Taiwan moves forward with military exercises

posted at 6:41 pm on January 27, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

With the election of their new president, Taiwan has once again renewed concerns that the tensions across the strait with China could escalate. There were some assurances from the newly elected leader shortly after the votes were counted which indicated that she might soften her approach a bit, pushing for the independent nature of the island as a self-governing entity, but not to the point of desiring a war which would likely be catastrophic and inflame the entire region. With all that as a backdrop, I’m not sure how much this is going to help. (Yahoo News)

Taiwan carried out military drills Wednesday with naval chiefs assuring residents the island is safe, as concerns grow that tensions will escalate with China after recent presidential elections.

The drills were the first since Tsai Ing-wen of the China-sceptic Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) swept to victory in the elections earlier this month.

She ousted the ruling Beijing-friendly Kuomintang (KMT), bringing to an end eight years of unprecedented rapprochement with China.

On Wednesday, the Taiwanese navy displayed eight warships and fired flares from a missile corvette during an exercise in waters off Tsoying in southern Taiwan, home to the island’s naval headquarters.

The new president isn’t even in office yet, so you can’t pin it on her, but this exercise wasn’t just sailing a few ships in formation around the island. They were doing missile firing tests and landing frogmen on Kinmen Island, which is all of five miles off the coast of mainland China. They also scrambled some of the F-16s we were nice enough to sell them for some aerial exercises. While Taiwan generally conducts exercises this time of the year and the new president isn’t giving the orders yet, it’s rather hard to not see this as a somewhat provocative move as viewed by the Chinese, particularly coming right on the heels of the election.

Add to that another item which is sure to stir the pot a bit. Outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou, who is much friendlier with China, has scheduled a visit to another disputed Island in the South China Sea. That brought an immediate, if not terribly stern condemnation from the United States. (Reuters)

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s planned trip to the Taiwanese-held island of Itu Aba in the disputed South China Sea is “extremely unhelpful” and won’t do anything to resolve disputes over the waterway, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Ma’s office earlier announced that the president, who steps down in May, would fly to Itu Aba on Thursday to offer Chinese New Year wishes to residents on the island, mainly Taiwanese coastguard personnel and environmental scholars.

It’s hard to knock Taiwan too much for standing their ground, but with everything else going on in the world right now this is just one more headache that we really don’t need. And I say we because you just know that the United States inevitably gets dragged into these dust ups whenever they happen.

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Comments

If all the other nations could join forces they could contain China. However they still fight among themselves. Unless they untie it’s China dominating the Eastern Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Oil Can on January 27, 2016 at 6:48 PM

Taiwan can do whatever it damn well pleases…as long as they aren’t counting on the feckless leadership of the US to back them up if mainland gets aggressive. I would not surprise me a bit to see Obama side with the PRC against Taiwan in any tensions that follow.

AUINSC on January 27, 2016 at 6:48 PM

China has long said to Taiwan,

Do not self-defense, it’s provocative!

HugoDrax on January 27, 2016 at 6:50 PM

Taiwan has apparently forgotten who is still the Commander in Chief…

… Maybe they should see the movie “Thirteen Hours”.

Seven Percent Solution on January 27, 2016 at 6:55 PM

Taiwan can do whatever it damn well pleases…as long as they aren’t counting on the feckless leadership of the US to back them up if mainland gets aggressive. I would not surprise me a bit to see Obama side with the PRC against Taiwan in any tensions that follow.

AUINSC on January 27, 2016 at 6:48 PM

The Chicoms can’t invade Taiwan by land, they try it by ship & the ships get sunk, they try it by air & they get shot down. I don’t know how they could pull it off militarily. Well, Obama The Weak is still occupying the WH for 51 more weeks, so they have that on their going for them.

whatcat on January 27, 2016 at 7:01 PM

If Taiwan allows the Reds to intimidate them into not providing training to their military, they have already surrendered their sovereignity. The US does not criticize the aggressive Chinese and Russians for training their military; why should we criticize our allies. Being an ally of the US is not what it used to be.

