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Foxconn Unveils Pickup, Crossover to Expand EV Lineup

Foxconn Technology Group took the wraps off two new electric vehicles on Tuesday, prototypes that embody the iPhone maker’s ambitions of carving out a slice of a market led by the likes of Tesla Inc.

The company, whose main listed arm is Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., unveiled the Model B crossover and Model V pickup at an event in Taipei. Foxconn founder Terry Gou, 72, introduced the Model B by driving it onto the stage. The pickup will be produced in Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S., Hon Hai Chairman Young Liu said.

Foxconn is hoping to replicate the way it muscled into electronics assembly to become the biggest manufacturing partner for Apple Inc. and other global brands. It’s aiming to build clients’ EVs from the chassis up, with no plans to sell vehicles under its own brand.

“After we announced our plans to build EVs in 2020, many people questioned whether Foxconn can build cars,” Liu said. “Then when we unveiled three models a year later, everyone thought, ‘wow, how did they manage to develop three models in just a year?’ That’s the speed we’re operating at.”

None of the cars Foxconn has unveiled so far are destined to go on sale to consumers but are reference designs, intended to show off the company’s capabilities to potential big-brand clients. The Model C prototype introduced previously is now a production vehicle that is branded as the Luxgen n7 by Taiwanese automaker Yulon Group.

Liu said Foxconn’s expertise in managing supply chains gives it an advantage in developing new models faster than rivals. Asked when Foxconn’s production volumes will surpass those of Tesla, Liu said he hoped Foxconn would one day manufacture cars for the US giant.

The Model B, which uses the same platform as the Model C, was designed with Italian house Pininfarina SpA. The crossover has a full-length glass roof and a range of 280 miles on one charge, the company said.

Foxconn also said it is developing its own solid-state batteries.

The Taiwanese company created Foxtron Vehicle Technologies in 2020 as a venture with Yulon. It then embarked on a flurry of activity, buying Lordstown Motors Corp.’s Ohio plant to create a U.S. base, launching an open EV platform and inking a manufacturing deal with startup Fisker Inc.

Demand for EVs is soaring as consumers and governments embrace the technology, spurring a worldwide shift for the tech and automotive industries. But Foxconn’s trying to get into a field already crowded by aggressive rivals from Tesla to China’s Nio Inc. and BYD Co. to Xpeng Inc. It’s also attracting new entrants including Xiaomi Corp.

One major point of uncertainty is how the Biden administration’s recently unfurled raft of restrictions on chip exports to China will shake up the global EV industry. Xpeng has warned that the curbs on chips could potentially hammer Chinese EV makers.

Source : Automotive News

Chart: How People in Taiwan See Themselves

Source : Taiwan’s National Chenachi University

How We Would Know When China Is Preparing to Invade Taiwan

John Culver wrote . . . . . . . . .

As tensions between China, Taiwan, and the United States have increased over the past year, numerous articles and pundits have posited that war could come sooner rather than later. These speculations were prompted by comments from senior U.S. military officers that Chinese President Xi Jinping has directed the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be prepared to invade the island by 2027, although the basis for this claim is not given. A new report claims some in the U.S. intelligence community now assess that China could attack as soon as 2024 (presumably around Taiwan’s January 2024 elections).

But if war is Beijing’s plan, there ought to be reliable indications that it is coming. So it seems like an appropriate time to consider precisely what Chinese full mobilization for major conflict might entail. Although China last fought a major war against Vietnam in 1979, it is possible to frame how Beijing might prepare for an invasion and what specific indicators we could expect to see. Such a military conflict would reflect four assumptions underpinning Chinese leaders’ decisionmaking.

First, reports indicate that Xi and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) understand that an outright invasion of Taiwan would be a daunting strategic task and would end any putative return to the status quo ante. Such a war could last years to a decade, and China would be subjected to American and possibly multilateral sanctions and perhaps even a U.S. blockade. The basis for the CCP’s domestic legitimacy would shift from the emphasis on generating economic growth that has prevailed since 1978 to a near-exclusive focus on nationalism in the cause of Taiwan’s “reunification” with China.

