US, Taiwan’s Alternatives to BRI Help, Not Counter China’s Efforts


According to SCMP’s report “US and Taiwan promote alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative”, US and Taiwan will raise funds for infrastructure projects in developing countries from private business entities and investors in order to counter China’s Belt and Route initiative (BRI).

That is a move due to complete misunderstanding of China’s BRI. China’s BRI aims at win-win cooperation with poor country in order to help them develop their economy and lift their people out of poverty. True, there will be geopolitical consequence to make China popular in the countries BRI has invested, but that will but be a byproduct. The gains China pursues are economic for China as a country. When the countries BRI has invested have grown rich, the market for China’s cheap goods will grow substantially.

Therefore BRI is not exclusive. All other countries are welcome to make investments where China invests. When the countries and regions grow rich, China as the world’s factory will be most benefited while the US and Taiwan that mainly produce products of higher technology have to waite till those countries and regions have grown rich enough to afford their expensive products.

Therefore, US and Taiwan’s investment will not counter but instead facilitate China’s BRI.

Moreover, US and Taiwan’s funds will be raised from entities and investors that pursue adequate return to their investment. BRI mainly invest in poor countries with unstable political situation. The infrastructure projects there are mostly quite risky so that private investoers dare not invest. China’s BRI is not focused on the return of a specific investment but on the economic growth all its investmetns in the area may bring about as a whole.

Moreove, even if China has lost what it has invested, it may be satisfied that the money has been spent to make China popular instead of purchase of US government bonds to fund development of US military to contain China.

Are the private investors from who the US and Taiwan have raised fund willing to suffer such losses?

There has been too much misunderstanding of China resulting in quite a few stupid moves. I believe it’s time for me to write a series of books to help people understand China.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3111622/us-and-taiwan-promote-alternative-chinas-belt-and-road.


China Shall Not Take Taiwan by Force Now despite Pampeo Provocation


Reuters’ report “China warns of action after Pompeo says Taiwan not part of China” on November 13 says “China will strike back against any moves that undermine its core interests, its foreign ministry said on Friday, after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Taiwan ‘has not been a part of China’.”

China, however, will not take Taiwan by force now as long as Taiwan does not declare independence.

Turning Taiwan to ruins in taking it by force will hurt China worse than the US as China has quite large volume of profitable trade with Taiwan while the US does not have so much interests in its trade with Taiwan.

Moreover, Pompeo was speaking on behalf of Trump who has to leave White House soon after losing reelection while Trump’s successor Joe Biden has said nothing in line with Pompeo’s talks to support Taiwan independence.

For China’s interests, it should not take reckless actions to take Taiwan by force. It shall maintain cross-strait tensions to contain Taiwan and focus on its project of grand development of its west.

If it has diverted water to Xinjiang and turned the deserts there into rich farmland, it may flood the world market with the agricultural products from Xinjiang. By so doing it will grab US market share in world agricuture market. That will really hurt the US.

One shall not respond to enemy’s attacks stupidly with emotion. One shall respond with counterattacks that hit one’s enemy’s vulnerable parts and really hurt the enemy.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can ve viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-usa-taiwan/china-warns-of-action-after-pompeo-says-taiwan-not-part-of-china-idUSKBN27T0XM.


Cross-strait Tensions Profitable for US but Hurt Taiwan


I said in my post “Regarding Taiwan, China Only Draws the Bow but Does Not Shoot” on October 29, “China only carries out routine military drills near Taiwan to create tensions so that Taiwan capital and talent flee while outside capital and talent dare not enter Taiwan. Purchase of advanced weapons will dry up Taiwan’s financial resources for economic development. Merely draw the bow without shooting is quite enough for China’s strategy to contain Taiwan.”

True enough, Taiwan has been spent a lot to buy US weapons due to China’s strategy. According to Taiwan News’s report “Taiwan Navy signs NT$3 billion deal with US for 9 years of ammo” on November 6, Taiwan has spent US$3 billion alone for ammo.

Why?

The report says “As live-fire exercises require large amounts of ammunition, it is necessary for the Navy to regularly purchase additional stocks in order to maintain combat readiness.” Taiwan will carry out regular live-fire drills to maintain the tensions caused by Mainland China’s military drills.

That certainly hurts Taiwan financially but benefits the US as weapon sales are very profitable for the US. No wander the US has been busy in conducting military provocation around Taiwan.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Taiwan News’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4047217.


Type 075 amphibious assault ship spotted on doorstep of South China Sea, near Taiwan island: report


By Liu Xuanzun

Source: Global Times

Published: 2020/11/4 18:01:54

Experts expect sea trials in more challenging maritime situations

China held a launch ceremony for its first Type 075 amphibious assault ship in Shanghai on September 25, 2019. Photo: 81.cn

The Chinese mainland’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship was recently spotted on the doorstep of the South China Sea, close to the island of Taiwan, Taiwan media reported, leading Chinese mainland military experts to say that the vessel could be conducting another sea trial session in the more challenging sea region of the South China Sea.