KW64 on January 27, 2016 at 7:05 PM

And I say we because you just know that the United States inevitably gets dragged into these dust ups whenever they happen.

In the unlikely case that it actually comes to shooting Taiwan better pray we get dragged in. Otherwise it will look a lot like Grenada circa 1983.

Tlaloc on January 27, 2016 at 7:09 PM

“Republic of China” Jazz

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:11 PM

pushing for the independent nature of the island as a self-governing entity,

I think I mentioned it on your previous Taiwan post, Jazz, but Taiwan (the Republic of China) has been a sovereign, self-governing republic since 1947. So they’re not “pushing for an independent nature” – they already got it. Actions such as this are no different than US Navy drills off the US shoreline.

whatcat on January 27, 2016 at 7:11 PM

The Chicoms can’t invade Taiwan by land, they try it by ship & the ships get sunk, they try it by air & they get shot down. I don’t know how they could pull it off militarily. Well, Obama The Weak is still occupying the WH for 51 more weeks, so they have that on their going for them.

whatcat on January 27, 2016 at 7:01 PM

There are a few islands controlled by the ROC that lie very close to areas controlled by the PRC. At this point they could be taken easily, but that would cause unnecessary turmoil and delay the long-term goal of Chinese reunification.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:14 PM

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Semantics. Taiwanese are Chinese, so of course you MUST defend them.

Christien on January 27, 2016 at 7:14 PM

We cannot land troops on this island. It will sink.

they lie on January 27, 2016 at 7:16 PM

Semantics. Taiwanese are Chinese, so of course you MUST defend them.

Christien on January 27, 2016 at 7:14 PM

Taiwanese are native to the island. The ethnic Chinese are mostly offspring of the Nationalists who fled to the island in 1949 when Mao won the civil war following WWII. When I spent a brief time there in 1970, there was still a bit of friction between the ‘natives’ and the Chinese interlopers.

vnvet on January 27, 2016 at 7:29 PM

Semantics. Taiwanese are Chinese, so of course you MUST defend them.

Christien on January 27, 2016 at 7:14 PM

Taiwan is China, seems we agree.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:33 PM

The ChiCom is slipping – took about 8 posts to get the Party line in.

corona79 on January 27, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Jazz, the USA recognized the winner in this old civil war a long time ago.

Wouldn’t this be a good time to focus on the ongoing invasion of the USA by Mexico and leave places far away to their own business for once?

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Invading a well armed, technologically decent island defended by good troops is hard. It would take a massive effort by China to do it, despite Tlaloc’s wet dream of Communist China ascendant.

For one thing, invading a beach that’s well defended and against an enemy with air control…. not easy.

So before an invasion would succeed, China will have to 1) defeat Taiwan’s navy and 2) defeat Taiwan’s air force.

England didn’t invade the Falklands until the Argentinian air force had been beaten into submission. And their navy fled.

This would be a much, much closer fight. Don’t think that both sides aren’t aware of it, either. China would have to commit their entire navy and air force to even have a chance.

Vanceone on January 27, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Taiwanese are native to the island. The ethnic Chinese are mostly offspring of the Nationalists who fled to the island in 1949 when Mao won the civil war following WWII. When I spent a brief time there in 1970, there was still a bit of friction between the ‘natives’ and the Chinese interlopers.

vnvet on January 27, 2016 at 7:29 PM

Apparently by ‘Taiwanese’ you mean the aborigines. They had no national identity before the Ming Dynasty captured Formosa from the Europeans. ‘Taiwan’ (台湾)is a Chinese word.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:42 PM

Invading a well armed, technologically decent island defended by good troops is hard.

