How to prevent China’s war on Taiwan

I have very little time for China Matters. It generally produces the kind of “diplomatic” claptrap that is barely disguised CCP kowtowing. But today its principal, Linda Jacobsen, has produced a credible paper on the Taiwan conflict that is worthy of discussion:

How often over the past decades have we been warned that the Taiwan Strait is a potentially explosive flashpoint? Often enough to numb the mind. So why should we pay attention this time? Because the pivotal reason that peace has endured for 70 years has disappeared. Unlike his predecessors, Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is no longer prepared to leave unification of the mainland and Taiwan to future generations.

Xi has not only proclaimed that he wants to oversee movement toward unification during his lifetime, he has also repeated his predecessors’ message that Beijing will not renounce the use of force to attain its goal. These threats are credible.

Unification is central to the legitimacy of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and to Xi’s vision of the ‘China Dream’.

Observers often start their analysis with “Were the PRC to attack Taiwan . . .”. However, this is an outdated assumption. Despite Beijing’s threat to use force, a deadly war is not the most likely route Xi will choose to achieve unification. Outright military conflict cannot be ruled out but is highly unlikely. Australia needs to pay attention to rising tensions in the Strait and prepare for another, more probable scenario: a protracted and intensive campaign by Beijing, using ‘all means short of war’, to force the Taiwanese leadership to start negotiating.

The United States and others in the region, including Australia, would find it extremely difficult to counter these moves. No individual action by the PRC would warrant a military response, but collectively they could allow

Beijing to achieve its aim. This has been its approach in the South China Sea.

The changing status quo

The status quo, which is today under severe strain, is a fiction – agreed upon long ago and interpreted differently by each party – about what Taiwan is and what it should become. From Taiwan’s viewpoint, the status quo means that it functions as an independent and separate society from the PRC.

Taiwan has its own political system, military and currency, but it is internationally isolated. Nearly all nations recognise Beijing as the sole representative of China and – at Beijing’s insistence – merely maintain economic and social ties with Taiwan.

Although economically the PRC and Taiwan are intertwined, the majority of Taiwanese today identify as Taiwanese in the first instance, not Chinese.  They would prefer to kick the can down the road and – albeit grudgingly – live with the status quo.

From Beijing’s viewpoint the status quo is a bleeding sore. PRC leaders view Taiwan as a province of the PRC. They are adamant that “one day” Taiwan will be united with the motherland, at which point the Chinese civil war will finally end and China will attain closure. Xi has redefined and brought forward that “one day”.

Most Taiwanese will not voluntarily accept unification with the PRC of today. No amount\ of PRC economic incentives would convince the majority of Taiwanese that unification in the near term is in their interest.

The authoritarian measures adopted by Xi since 2012, especially Beijing’s actions in Hong by Linda Jakobson

Why should Australia be concerned about… rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait?

The PRC’s preferred unification model, ‘One Country, Two Systems’, is obsolete. Nevertheless, in an ominous sign of political tone-deafness, Beijing in January issued the Plan to Build the Rule of Law in China (2020–2025), which calls for advancing the process of unification under the “One Country, Two Systems plan for Taiwan”.5 It is well to remember that Beijing relied on legal measures – the passing of the Hong Kong National Security Law in June 2020 – to justify actions that, in essence, are now eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy.

From the viewpoint of the US, the status quo means that Washington acknowledges Beijing as the sole representative of China, but insists that any future unification takes place peacefully and with Taiwan’s consent. The administration of Donald Trump took several unprecedented steps to deepen Taiwan–US ties and normalise Taiwan’s international engagement. President Joe Biden is likely to continue these policies.

Many reasons for Australia to care

Were the PRC to take possession of Taiwan, East Asia’s strategic dynamic would change dramatically.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would no longer be confined to the ‘first island chain’: the PLA Navy (PLAN) would instead have the ability to project power further into the western Pacific.6

This would alter the US defence posture in the western Pacific and adversely affect Australia’s strategic environment.

Australia should also care about Taiwan’s fate because, with its 23 million people, Taiwan typifies the kind of vibrant, free and democratic society that Australia wants to see flourish across the IndoPacific. Forced annexation of Taiwan would be a setback for Australian values.

The havoc resulting from either a military confrontation or a comprehensive cross-Strait crisis would severely impact regional trade, and cause serious damage to Australia’s trade-dependent economy. Moreover, Taiwan produces half of the world’s semiconductor chips. Australia would suffer from a halt or substantial disruption in production.

