approved a $1.42 billion arms package for Taiwan, claimed by China as its own.

Neither government mentioned Taiwan in their respective accounts of their G20 meeting.

Chinese officials were at pains to point out their good relations with the new administration in Washington.

Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters in Hamburg that the Chinese and U.S. teams dealing the bilateral financial relationship clearly understood that both would be hurt by fighting with each other.

“Our strength is communicating every morning and every evening. This is unprecedented,” Zhu said.


On India, where China has over the past few weeks accused New Delhi of provocation by sending troops across the border in a disputed region, Xi avoided drama by not having a formal bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though India’s foreign ministry said they did speak.

Even on Liu Xiaobo, Xi avoided being put on the spot, with China on Saturday allowing a U.S. and German doctor to meet him at his hospital in northeastern China.

Still, the faultlines remain in the tricky China-United States relationship.

China may respond more assertively if, for example, more Chinese entities are sanctioned by the United States over North Korea or Trump raises barriers to Chinese goods as he has frequently threatened, said a senior Beijing-based Western diplomat.

“China has been restrained so far in reacting to Trump, but that is unlikely to last,” said the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Things are gearing up to be a summer of drama between China and the United States.”

(Additional reporting by Gao Liangping in Beijing, Roberta Rampton in Washington and Noah Barkin in Hamburg; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Source: Reuters “Quiet success for China at G20 as Xi avoids drama and spotlight”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.