Second, China’s political goal since U.S.-China diplomatic normalization in 1979 has been to preserve the possibility of political unification with Taiwan at some undefined point in the future. Beijing has been pursuing that goal by promoting rapid economic integration with Taiwan, and until the coronavirus pandemic, it enabled greatly expanded travel across the strait, with millions of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan annually and millions of Taiwanese working in China. But since 2020, travel bans and quarantines in China and Taiwan have drastically curtailed travel. And China’s 2019 crackdown on democracy advocates in Hong Kong further tarnished Beijing’s “one country, two systems” model for eventual political settlement and negatively influenced perceptions among many Taiwanese of Beijing’s motives, intentions, and goals. These trends have undermined Beijing’s apparent hope that people-to-people contacts and economic interchange would promote unity across the Taiwan Strait. This rapid erosion of ties has made a peaceful unification even more doubtful.

Third, China’s political strategy for unification has always had a military component, as well as economic, informational, legal, and diplomatic components. Most U.S. analysis frames China’s options as a binary of peace or war and ignores these other elements. At the same time, many in Washington believe that if Beijing resorts to the use of force, the only military option it would consider is invasion. This is a dangerous oversimplification. China has many options to increase pressure on Taiwan, including military options short of invasion—limited campaigns to seize Taiwan-held islands just off China’s coast, blockades of Taiwan’s ports, and economic quarantines to choke off the island’s trade. Lesser options probably could not compel Taiwan’s capitulation but could further isolate it economically and politically in an effort to raise pressure on the government in Taipei and induce it to enter into political negotiations on terms amenable to Beijing.

Finally, many of the understandings, military factors, and ambiguous positions that enabled decades of peace, prosperity, and democracy on Taiwan are now eroding due to China’s burgeoning economic and military power, Taiwan’s consolidating democracy led by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, and burgeoning U.S. determination to play the “Taiwan card” in its strategic rivalry with China.

If China has actually decided to go to war with Taiwan—and, per President Joe Biden’s recent gaffes, with the United States—in eighteen or twenty-four months, how would we know? For one, it almost certainly would not be subtle, at least to the U.S. intelligence community and probably not to Taiwan and other Western observers. Modern war between great powers (and even not-so-great powers) consumes huge stocks of key munitions, especially precision-guided ones for high-intensity naval, air, and amphibious warfare. So China would have already started surging production of ballistic and cruise missiles; anti-air, air-to-air, and large rockets for long-range beach bombardment; and numerous other items, at least a year before D-Day. Commercial imagery used by nongovernment analysts has identified new military facilities and weapons in China, including what appears to be new silo fields for its expanding nuclear-armed force of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Major production by China of key munitions would be noticed by international government and nongovernment observers alike.

China also would take visible steps to insulate its economy, military, and key industries from disruptions and sanctions. This would go beyond its current industrial policies and dual circulation strategy, which collectively aim to achieve technological and material self-sufficiency, or even its limited measures against increasing U.S. use of export controls, sanctions, and economic and financial pressure. As CSIS Senior Fellow Gerard DiPippo recently noted, near-term indicators of approaching conflict would include financial elements such as imposition of stronger cross-border capital controls, a freeze on foreign financial assets within China, and rapid liquidation and repatriation of Chinese assets held abroad. It would also include a surge in stockpiling emergency supplies, such as medicine or key technology inputs; a suspension of key exports, such as critical minerals, refined petroleum products, or food; measures to reduce demand or ration key goods, especially imports such as oil and gas; and prioritization or redirection of key inputs for military production. Chinese elites and high-priority workers would also face international travel restrictions.

And China’s leaders probably would be preparing their people psychologically for the costs of war: austerity, tens of thousands of combat deaths, and civilian deaths from U.S.- and Taiwan-launched strikes. For a conflict that would begin in 2024, as some observers in the United States have predicted, such measures likely would be happening now—and they are not, despite recent heightened tensions and U.S. choices and actions that Beijing views as provocations.