Would the United States intervene?

In its official strategy, the US is committed in a conflict to denying the PRC sustained air and sea dominance inside the ‘first island chain’; defending Japan and Taiwan; and dominating all domains outside the ‘first island chain’.7 Given the vastly strengthened capabilities of the PLA and, in particular, its anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) weaponry, it is no longer certain that the US could prevail in a Taiwan conflict.

The Biden Administration has expressed a “rocksolid” US commitment to Taiwan. However, no one knows with certainty if Washington would actually intervene militarily were Beijing to take military action against Taiwan. For over 40 years this strategic ambiguity has been a key to maintaining peace. Contrary to what media reports often state, the US is not legally bound by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act to actually defend Taiwan militarily.

Today, some experts call for the US to change course and explicitly and categorically declare that it would respond to any use of force by the PRC against Taiwan. Biden is unlikely to do this. It would provoke Beijing; and it could also be used after 2024 by the next president of Taiwan – who could be more radical than the incumbent Tsai Ing-wen – to actively seek recognition of Taiwan’ independence, thereby provoking Beijing further.

Can Taiwan be coerced to negotiate?

Beijing does not want to fight a war over Taiwan.

A much more likely scenario entails step-by-step coercion of Taiwan – the use of ‘all means short of war’ – to destabilise Taiwanese society and force it to accept unification talks.

In an attempt to break the will of Taiwan, Beijing could adopt an aggressive mix of new technologies and conventional methods to apply pressure. … it is no longer certain that the US could prevail in a Taiwan conflict.

These range from economic pressure or an embargo, via intimidation, cyberattacks, and covert actions and subversion, to assassination and the limited use of military force (see scenario below). The aim would be to force Taiwan’s leadership to agree to unification talks premised on Beijing’s precondition that there is only ‘one China’.9 Once these political talks start, Xi could declare success for having paved the way to unification. Talks could take years, but Xi would be lauded for bringing the nation closer to the ‘China Dream’ of which unification is a central tenet.

How resilient would the Taiwanese people be when faced with the risk of war and utter chaos?

There are too many factors and unknown variables to answer this credibly.

A key unknown is the role of those Taiwanese who already favour unification – approximately 1.9 million people, a small proportion of the population (8.1% ).10 But their actions could be decisive if Taiwan were under siege, especially if they were to be joined by a portion of the Taiwanese who do not favour unification but do not want to risk catastrophic loss of human life in the event of a war. A movement could emerge to accept the negotiation of a compromise solution in order to avoid an escalation of violence.

After all, Beijing will not initially demand more than a commitment from Taiwan’s government to negotiate. Some could argue that the Taiwanese side would in principle still have room for manoeuvre.

Conclusions and recommendations

■ Despite the improbability of war, Australian decision makers need to make every effort to understand the complexities of the standoff over the unresolved political status of Taiwan. It is the one issue over which a military conflict could arise between the PRC and the US. Washington would take for granted Australia’s participation in any war effort. Determining what role Australia wants to take – if Canberra decides to join the US – is vital.
■ Most importantly, Australian decision makers need to prepare for a scenario in which Beijing resorts to ‘all means short of war’ to force the Taiwanese leadership to start political talks. There are countless possible thorny situations that would require a rapid policy response. What should Canberra do if Beijing shuts down the power and communication networks in Taiwan? Would Australia ban exports of iron ore to the PRC? Canberra must decide how important Taiwan is as an independent entity. Is Canberra willing to suffer retaliatory measures far greater than the current ones being meted out by the PRC?
■ The strong possibility of a PRC campaign using ‘all means short of war’ requires fresh thinking in Australia about cooperation within the ANZUS alliance. Specific scenarios and counter measures need to be discussed with other US allies too.
■ While Australia-PRC political ties remain frozen,
Canberra should encourage others to apply quiet diplomacy to prevent the type of scenario described in this brief. Beijing needs to be persuaded to accept Taiwan’s long-standing offer to enter into cross-Strait political talks without preconditions from Beijing, something it has refused to do.
■ Outsiders should not pass judgement on a negotiated settlement in advance, as long as Taiwan is not coerced. Although inconceivable today under Xi, one cannot rule out that a loose, largely symbolic, ‘Greater Chinese Union’ could be acceptable to both sides in the future.11
■ Some dismiss persuading Beijing to change tack as impossible. Persuasion and pressure – for example, a warning that recognition of ‘one China’ is in danger – are only possible if there is solidarity, ideally among European, North American and most Indo-Pacific nations. That is a tall order. Australia should consult with others about ways to jointly push back against Beijing if it intensifies pressure on Taiwan. First of all, the term ‘use of force’ must be redefined to include ‘all means short of war’. What a collective effort would entail must be agreed upon. Whatever is decided needs to be communicated to Beijing by those nations who have a better chance of being listened to than Canberra.

