Military invasion of Taiwan would achieve nothing for China and the most successful approach to gaining control of territory has been the European Union

The Week noticed one comment during a series of talks about China’s military modernization and aims.

At the end of page 3 and beginning of page 4 (of 12 pages of testimony), Lee Fuell, Technical Director for Force Modernization and Employment U.S. Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center, makes the point that recent military writing from China has focused on successfully deterring US involvement in the event of invading Taiwan.

The Taiwan Situation is mostly not about direct US intervention

There were eight talks at the hearing.

* Lee Fuell has it in his interest to make China seem as militarily capable as possible. This would provide more budget for US military force modernization

* Chinese military officers who write about invading Taiwan have to work out some scenario in that context

* It is in China’s interest for the US to spend as much money on the US military as possible so long as China has nuclear deterrent and sufficient forces to discourage direct US military attack on China. This is predicated on the fact that the most successful approach to gaining control of territory in modern World History has been the European Union. Germany and France have used the European Union to gain control of most of Europe. The Soviet Union demonstrated the folly of overspending on the military.

* Taiwan is an island. Even at the height of US military capability in world War 2, the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa took overwhelming military superiority and were very costly.

55% of Taiwan’s 23 million people consider themselves Taiwanese.

Taiwan has 290,000 active military personnel and 1.675 million in military reserves.

Taiwan has about 330 modern fighter jets and multi-role fighters

China has superiority in airplanes over Taiwan.

It seems Taiwan would resist any invasion and Taiwan would be demolished in any successful invasion. Also, it is highly uncertain that an invasion would work. Even if say the US were to invade Taiwan. It would take massive amounts of beach landing craft.

Japan’s population in WW2 was about 70 million. So invading Taiwan would be like invading the home islands of Japan.

Ok, outright invasion is stupid.
Military blockade is what is analyzed most by the US military. They estimate that China might have the military capability to be able to pull that off in ten years.

However, a military success would get everyone in Taiwan firmly against China.

China and United states should be focused on economic competition and influence. Being able to emulate the European Union or create larger and tighter trade blocks is the best way to gain influence.

Taiwan and China are economically integrating.

An economically strong China with per capita income at or near the level of Taiwan will bring Taiwan and Southeast Asia firmly into its sphere of influence.

Military adventures would just screw up China’s economic success.

Some think China will Age out of economic and military strength

The economic model that propelled China through three decades of meteoric growth appears unsustainable,” Andrew Erickson, a Naval War College analyst, told the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. What Erickson described as China’s “pent-up national potential” could begin expiring as early as 2030, by which point “China will have world’s highest proportion of people over 65,” he predicted. “An aging society with rising expectations, burdened with rates of chronic diseases exacerbated by sedentary lifestyles, will probably divert spending from both military development and the economic growth that sustains it.”

I do not see where Japan’s demographics are factoring into the current standoff in the South China sea. China will still have plenty of military age people.

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