It seems plausible, therefore, that if the American intelligence community saw some of that happening, they would right now be releasing that information publicly, just as they did almost four months before Russia invaded Ukraine. They would not just be leaking it to one news outlet.

Preparations within the PLA would also alert U.S. intelligence that preparations for war were underway. Six or twelve months before a prospective invasion, China probably would implement a PLA-wide stop loss, halting demobilizations of enlisted personnel and officers, just as it did in 2007 when it ratcheted up pressure as Taiwan prepared to hold elections. (Chinese officials would have already announced these moves if they truly planned to use force as soon as early 2024.) Three to six months out, the PLA would also halt most regular training and perform maintenance on virtually all major equipment. It would expand the capacity of the Navy and Air Force to rearm, resupply, and repair ships, submarines, and aircraft away from military facilities that the United States or Taiwan would likely bomb, including naval bases and military airfields near the Taiwan Strait. The PLA Navy would replace electric batteries on its non-nuclear submarines and intensify training in loading missiles, torpedoes, and ammunition on all vessels.

In its Eastern and Southern Theater Commands opposite Taiwan, the PLA would take preparation steps rarely seen in mere exercises. Field hospitals would be established close to embarkation points and airfields. There likely would be public blood drives. Mobile command posts would depart garrisons and move to hidden locations. Units responsible for managing petroleum, oil, and lubricants would deploy with field pipeline convoys to support vehicle preparation at civilian ports being used to load transport ships embarking on an invasion.

The PLA would place forces, including those far from the Taiwan Strait, on alert. Beijing has long feared chain-reaction warfare, either by the United States or encouraged by it, on China’s other borders. Across the PLA, leave would be canceled and service members would be recalled to duty and restricted to their garrisons or ships. Hundreds of military air and chartered flights would carry key material and senior officers to inspect preparations in the Eastern Theater Command. Normal passenger and cargo flights would be disrupted. This would be noted even by amateur airline flight tracking enthusiasts, who weighed in last month to debunk claims that flights in and out of Beijing had been halted amid unsubstantiated rumors of a coup.

And the CCP would order national mobilization at least three or four months in advance of planned combat—a very public step that has not been taken since 1979. Provincial military-civilization mobilization committees would commandeer commercial ships, roll-on/roll-off vehicle transport ships, large car ferries, aircraft, trains, trucks—everything relevant to a war effort, for preparation prior to conflict, and then throughout. They’d mobilize an enormous number of people, including reservists to guard key civilian infrastructure, be prepared to repair U.S. bomb damage, and prevent riots and sabotage. Western manufacturers operating in China would experience supply chain disruptions as key transportation and some component manufacturers shifted to war preparation. These would all be public actions, reported in Chinese national and provincial media and quickly detected by Western government and private analysts.

Recently, a recording and transcript of an April war mobilization exercise in the southern province of Guangdong leaked to Western sources. It is unclear how often such drills are conducted, but they are probably an annual event to ensure preparedness for natural disasters and potential military conflict. The transcript provides a wealth of details on the massive joint military-civilian mobilization effort of one province: hundreds of thousands of people; almost 1,000 ships; twenty airports; six shipyards and ship repair yards; and medical, food storage, and energy facilities. Although Guangdong is wealthy, populous, industrialized, and strategically located for a Taiwan conflict, similar actions likely would be undertaken in every province, especially coastal ones.

If China decides to fight a war of choice over Taiwan, strategic surprise would be a casualty of the sheer scale of the undertaking. Even if Xi were tempted to launch a quick campaign and hope that Taiwan’s will to fight would quickly collapse, Russia’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine probably has induced more caution in Beijing. Such a roll of the dice on China’s part would be far riskier than Russia’s land invasion, not only because the PLA would have to conduct the largest and farthest amphibious invasion in modern history, but also because—unlike in Ukraine—cautious PLA war planners would have to assume that the United States and some of its regional allies would quickly commit combat forces to the island’s defense. Any invasion of Taiwan will not be secret for months prior to Beijing’s initiation of hostilities. It would be a national, all-of-regime undertaking for a war potentially lasting years.