Vanceone on January 27, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Only Americans expect an amphibious assault on Taiwan. Mainland China isn’t planning one, hasn’t been for a long time.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:48 PM

Apparently by ‘Taiwanese’ you mean the aborigines. They had no national identity before the Ming Dynasty captured Formosa from the Europeans. ‘Taiwan’ (台湾)is a Chinese word.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:42 PM

Yes.

vnvet on January 27, 2016 at 7:49 PM

Invading a well armed, technologically decent island defended by good troops is hard. It would take a massive effort by China to do it, despite Tlaloc’s wet dream of Communist China ascendant.

For one thing, invading a beach that’s well defended and against an enemy with air control…. not easy.

So before an invasion would succeed, China will have to 1) defeat Taiwan’s navy and 2) defeat Taiwan’s air force.

England didn’t invade the Falklands until the Argentinian air force had been beaten into submission. And their navy fled.

This would be a much, much closer fight. Don’t think that both sides aren’t aware of it, either. China would have to commit their entire navy and air force to even have a chance.

Vanceone on January 27, 2016 at 7:37 PM

Taiwan’s airforce is less than 300 combat aircraft. China has almost as many J-10s alone. Taiwan’s navy has 2 diesel subs and less than 30 frigates and destroyers. China has at least 9 nuclear subs and 50 some diesel subs. I’m not even going to bother counting all of China’s frigates and destroyers, but I will point out that they also field larger craft including an aircraft carrier. There’s no question but that China can crush Taiwan militarily, if it came to that which seems unlikely, unless other powers get involved.

Tlaloc on January 27, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Only Americans expect an amphibious assault on Taiwan. Mainland China isn’t planning one, hasn’t been for a long time.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:48 PM

And you are privy to their military plans, and you are specifically privy to the secret military plans that they would have for launching a surprise invasion? You must be very high up in the government. But then, if that was the case, you would be executed for revealing this information.

So if are you still posting tomorrow, we know you are not privy to anything.

HugoDrax on January 27, 2016 at 7:55 PM

While Taiwan generally conducts exercises this time of the year and the new president isn’t giving the orders yet, it’s rather hard to not see this as a somewhat provocative move as viewed by the Chinese, particularly coming right on the heels of the election.

I must take issue with this, annual military exercises in and of themselves are not provocative. This is an inaccurate fallacy at the least to write this.

Add to that another item which is sure to stir the pot a bit. Outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou, who is much friendlier with China, has scheduled a visit to another disputed Island in the South China Sea. That brought an immediate, if not terribly stern condemnation from the United States.

It’s none of our business. How arrogant are we to meddle in the affairs of a foreign government and tell them that the traveling of a government official is not helpful. Absolutely arrogant.

It’s hard to knock Taiwan too much for standing their ground, but with everything else going on in the world right now this is just one more headache that we really don’t need.

We need to respect the sovereignty of other nations, and their yearning for liberty just as we have. At a minimum we need to butt out of their affairs.

paulsur on January 27, 2016 at 8:08 PM

There are a few islands controlled by the ROC that lie very close to areas controlled by the PRC. At this point they could be taken easily, but that would cause unnecessary turmoil and delay the long-term goal of Chinese reunification.
DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:14 PM

Nice contradictions garlic snapper lover

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Wait Jazz…

Add to that another item which is sure to stir the pot a bit. Outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou, who is much friendlier with China, has scheduled a visit to another disputed Island in the South China Sea. That brought an immediate, if not terribly stern condemnation from the United States. (Reuters)

Ma’s office earlier announced that the president, who steps down in May, would fly to Itu Aba on Thursday to offer Chinese New Year wishes to residents on the island, mainly Taiwanese coastguard personnel and environmental scholars.

It’s hard to knock Taiwan too much for standing their ground

If this action was by the PRC rather than the ROC wouldn’t you condemn it as an aggressive action by ‘China’ against American ‘allies’ such as ‘Taiwan’?