This paper indicates a few things.

First, the turn in CM analysis tells you how hawkish Canberra has gotten in China. Good.

Second, damn right Australia should be prepared to block exports as part of a multilateral boycott, including iron ore.

Third, a complicating feature of this conflict is Taiwan’s enormous market share (roughly half) in global semi-conductor production. That must never fall into the CCP’s hands so that limits the scope for any kind of soft power agreement.  It will also stiffen the resolve of both Taiwan and its supporters. It might even be enough to get the pathetically kowtowing EU on board with trade sanctions given a blockade of Taiwanese output would do huge damage to its economy as well. (As a quick aside, it shows how stupid capitalism can be on occasion).

Fourth, I do not expect the CCP to act on Taiwan militarily in the next decade but it’s not obvious to me that the softer path for the CCP makes much sense, either. If it resulted in severe trade and financial sanctions for China then it would mark the end of its expansion, not the beginning.

Bring it on!

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. More to the point, that gives 10 years for the west to have an active plan to reduce reliance on Chinese manufacturing (in particular).

      • Excellent article, and the answer is you cannot! And the real reason for China to take-over Taiwan could be down to semi-conductors. Don’t know if you have been following the news (SBS has good world coverage) but China has been buying so many semi conductors (due to the Trump embargo) that even VW and Toyota have stopped car production because they cannot get the relevant chips. Why is this important?

        TSM is a Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturing and design company. It is the world’s largest, dedicated chip foundry, with >50% market share (and growing). Founded in 1987 as a joint venture between Philips and the government of Taiwan, going public in 1997. As Gavekal notes, Intel once ruled global semiconductor manufacturing, but no longer; with recent announcement suggesting that they were unable to mass produce 7nm chips until at least 2023 (approximately 18 months later than earlier guidance). TrendForce reports that Intel will procure wafers from TSM starting H221, accounting for around 20-25% of TSM’s total production for some of Intel’s non-CPU products, but will also contribute toward its Core i3 processors. Intel is still technically unable to build 5nm chips, and critically, is able to for the next several years.

        Remarkably, TSM is moving further ahead technologically, commencing preliminary production this year using its new 3nm process, with widespread production scheduled for H222. Company guidance suggests that this new semiconductor is “a full node stride,” compared with the 5nm, will have a 70% logic density gain, 15% performance gain, whilst using 30% less power.

        It is inevitable that other companies will eventually catch up to TSM, but given market shortages, and their current technological lead over any other competitor, that will take many years. Considered best in class.

        In short, TSM is five years ahead of the US in chip design, at least. China is a decade behind the US – at least. Just to give an idea how important this is, China have allocated US$1.5tn to semi-conductor research just for the next four years. The real number is probably two or three times that. Insiders are calling it China’s Manhatten project.

        Now this bit is not as crazy as it sounds, if China gets Taiwan, it gets a lead technologically over the US, which it might be able to maintain… that’s where I think this paper is actually more present that it initially appears. Remember HK? No one did anything, and the strategic outlook with the acquisition of Taiwan and hence the newfound ability of China to project naval power is a game changer. Add a technological advantage on top of that, and Pax America is no more… you cannot go to war with a nation that has 55% of the global manufacturing base and 20% of the global population!!! And a technological edge to boot.

        If I was Xi, I would go now. The US navy would be kicked out of Asia. It would be reduced to a base in Japan, Australia and Hawaii.

        • But the point you raise suggests that China cannot go to war with Taiwan as the destruction of it’s semi-conductor manufacturing will be decimated in the process.

          • Frank DrebinMEMBER

            I imagine there would be an American and/or Taiwanese defence plan that would turn key semi-conductor capability into dust in the event of any invasion.

            Highly unlikely that the Taiwanese are also just sitting back and not thinking about a Plan A,B and C to relocate that technology IP now and into the future.