Source : Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Chart: Taiwan Exports Dropped in September 2022

Source : Bloomberg

U.S. Admiral Issues China Naval Taiwan Blockade Warning

“They have a very large navy, and if they want to bully and put ships around Taiwan, they very much can do that,” the admiral said.

China has already created a large and modern navy, Thomas stated, with the number of military vessels at Beijing’s disposal continuing to grow rapidly. The admiral said that he did not, however, know whether China is seeking to take any actual action against Taiwan, which Beijing regards as an integral part of its territory, whether through an all-out invasion or a naval blockade.

“Clearly, if they do something that’s non-kinetic, which, you know, a blockade is less kinetic, then that allows the international community to weigh in and to work together on how we’re going to solve that challenge,” he explained.

Beijing has also bolstered its military presence in the South China Sea, a busy waterway to the southwest of Taiwan, and has already “completely militarized” artificial and natural islands under its control in the waterway, the admiral also pointed out.

Biden claims US forces will defend TaiwanREAD MORE: Biden claims US forces will defend Taiwan
“They already have all the bunkers they need, they already have all the fuel storage capacity they need, the ability to house troops, they have the missiles, the radars, the sensors,” he said.

Taiwan has been a major issue in US-China relations for decades already, with tensions further aggravated by a recent visit by the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island. Pelosi traveled to Taiwan in early August, ignoring repeated warnings from Beijing to avoid doing so, becoming the most high-ranking US official to visit the island in more than 25 years.

Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, when Chinese nationalists fled the mainland after losing the civil war to communists and setting up their own administration on the island. While formally recognizing Beijing’s sovereignty over the island and the ‘One China’ principle, Washington has maintained close informal ties with the island nation.

China considers Taiwan to be part of its sovereign territory which has been temporarily seized by separatists. Beijing has repeatedly said it would seek “reunification” and has not ruled out a military option to achieve this goal.

Source : RT

Read more about the Wall Street Journal Interview

US Navy Commander Says China Is Capable Of Blockading Taiwan . . . . .

Charts: Taiwan Total Exports Down in August 2022

Source : Bloomberg and Trading Economics

Surveys: Three Reasons Why Taiwanese People Are Increasingly Opposed to ‘Reunification’ with China

Cleo Li-Schwartz, Lili Pike, and Alex Leeds Matthews wrote . . . . . . . . .

An “unstoppable trend.” A “shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation.” That’s how the Chinese Communist Party described its goal of “reuniting” with Taiwan in the weeks following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) August visit to the island.

The rhetoric came with the added punch of unprecedented Chinese military exercises, but it’s nothing new. Chinese leaders have hammered home that message for decades, maintaining that Taiwan is part of “One China” and that people on both sides of the strait yearn to be “reunited.”

But increasingly, people on the Taiwanese side don’t feel that way at all. Under President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan has essentially existed as an independent state, without declaring as much for fear of stoking China’s anger. And fewer and fewer people in Taiwan back “reunification” with the mainland. Only 6.5 percent of Taiwanese people say they support unification at some point, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Chengchi University in Taipei. Meanwhile, more than 30 percent are in favor of moving toward independence — up from just 15 percent in 2018.

“If you look at the change in the past two decades, it is very clear that there is already a consensus in Taiwan of ‘anti-unification,’” Fang-Yu Chen, an assistant professor of political science at Soochow University in Taiwan, told Grid.

Grid analyzed public opinion surveys and spoke to people in Taiwan to better understand the evolution of Taiwanese views involving identity, democracy and social issues. What we uncovered is a strong current of anti-China sentiment, along with a growing sense of an independent Taiwanese identity. As China cranks up the pressure on Taiwan, these trends suggest that the regime in Beijing is fighting against a powerful tide. Many Taiwanese citizens feel that political and social reforms in Taiwan have pushed the two states further apart, and they are also worried — rather than enthusiastic — about what a mainland takeover might mean for them.