Recent photos circulating on the Chinese mainland’s social media show a Type 075 amphibious assault ship appearing near a base of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province, on the doorstep of the South China Sea, Taipei-based SET News Channel reported on Tuesday.

The location is very close to the island of Taiwan, the report said.

This is the first time the Type 075 has been spotted in Sanya. Local residents in Shanghai, where the ship was built, claimed the ship left the city in late October.

The Type 075 amphibious assault ship needs to undergo more sea trials, and compared to the Yellow Sea or the East China Sea, the South China Sea has bigger waves and stronger winds, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China’s first Type 075, which was launched in September 2019, successfully completed its first sea trial in August this year.

A new sea trial in the South China Sea will further test the warship, which is a necessary step before it enters service with the PLA Navy, Song said.

China’s second aircraft carrier also underwent testing and training in the South China Sea in November 2019, prior to being commissioned into the PLA Navy in December 2019.

When the aircraft carrier, later named the Shandong, left its shipyard in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning Province, and sailed to the South China Sea for the sea trials and eventually arrived in Sanya for a commissioning ceremony, it made a transit through the Taiwan Straits.

Chinese mainland military experts said that from a geographical point of view, if a ship wants to sail between the northern and southern parts of China, it would likely sail through the Taiwan Straits, as it is the shortest route, Song said.

This could also apply to the Type 075. PLA warships can sail through the Taiwan Straits however they want, and there is no “middle line” as both sides are Chinese territories, analysts said.

It would be very normal if the Type 075 sails through the Taiwan Straits, and media and authorities on the island of Taiwan should not over-interpret it, Song said.

However, as a type of warship designed to play a major role in amphibious assault missions, the Type 075 amphibious assault ships are expected to make a possible reunification-by-force operation one of their top priorities, analysts said.

Amphibious assault ships mainly conduct vertical deployment and landing missions on islands and reefs like the island of Taiwan and those in the South China Sea. With their large flat flight decks, these warships can transport troops vertically via helicopters much faster than using only horizontal means, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie told the Global Times when the second Type 075 ship was launched in April.

Despite the first Type 075’s apparent appearance in Sanya, Song said that it is still too early to say if the first Type 075 will go into service in the PLA South China Sea Fleet. Both the South China Sea and East China Sea fleets are tasked with preparations targeting Taiwan secessionists, so it would be normal for the warship to join either fleet, he said.

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


China Keeps on Scaring Capital, Talent away from Taiwan


Previously I thought drills of Chinese warplanes near Taiwan are preparations for invading Taiwan, but the frequent entries of Taiwan’s ADIZ by Chinese warplanes now since US provocations in sending warships into Taiwan Strait and high officials to visit Taiwan give me the impression that China has been intensifying its intimidation to scare away Taiwan capital and talent. US provocations may force US to interfere militarily if China takes Taiwan by force, but Chinese leaders have no intention to launch a war with the US for Taiwan as even if China wins the war with the US and succeeds in taking Taiwan by force, the costs will be too high and the gains will be minimum as China will not be benefited in having a Taiwant seriously destructed by war.

Maintain the tensions to scare Taiwan may benefit China by attracting Taiwan capital and talent to China.

That is why according to focustaiwan.tw’s report “Chinese warplane again enters Taiwan’s ADIZ” on November 1, Chinese warplanes entered Taiwan’s ADIZ 25 times in October. As such entries by Chinese warplanes will be their routine drills, China will incur little costs in sending them into Taiwan’s ADIZ to maintain the tension.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on focustaiwan.tw’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://focustaiwan.tw/cross-strait/202011010015.


China Will Not Retaliate US Arms Sales to Taiwan by Arming Venezuela


As pointed out in my post “Regarding Taiwan, China Only Draws the Bow but Does Not Shoot” on October 29, 2020, In fact, the arms sales facilitate China’s strategy of drawing the bow but not shoot. China only carries out routine military drills near Taiwan to create tensions so that Taiwan capital and talent flee while outside capital and talent dare not enter Taiwan. Purchase of advanced weapons will dry up Taiwan’s financial resources for economic development. Merely draw the bow without shooting is quite enough for China’s strategy to contain Taiwan. China is certainly not so stupid as to start a war to take over Taiwan if Taiwan does not declare independence as the war will hurt but not benefit China economically.

If state leaders are wise, they will not waste precious resource on things that may no benefit their country. They are not ordinary people who would like to wast resources to retaliate for their personal satisfaction.

