Reuters has an extensive article on Communist China’s campaign against Taiwan, at this point largely involving military intimidation. And there’s an interesting point within the article.
There has been a “clear shift” this year in Beijing’s posture, a senior Taiwanese security official responsible for intelligence on China told Reuters. Chinese military and government agencies have switched from decades of “theoretical talk” about taking Taiwan by force to debating and working on plans for possible military action, the official said.
Would Xi and the Communists have been prepared to confidently move against Taiwan if they thought President Trump would be in office?
The Trump administration is muscular without being interventionist, but it’s also capable of doing the unexpected, as it demonstrated before, infuriating the GOP’s RINO libertarian caucus. Under just about any other president, the PRC could have been fairly confident that the world would protest, as it did over Hong Kong, and then do nothing. I doubt the Trump administration will step in militarily over Taiwan, but part of the chaos theory magic was that there would be no way to know for sure.
President Trump touted his unpredictability in the face of foreign adversaries when he first ran for office. It’s not likely that China would have risked a war with an unpredictable president. This sort of planning suggests that China had certain expectations for the 2020 election.
The amount of force it’s mobilizing is significant. It’s not intended for use in 4 years, but likely sooner than that.
PLA aircraft are flying menacingly towards airspace around Taiwan almost daily, sometimes launching multiple sorties on the same day. Since mid-September, Chinese warplanes have flown more than 100 of these missions, according to a Reuters compilation of flight data drawn from official statements by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. The data shows that in periods when political tension across the Taiwan Strait peaks, China sends more aircraft, including some of its most potent fighters and bombers.
Even if President Trump didn’t directly intervene, he could rush military supplies that would be crucial during a conflict, and provide intelligence and other assistance, as the US did for Israel during its wars. China would be much more likely to move forward if it could be confident of its own man sitting in the White House.
The administration of President Donald Trump has been rushing new weapons into service and realigning U.S. forces in Asia to counter China. Regional powers Japan, India and Australia are tightening cooperation with the Americans.
Good luck with that if Bejiing Biden takes the White House.