An independent identity

Decades ago, many Taiwanese people thought of themselves first and foremost as Chinese. But over the years, that has shifted significantly. Ask a resident of Taiwan today about mainland China — especially someone under 30 — and you are likely to find a lot of people firmly opposed to being identified with China in any way. Although Taiwan’s official name is still “the Republic of China,” several recent studies have shown that a growing percentage of Taiwanese people now see themselves as solely Taiwanese. As of June, 64 percent of people reported identifying as Taiwanese, while the percentage of people who consider themselves both Taiwanese and Chinese fell to 30 percent, according to the Chengchi University survey.

A sense of distinct identity is even stronger among younger citizens. Research from Pew has found that among 18- to 29-year-olds in Taiwan, 83 percent consider themselves solely Taiwanese. It’s likely that number is actually higher; the Pew survey was conducted in 2020, and tensions and animosity toward China have only risen since then.

That has left people like Henry Chang in the minority. An auto parts salesman born and raised in Taipei to parents who left the mainland after the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Chang told Grid he considers himself both Chinese and Taiwanese — and given his own history, that stands to reason; his parents were born on the mainland, and he has lived his entire life on Taiwan. But he recognizes that his dual allegiance is increasingly uncommon. “Young people’s relationships to China are increasingly weak,” he said.

Chang believes that’s due to media influence and a steady decrease in China-related curricula in Taiwanese schools. The surveys suggest many Taiwanese genuinely prefer the circumstances of their lives thanks to political and social reforms, or are tired of what they see as a growing militancy from the mainland. Or both.

Political divisions: “We’ve gotten used to democracy”

For Taiwanese today, opposition to “reunification” with China is driven less by questions of identity — and more by politics and current events.

China has long pledged that Taiwan should be governed under a “One Country, Two Systems” approach, similar to the mainland’s official stance on Hong Kong. During the early 1980s, when Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) were both authoritarian states on what looked like a liberalizing track, unification — the ultimate outcome of the “one country” principle — seemed more plausible. More Taiwanese felt the strong tie to the mainland that Chang still feels — and political and ideological divides were nothing like what they are today. But Taiwan raced down that liberal track and emerged from the shadow of authoritarianism in the 1990s. Democracy has become deeply rooted on the island, while over the same period, mainland China has headed in the other direction. The likelihood of political liberalization in the PRC today appears almost nonexistent.

In the 2014 Asian Barometer Survey, results showed that Taiwanese held a largely utilitarian attitude toward democracy, seeing it as useful so long as it facilitated economic development. Chang, who says he votes “99 percent” of the time for the more pro-mainland KMT party, still maintains this view: “Democracy is very good,” he said, “but I think only on the precondition that everyone can live in peace and contentment, with good jobs, a stable family and enough food to eat.” His complaint is that of late, Taiwan has not regularly delivered those core economic rewards.

Nonetheless, that same survey found that 88 percent supported the idea that democracy is the best form of government, whatever its problems. That rate has gone up with the rise of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which has championed closer political alignment with the U.S. and a more confrontational approach to China. That survey finding stands in stark contrast with the mainland view — or at least the view of the government in Beijing. (The PRC defines itself as a “people’s democratic dictatorship” — “democratic” in the sense that the party’s self-proclaimed mandate is to govern according to the wishes of the people.)

Soochow University’s Chen told Grid that the democratic shift in Taiwan has made “reunification” harder to imagine. “We’ve had elections every four years since democratization, and we have local elections every two years, just like the U.S. So we’ve gotten used to democracy, and that is normal life.”

Liberal values — and a generational divide

Along with a democratic process, Taiwan has embraced social reforms in recent years that have further deepened the contrast with China. Those reforms have been particularly popular among Taiwan’s younger citizens — and that in turn has been one more driver of a shift away from the mainland.

“President Tsai’s formula to win widespread support from the youth generation is not simply political in nature, but also rooted in promotion of liberal and progressive values that attract loyal followers,” wrote Min-Hua Huang, a professor of political science at National Taiwan University, in a recent analysis of the Asian Barometer Surveys. Huang said the surveys, taken from 2001 to 2018, show “that the youth generation is always more liberal than other generations by a significant margin, and more importantly, Taiwanese society as a whole continuously exhibits such an upward trend for the past two decades.”

