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July 23, 2021

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China Plans to Invade Taiwan, US and Japan Reaction.

6 min read
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Image by tingyaoh from Pixabay

The US and Japan are conducting war games and joint military exercises within the event of a conflict with China over Taiwan, amid escalating concerns over the Chinese military’s assertive activity. 

The exercise includes top-secret tabletop war games and joint drills within the South China and East China seas.

Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged a “complete reunification” with Taiwan as he delivered a speech to mark 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party .

As a result, China vowed to invade Taiwan and explained a three-stage plan for a successful invasion.

Taiwan is that the “most dangerous” flashpoint in the relationship between the U.S. and China. Beijing claims Taiwan, a democratic self-ruled island, as a runaway province that has got to be reunited with the mainland — using force if necessary. 

The ruling Chinese Communist Party , which turns 100 years, has never governed Taiwan.

In the previous couple of years, the U.S. has moved closer to Taiwan, angering China which views the island as having no right to conduct diplomacy of its own.

In his speech to mark the occasion, the Chinese President vowed to crush any plan to get in the way of “complete reunification” of Taiwan with the mainland, describing it as an “historic mission and an unshakeable commitment” for the party. 

“It is additionally a shared aspiration for all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation,” he said. Xi called on all Chinese people, including “compatriots” across the Taiwan Strait, to unite and “take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt towards ‘Taiwan independence, and work together to make a bright future for national rejuvenation”.

Xi Jinping’s vow to reunification was followed up with a piece of writing during a Chinese magazine, which outlined a three-pronged attack that would pave the way for an landing and the toppling of the govt in Taipei.

The first stage would see DF-16 short-range ballistic missile attacks pulverizing airports, early warning radar, anti-air missile bases, and command centers across the island.

The article states: “The attacks against Taiwan’s airports would continue until Chinese surface troops had accomplished an assault landing.” Following this China’s H-6 bombers and J-16 fighter jets would attack naval ports, although the facilities wouldn’t be “destroyed”

so the People’s Liberation Army could use them for a landing. In the second stage, the article states YJ-91 and CJ-10 cruise missiles would be unleashed from land, warships, and submarines. Military bases, ammunition depots, communications infrastructure, and key road junctions would be crippled. 

Drones would then be dispatched to assess the damage. Finally, the article said warships and land-based rocket forces would wipe out any remaining obstacles therefore the People’s Liberation Army’s marine corps and landing troops would safely land.

As a response to the present plan, the US and Japan are holding military exercises within the region. Demetri Sevastopulo gives details about the multilateral puzzle in his article.

Shinzo Abe, former Japanese prime minister, decided in 2019 to significantly expand military planning due to the threat to Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands within the East China Sea.

This work has continued under the administrations of Joe Biden and Abe’s successor, Yoshihide Suga.

The US and Japan became alarmed as China has flown more fighter jets and bombers into Taiwan’s defense identification zone, including a record 28 fighters on June 15.

The Chinese navy, air force, and coast guard have also become increasingly active around the Senkaku, which are administered by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan. 

China insists that it wants to unify Taiwan with the mainland. While it says it wants peaceful unification, it has not ruled out the utilization of force to seize control of Taiwan.

“In some ways , the People’s Liberation Army drove the US and Japan together and toward new thinking on Taiwan,” said Randall Schriver, who served because the top Pentagon official for Asia until the top of 2019.

“Assertiveness round the Senkaku and Taiwan at an equivalent time drives home the difficulty of proximity.” 

The US has long wanted Japan, a mutual defense treaty ally, to conduct more joint military planning, but Japan was constrained by its postwar pacifist constitution.

That obstacle was eased, but not eliminated when the Abe government in 2015 reinterpreted the constitution to permit Japan to defend allies that came under fire . As the two allies began to bolster their 

joint planning, Japan asked the US to share its Taiwan war plan. The Pentagon demurred because it wanted to focus on boosting coordination with Tokyo in phases.

One former US official said the eventual goal was for the allies to make an integrated war plan for Taiwan.

The US military and Japanese self-defense forces had conducted joint exercises within the 

South China Sea that had been couched as disaster relief training. The countries have also held more military exercises round the Senkaku, which could also help steel oneself against any conflict with China 

over Taiwan, which is simply 350km west of the islands. “Some of the activities we’re training on are highly fungible,”  said Schriver, adding that exercises like an amphibious landing during a “disaster relief scenario” would be “directly applicable” to any conflict round the Senkaku or the Taiwan Strait. Mark Montgomery,

a retired admiral who commanded the USS Washington carrier strike group and was director of operations at Indo-Pacific command, said the Pentagon needed a “comprehensive understanding” of the support Japan could provide within the case of a conflict. “As a crisis grows and Japan is potentially 

drawn in as a participant, the US will needto understand how Japan could support or enable US operations,” he added. US and Japanese diplomats are examining the legal issues associated with any joint action , including access to bases and therefore the kind of logistical support Japan could provide US forces engaged during a conflict with China. 

In the event of a war over Taiwan, the US would believe air bases in Japan. But that raises the chances that Tokyo would be dragged into the conflict, particularly if China tried to destroy the bases to hobble the US. One official said the US and Japan needed to urgently create a trilateral sharing mechanism with Taiwan for information about Chinese naval and air force movements, especially around the Miyako Strait to the east of Taiwan, which is roofed by Japanese sensors from the north-east and Taiwanese sensors from the south-west. “Some of that sort of knowledge is shared between Taiwan and therefore the US, and between Japan and therefore the US. 

But we’ve no direct sharing trilaterally,” the official said. “You cannot start setting that up within the middle of a contingency. You have to try to to it now.” Another official said the three nations had taken alittle but important step in 2017 by agreeing to share military aircraft codes to help identify friendly aircraft.

Taiwanese officials and US and Japanese sources said co-operation had since increased significantly, driven by the growing awareness in Japan about the importance of Taiwan — which is 110km from Yonaguni, the westernmost island within the Japanese archipelago — for its security. “The Japanese government has increasingly recognized, and even acknowledges publicly, that the defense of Taiwan equates to the defense of Japan,” said Heino Klinck,

A former top Pentagon official who oversaw military relations with Japan and Taiwan from late 2019 until the top of the Trump administration. In the case of war, some scenarios would play a destructive role within the region. 

Most Taiwanese have shown no interest in being ruled by China. Taiwan’s government says only the island’s people can decide their future and has decried Chinese pressure. On the opposite side, the Chinese president wants to become a hero who can annex Taiwan. 

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