I am worried about a potential outbreak of war in the Asia-Pacific. Ask me anything!
For those have haven't followed my tweets, the catalyst would be some type of action over Taiwan. But it doesn't have to end there.
Signs that some type of military action against Taiwan will take place:
• In late 2013, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense reported that China at the 18th National Congress had developed a plan to invade Taiwan by 2020
• The number of Chinese marines has roughly tripled in three years
• The number of intermediate range ballistic missile launchers has gone from 80 to 200+ in one year
• Li Keqiang said in May 2020 that an armed conflict might be necessary
• Beijing think tank expert Li Su has predicted a Taiwan contingency by 2021
• Global Times said on 9/11 that the US is instigating war against China and that China may be forced to defend itself over Taiwan
• 100-year anniversary of the Communist Party in 2021 puts pressure on leadership to make progress towards “unification”
• Xi Jinping told a marine corps in Guangzhou to focus on preparing for an attack
• Anti-China YouTuber Holger Chen shot in Taiwan in August 2020
• People’s Daily put out a propaganda video called “If war breaks out today”, showing missile strikes of the US military base in Guam
• WeChat post suggesting that 36-45 male reservists may be called up for duty
• Chinese warplanes crossing the median line in September 2020 for the first time in decades
• Chinese ships stayed at the Senkakus for a record amount of time in October 2020
• Two Chinese warplanes approached Dongsha islands on Taiwan’s national day
• $1.8 billion US-Taiwan (drone + missiles) arms deal in late October (doubling of arms sales to Taiwan under Trump vs Obama)
• People’s Daily article in October 2020 saying “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” (勿谓言之不预也)
• Experts say every rocket brigade in Fujian and Guangdong are fully equipped
• Two senior PLA generals went public advising against a Taiwan attack in mid-2019, suggesting some support it
• PLA is rumoured to have thousands of agents in the Philippines, which some say might be part of an influence influence operation to keep Duterte in check
• The Politburo Standing Committee held a meeting on 30 November to discuss new military regulations in order to prepare for war
I received a question what what time table we are looking at.
There seems to have been some plans within the Communist Party to retake Taiwan by 2020. As mentioned below certain Beijing think tanks have predicted 2021, though it's hard to say whether these are influence operations and why they would signal the government's true intent. 2021 is also the 100 year anniversary of the CCP, and some progress on the "unification front" would add legitimacy to Xi Jinping's rule.
The weather is not ideal in November-February due to the high likelihood of storms. The wind will calm down by April.
They could take advantage of US election uncertainty but in my mind, they would likely not take any action as long as Trump stays in the White House.
Just want to clarify that the likelihood of war within the next year is probably not more than ~10%, simply judging from the government's use of the words 勿谓言之不预也 and it leading to war in previous 3/32 instances. Ian Easton has previously estimated the success of an amphibious operation at around 20%, and the longer China's build-up continues the higher the likelihood of success. So a near-term attack is relatively unlikely, but over a 5-year time frame even low yearly probabilities start to matter.
Thank you for sharing your list -- lots of new information to me. Given TSMC's increasingly critical role for large U.S. tech multinationals (TSMC -> AMD -> QQQ, to oversimplify), do you think the PRC would assume that the U.S. vested interest in Taiwan is too high to risk? Given that the U.S. pressured TSMC to cut off Huawei, it seems that the US has made its intention clear. Is this a/the primary reason for the PRC's sense of urgency over Taiwan? Are there other reasons that are equally or more important? Or would losing access to TSMC be such a critical blow that it would be worth provoking the US military? Does the switch from a potential 4 more years of Trump, to Biden, change anything from China's view?
How Do we trade this?