Perhaps most notable among Taiwan’s recent liberal shifts was the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2019 — a first for any Asian government. A survey taken on the three-year anniversary of the legalization showed an increase in support for same-sex marriage, as well as broad support for gender equality and expression. Chen told Grid that “certain events like the legalization of same-sex marriage make Taiwan more proud of itself,” especially because the watershed moment led to widespread positive global media coverage of Taiwan.

The gay rights trajectory has been different in mainland China. Homosexuality was illegal in China until the late 1990s. A 2020 study found that “Chinese LGBT groups consistently experience discrimination in various aspects of their daily lives.” Under President Xi Jinping’s rule, there have been significant crackdowns on media depictions of gay characters and themes, and educational policies have been introduced with a view to shaping a more conservative and conformist Chinese social system.

More broadly, social life and civil rights are fundamentally different in the two societies. Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2022 report rated Taiwan 94 (out of a high score of 100); the island drew high marks across a range of political rights and civil liberties. By contrast, the U.S. clocked in at 83, and China a bleak nine. Under the category of “Freedom of Expression and Belief,” Taiwan achieved a perfect score of 100, with the report describing Taiwan as a country where “the news media are generally free, reflecting a diversity of views and reporting aggressively on government policies, though many outlets display strong party affiliation in their coverage … [and] personal expression and private discussion are largely free of improper restrictions.” China is of course infamous for its extreme censorship regime.

These differences matter to people in Taiwan. When asked why she opposes “reunification” with China, Amang Hung, a Taiwanese poet, told Grid, “the mainland suppresses freedom of thought and freedom of speech, does not respect life, and does not allow diverse values.”

What’s to come: “The trend is not reversible”

Cultural and geographic ties mean that China and Taiwan will likely remain connected in many ways despite the growing turbulence and these broad differences in opinion.

Yet recent trends suggest that as time passes and the younger generation takes the helm, a more strident sense of Taiwanese identity will become the norm. And that suggests that support for “reunification” will continue to fall. “The trend is not reversible,” said Chen, “but China is doing as much as it can to deter Taiwan’s independence.”

That deterrence now includes economic sanctions, frequent harsh rhetoric, and more regular military exercises in and around the Taiwan Strait. China’s crackdown on some forms of expression in Hong Kong has chastened many Taiwanese — and Beijing has tried to reassure residents of the island that they have nothing to fear. A recently released PRC white paper on Taiwan says that “Taiwan’s social system and its way of life will be fully respected, and the private property, religious beliefs, and lawful rights and interests of the people in Taiwan will be fully protected.”

Surveys and interviews suggest many Taiwanese don’t trust those pledges. “China broke its promise to Hong Kong to maintain [independent] political order for 50 years, failing in 23 years,” Chen said. “That shocked a lot of Taiwanese people because Taiwan is highly connected to Hong Kong.”

The war in Ukraine has also been an eye-opener for many in Taiwan — for a different reason. The conflict — different in many ways, but also involving a major power moving against a much smaller population — has raised concerns about the island’s self-defense. A recent poll found that 74 percent of respondents said they would be willing to fight to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Above all, for many people in Taiwan, living under the shadow of near-constant tensions with China has led to a growing weariness.

Amang, the Taiwanese poet, told Grid, “I’m Taiwanese. In my next life, I hope I won’t have to make a choice. That is a truly free person.”

Source : GRID

Taiwan Shoots Down Drone for First Time Off Chinese Coast

Shiyu Islet (獅嶼)

Taiwan’s military for the first time shot down an unidentified civilian drone that entered its airspace near an islet off the Chinese coast on Thursday, after the government vowed to take tough measures to deal with an increase in such intrusions.

Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own against the strong objections of the Taipei government, has held military exercises around the island since early last month in reaction to a visit to Taipei by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Taiwan’s government has said it will not provoke or escalate tensions but has been particularly angered recently by repeated cases of Chinese drones buzzing islands controlled by Taiwan close to China’s coast.

