China threatens War with Taiwan!

Recent news storys report that China threatens war with Taiwan. Perhaps sometime in the next 8 years. So what is the **most likely ** US response ?
What if anything does the UN do? Would a Chinese takeover be an international act of aggresion or just a nation reclaiming a rebellious provence?

Their most likely response is the same response they’ve been using for quite some time now: move a few carrier groups into the area and make a few vague statements without actually recognizing Taiwan’s right to independence.

If China ever actually attacks, though, then you’ll have something impressive.

Considering that China is a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power, if China does invade Taiwan, the UN probably wouldn’t do much.

It may be bluster. Taiwan is no pushover. Taiwan may, in fact, be able to protect itself from China.

As for the U.S. response - I have no idea. Depends on who is in power when it happens, and what the current strategic goals of the U.S. are at the time. In the past, the U.S. has given Taiwan defense assurances, and has walked a fine line where it keeps the Chinese guessing as to whether it would become involved in a war to protect Taiwan.

We’ll find out if carriers are sitting ducks or not :smiley:

No, we won’t. Because the best protection carriers have is that any attempt to sink one would be considered an act of war. Another nation might get away with shooting down a plane, or even sinking a small ship, but if they go after a carrier and sink it, they would kill thousands and wipe out billions of dollars in U.S. assets. That would be met by instant military retaliation.

I love the what-if game.

What if the United States sold 50 nukes to Taiwan on a lend-lease act.

What makes you think they haven’t already? :eek:

Taiwan has a well developed civilian program, and while they have no domestic reserves of uranium, they have purchased uranium from the US & South Africa. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a couple nukes stashed away. Of course, in this case I think nukes would be used only as a last resort by either side; the PRC wants to take Taiwan’s infrastructure (mostly)intact, and Taiwan has enough conventional resources to keep the PRC from coming in with ground troops.

As for a conventional war with the PRC, the PLAN currently doesn’t have anywhere near enough sealift ability to get enough ground troops into Taiwan while under fire. China’s airforce constist mostly of near-obsolete Mig-21 knock-offs, but they do have a fair number of modern Su-27s they got from the Russians. Taiwan can match/beat the PRC in the area, with a good number of F-16s, Mirage 2000s, and F-5 varients.

You would have to guess (predict really) the state of the chinese economy in 8 years hence , which really is a lifetime away. Then based on what china is doing now , to predict what shape their military is going to be in.

Right now they can probably buy enough off the shelf equipment from nations freindly to them, to take on several carrier battlegroups, but at the expense of the rest of their armed forces.

They most likely have access to old soviet warplans , for the defeat of said battlegroups and the costs of doing so, from there its just mathematics , x amount of missiles , ships , planes , possibly nukes.

The only problem with the above , is that They are being constantly watched ,by inteligence means.

The USA on the other hand , quite frankly has more options than china ever will. All they have to do is to deny china a victory, which means after taking that many casualties , for no or little gain , your going to have a civil war.

Its still pretty much the only reason to date , that china still has not made any sort of military move , since chian kai chek landed in Formosa.


China is always threatening Taiwan, because threats are really all they can do. Even if the US doesn’t intervene, the Taiwanese might well be able to defend themselves. Since you’re a member do a seach on GD threads with “Taiwan” in the title and you’ll find all the info you need.

But if a Chinese attack/ invasion of Taiwan is underway, and if US naval forces actually interdict mainland planes or ships, then as far as the People’s Republic is concerned the war is on. So why shouldn’t they then attack our carriers?

Let me guess the headlines: “China attacks Taiwan and US destroyer sunk. Retaliation expected.”

Either the US will fabricate an attack ( Tonkin Gulf style) or stick a few smaller ships in the area... and lo and behold one of them gets hit (in a war zone quite easy). 

Only if China manages to completely surprise the US and Taiwan can I see a scenario where the US would give up on Taiwan. A carrier or two can swing the fight easily in an amphibious attack scenario.

The fact that Taiwan is about 100 miles from China makes an invasion by sea really difficult. The staging to get enough troops on enough ships would take a long time and then crossing that 100 miles after signaling your intentions would be very tough to do. If China tried to soften the beach with air strikes and missle bombardment, they risk destroying the Taiwanese infrastructure that any victory would be hollow. That is even assuming that they could successfully soften the beach, which is also a highly risky endeavor.

“In the past, the U.S. has given Taiwan defense assurances”
This is one thing I am wondering about, has the US gov given definate assurances to Taiwan or just vague we will help. Is there any treatys involved. Why does the US have 50,000(?) troops in S. Korea. Why help one and not the other? Seems inconsistant. Is it S. Korea (at one time) asked for help and Taiwan has not?

Does the UN recognize Taiwan as a sovereign Nation?

My WAG is that the US would do little more than through up sanctions against PRC and little more. (thereby causing Wally World masssive panic)

Taiwan is officially recognized by a handful of countries - something like 20-30.

The UN recognizes only the PRC. Maybe a historian can give something better, but through the 60’s Taiwan was a member of the UN and claimed sovereignity over all of China and Outer Mongolia. When threatened with the entry of the PRC to the UN, Chiang Kai-shek basically said if PRC joins then ROC (Republic of China in Taiwan) will leave the UN rather than give up claims to sovereignity over the mainland.

Since that day, the number of countries that officially recognize ROC has been declining.

Just to keep perspective, through the 90’s both the PRC and ROC had a “us or them” policy. If country x recognized the PRC, then it couldn’t recognize ROC and vice versa. ROC has changed it’s stance over the past 5-10 years on this.

I think the only treaty is the Shanghai communique, which is pretty vague. You can google it and read the full text.

For Korea, that is a legacy of the UN police action during the Korean war. Completely different situation.

The U.S. maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan. It won’t come right out and tell China that an attack on Taiwan will be considered an attack on U.S. soil, but then, the U.S. sells beaucoups arms to Taiwan and basically shoulders up next to it, Big Brother style, on various occasions.

Recovery of Taiwan is an almost sacred mission for the PRC government. Several generations of leaders and general public have been brought up to be (by outsiders’ standards) pretty much fanatical about the idea. It’s not impossible that a Beijing govt would feel a need to act in order to keep itself in power - ie the people would overthrow a govt in Beijing that was perceived as letting Taiwan go. They’ve painted themselves into a corner.

Wouldn’t it make sense from the PRC’s point of view to infiltrate Taiwan over the years with agents and sleepers? I can’t believe they’re not doing it. And surely it would be much easier to undermine Taiwan through non-military means - eg, confiscating or pressuring owners of Taiwan assets in the PRC, declaring an exclusion zone around the island and crashing its stock market, etc etc. Then offer to take all the pressure off in return for some form of reunification. No need to fire shots.

I think it’s also important to realize the legal fiction that PRC and Taiwan are mutually agreed upon – that there is only one China, of which they are the legal government. As far as PRC is concerned, China consists of 19 provinces, one being Taiwan – as far as the Republic of China is concerned, China consists of 19 provinces, of which 17 and most of an 18th (except a couple of islands) are in rebellion against the legitimate government in Taipei.

Granted that this does not correspond to reality, it’s one of those things, as Hemlock notes, by which people found their moral decisions. Therefore it will be very important in the diplomatic backing and filling that precedes any military action.

Why is this directed at me? In the other threads I have argued this very point…