October 6, 2021


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“China flew 56 fighter planes toward Taiwan on Monday in the largest show of force on record, continuing the three days of sustained military harassment against the self-ruled island… Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing opposes Taiwan’s involvement in international organizations. Taiwan announced on Sept. 23 that it had applied join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a week after China submitted its own application to join the trade pact.” AP News

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From the Left

The left worries about the consequences of a military confrontation with China and focuses on economic responses.

“The consensus view in Washington seems to be that we should come immediately to Taipei's defense, putting us at war with Beijing in the South China Sea in order to repel the assault. But would the U.S. prevail in such an armed conflict? The answer is less obvious than many Americans presume. Indeed, a wide range of analysts have looked at the question in recent years and come to the conclusion that the U.S. military could well lose such a war

“Taiwan is a little over 100 miles off the Chinese coast but nearly 7,000 miles from the continental United States; China has been heavily investing in weaponry ideally suited to launching an amphibious assault; and our main platform for defending against an invasion will be aircraft carriers, which would be highly vulnerable to retaliatory (or pre-emptive) strikes… an American defeat would instantly demote us to the status of a second-tier military power in the Western Pacific.”
Damon Linker, The Week

Military muscle isn’t the prime locus of Chinese aggression. Rather, appropriately enough, the Chinese Communist Party relies on silken threads such as One Belt One Road, complemented by strategic purchases of entire Western corporations. This strategy flummoxes traditional U.S. assumptions about how geopolitics works. It is the economic equivalent of guerrilla warfare…

“American elites have been blind to the nature of [China’s economic] threat for two basic reasons. First, China’s success defies orthodox assumptions. A state-led economic system with managed capitalist elements, run by a ruling party that prohibits dissent, is not supposed to work. Second, China has astutely given U.S. multinational corporations and investment banks a huge piece of the action. America’s most powerful economic players are part of the domestic China lobby…

“There were no American capitalists working behind enemy lines [during the cold war], as it were, because Russia offered no investment opportunities. The Russians had pathetic American domestic allies, in the form of a U.S. Communist Party riddled with FBI informers. The Chinese have Apple, Intel, GE, Tesla, and Goldman Sachs.”
Robert Kuttner, American Prospect

“Clearly, there can be no business as usual with Mr. Xi’s China… At the same time, there are undeniable costs — to Americans — of the tariffs Mr. Trump imposed and President Biden will keep…

What could have created a truly impactful U.S.-led counterweight to Beijing was the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership that President Barack Obama negotiated toward the end of his presidency. Mr. Trump spurned it and Mr. Biden, bowing to protectionist sentiment in his party, shows no signs of reviving it. The president should change that, or else he’ll be retaining not only what his predecessor got right about China — but also his mistakes.”
Editorial Board, Washington Post

From the Right

The right urges the US to support Taiwan both diplomatically and militarily.

The right urges the US to support Taiwan both diplomatically and militarily.

“In a few months, President Joe Biden will host a ‘Summit for Democracy.’ Its purpose is to bring together democratic leaders from around the world to ‘set forth an agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.’ One of the top items on the agenda should be a multilateral initiative to recognize Taiwan diplomatically… Diplomatically recognizing Taiwan sends an urgently needed message, and it's also the right thing to do. Let’s not wait until it is too late.”
Lindell Lucy, Washington Examiner

“​​Beijing has reacted furiously in recent months as nations have offered support to Taiwan. Beijing also wants Washington to think twice about inviting Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen to a democracy summit in December…

“[But] While the Communist Party presents Xi Jinping as a bold leader of destiny, he is under increasing pressure. As he faces an increasingly skeptical international community, economic struggles, demographic and societal weaknesses, and energy shortages, Xi's credibility is at risk. These flights thus allow Xi to broadcast strength at home and abroad. But they also allow the otherwise cautious leader to throw a bone to party hard-liners.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

“If China can successfully absorb Taiwan while limiting the military, economic and diplomatic costs, it would vindicate President Xi’s vision of an ascendant China undoing past humiliations, represent a milestone in China’s campaign to establish hegemony in the most important region of the world, and, perhaps, collapse the credibility and global position of the United States…

“It should be our objective to keep China at bay… We should be fortifying Taiwan and making it as difficult as possible for China to take. That means stockpiling food, energy, and munitions against a Chinese blockade. It means making its infrastructure more resilient and enhancing its cyber capabilities. It means increasing its capability to detect an early mustering of Chinese forces. It means more mines, anti-ship missiles, air-defense capabilities, and unmanned systems to frustrate a cross-strait invasion.”
Rich Lowry, New York Post

“China crushed the democratic government in [Hong] Kong in a matter of months and they did it without firing a shot. Then they waited to see what the response from the west would be. Aside from some disapproving statements, nobody lifted a finger, and China was paying attention…

“The CCP knows what will likely happen if they physically invade Taiwan. The chances are that nothing at all will happen. Nobody wants to start a shooting war with China at this point. In reality, they might not even have to fire a shot to reestablish control of the island… Taiwan would be unlikely to fire the first shot against China if they know that American and NATO troops won’t be on the way to save them.”
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air

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