The defence command for Kinmen, a group of Taiwan-controlled islands opposite China’s Xiamen and Quanzhou cities, said in a statement released by Taiwan’s defence ministry that the drone entered restricted air space over Lion Islet just after midday (0400 GMT).

Troops on the islet tried warning it away but to no effect, so shot it down, with the remains landing in the sea, it added.

Taiwan fired warning shots at a drone for the first time on Tuesday shortly after President Tsai Ing-wen ordered the military to take “strong countermeasures” against what she termed Chinese provocations.

China’s foreign ministry, which on Monday dismissed Taiwan’s complaints about drones as nothing “to make a fuss about”, referred questions to the defence ministry, which had yet to comment.

Chiu Chui-cheng, deputy head of Taiwan’s China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council, told reporters in Taipei that Taiwan had the legal authority to take “necessary defence measures”, as Chinese aircraft were not allowed into Kinmen’s air space.

Those measures include forcing aircraft to leave or to land, he said.

Speaking to the armed forces earlier on Thursday, Tsai said China was using drones and other “grey zone” tactics to try to intimidate Taiwan, her office cited her as saying in a statement.

Tsai again emphasised that Taiwan would not provoke disputes but that did not mean that it would not take countermeasures, the statement added.

“She has also ordered the Ministry of National Defense to take necessary and strong countermeasures in a timely manner to defend national security,” it said.

“Let the military guard the country without fear and with solid confidence.”

Taiwan has controlled Kinmen, which at its closest point is a few hundred metres (feet) from Chinese territory, since the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taipei after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s communists in 1949.

During the height of the Cold War, China regularly shelled Kinmen and other Taiwanese-held islands along the Chinese coast, but they are now tourist destinations.

Source : Reuters

China Can’t Afford to Invade Taiwan

George Magnus wrote . . . . . . . . .

Should Nancy Pelosi have gone to Taiwan? The question might preoccupy America for months ahead of the November mid-term elections. But the truth is her visit did nothing to alter China’s stance towards Taiwan. The Speaker of the House was merely playing a walk-on part in an unfolding geopolitical drama. Another event would have triggered Beijing’s hostile reaction. The pressing question is not about Pelosi — but about what China will — and can — do next.

The live fire military drills around Taiwan that China launched in response to Pelosi’s visit — which included the firing of ballistic missiles over the island — were scheduled to end on Sunday. But on Monday morning, this dress-rehearsal of coordinated manoeuvres for a potential future invasion had shown no sign of stopping. China also announced on Friday that it was cancelling high-level military consultative talks with the United States, and suspending cooperation talks on illegal immigrants, narcotics and climate change, among other things.

We can probably expect military matters to cool off in the coming weeks, ahead of the 20th Congress of the CCP in autumn. But for the moment we can be sure of only two things. First, China is bound to take further opportunities to put pressure on Taiwan using both commercial sanctions and military or diplomatic tactics. Second, for the time being, China is likely to avoid anything that might push its own faltering economy into a tailspin.

Any serious escalation of the tension could have grave implications for Beijing. Not only would it limit or cut off China’s access to semiconductors and Western technology, but it could see Chinese firms subject to further sanctions. It could also compromise trade with China’s biggest markets, namely the United States, the EU and developed Asia. China is dependent on the rest of the world for more than 80% of its semiconductor demand, three-fifths of which comes from the US, Japan and the EU. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company produces almost all of the most advanced varieties.

The Chinese economy, meanwhile, is in bad shape. The target for economic growth this year cannot be met, and the property market, which accounts for over a quarter of GDP, is in disarray. Youth unemployment has shot up to 20%, and the labour market is far weaker than official statistics portray. Zero Covid policies, rigorously pursued both for public health and social control purposes, are stifling demand and turning foreign firms away from future investment in China. The nation’s development model is failing, but the government has no plausible strategies to re-energise it — or at least, none that is politically acceptable.

