What would the west do if China grabbed a chunk of Siberia?

This. One may as well ask what China would do if Russia decided it wanted to take back Alaska, ignore if the idea were plausible and decide nobody can use nuclear weapons. The very idea that it isn’t completely implausible is absurd, and the idea that the US wouldn’t respond with nuclear weapons is plausible is entirely absurd. And that’s just for the Vladivostok scenario; a closer approximation of the amount of land mass China taking Siberia from Russia translated to Russia taking it from the US would be Russia taking everything from California to the Mississippi River.

Don’t discount the fun factor. I mean, it would be a blast enslaving those damned uppity Canadians and placing them under our iron heeled jackboots and making them have to live under OUR healthcare for a change! :eek:

As for the OP:

Ok. Assuming things didn’t go nuclear, I don’t believe China is capable of taking that territory conventionally from the Russians. Their logistics would depend almost totally on a few rail heads, and once they crossed into Russia things are pretty sparse in that region. The Russians also have enough conventional forces up there to slow down or stop the Chinese, and I think Russia’s internal lines of communication to the region would be pretty secure from whatever the Chinese could bring to bear…which wouldn’t be the case with the Chinese supporting a large army in up north. I don’t believe that the Chinese army is capable of fulfilling the mission against Russia as it is today.

Be that as it may, I suppose if China actually did it then the West™ would certainly be trying to contain the crisis and make sure it didn’t go nuclear, as well as getting the Chinese to back off. My guess would be that the first step would be sanctions if China refused to back down and return to pre-conflict borders. No way would we just sit by with our thumbs up our ass and watch China carve off a large chunk of Russia by military means for such tenuous reasons. It would set a horrible precedence if we did that, and basically show the world that the west was weak and indecisive, which would both be bad things. Most likely we’d make a deal with Putin asap that if Russia backed down in the Ukraine we’d remove the sanctions and provide economic and political aid to the Russians (perhaps even some military aid in the form of arms or intelligence).

I don’t see us getting militarily involved, however. But we’d be bringing every bit of political and economic pressure to bear on China to cease and desist and making the consequences of not doing so extremely clear. I don’t see how we COULD do anything else, to be honest…we’d have to respond and respond in this way and pretty much as a unified (or at least consolidated and together) front against such aggression.

But folks are seriously overestimating China’s capabilities and the real world issues of such an attack if they think China COULD do this. There is no way…which is why, despite China’s nebulous claims to the region because they had it in the 18th century they won’t do anything about it. Also, the economic ramifications would be pretty horrible for a China that is currently in pretty dire economics straights. And they would have to know, just based on our position with Russia concerning the Ukraine, that we’d do the same to them if they were the aggressor. Not only would they lose the conventional war (which would be bloody and ugly) which would hurt them in multiple ways but their economy would crater…which would probably be the death knell of the Chinese communist party. So, not going to happen.

All but one of the Presidential candidates would give careful, reasoned opinions about what should be done, whether it was a good idea or not.

Guess which one would just say whatever he wanted to?

There can surely be no issue of greater importance to world events than which Royal House assumes control of the Northwest Passage!

I’d recommend we get a lot of popcorn.

I don’t think it’d be that big of a deal, certainly not a big enough deal for us to interpose ourselves between two nuclear powers.

When Russia invaded parts of Georgia and Ukraine, that was bad, but not worth us getting directly involved (militarily). Russia understands there’s a pretty big difference between Crimea and the Baltic states. I think China would also understand that there’d be a pretty big difference between Siberia and Taiwan or the Senkaku Islands. In other words, there are places that the US has committed itself to defending, but Siberia and South Ossetia aren’t on that list.

And as Tom Clancy told it:

Russia joins NATO (Ha!)
A small scrappy band of Russians and light US forces harass the Chinese advance
Fighter jets equipped with “smart pigs” destroy entire Chinese battalions
A Russian sniper from the Great Patriotic War kills the main Chinese general
A commando team of US and Russian soldiers tries to take out the Chinese nukes
The Chinese flip one at Washington DC but an Aegis cruiser (with the President on board) shoots it down
The Chinese government is overthrown by angry students

Seems legit.

In the real world I’d imagine the response from the US to Russia would be something along the lines of “sure sucks when someone does that to YOUR country, doesn’t it?”

“wolverinskis!!!”

You left out the best part!

There’s actually precedent for that - sort of. There’s a tale that in WW2 a pilot managed to get some shots off at a V2 that was launching; he missed. If you’ve watched a rocket launch you’ll know that they’re very slow at that point. They get very much faster very rapidly, of course.
Beyond that, China has a big population problem, and if a few hundred million of its citizens die then there’s that many fewer mouths to feed, qua Chairman Mao.