        • A little known fact is that prior to 1987 Australia was ahead of Taiwan in Semiconductor capability and Production.
          At the time AWAMicroelectronics had just licensed a 1um (or maybe it was a scaled 2 um ) process from Harris Semiconductor AWA was specializing in a special Process called Silicon on Sapphire. (and I believe they also played around with Silicon on Diamond).
          AWA built the production facility (Fab) at Homebush and was actively competing with a recently formed TSMC who was using a licensed Phillips Process. But that was really just a legal cover for the real processes they were running which were very similar to TI’s (funny that given where Morris and the team came from)
          But in 1987 Australia was technically ahead of Taiwan in Semiconductors
          We had better universities that still taught courses like Semiconductor physics
          We had people like Martin Green who definitely knows his way around a bipolar process and kinda knows a bit about Solar Cells as well.
          At the same time
          -there were many Industrial leaders of the Semiconductor industry who graduated from Aussie universities.
          -there were many top computer chip designers guys like Neil Weste at Bell labs who designed the LISP chips

          We were ahead of Taiwan, yet today we’d be lucky to be able to even assemble a handful of Australian Semiconductor heavy weights whereas Taiwan would have no trouble filling a football field with highly skilled, highly paid semiconductor experts.

          Good job we have housing and lots of red dirt.

          • I'll have anotherMEMBER

            Thanks dodgy for the good info. Sad our governments have such strong objections to investing in Australian research.

            The current Covid test made in QLD by a small team of scientists that sold off their tech to the US after being snubbed by state and federal governments is a recent example.

          • Yea but then we saw enlightenment. Scotty Cam was on the scene and the new, yet old, religion was on the march onwards and upwards……………Praise the Lord!

          • Good job we have housing and lots of red dirt.
            That was the Plan,
            Well that was what we signed up for in the Neo-liberal Globalised economy

          • Ailart SuaMEMBER

            dodgy, you don’t mean Martin Andrew Green AM FRS FAA; professor at the University of New South Wales who works on solar energy? The Martin Green who was awarded the 2021 Japan Prize for his achievements in the “Development of High-Efficiency Silicon Photovoltaic Devices”? But, no, it couldn’t be that one dodgy, because he was born in 1948 – yes, he’s a boomer! He’s my age, dodgy.

            Maybe I’ll end up in the same nursing home as Martin Green and we’ll have the same young nurse swab us with sand paper you spoke about the other day. And as we lie there waiting to die I’m sure Martin will be able to tell me how useless we boomers were in our education endeavours – eh dodgy!

          • Long time since I’ve spoken with Martin (so I’m definitely not going to put words into his mouth) but I’d be prepared to bet he wished that his solar cell technology had been commercialized by Australian companies rather than Chinese companies. Alas they invested in their people and we Invested in F’all.
            So yeah we all deserve what’s coming our way.
            Who knows, maybe he will be able to afford a nursing home where they use softish sand paper.
            And just to be clear I have absolutely nothing against Martin, matter of fact I have the utmost respect for him. He stayed here and delivered his best work while his country failed him.
            Even when we were given the best possible starting point, we failed to invest, we failed to educate, we failed to capitalize, well lets just leave it at… we failed.

        • But doesn’t China rely on a lot of imported energy, food and raw materials? Could the US navy blockaid China outside the range of its missiles?

        • Yes it is amazing how Taiwan, particularly their government, has worked hard to craft an environment where key environmental conditions come together to make it an attractive place to fabricate semi-conductors. Things do change though. It wasn’t that long ago that US fabricated Intel chips were leading the pack. It is an industry that rewards R&D so other players need to move beyond the quarterly statement mindset to compete again and similarly, western governments (particularly the US) need to move beyond their simplistic “small government-free market” dogma.

          Japan and Taiwan are excellent examples of how governments can take positive action to encourage investment in competencies/capabilities over the long term. That’s the key in the technology space and it is not an impossible task.
          EDIT: Based on patents data, it would appear China is learning how to innovate just like the Taiwanese. So we better wise up soon.

        • That Gavekal article about TSMC overtaking Intel was sensationalised and simplistic. It naively compared the technology “node size” between Intel and TSMC as though it was an objective measurement of chip performance. It is anything but. It’s more of a marketing term and has very little to do with the transistor sizes on the chip or more importantly the overall performance of the chip. Yes TSMC is a little ahead of Intel, but it’s not as drastic as the Gavekal article makes out.