China may incur lots of costs and suffer lots of damages if it takes the risk of a war with the US by taking Taiwan militarily. A damaged Taiwan may not bring economic gains to China.

Better maintain the tensions across the strait to force Taiwan capital and talent to flee. Quite a great percentage of them will move to China as China has been providing preferential treatment to them. China will benefit by their movements instead of incurring costs and damages to teke a damaged Taiwan without any gains.

EroAsian Times says in its article “China Counters US’ Move In Taiwan; Starts Equipping America’s Biggest Regional Foe – Venezuela” yesterday “Although Beijing has been constantly warning against these arms deals, it hasn’t deterred Taipei. China has now found another way to irk the US, by arming its Latin adversary, Venezuela.” However, there are no reasons whatsoever to retaliate with supporting Venezuela.

China supports Venezuela as it has investment there. It has invested in Venezuela’s oil industry and its loans are to be repaid by Venezuela with oil. That is not aimed at maintaining its own interests instead of hurting the US.

If Venezuela was able to purchase Chinese weapons to enable China to earn some profits, China certainly will make such sales, but that would but be a common arms transaction instead of retaliation.

The article says that Venezuela announced the purchase of Chinse missiles during the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of Venezuela’s Strategic Command Operations but during the commemoration ceremony, Venezuela President Maduro announced to develop Venezuela’s own defence equipment instead of boasting the purchase of weapons from China. If Venezuela can buy and afford the purchase of weapons from China, why shall if develop weapons on its own. Chinese weapons are very cheap in international market. If China had regarded such sales as retaliation, it would have made propaganda about the sales but it remains silent about the sales.

Western media are fond of describing the rivalry between the US and China. In fact, there have only been US offensives against China in trade and tech wars but no Chinese offensives against the US. China’s responses to US offensives are always restrained. This blogger regards such responses as wise. As long as the US does not cross the red lines such as supporting Taiwan independence or interference with the exploitation of natural resources in the South China Sea, China shall not respond fiercely as China has no intention to fight a war with the US. Otherwise, there would have long been a war between the US and China.

China shall focus on attaining its own goal of national rejuvenation, i.d. modernization by 2049. Chinese leaders shall be so large-minded as to brush off US provocations.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on EroAsian Times’ article, full text of which can be viewed at https://eurasiantimes.com/china-counters-us-move-in-taiwan-starts-equipping-americas-biggest-regional-foe-venezuela/.


American Support for Taiwan Must Be Unambiguous


To Keep the Peace, Make Clear to China That Force Won’t Stand

By Richard Haass and David Sacks

September 2, 2020

For four decades, successive Republican and Democratic administrations resisted answering the question of whether the United States would come to Taiwan’s defense if China mounted an armed attack. Washington’s deliberate ambiguity on the matter helped dissuade China from attempting to “reunify” Taiwan with the mainland, as it could not be sure that the United States would remain on the sidelines. At the same time, the policy discouraged Taiwan from declaring independence—a step that would have precipitated a cross-strait crisis—because its leaders could not be sure of unequivocal U.S. support.

The policy known as strategic ambiguity has, however, run its course. Ambiguity is unlikely to deter an increasingly assertive China with growing military capabilities. The time has come for the United States to introduce a policy of strategic clarity: one that makes explicit that the United States would respond to any Chinese use of force against Taiwan. Washington can make this change in a manner that is consistent with its one-China policy and that minimizes the risk to U.S.-Chinese relations. Indeed, such a change should strengthen U.S.-Chinese relations in the long term by improving deterrence and reducing the chances of war in the Taiwan Strait, the likeliest site for a clash between the United States and China.

AMBIGUITY SERVED ITS PURPOSE

When the United States severed relations with Taiwan (more accurately, the Republic of China) in 1979 and discarded its mutual defense treaty with the island, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act, which made clear that the United States maintained special commitments to Taiwan. The TRA asserted that the United States would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States.” It also stated that the United States would both maintain the capacity to come to Taiwan’s defense and make available to the island the arms necessary for its security. Importantly, however, the TRA did not declare that the United States would in fact come to Taiwan’s defense.

American ambiguity worked to deter China from attacking Taiwan, as Beijing could never be sure what the U.S. response would be. China wanted above all to maintain a peaceful external environment so that it could focus on its economic development. Moreover, even if the United States chose not to engage directly, it had provided Taiwan’s military with enough sophisticated equipment that China’s military would be ill equipped to defeat it. A miscalculation would have imperiled China’s economic development and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule.

Ambiguity had an equally important but often underappreciated effect on Taiwan, which could not be assured of U.S. assistance if it provoked a Chinese assault by declaring independence. When Taiwan tested the limits of what the United States would accept—as it did in the early 2000s, under the administration of Chen Shui-bian—the United States made clear that Taiwan did not enjoy a blank check and could not act with impunity. Ambiguity kept this powder keg from exploding.