More specifically they have surplus males, one of the things which in the past has often lead to war.
“Already, 41 million bachelors will not have women to marry. If nothing is done to change this trend, Poston noted, by 2020 there will be 55 million extra boys in China.”
http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2012/china-census-excess-males.aspx

At the moment they are mostly dealing with this by encouraging young men to go off and work in Africa where they have massive investment projects, and there they find local wives. But the fact that China could lose 55 million males and not even miss them is somewhat worrying.

Just so you know, while it might be true that China (the ruling party and such) might not miss them (I tend to think even the party isn’t that callous), their parents surly would, since Chinese parents dote on their children, especially male children…and getting 55 million Chinese sons killed would have a huge effect on the country and it’s stability.

If a whole lot of Chinese men find African wives, will we be seeing a huge racial issue in China in the next few decades, as “mixed race” children demand equal opportunity? Or is China open-minded enough to get past racial divisions?

I’d start taking some potassium iodide just in case.

Agree completely. One of the things that drives me nuts is the idea that US manufacturing is all done. US manufacturing employment is declining. But the actual output is still staggering. Add in Canada and Mexico, which may as well be part of the US manufacturing base, and it gets even more lopsided.

Plus, in a wartime economy, I am pretty sure that airplanes are more useful than Happy Meal toys.

I doubt we would do anything in terms of acting militarily, but may put economic pressure on China. I also disagree that Russia will trounce China, in terms of conventional military, China can more than hold it’s own and even defeat Russia.

Then again we may make it clear to China that any moves in the Pacific or against it’s neighbors will spur action. So it may be against our interests to let China annex, because it would give incentives to others and China to make future aggressive moves down the line. Not because we feel sorry for Russia, heck many would cheer the Chinese on.

The irony of such a situation is funny, Russia being gobbled by the Chinese.

Ok…why do you think that China could beat the Russians on their own turf? What’s your reasoning here?

To me it’s not even vaguely funny even from an irony standpoint, since it would entail a huge loss of life AND would entail a huge world wide economic downturn no matter how it played out. It would make the recession in 2008 look like the dot com boom times in the 90’s. I also think that you, like most, are totally overestimating what China is actually capable of doing. I’ll know better based on how you answer the above as to WHY you think China could tangle with the Russians in Russia and come out ahead in that.

The Russian Far East is not really “their own turf” it only been a part of Russia for 150 years and is sparsely populated and undeveloped. China has a much bigger population close to their northern border and better infrastructure on their side of the border. Most of Russia’s military is stationed in the West to counter a threat from NATO. Moving large amounts of troops to the Far East would take them some time and by then China could have already established a front.

They don’t have the logistics to move a large army to the north, certainly not without Russia noticing it. They don’t have the ability to project that kind of force so far from their borders. They don’t have the air power to control either the battle field or, more importantly, to stop the Russians from hammering their very limited rail logistics that would be supplying their army in the north. The Russians DO have the strategic depth to absorb Chinese air incursions in the regions, while China doesn’t have the same for what Russia would do to them in retaliation. On the ground, the Russians don’t have a lot in the area (I can’t find the exact deployments, but looks like several divisions of armor…OLD armor…and several guards rifle motorized type divisions), but the Russians can get troops to the area fairly rapidly. The Chinese, however, won’t be able to move very rapidly because they really don’t have the tail to support large scale armored thrusts into a foreign country.

As to NATO, I seriously doubt that the Russians are worried overly about NATO attacking them, and like I said in an earlier post, I expect that Putin et al would be happy to negotiate with the west about exchanging them being dicks in the Ukraine for dropping the sanctions. The west would be quite unhappy with the Chinese if they pulled off such an adventure (which, I want to reiterate, I don’t see as a very likely or probably course of action for them for the above military reasons, but also for the economic reasons that would hammer their economy if they tried such an adventure).

Where are you getting this from? Here is some info I found on Russian vs Chinese Air Force comparisons:
“Russia has 1,500 combat aircraft and 400 military helicopters. However, most of these aircraft are old fighters such as MiG-29s, Su-27s and MiG-31s produced at the end of Cold War.”
" the Chinese PLAAF and PLANAF together come in fourth place for the title of world’s strongest air force. Both services possess 1,321 fighter and attack aircraft, 134 heavy bombers and tankers and twenty airborne early-warning aircraft. In addition, the PLA operates 700 combat helicopters. China is also currently the only nation developing two stealth fighters, the J-20 and J-31, simultaneously besides the United States."
http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20141220000020&cid=1101

They seem fairly evenly matched to me, and it seems that China’s Air Force is more modern.