Good morning! It's a beautiful day today, so I wanted to keep the good vibes going for all of you by bringing up a topic that will end up being a lovely and lively conversation about our favorite most forgotten capital of a country that has occupied a gray area for the better part of 80 years. Taiwan!
This is sure to start off with good news.
For the past few years China has been doing the "un-China" thing by being overtly aggressive towards Taiwan. The progression has been a bit natural, first claim the waters around Taiwan (and neighbors), then claim the air, and next is to claim the ground. Technically this has already happened, with the PRC claiming Taiwan since it consolidated control of the mainland bank in the 40s. However to add to the fun, Taiwan also claims mainland China, so two governments actively claim the land the other is sitting on. This is a fun recipe for conflict.
The only thing that was stopping either side from enacting out it's respective holy missions of conquest on each other was that neither side could do anything about the other. China, with the power of boots on the ground, could never quite master the water well enough for an amphibious assault. And Taiwan doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of conquering the mainland without massive direct support unseen in the world since WW2.
Let's bring ourselves to today. China's navy has been increasingly capable of getting control of the sea on it's shores, and the seas of is neighbors. Without Japan as a natural check to China, smaller countries (with smaller navies) must abide by China's claims (even though they hate it) because they cannot do anything about it. China has essentially bullied Taiwan with the line "if you don't like it, then do something about it" multiple times. And Taiwan basically has to accept it because it "can't do anything about it" (without sparking a much larger conflict that is "backer" wants no part of, more on that coming up!).
Reason being, Taiwan is rightfully unsure just how committed the US is to responding to Taiwan should China attack, and there's no chance for Taiwan should the Americans not arrive, or fail to arrive in force. Under Trump there was a more robust arms trade and training in place, but under Biden it's been one disaster after another.
Biden's first act in regards to Taiwan was to sell them a Coast Guard Navy Cutter more in line with search and rescue rather than the respond to the request of Fast Attack Craft. Biden later authorized a disastrous War Games exercise in the area where the Attack Team destroyed the Defend team each time, leading to senior military commanders privately expressing that under current military conditions the US would not be able to save Taiwan from invasion.
And this isn't lost to the Chinese. For the past few decades they've built an impressive spy network that's firmly rooted in the US government. And for years the Chinese have taken the information they've gained and used it to navigate and create new ways around American weapons systems. Namely the hypersonic missile. Now the Chinese claim they can make certain backbone American aircraft completely obsolete with their new stock of missiles, and they just might be able to, but what we do know for sure is that their anti-ship missiles can make a 1000-mile no ship zone off the Chinese shore, which jeopardizes not only American movements in the area, but also Korean and Japanese.
However, the biggest hammer to drop is Ukraine. China is watching and studying the West's response to Ukraine, and in a word, they find it emboldening. The CCP has started advising party leaders to divest themselves from owning American assets in an effort to insulate themselves from American sanctions. They've created a strategic partnership with Russia (and indirectly India, of all places), and they reactivated N.Korea to be the American's gadfly once again. China has seen that the western response to Russia has been TikTok dance videos and social media outrage. More substantially however, how America emptied out it's arms reserves to fight Russia, leaving next to nothing for Taiwan.
Because China is banking on two things. 1 is that Americans rely too much on things made in China to substantially sanction away all things Chinese and 2 the American political class relies on China way too much for it to substantially support Taiwan in any capacity.
Should the Americans sanction China completely, China expects American domestic outrage would peak as shortages hit everything from smart phones to cars to everyday lifestyle devices. This hits the American political class directly, as more wealthy Americans get outraged that they can't download the latest peloton app or get the coffee they like from Starbucks. Political leaders would buckle under the pressure, unlike with Russia, were the biggest effect there was only food prices/cost of farming skyrocketing. This is not even considering the amount of American politicians (Democrats) that have compromising ties to China through family member's business dealings and the politicians (Democrats) that can't seem to keep their dick out of Chinese Spy's pussies.
(I say the food bit only because the current ruling class firmly believes that food is created at the grocery store and not at a farm, unless it's a 1 acre 100% naturally organic tomato and narcotic farm stand on Long Island.)
Now I'm not in the game of predictions, but if I was a betting man, I'd say we'll see some major military action out of China within the next 3 years. The big "if" will be the Americans response, and I think in China's case, sooner is better than later. We'll see if they agree.