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 8:10 PM

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:09 PM

You still haven’t figured out how to use the edit controls? A caveman could do it.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 8:12 PM

And you are privy to their military plans, and you are specifically privy to the secret military plans that they would have for launching a surprise invasion? You must be very high up in the government. But then, if that was the case, you would be executed for revealing this information.

So if are you still posting tomorrow, we know you are not privy to anything.

HugoDrax on January 27, 2016 at 7:55 PM

I’m not only privy to it, I’m planning the whole thing. There will be no amphibious assault.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Taiwan’s airforce is less than 300 combat aircraft. China has almost as many J-10s alone. Taiwan’s navy has 2 diesel subs and less than 30 frigates and destroyers. China has at least 9 nuclear subs and 50 some diesel subs. I’m not even going to bother counting all of China’s frigates and destroyers, but I will point out that they also field larger craft including an aircraft carrier. There’s no question but that China can crush Taiwan militarily, if it came to that which seems unlikely, unless other powers get involved.

Tlaloc on January 27, 2016 at 7:50 PM

I strongly disagree with this statement. While true that China has numerical superiority, they lack technical superiority. Also the morale and qualitative superiority go to the Taiwanese. As long as the Taiwanese can maintain air superiority through technology, China can not do much militarily.

paulsur on January 27, 2016 at 8:16 PM

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:09 PM
You still haven’t figured out how to use the edit controls? A caveman could do it.
DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 8:12 PM

I don’t care

But at least I care about not sucking the dick of tyrants

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:19 PM

But at least I care about not sucking the dick of tyrants

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:19 PM

Because you suck your own dick. Whatever feels good bro. Not judging.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 8:25 PM

I strongly disagree with this statement. While true that China has numerical superiority, they lack technical superiority. Also the morale and qualitative superiority go to the Taiwanese. As long as the Taiwanese can maintain air superiority through technology, China can not do much militarily.

paulsur on January 27, 2016 at 8:16 PM

What do you base that nonsense on? The main reasons the PRC doesn’t wipe out the ROC at this point is that the PRC considers the people of the ROC to be Chinese and realize that such measures won’t be necessary in the long run.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 8:29 PM

Tlaloc on January 27, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Challenging ” dink current ” for

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:35 PM

I strongly disagree with this statement. While true that China has numerical superiority, they lack technical superiority. Also the morale and qualitative superiority go to the Taiwanese. As long as the Taiwanese can maintain air superiority through technology, China can not do much militarily.

paulsur on January 27, 2016 at 8:16 PM

What do you base that nonsense on? The main reasons the PRC doesn’t wipe out the ROC at this point is that the PRC considers the people of the ROC to be Chinese and realize that such measures won’t be necessary in the long run.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 8:29 PM

The people of Taiwan don’t see it that way.

rob verdi on January 27, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Tlaloc on January 27, 2016 at 7:50 PM
Challenging ” dink current ” for tyrant groupie of the year
Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:35 PM

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:37 PM

What do you base that nonsense on?

J10 does not have the range for sustained combat over the island. The F-16s equipped with AMRAM and AIM-9x make it a far more lethal opponent. Until the Chinese can deploy an aircraft with range and significant BVR capability advantage goes to Taiwan. If they had it now, they would own the island now. They don’t in either case.

paulsur on January 27, 2016 at 8:43 PM

paulsur on January 27, 2016 at 8:43 PM

I don’t even think they can refuel their POSs

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 8:46 PM

Jazz, The PRC had notice well in advance of these exercise. As a black shoe you know how this works. Despite Hot Air all Trump all the time, the rest of the world moves on. The mainland government has more than enough problems on their pate now, starting a stare down in the straits with Taiwan is not one of them.

flackcatcher on January 27, 2016 at 8:53 PM

The people of Taiwan don’t see it that way.

rob verdi on January 27, 2016 at 8:36 PM

Is that right? What language did they tell you that in?