AMBIGUITY’S FADING BENEFITS

Maintaining this policy of ambiguity, however, will not keep the peace in the Taiwan Strait for the next four decades. Too many of the variables that made it a wise course have fundamentally shifted. China now has the capability to threaten U.S. interests and Taiwan’s future. China’s defense spending is 15 times that of Taiwan’s, and much of it has been devoted to a Taiwan contingency. Chinese planning has focused on impeding the United States from intervening successfully on Taiwan’s behalf.

Gone are the days when Taiwan’s dollars went further than China’s, as China now fields equipment on a par with anything the United States makes available to Taiwan. Whether the United States could prevail in a Taiwan conflict is no longer certain, and the trend lines continue to move in China’s favor. Unless the United States devotes significant resources to preparing for a conflict in the Taiwan Strait, it stands little chance of preventing a fait accompli. Waiting for China to make a move on Taiwan before deciding whether to intervene is a recipe for disaster.

Under President Xi Jinping, China has become ever more assertive in advancing its interests. Xi once pledged to U.S. President Barack Obama that China would not militarize the South China Sea, but in recent years, it has done so. The country has imprisoned at least one million of its Uighur minority. It has openly clashed with India along the two countries’ disputed border. It has ramped up military exercises in the Taiwan Strait and intensified efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally. Equally worrisome for Taiwan, China has over the past year stripped Hong Kong of nearly all its autonomy.

The time has come for the United States to introduce a policy of strategic clarity.

In light of these trends, China’s aim to gain control of Taiwan, through force if necessary, needs to be taken seriously. There is speculation that Xi will marry his ambitions with the new means at his disposal to realize his “China Dream” and force “reunification” with Taiwan, potentially as soon as 2021. No one should dismiss the possibility that Taiwan could be the next Hong Kong.

Furthermore, deterring Taiwan from declaring independence is no longer a primary concern. Taiwan understands that the United States does not support its independence. President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the “pro-independence” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has adopted cautious and prudent policies to manage relations with China (in close consultation with the United States) and has carefully avoided moves that might cross Beijing’s redlines. The Taiwanese are pragmatic and understand that pursuing independence, which would provoke China, is not in the island’s interest. Accordingly, fewer than ten percent support pursuing independence as soon as possible, and a majority prefer to maintain the status quo rather than risk a war.

Finally, while some may have questioned whether the authoritarian Taiwan of 1979, ruled under martial law, was worth defending, the island has since blossomed into a robust democracy with regular, peaceful transfers of power. Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage and has one of the freest presses in the region. It has the highest proportion of female legislators in Asia, nearly double that of the United States. In its world-leading response to COVID-19, Taiwan demonstrated its enormous capacity in global health and its generosity in lending a hand to countries that needed it. Taiwan is a vital partner of the United States on a host of global issues, and it is in the United States’ interests to defend Taiwan’s hard-won gains.

One thing, however, has not changed over these four decades: an imposed Chinese takeover of Taiwan remains antithetical to U.S. interests. If the United States fails to respond to such a Chinese use of force, regional U.S. allies, such as Japan and South Korea, will conclude that the United States cannot be relied upon and that it is pulling back from the region. These Asian allies would then either accommodate China, leading to the dissolution of U.S. alliances and the crumbling of the balance of power, or they would seek nuclear weapons in a bid to become strategically self-reliant. Either scenario would greatly increase the chance of war in a region that is central to the world’s economy and home to most of its people.

Meanwhile, the 24 million people of Taiwan would see their democracy and freedoms crushed. China would subsume the island’s vibrant, high-tech economy. And China’s military would no longer be bottled up within the first island chain: its navy would instead have the ability to project Chinese power throughout the western Pacific.

TIME TO BE UNAMBIGUOUS

The fact that the United States, China, and Taiwan have kept the peace in the Taiwan Strait for 40 years by finessing the issue is one of the great postwar foreign policy achievements of the United States. It is a testament to the skillful statecraft of Henry Kissinger and many of his successors, who understood that settling this issue on terms acceptable to all sides was out of reach. But ambiguity is now unlikely to preserve the status quo.

To defend its achievement and continue to deter Chinese adventurism, the United States should adopt a position of strategic clarity, making explicit that it would respond to any Chinese use of force against Taiwan. Such a policy would lower the chances of Chinese miscalculation, which is the likeliest catalyst for war in the Taiwan Strait.

A change in U.S. policy is especially necessary given that President Donald Trump has sown seeds of doubt as to whether the United States would come to the aid of its friends and allies. He has questioned the value of NATO and abandoned the United States’ Kurdish partners. He is reducing the U.S. troop presence in Germany, threatening to do the same in South Korea, and has signed an agreement with the Taliban that is nothing so much as a cover for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Xi Jinping can easily have concluded that the United States will not come to Taiwan’s defense. As a result, the United States must restore deterrence: announcing a policy of strategic clarity is the best way to do so.

