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Is China seriously contemplating [imminent?] invasion of Taiwan?

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In 1958, full orbed hot war threatened to break out after dogfights over the Taiwan straights that saw a breakthrough use of Sidewinder missiles that brought down several Red Chinese Migs. We may be contemplating that brink again, if a current report on a claimed, leaked audiotape of discussions by Chinese authorities is credible. (The audiotape is in a Chinese dialect, likely Mandarin but possibly Cantonese.)

As the first linked reports:

In the past week, in response to the instruction of the “Central Military Commission of the State Council” in Beijing on “transitioning to a war time system,” a meeting took place involving senior officers of the People Liberation Army’s Guangdong Military Region of the Southern Command and the principal officers in Guangdong Province administration and the regional Chinese Communist Party committee . . . .

The meeting focused on three areas:

1 Building a military-civilian joint mobilization command and control system

2 Establishing wartime procedures

3 Preparing for wartime command and control . . . .

[Involving, at least (from Guandong Province):]

1. 1,358 units of various types with a total of 140,000 personnel; 953 ships; 1,653 unmanned aircraft; 20 airport terminals; 6 shipyards; 14 emergency mobilization centers; grain and oil depots, hospital blood bank, etc.

2. 15,500 military experts of various disciplines.

3. 64 10,000-ton ro-ro ships, 38 aircraft, 588 trains, and 19 civil facilities such as airport docks.”

As this is reportedly a provincial meeting, such would be just one part of the overall effort.

Another video, contemplating the geostrategic situation and threats, gives wider context that should give pause, whether or not the above is true:

We may contemplate how China must perceive itself as navally hemmed in by the first island chain off its shores, with Australia looming as a continental forward base and Hawaii as key link to the USA and the Panama Canal:

This is closely parallel to the naval challenge Germany faced c 1900:

This is the context for Jutland:

Ironically, Russia is facing much the same choke point today, though the GIUK gap is a bit wider. Going back to my 2016 geostrategic framework:

After two failed world wars, Germany has no concern about Britain choking off its naval and trade access, as it has learned to be a power of peace.

Can China and Russia learn the lesson? Iran? Others?

We shall see. END

22 Replies to “Is China seriously contemplating [imminent?] invasion of Taiwan?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Is China seriously contemplating [imminent?] invasion of Taiwan?

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    Has there been a time when the mainland Communist regime has not been contemplating the invasion of Taiwan?

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Probably in the 80’s – 00’s.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    We’re bombing our own people and every country except China.. China has been attacking only its own people for a long time. They might as well join our Universal Obliteration club.

  5. 5
    ET says:


    Has there been a time when the mainland Communist regime has not been contemplating the invasion of Taiwan?


  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    as to communists, war, biology and other stuff, let me add this short David Attenborough style parody video about Russian tanks (deep fake) …

  7. 7
    JHolo says:

    The rest of the world is also to blame for not fully and officially recognizing Taiwan as an independent country. In most international fora, members are not referred to as countries, they are referred to as economies so that they don’t ruffle China’s feathers. But, hypocritically, when these organizations have member votes, it is done by country, otherwise the EU states as a group would only have one vote.

  8. 8
    Fred Hickson says:

    Well maybe Xi is watching Russia’s stalled invasion of Ukraine and the solid support Ukraine is getting from the West. He’s a pragmatic totalitarian. Perhaps he’ll consider it isn’t worth the cost.

  9. 9
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ JHolo

    The complication is the defeated Nationalists still claim to be the legitimate regime for all China.

  10. 10
    relatd says:

    Pure fiction. What is missing from the map propaganda is the weather and the fact that it’s only good enough for an invasion to take place only a few months out of the year. Now, with dedicated U.S. spy satellites over China, a buildup of troops and invasion craft would be spotted immediately.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Relatd, and what is the US prepared to do? KF

    PS, the weather is always a factor, in 1944 May was the earliest, weather nearly scrubbed Jun 5 – 7 and the next window, 19th, was the worst storm in a long time.

  12. 12
    relatd says:

    What is the U.S. prepared to do? In the event of a pre-invasion buildup, it should go like this:

    “Hello, China? This the United States. We see your buildup. So stop it, stop it now.”