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 9:06 PM

Dink current prefers tyranny

Dumb eff that he is

Or

Immoral douche that he is

But he gets laid

Mr Soames on January 27, 2016 at 9:11 PM

J10 does not have the range for sustained combat over the island. The F-16s equipped with AMRAM and AIM-9x make it a far more lethal opponent. Until the Chinese can deploy an aircraft with range and significant BVR capability advantage goes to Taiwan. If they had it now, they would own the island now. They don’t in either case.

paulsur on January 27, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Have you heard of the Zaolong 8 (早龙八号) missile?

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 9:24 PM

Mr Soames prefers stupidity

Can’t use simple edit controls

Or

Realize that he himself lives in a tyranny.

Numbnuts he is.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 9:28 PM

Seems Soames and I are jointly inventing a new style of poetry…

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 9:29 PM

War games for public consumption.

That country’s government has already been thoroughly infiltrated by the Chinese.

moebius22 on January 27, 2016 at 9:32 PM

Taiwan is China, seems we agree.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:33 PM

Is Tibet china too? How about Mongolia?

Oldnuke on January 27, 2016 at 9:47 PM

Is Tibet china too? How about Mongolia?

Oldnuke on January 27, 2016 at 9:47 PM

By Tibet I suppose you mean Xizang. I asked a young woman from there (a friend of mine) that very question a few days ago she said “Of course Xizang is China!”

I told her about the ‘Free Tibet’ bumper stickers in America, but I don’t think she quite understood the idea (there aren’t many bumper stickers in China due to different aesthetic tastes)

The ROC (‘Taiwan’ to Jazz and such) claims Xizang as well as currently independent Mongolia as Chinese territory, but the PRC recognizes Mongolia (except Inner Mongolia, which the Mongolians lost when retreating from China) as a separate country.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 10:17 PM

I asked a young woman from there (a friend of mine) that very question a few days ago she said “Of course Xizang is China!”

Of course she said that, not wanting one behind the ear for failure to regurgitate the party line.

F X Muldoon on January 27, 2016 at 10:54 PM

While Taiwan generally conducts exercises this time of the year and the new president isn’t giving the orders yet, it’s rather hard to not see this as a somewhat provocative move as viewed by the Chinese, particularly coming right on the heels of the election.

How can you blame them? The PRC literally threatened to invade Taiwan if this new president won, and she did. Taiwan is just preparing themselves in Case the PRC decides to give more than bluster.

TBSchemer on January 27, 2016 at 11:04 PM

Is that right? What language did they tell you that in?

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 9:06 PM

Traditional Mandarin. Not that shorthand slang stuff they speak in the PRC.

TBSchemer on January 27, 2016 at 11:05 PM

Taiwan is China, seems we agree.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:33 PM

The results of the recent election prove you wrong.

TBSchemer on January 27, 2016 at 11:07 PM

Of course she said that, not wanting one behind the ear for failure to regurgitate the party line.

F X Muldoon on January 27, 2016 at 10:54 PM

We were speaking Japanese so as to confuse any spies that might be monitoring a little hole-in-the wall restaurant run by a Tibetan in Shanghai.

Fieldcraft 101.

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 11:11 PM

The results of the recent election prove you wrong.

TBSchemer on January 27, 2016 at 11:07 PM

Did the Republic of China change it’s name? Did it renounce its territorial claims?

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 11:13 PM

Traditional Mandarin. Not that shorthand slang stuff they speak in the PRC.

TBSchemer on January 27, 2016 at 11:05 PM

Traditional Mandarin? WTF?

You’re confusing written language with spoken language. Please continue…

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 11:24 PM

“Republic of China” Jazz

DarkCurrent on January 27, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Why is it that I picture a 1970s-era Dark Current fuming when people said “Russkies” instead of “Soviets”? I realize you’re completely bought and paid for, but this obsession with using Civil-war era terminology is one of your oddest quirks. It’s especially strange in light of the fact that you often stubbornly insist that local preferences win out when it comes to naming conventions, e.g. your Quixotic campaign to make Westerners say “putonghua” instead of “Mandarin” (BTW, this wouldn’t serve either since the Taiwanese almost never use the word putonghua; they refer to Mandarin exclusively as guoyu.