The White House could articulate this new policy through a presidential statement and accompanying executive order that reiterates U.S. support for its one-China policy but also unequivocally states that the United States would respond should Taiwan come under Chinese armed attack. The statement would make clear that the United States does not support Taiwan independence, thus deterring Taiwan from attempting to capitalize on the new U.S. policy. Importantly, the TRA, which is a critical element of the United States’ one-China policy, premises normalization with China on “the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.” A statement that the United States would not tolerate a Chinese attack against Taiwan is thus consistent with the one-China policy.

Strategic clarity would not entail that the United States recognize Taipei or upgrade its relationship with Taiwan, nor would it involve a mutual defense treaty or any signed document with Taiwan. Such steps would force Xi’s hand. Rather, the statement would be a unilateral U.S. pledge, and it would make clear that the basics of U.S. policy remain unchanged: the United States would continue to avoid taking a position on the final contours of a resolution of cross-strait differences and insist only that any such resolution come about peacefully and consensually. In short, the ends of American policy would stay the same—what would change would be the means.

By itself, a statement is not enough. The United States must pair it with steps that bolster deterrence. It should station additional air and naval forces in the region, redouble efforts to disperse these forces in order to complicate Chinese planning, and make preparing for a Taiwan contingency a top priority for Department of Defense planners. The United States should consult with Japan and South Korea to see what types of assistance these allies would offer during a Taiwan contingency.

The CCP derives much of its legitimacy from its ability to provide sustained economic growth. Therefore, the United States should make clear that using force against Taiwan would put China’s continued growth at risk. Congress should pass a law that would impose severe sanctions on China should it attack Taiwan. The United States should coordinate with its Asian and European allies so they send similar signals.

At the same time, the United States should work with Taiwan to help it maintain the integrity of its democracy in the face of Chinese coercion. It should assist Taiwan with election security and cyberdefense and explore a free trade agreement with the island to help ensure its economic vitality.

Waiting for China to make a move on Taiwan is a recipe for disaster.

Some will no doubt oppose this change, arguing that it would risk a crisis, lead to a rupture in U.S. relations with China, or both. But the United States can reduce the likelihood of a breakdown by maintaining the one-China policy and reiterating that the United States does not take a position on the substance of any arrangement between China and Taiwan so long as it is arrived at peacefully and with the consent of the people. The policy change recommended here would not foreclose any potential resolution of cross-strait differences.

Xi moved swiftly against Hong Kong, but if the United States issues a clear statement that it would respond to an armed attack on Taiwan—and takes steps to make this credible—he will think twice before forcing the Taiwan issue and bringing about a confrontation with the United States. Above all, Xi is motivated by a desire to maintain the CCP’s dominance of China’s political system. A failed bid to “reunify” Taiwan with China would put that dominance in peril, and that is a risk Xi is unlikely to take. Strengthened deterrence will thus help prevent a cross-strait crisis and put Sino-U.S. relations on firmer ground by lowering the chances of war.

Those who argue that this new policy extends an additional U.S. commitment at a time when the country is already overextended should not delude themselves: U.S. allies in Asia already assume that the United States will come to Taiwan’s defense. Deciding not to do so would jeopardize these alliances. The problem is that currently, a chasm separates what is expected of the United States from its declaratory policy and its ability to intervene on Taiwan’s behalf. Strategic clarity aligns U.S. policy with what U.S. allies already expect and sets a course for narrowing the gap between commitments and capabilities.

The current administration has chosen instead to symbolically upgrade the U.S.-Taiwanese relationship and call into question the one-China policy—both stances that court conflict, because China’s greatest concern is that Taiwan will move toward seeking recognition as an independent country. Strategic clarity, by contrast, would eschew such symbolic moves in favor of a policy that focuses narrowly on restoring deterrence. The best way to ensure that the United States does not need to come to Taiwan’s defense is to signal to China that it is prepared to do so. What happens or doesn’t happen in the Taiwan Strait may well decide Asia’s future.

Source: Foreign Affairs “American Support for Taiwan Must Be Unambiguous”

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


China Unveils Its Own ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ That Is Stealth, Precision-Guided & Can Drop 240 Bombs


Published  on 

China recently unveiled its new 500 kg missile system Tianlei 500 which translates to ‘Sky Thunder’. People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) new munition dispenser and how it can be used to attack targets were featured in a defence programme on state broadcaster CCTV-7.

The 500kg precision-guided munitions dispenser and the air-to-surface missile has wings and a square cross-section to hold submunitions, which can also reduce its radar cross-section to boost its stealth capability and make it harder to intercept, according to the report.

