US fears China will blockade Taiwan Strait within 18 months: NYT | Taiwan News

  1. Using the wayback machine is an interesting idea. I did not know about this trick. When I tried to open the NYT article, I was paywalled (but the paywall only shows up sometimes, it appears).

  2. A blockade of the Taiwan Strait would mean enforcement, similar to a no-fly zone. It would be a joke if there's a blockade but ships come and go without incident.

  3. I think that's what the fear is. It'll be a game of chicken that can rapidly escalate out of control. China has been known to push the limit of "not using force" e.g. coast guard ships ramming fishing ships of other countries in the South China sea. They could try something similar and ram a US navy ship cause that'll somehow be less bad than firing on one.

  4. An actual blockade would imply China stopping and potentially seizing neutral shipping, including American shipping. The right of American merchants to go anywhere and sell anything around the world has always been policy and casus belli for the Americans. During WWI, America's eventual declaration of war on Germany was directly caused by German Unrestricted Submarine Warfare which killed Americans and impacted American sale of both war contraband and regular goods across the Atlantic. Moreover, at the beginning of the Cold War, the American-led Berlin Air Lift was a strong response to Soviet attempts at blockading West Berlin, as well as a potent demonstration of Allied logistics capability. So the case of a blockade on Taiwan, the United States would have all the moral and historical justification to call China's bluff by sending supplies to Taiwan, forcing China into an uncomfortable position, where they must take the loss, or fire on American ships and risk bringing America into the war.

  5. I feel like shipping will continue on Taiwan’s east coast, but maybe the PLAN will try to block boats from coming within a certain distance of Taiwan? I’m sure missiles will start flying at the PLAN tho.

  6. I hear you, but the US had intel that Russia's military was not simply taking part in drills on the Ukrainian border and in Belarus. And the US published the receipts, complete with satellite photos and whatnot. That isn't happening with China because they're not doing the same. The situations do have some similarities, but I don't think it extends to this.

  7. Especially because we got the same tepid warnings about Russia and Ukraine for the years leading up, like this, and then even more damning warnings as the build up was becoming evident. Yet, the world ignored all of that.

  8. No need for nuclear proliferation. You can just threaten the Three Gorges Dam. A conventional strike on the dam is pretty much a nuclear level event. China has already stated it considers it as such.

  9. That's not going to work. The lead-up to the US providing Taiwan with a second-strike nuclear arsenal will be akin to the Cuban missile crisis. China will blockade Taiwan and threaten nuclear war over it.

  10. Yes arming Taiwan is good... But I think the CCP may be slightly more rational than they appear. For example they have embraced a type of authoritarian pseudo capitalism with goals of profit, which very much requires TSMC. If Taiwan were invaded they would destroy TSMC before letting China have it - they would score a cultural victory but their economy would crash, possibly worse than the 1930S Great Depression, while the rest of the world would also have problems. Giving Taiwan nuclear weapons would of course prevent invasion but the US is even working on reducing its own arsenal through nuclear nonproliferation treaties, it worked even with Russia in the past. Giving Taiwan nuclear weapons would be effective in its goal but I worry that so many westerners would hate it and revoke support because of them. It's not an issue with China hating them so much as we ourselves hating them, which can cause problems for Taiwan.

  11. Intelligence agencies don't necessarily tell you why they come to the conclusions they do. Sometimes their sources need to be protected, sometimes their sources are not as reliable as they are willing to admit etc.

  12. This is really disturbing stuff. I don’t have a very high opinion of the Biden administration (we still don’t have updated COVID vaccines, and they keep lying about the poor state of the economy), but unfortunately they were correct that Russia was going to invade Ukraine, even when a lot of people, including President Zelenskyy, thought otherwise.

  13. China was once blockaded by Nationalist Chinese Navy. Shanghai, Tsingtao, Amoy, Ningpo coast were all free firing zone for any ships tried to sneak into China. China had serious shortage of everything. An American merchant marine told me his American cargo ship was being fired on on route to Shanghai. Next stop was Keelung, Twn. The same sailors were greeted by a music band as they unloaded American artillery. This time they looked like heroes. With a Communist brokerage it is opposite, Twn will be in shortage on this and that. Most can be airlifted by cargo planes.

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