In day-to-day matters the Taiwanese themselves rarely use the term “Republic of China”. Yeah, it’s on the money and will be used academically or in certain media settings, but the Taiwanese, almost to a man, refer to themselves as taiwanren not zhonghua minguoren, my wife and her family speak taiyu and not minnanhua, the passports of my wife and daughter have the word “Taiwan” emblazoned right on the cover. Etc., etc.

In other words, the use of “Taiwan” and its derivatives is and has long been acceptable as an identifier for the nation that comprises the Taiwanese mainland, Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu. Deal with it.

KGB on January 28, 2016 at 7:42 AM

Tlaloc on January 27, 2016 at 7:50 PM

The Muslims thought the same thing of Israel, yet Israel handed them their asses multiple times. A person is most dangerous when they’ve been backed up against a wall. China understands this. You do not.

dominigan on January 28, 2016 at 11:15 AM




KGB on January 28, 2016 at 7:42 AM

It’s the Republic of China. Simple fact.

I think you’ll find that emblazoned right on top your your wife’s passport.

Why you think it’s odd to call it by it’s real name escapes me, unless you’re trying to escape reality.

DarkCurrent on January 28, 2016 at 11:22 AM

Taiwan should just lay back and enjoy it. Having regularly scheduled defensive naval drills is too provocative and might make difficulties for the US which has assiduously whittled it’s military down so that any need to fulfill our long standing treaty obligations would just be a really big bother.

Does that about sum it up?

jnelchef on January 28, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Taiwan should just lay back and enjoy it. Having regularly scheduled defensive naval drills is too provocative and might make difficulties for the US which has assiduously whittled it’s military down so that any need to fulfill our long standing treaty obligations would just be a really big bother.

Does that about sum it up?

jnelchef on January 28, 2016 at 11:36 AM

The US has no defense treaty obligations to the ROC. The US doesn’t even have formal diplomatic relations with the ROC and hasn’t for over 35 years.

DarkCurrent on January 28, 2016 at 12:04 PM

How can you blame them? The PRC literally threatened to invade Taiwan if this new president won, and she did. Taiwan is just preparing themselves in Case the PRC decides to give more than bluster.

TBSchemer on January 27, 2016 at 11:04 PM

Overlooked this bullshit before. Where do you get that from? Got a source?

DarkCurrent on January 28, 2016 at 12:31 PM

It’s the Republic of China. Simple fact.

I think you’ll find that emblazoned right on top your your wife’s passport.

Why you think it’s odd to call it by it’s real name escapes me, unless you’re trying to escape reality.

DarkCurrent on January 28, 2016 at 11:22 AM

Does the fact that worldwide the nation is referred to as Taiwan mean that everyone, with the natural exception of enlightened mainlanders and their Sinophile sycophants, is escaping reality? I realize you’re mostly a troll, but this is a new low. You can’t make this stuff up.

Let’s talk about why the government added the word “Taiwan” to passports a few years ago. It was mostly due to complaints from Taiwanese citizens that on arrival at whatever distant shore they were treated discourteously by immigration officials due to being confused for mainlanders because of the “Republic of China” designation on their passports. It was felt that adding “Taiwan” would clear up that misconception and result in kinder treatment. In other words, their nation of origin was far clearer to foreigners when described as “Taiwan”.

I suppose in your Kafka-esque world, making something clearer is an attempt at escaping reality.

KGB on January 28, 2016 at 6:43 PM


……
……..

KGB on January 28, 2016 at 6:43 PM

A very long-winded way to implicitly concede that what I said is factually correct: Taiwan is a part of China.

Let me know when they decide to officially announced they aren’t part of China and change their name.

DarkCurrent on January 29, 2016 at 11:01 AM