China's state TV says that the nation's new weapon Sky Thunder, or the Tianlei 500 (pictured), can drop up to 240 submunitions to destroy ground targets across 64,000 square feet

Its wings can provide extra lift and give the weapon a range of more than 60km (37 miles), meaning it can be dropped at a safe distance from the enemy. Tianlei or Sky Thunder is designed and manufactured by China North Industries Group, or Norinco.

“It can carry up to 240 submunitions. And when dispersed, they can spread to over 6,000 square metres,” said the engineer, who was not identified in the report.

The move is seen as a show of military strength amid growing tensions with Taipei. Cross-Strait relations with mainland China have been deteriorating with Beijing claiming sovereignty over the island and seeking its return to the mainland fold even by force if necessary.

It has staged several drills and is firm on its motives. However, after winning a landslide victory in January, Tsai, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, began her second four-year term in May. She has refused to accept the one-China principle and is strongly supports the self-governance of Taiwan.

Recently, Taiwan also had the highest level of US visit in four decades when the US health secretary Alex Azar inked a $62 billion arms deal with Taiwan to buy fighter jets from US firm Lockheed Martin.

Beijing sees this move as a provocation saying it harmed China’s sovereignty. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that Beijing is opposed to any official interaction between the US and Taiwan.

“The issue of the Taiwan Strait is the most sensitive issue facing China-US relations. We hope the US will stop all official exchanges between the two sides to avoid damage to China-US relations and keep the stability of the Taiwan Strait,” he said. 

As reported earlier by EurAsian Times, Taiwan has also built its advanced Brave Eagle jet giving a boost to the domestic defence industry to counter the Chinese aggression.

The 1,100lb weapon has a square cross-section. A presenter from China Central Television says that the shape can not only increase its explosive load but also help it dodge radar detection

“In the time of war, once the Brave Eagles are loaded with missiles and bombs, they would be capable of providing support for the navy and air force in cross-strait conflicts,” said Su Tzu-yun, a research fellow at the military-affiliated Institute for National Defence and Security Research.

Unveiling the deadly weapon system is seen as a show of military might to threaten Washington and Taipei for its growing closeness. According to the state broadcaster, the weapon could help China’s military gain air superiority, improve its attack efficiency and undermine the combat capabilities of the enemy.

“It’s one of the most important advanced weapons for the Chinese military right now because it’s a very effective tool for attacking and destroying multiple types of ground targets at the same time,” said Song Zhongping, Hong Kong-based military commentator.

He further added that the weapon could be used to attack targets on the ground and at sea. It uses precision or laser guidance and can disperse submunitions in the air, giving it a bigger attack range.

Source: Eurasian Times “China Unveils Its Own ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ That Is Stealth, Precision-Guided & Can Drop 240 Bombs”

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


China Unveils Its Own ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ That Is Stealth, Precision-Guided & Can Drop 240 Bombs


Published 21 hours ago on August 21, 2020

By EurAsian Times Desk

China recently unveiled its new 500 kg missile system Tianlei 500 which translates to ‘Sky Thunder’. People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) new munition dispenser and how it can be used to attack targets were featured in a defence programme on state broadcaster CCTV-7.

The 500kg precision-guided munitions dispenser and the air-to-surface missile has wings and a square cross-section to hold submunitions, which can also reduce its radar cross-section to boost its stealth capability and make it harder to intercept, according to the report.

Its wings can provide extra lift and give the weapon a range of more than 60km (37 miles), meaning it can be dropped at a safe distance from the enemy. Tianlei or Sky Thunder is designed and manufactured by China North Industries Group, or Norinco.

“It can carry up to 240 submunitions. And when dispersed, they can spread to over 6,000 square metres,” said the engineer, who was not identified in the report.

The move is seen as a show of military strength amid growing tensions with Taipei. Cross-Strait relations with mainland China have been deteriorating with Beijing claiming sovereignty over the island and seeking its return to the mainland fold even by force if necessary.

It has staged several drills and is firm on its motives. However, after winning a landslide victory in January, Tsai, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, began her second four-year term in May. She has refused to accept the one-China principle and is strongly supports the self-governance of Taiwan.

Recently, Taiwan also had the highest level of US visit in four decades when the US health secretary Alex Azar inked a $62 billion arms deal with Taiwan to buy fighter jets from US firm Lockheed Martin.

Beijing sees this move as a provocation saying it harmed China’s sovereignty. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that Beijing is opposed to any official interaction between the US and Taiwan.

“The issue of the Taiwan Strait is the most sensitive issue facing China-US relations. We hope the US will stop all official exchanges between the two sides to avoid damage to China-US relations and keep the stability of the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

As reported earlier by EurAsian Times, Taiwan has also built its advanced Brave Eagle jet giving a boost to the domestic defence industry to counter the Chinese aggression.