          Furthermore, the R&D enterprise for microchips brings together many different scientific disciplines that are not all resident within TSMC. One of the most important is optics. Japan is one of the leaders in this area and supplies many chip manufactures including TSMC with essential optical equipment. So if someone acquires TSMC they only get one part of the total R&D enterprise. Some of the optical equipment already in the foundry could be “reverse engineered” but expertise in optics and ability to be a leader in the R&D cannot be so easily acquired.

          • What Gavekal mentioned was an overall picture… and not relied on, obviously. But what you say about Japan being needed, not correct. You underestimate Chinas technological advancement.

          • @rusty I think you missed the point about it being a distributed R&D enterprise. Extreme ultraviolet lithography is the technique used to make the latest chips at TSMC and Samsung. ASML a Dutch company is the only manufacturer of EUV machines in the world, previously Japanese companies dominated until the wavelength went to extreme UV. Do you think TSMC does ASMLs R&D for them? So if China gets TSMC it only gets half of the R&D pie. https://www.brookings.edu/techstream/the-chip-making-machine-at-the-center-of-chinese-dual-use-concerns/

          • China is replicating the entire foundry ecosystem domestically. What you are describing is legacy issues which won’t exist in 12 to 18 months. We are entering a world where you will either go down the Silicon Valley or Chinese route. Countries will have to choose, being disparate technology strains. Sure, they will copy of each other, but will be largely separate.

          • Um I think you need to read the article I linked. An EUV lithography machine is more than a legacy issue. Its a hyper specialized machine using cutting edge materials science and UV optics. China is at least 10 years from that. Maybe 5 years if they steal all the IP and attempt to reverse engineer it. But 18 months. You have NFI about the details.

          • Disagree, you don’t have to be in front in every aspect. Its a bit like an argument I had with a bunch of guys about the NBN at its formation, and they were rabbiting on about band widths blah blah blah. Everyone was telling me how Rudd was a visionary, computers for every child, and Cate Blanchet as a policy driver. As if that means something. I argued at the time that WiFi would make cable obsolete. You hold up these tidbits as if they were impenetrable barriers. they are not… they re nothings and have already been copied.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      10 years? Ya whad now? Isn’t the plan just to wait while pressuring them on resources, territorial boundaries, trade and access to capital to the point where they do something rash militarily, then invade and pick up the pieces and other various national resources/treasures afterwards?

      Asking for a friend.

      It’s worked for the last 130 years, amirite?

    • Why do you think we have 10 years? PLA flights test the median line on an almost daily basis (a little quieter for Chinese NY maybe) reported incursions into Taiwanese waters by sand dredgers destroying the ocean bed require the Taiwanese coast guard to move them on 4,000 times in 2020, even beyond Taiwan the Japanese are having difficulty with the sheer number of incursions into the Senaku Islands (also claimed by Taiwan) by the PLA and it’s maritime (fishing) militia. When we speak of blocking IO exports that may take months to have real effect, do we consider in Australia we are too reliant on Chinese imports and desperately need other supply chains now as an embargo of exports from China would have an almost immediate effect. Only the US can prevent Xi’s conquest. The free world needs to be prepared and needs to be seen to be taking united unwavering action.

  2. buttzilla team forever

    Biden will fund the Qing Bang and start an arms race Russia style… will expose the flaws of naked development (b&r).

  3. Arnold Worchester

    Demographics are destiny. America will be Brazil. Better to envisage and work towards a Pax Sinica that allows humanity to push into space and exploit the solar system.

    At least Chinese leadership will mean an end to wokeness.

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      That post will add to your social credit score and keep you out of the organ harvesting camps for another few months. The use of politburo approved terms like pax sinica is particularly worthy of merit. You might be allowed a month of extra fast internet as a bonus.

      • Exactly, China most likely has the demographic problem (though I can see it becoming much less of an issue if AI & robotics etc take hold) as it is still not that wealthy per capita, and they age faster than Japan and just yesterday births stats were DOWN 15% on the year! And Japan had a booming China to support it’s aging population and hadn’t miscalculated anywhere near as much GDP as China has. America has quite good demographics for the rest of the century.

    • China has two uranium operations in Nambia, producing far more than they need domestically. China has only commenced one nuclear construction project over the past four years. There are nine verified reactors currently under construction, substantially below the figure of 16 plants in 2018, and 20 plants in 2016. This dramatic drop in new-build, in my mind, is a clear demonstration of the strategic change in direction of the Chinese nuclear power programme!!!!