    China: We no stop. How about that?

    “Hello, China? This is Walmart and I’ve got Target on the line. We’ll stop ordering stuff from you unless you stop.”

    China: OK. OK.

  13. 13
    Belfast says:

    There is no need to speculate.
    General Milley settled a plan with his counterpart in China.
    He gives notice to China if the President is going to attack them and in return his counterpart gives notice to Milley if Xi is going to attack Taiwan. Google, “Milley tells China.”
    Admittedly, the return favour by China is not mentioned, but surely Milley would have insisted on it. Surely.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Okay . . .

    STEP 1

    PLA holds joint drills east, southwest to Taiwan island, ‘sends warning to secessionists, external forces’

    By Liu Xuanzun
    Published: May 09, 2022 07:10 AM

    The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recently held a large-scale joint exercise surrounding the island of Taiwan from both sides, a move that experts said on Monday demonstrated and further boosted the PLA’s high level of combat preparedness over Taiwan and sent a strong warning to “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces and external interference forces at a time when those forces repeatedly made wrong remarks and actions on the Taiwan question.

    By featuring a powerful aircraft carrier group east of the island, a large number of different types of warplanes and additional warships west of the island, plus conventional missiles, the PLA exercise was a partial rehearsal of a possible reunification-by-force operation, including the neutralization of the military potential of secessionist forces on the island and the cutting off of possible military intervention from countries like the US and Japan, analysts said.

    The PLA Eastern Theater Command organized maritime, aerial, conventional missile and other forces and carried out a real force exercise in and above waters east and southwest of the island of Taiwan from Friday to Sunday to further test and enhance the joint operational capabilities of multiple military services and branches, the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the PLA, reported in a front page story on Monday.

    STEP 2

    This seems somewhat responsive

    Boom! U.S. just parked a fleet of aircraft carriers right on China’s doorstep
    Includes USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Ronald Reagan, USS America, as well as USS Tripoli

    By Philip Lenczycki
    Daily Caller News Foundation

    Multiple U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have amassed in the waters east of China, the U.S. Naval Institute reported Monday.

    The USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups, the USS America expeditionary strike group, as well as the USS Tripoli are operating in and around Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, according to the U.S. Naval Institute fleet tracker . . . .

    The arrival of the U.S. Navy warships near China comes just a week after the USS Port Royal, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, was shadowed by China’s Eastern Theater Command while conducting a freedom of navigation exercise through the Taiwan Strait on May 10. The USS Port Royal’s trip came in response to the Chinese military surrounding Taiwan to the east and southwest between May 6 and 8 in a “rehearsal” for a “reunification-by-force” operation.

    Not good.


  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    At minimum, China has acted recklessly and in an intimidatory fashion.

  16. 16
    relatd says:

    Pure fiction. Again.

    Here’s the Pentagon version – by me.

    An invasion of Taiwan by Chinese forces at this time would result in high losses to the Chinese military. Further, logistics would be severely compromised by the Taiwanese response and our own. Chinese air assets would suffer a rapid degree of attrition. This combined with our diplomatic efforts and threats of economic sanctions would make any attempt by China to invade Taiwan at this time untenable.

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    I’m sure China is watching the war in Ukraine very carefully and will have noted the cost to Russia both economically and militarily. They will probably engage in a lot of saber-rattling but I think it’s unlikely they’re prepared for the consequences of the all-out war that would follow any attempt against Taiwan.

  18. 18
    Sandy says:

    China is waiting for a winner between Russia and US (Ukraine is a proxy war) after Russia defeat US then China will attack a weakened Russia (forget Taiwan). China will rule the world .Not good.

  19. 19
    Seversky says:

    I hope that the Chinese regime is rational enough to realize that any major war could easily escalate uncontrollably into an all-out nuclear exchange. And nobody comes out of that a winner.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, and what makes you think lawless ideological oligarchs are particularly prone to responsible behaviour; on track record of too many cases? This is what has me concerned. KF

  21. 21
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Leaked Secret Audio: War Mobilization Meeting of Guangdong Province: Normal to War State Transition

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    This seems to e a live transcript of a May 14 meeting.

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