“In the time of war, once the Brave Eagles are loaded with missiles and bombs, they would be capable of providing support for the navy and air force in cross-strait conflicts,” said Su Tzu-yun, a research fellow at the military-affiliated Institute for National Defence and Security Research.

Unveiling the deadly weapon system is seen as a show of military might to threaten Washington and Taipei for its growing closeness. According to the state broadcaster, the weapon could help China’s military gain air superiority, improve its attack efficiency and undermine the combat capabilities of the enemy.

“It’s one of the most important advanced weapons for the Chinese military right now because it’s a very effective tool for attacking and destroying multiple types of ground targets at the same time,” said Song Zhongping, Hong Kong-based military commentator.

He further added that the weapon could be used to attack targets on the ground and at sea. It uses precision or laser guidance and can disperse submunitions in the air, giving it a bigger attack range.

Source: Eurasian Times “China Unveils Its Own ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ That Is Stealth, Precision-Guided & Can Drop 240 Bombs”

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


How Beijing’s ‘red lines’ over Taiwan could lead to war with US


  • Unlike other flashpoints, Chinese authorities will show no flexibility and could invade if it declares independence

  • The People’s Liberation Army has spent years training to retake the island, and are prepared for US intervention

Minnie Chan

Published: 11:00pm, 22 Jul, 2020

This is the third in a four-part series examining the growing tensions between China and the United States and how the situation could escalate into a full-blown military conflict. Read part one and part two.

Taiwan looms large as one of the most obvious flashpoints for an armed conflict between China and the United States. Beijing has made clear it regards the island as an integral part of China and any attempt to change its status is a red line.

Unlike other areas of territorial contention, such as in the South China Sea, analysts say Beijing will show no flexibility on this issue and has not ruled out force to reunify Taiwan with the mainland.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has been preparing for its “reunification mission” ever since Chiang Kai-shek’s defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island at the end of the civil war in 1949. The military is well aware that an invasion could prompt US intervention.

 Taiwan military drill simulates response to an attack across Taiwan Strait

The PLA is very clear that once a war with Taiwan breaks out, their opponent will not just be the Taiwanese military, but the US-Japan alliance and other allies in the region,” said Zhou Chenming, a researcher from the Yuan Wang, a Beijing-based military science and technology institute.

The PLA was confident that a combined force of its aircraft-carrier groups, air force and land-based missiles was a “strong shield” to prevent the US and other fleets from entering the Taiwan Strait, Zhou said.

Still, a full-scale seaborne invasion of Taiwan would be a huge risk and some observers believe Beijing will try to impose a short, limited campaign to force the Taipei authorities to negotiate, while using its initial advantage in air power to keep US forces at bay.

The PLA will definitely use force to take Taiwan back if the US provokes Beijing, because foreign force intervention is one of the three taboos listed by the Anti-Secession Law” in China, said Hong Kong-based military commentator Song Zhongping.

But Beijing would not fire the first shot, unless the leadership believed it was “losing hope of peaceful reunification”, he added.

Beijing regards Taiwan as an inalienable part of its territory that must eventually be reunified with the mainland. The law cited by Song provides the legal basis for military action if Taiwan is deemed to have seceded.

Both countries have stepped up their military manoeuvres in the Taiwan Strait this year, and US navy vessels have crossed the strait at least seven times in the past seven months.

Further, the two countries’ armed forces have cut back their communications as Beijing and Washington became embroiled in increasingly acrimonious disputes.

The lack of contact could result in the leadership on both sides making misjudgements that further raises the risk of conflict, said Deng Yuwen, a visiting scholar of international relations at the University of Nottingham.

The US ended its formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 when it recognised the People’s Republic of China, but it has maintained strong unofficial ties.

The Taiwan Relations Act signed that same year allows the US to supply Taiwan with defence equipment, and Donald Trump’s administration has expanded military and diplomatic ties with the island, prompting protests from Beijing.

The White House has approved more than US$5 billion in arms sales to Taiwan since 2017. The deals include the sale of 108 American-made M1A2T Abrams tanks and help to build an F-16 fighter jet maintenance centre.

The latest agreement is the US$620 million maintenance package for Taiwan’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 surface-to-air missiles.

Analysts say the PLA will want to use its control of the skies to its advantage. Photo: Xinhua

Relations between Taipei and Beijing have deteriorated since Tsai Ing-wen from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party was elected president in 2016.

Unlike her Beijing-friendly predecessor Ma Ying-jeou, Tsai refused to recognise the “one-China consensus”, an understanding that there is only one China, but each side has its own interpretation of what that means.

Following her re-election in a landslide victory in January, Tsai told the BBC “we don’t have a need to declare ourselves an independent state”. She added: “We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China (Taiwan).”