      So ask yourself, what has China been doing with that massive surplus uranium??? Yeah, that’s right…

      • So ask yourself, what has China been doing with that massive surplus uranium???

        Same as every other nation/state in the world short of Japan: deterrence.
        Should Nukes have been in the hands of only one MIL-Pharma ran state, Mao’s China would be a distant memory of the democratic times (in comparison).

  4. TailorTrashMEMBER

    We could just take down those signs in mandarin at Sydney airport advertising apartment blocks . That’ll show them ….

    • Well… we showed them who’s the boss by enforcing investigation intn origins of the Woo-Floo. When they find it has lab origins we can double down on on barking for our master’s voice

  5. master of toilet paper

    i see no practical scenario in which china will not ascend (more like re-ascend) to its position as the middle kingdom of the world. global power is predicated most upon two variables, population and population *quality*; china not only has the world’s biggest population owing to the fact that it is a hydrophillic civilisation centred upon a network of river deltas, it is also overwhelmingly an oriental east-asian population. oriental east asians have the highest av iq of all the major continental races (about 3 points or so above the european caucasian mean), the highest levels of conscientiousness and the lowest levels of interpersonal aggression (at least when it comes to intra-societal interaction). this is a pattern of behaviour that can be observed world wide, whether it is chinese-cubans living in the slums of havana or third generation chinese americans from cupertino.

    unlike the cowardly west the chinese have shown an strong interest in behavioural genetics and are actively trying to seek out the genetic etiology of characteristics like iq, which they no doubt will have no scruples about trying to enhance in their own populations, either through genetic therapy or eugenic incentives. meanwhile, the prevailing archailects of the united states have made the connection between genetics and behaviour de facto thought criminality, and seem intent on inundating themselves with third world skraelings via mass immigration. australia seems little differrent in this regard.

    i see no viable scenario that will prevent china from re-attaining it’s global superpower status, a position it has occupied numerous times throughout history. even those that concern it’s economic system seem spurrious; even if china were a fully state operated control economy ala the soviet union (which it is not) it would still attain global superpower status; the soviet union, despite being one third of china’s population, managed to even with such a system ‘hindering’ it, and that was a population of russians, white and polonized russians, central asians and various other turkic hoi polloi, who are not as good or naturally collectivist as chinese are. it’s a chinese world baby, truth is, it almost always has been, and we’re just livin in it.

    • Perhaps your insight into the effects of genetics on behaviour can also reference the intrinsic negative issues which have hampered Chinese civilisation throughout their history ? A history which is peppered with more than its fair share of own goals and which is basically responsible for every poor civilisational outcome the Chinese population has ever faced. Genetics is a two way street – positives and negatives. For all of your hawk eyed ability to identify the “ cowardliness “ of the West ,you appear to suffer a major blind spot towards the East Asian.

      • master of toilet paper

        china has never had a ‘poor’ civilisational history, it has attained global power status at numerous points during many of it’s dynasties; it was about equal in power and status to the romans during the han and jin periods, a global and technological powerhouse during the tang and song periods and even impressive despite its relative decline to the west during the qing dynasty. oriental east asians are almost the perfect population for perpetuating a global autocratic hegemon; they’re intelligent (spatial IQ>verbal) but compliant, non-mercantile, highly industrious and exhibit low levels of aggression towards their ingroups. if there was any population suited to fulfilling the economic and social objectives of marxism-leninism, it’d be them.

        • I'll have anotherMEMBER

          “Never” had a poor civilisation history.

          How about the time the Mongols took them out and turned them into a populous of slaves? Or the Japanese? The Brits took HK for a decent while too didn’t they? Or the time the US cut Beijing up into parts in the boxer war?

          Is your post satire?

          • master of toilet paper

            “Ouch, I believe those are called “facts”.

            its called pedantry lol

            picking apart at the usage of the word “never” literally while ignoring the main point being made

            thinking i didnt kno about the mongol incursions etc etc despite naming the dynasty that preceded the yuan

            i even mentioned the relative decline of china (which encapsultes the opium wars) in the post above referencing the qing, learn to read pal

            even the mongols were sinicized pretty quickly

            zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            i thought u were cool bro but nup

      • master of toilet paper

        yeah h man would prob agree with me if he was still alive today tbh but that’s better than having dumbos who dont read anything like scott morrison and joe biden agree with you instead

    • How much does China spend on internal security?