China can now deploy two carrier groups, but more advanced ships are still under construction. Photo: ifeng

However, polls show support for cross-strait unification has not disappeared completely.

The independence-leaning Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation on June 22 said its latest survey showed that if the island is unable to maintain the current status quo, 44.1 per cent of the respondents would opt for independence, while 22.3 per cent supported cross-strait unification.

It is unclear how long Beijing is willing to wait for peaceful reunification, but some analysts argue that the PLA will wait until the country’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Shandong, and a next generation carrier are both at initial operational capacity, something that will take at least five years.

Others believe President Xi Jinping regards reunification as a landmark mission during his time in power.

Xi may plan to achieve his goal in the next five to 10 years, but current tensions with the US may push him “to speed up the process of reunification”, said Deng at University of Nottingham, who is a former deputy editor of the Central Party School’s journal, Study Times.

To drive up the cost of any US intervention, the PLA has invested heavily in weapons in recent years, including its new carriers and guided missile destroyers, as well as Type 071 advanced amphibious transporters.

Its modernisation drive has largely focused on improving its capacity for combat across the Taiwan Strait, as well as boosting its arsenal of conventional missiles and cyber capabilities, according to a report by the Rand Corporation, a US think tank.

The report said the PLA has about 40 bases along the southeast coast to allow 1,000 fighter aircraft to operate over Taiwan. By contrast, the US navy could deploy 144 first-generation fighters from its carriers – making it hard for it to attain air and sea superiority.

In terms of advantage, China would be able to quickly muster vast numbers of aircraft, missiles, ships, and troops from the entire country for the fight,” said Timothy Heath, senior international defence research analyst at Rand. “The short range and access to the mainland would allow easier resupply, and use of shorter-range weapons,” added Heath.

However, Heath said any war would expose the mainland’s coastline to the risk of attack, including its two main economic centres, the Yangtze and Pearl River Deltas.

Chen Ching-pu, professor of social and policy sciences at Yuan Ze University, said it should not be assumed that any mainland attack would be a full-blown invasion.

This takes time and effort to do. By the time the Chinese communists are able to land on Taiwan, the US may already have come to Taiwan’s rescue,” he said.

So if the goal of the Chinese communists is to force Taiwan to talk or accept a certain form of [one country, two systems], more possibly it would resort to psychological tactics,” Chen said. Options include “taking over Taiwan’s offshore islets, sealing off the Taiwan Strait, striking airports and other facilities to paralyse Taiwan, or combine precision attack of targets in Taiwan with cyber, information and psychological wars.”

He said such tactics could weaken public resistance within Taiwan.

Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said the PLA might try to impose an economic blockade on Taiwan and seek to grab its offshore islands – Pratas, Quemoy, Matsu and Itu Aba, just off the coast of Fujian province.

Island seizure is one of the most common drills for the PLA’s marines, but Lu Li-Shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy in Kaohsiung, said the mainland would not waste time on occupying the smaller islands.

The PLA will use missile attacks to quickly hit specific military bases in Taiwan, pushing the Taipei authorities to come to the negotiation table as early as possible,” Lu said.

The PLA will not allow Taiwanese military to use time-wasting tactics to let the fighting last for over a week, which would help the US and its allies gain time to intervene, making it an endless battle,” he said.

Beijing doesn’t want to blow up the whole of Taiwan because the leadership understands the cost of rebuilding Taiwan is huge.”

Taiwan has ordered Abrams tanks from the US. Photo: Reuters

A source close to the PLA said a major concern was not just the conflict but the aftermath and ruling a population that has not been under mainland control for most of the past century.

The Beijing leadership has put more focus on studying how to manage Taiwan after reunification, with the ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong and Macau being the pilot scheme,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Recent turmoil in Hong Kong showed Beijing that winning the support of the 23 million Taiwanese people is more important.”

Qiao Liang, a retired PLA strategist, said in an article on WeChat in May that taking Taiwan by force would be “too costly.” On top of that, Beijing would then need to impose martial law to control a largely hostile population.

Tsai Te-sheng, a former director of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, agreed that any mainland attack would be designed to force the Taiwanese authorities to negotiate.

I have read a number of [classified] documents which indicate that the Chinese communists would not want to destroy or fully annex Taiwan,” he said.

So it would select certain targets for the first strike to paralyse Taiwan, or a decapitation strike that could erode military morale and unnerve the jittery public,” he said. “Many of their military moves are aimed at psychological intimidation against Taiwan with the message that independence is a dead end and highly risky.”

Additional reporting by Lawrence Chung, Kristin Huang and Eduardo Baptista

Source: SCMP “How Beijing’s ‘red lines’ over Taiwan could lead to war with US”

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