      If you know anything about Chinese history, then you’ll know the answer to why China never become a superpower, despite all its advantages in technology and demographic. “The center cannot hold” : it takes too much effort to keep the country together.

    • Wow what a stupid thesis. You could equally say that the US will dominate because it has more mixed race people – something that has been proven to strengthen genetic makeups. And that would only be if a civilization was only about race and genetics.

      • master of toilet paper

        . the hybrid vigor thing re: humans is not true at all bc most human populations are not sufficiently inbred to actually benefit from it. if you dont think cognitive ability and personality factors arent relevant in civilisational capacity you’re lost , it makes me really depressed to know that ppl like you are actually running our countries.

        And that would only be if a civilization was only about race and genetics.

        no1 said they were besides u

        • So if the Chinese genetic makeup or behavior is superior why did it take half a millennium to get onboard with the scientific revolution? Given that it began in the 1500s and China is only just catching up now?

          • master of toilet paper

            because cognitive ability =/= rapid adoption of ideas despite their dissemination, and is as related to other personality factors as well as IQ, such as openness to experience, amongst other things. the chinese were technologically as advacned or more so than most if not all of the world for significant periods prior to the closure of china to the world during the qing dyansty. it is difficult to argue that oriental east asians are not the smartest (as measured by iq tests) major continental human population with a unique cognitive profile that favours non-verbal intelligence above verbal intelligence.

            this iq difference is only small (about 3 points) but china’s strong average iq is relevant because it means it won’t have any ceiling effects caused by low average cognitive ability that could hamper/complicate its developmental trajectory. im not allowed to post links on here for some reason but there’s plenty of ppl out there that can explain this better than i can, and by those ppl i dont mean the mendacious western sooks who have been bogusly alleging that iq/personality dont matter and have no genetic component to them for decades.

            and anyway, even if the caucasian-east asian iq gap didnt exist at all (ie chinese had the same average iq as white ppl) china would still become a superpower anyway. even if the gap as it is known to exist is entirely environmental it doesnt matter as well bc no one has any clue how to bridge it, nor would it make any difference bc it would still not arrest china’s rise if white ppl figured out how to make themselves on average 3 iq points higher. none of this is relevant to what i am saying.

      • master of toilet paper

        no one is lionising the chinese here, popcod. we’re all aware of their flaws. the only relevant question is “will china be a superpower?”

        the answer is most likely yes. they have been before for significant periods of history, why could they not be again?

        you could go to america and come back with the same anecdotal bad taste in your mouth, it doesnt mean anything. you talk about the “compassionate” australian middle class who is gladly eating its youth alive for phantom home equity gains, it doesn’t mean anything. take away the blinkers from your eyes and see the reality of the situation; all that matters is the sheer economic and demographic bulk of the chinese, their evident cognitive competitiveness, competent enough ‘technocratic’ governance etc. it takes no genius to predict where things are going to go from here. i think you will find that you are wrong and that i am right eventually.

    • china not only has the world’s biggest population owing to the fact that it is a hydrophillic civilisation centred upon a network of river deltas,
      This is not going to be the case shortly ,10 -15 years from now those rivers , that scource from the Himalaya ice pack, will be withering due to the effects of run away Global Heating. Same goes for India and Bangladesh
      https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/climate-change-third-pole-glacier-melts-himalayas-hkh-a9658416.html

      • master of toilet paper

        tru, india will overtake china’s population in the next 10-20 years or so but i suspect indians arent as demographically good as chinese are which will complicate their development. av indian iq is only like 85 or so, though there’s so much heterogeneity there it’s difficult to get an accurate snapshot. we’ll know in the following decades just what the story is with india.

  6. Don’t worry about war over Taiwan Straits… Taiwan owns a patch of land, kinmen, that’s 2km off the coast of mainland china near Xiamen. If china wanted to take it back they could have done it ages ago

  7. Wonder if there should already be sanctions against CCP for continued hassling of Taiwan’s airspace and islands?

  8. Ailart SuaMEMBER

    “Most Taiwanese will not voluntarily accept unification with the PRC of today. No amount\ of PRC economic incentives would convince the majority of Taiwanese that unification in the near term is in their interest.”

    Without absolute proof of that, it’s all pretty much speculation.

  9. The sooner the PRC starts fighting the better. The longer they wait the more they gather strength and the more we weaken.