Beyond its borders, China faces the most extreme challenges since Mao, partly due to the imposition of commercial controls, restrictions and sanctions by foreign governments, and partly because of its own policies of disengagement and self-reliance. Its “no limit” friendship with Russia has only made things worse, and its behaviour towards Taiwan could also go awry. China may end up alienating not just the usual suspects — Japan, India and Australia — but also nations that prefer to stay above the fray, such as South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam. They could be drawn further into security alliances championed by the United States — which is exactly what China’s Global Security Initiative is meant to stop.

Given these circumstances, there’s little chance China will stage any form of assault on — or wage all-out war with — Taiwan anytime soon. But that’s not to say it will end the so-called “grey-zone” warfare that began before Pelosi’s visit. China could pressure or occupy any of the 100 islands that belong to Taiwan, especially the populated ones in the Taiwan Strait such as Matsu, Kinmen and Penghu, the first two of which are just 10km off the Chinese coast. It could from time to time warn off air and sea traffic in the form of a quarantine, trying to regulate the inflows and outflows of people and goods. In extremis, it might even try to blockade Taiwan, restricting its access to imported energy (which meets about four-fifths of the island’s demand for energy), LNG (which provides most of Taiwan’s electricity), or even certain foodstuffs and raw materials.

The aim would be to force the Taiwanese government to in some way cede autonomy to the CCP. The likelihood of this happening is about nil — and Beijing knows it. Local Taiwanese elections later this year, and national ones in 2024, may further strengthen the country’s backbone and remind Xi Jinping that bullying and coercion are leading China down a blind alley.

At every point, then, China runs the risk of incurring greater economic and political pushback by putting further pressure on Taiwan. As it is, global firms are starting to reconsider their supply chain structures and investments in China, and a deepening Taiwan crisis would create major strategy headaches for foreign firms. No company wants to be caught in the crosshairs of conflicts, sanctions, higher insurance costs and conflicted legal positions. Decoupling, and the rebuilding of global supply chains, are both likely to increase as a result.

For the same reason, China’s desire to de-Americanise its own supply chains, sanction-proof itself, and re-orientate markets towards domestic firms, will likely increase. But following this path would probably take China further away from its quest for higher productivity and undermine the nation’s lofty economic aspirations. Engagement with the global economy was the essential handmaiden of China’s economic eruption; disengagement is likely to reverse that process.

Besides, if China decided to introduce something as severe as a blockade, in an attempt to sap Taiwan’s political will and stifle its economy, it would almost certainly trigger not only sanctions but also resistance. Under the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, the United States would consider boycotts and embargoes a threat to both global and domestic peace and security. This doesn’t guarantee American intervention to break the blockade, or tit-for-tat measures, but there is a strong chance that Washington would react — and that other Asian nations would fear for their security.

Short of outright invasion, therefore, it does not seem that China could really mount any campaign that would force Taiwan to capitulate. With every move to escalate tension, moreover, Beijing would confront political, commercial and perhaps even low-level military pushback — and significant economic consequences.

But what if circumstances changed? What if Xi went all in, and ordered an assault on the island? Even then, his chances of a successful occupation are slim. Whether China has the military capacity and logistics, now or in the future, is almost beside the point. The issue is whether it has the political will. As we know from Russia, the best laid plans can go awry, and in Taiwan an invading army would meet with spirited local resistance from 23 million people. Suppressing them would make China a pariah state for years, if not decades. The Chinese Dream would become a nightmare.

The CCP has placed huge importance on “reunifying” the renegade province of Taiwan with the mainland, but it would exhaust its political capital by mounting an invasion — successful or not. No one can dismiss the possibility that it might one day happen — especially if domestic pressures caused CCP rule to fray. But the party may well take a leaf out of the Western playbook by kicking this can down a long road, risking unknowable consequences at home.

Source : UnHerd

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Why Doesn’t China Invade Taiwan? . . . . .





































  1971年10月,第26届联合国大会通过第2758号决议,决定:“恢复中华人民共和国的一切权利,承认她的政府的代表为中国在联合国组织的唯一合法代表并立即把蒋介石的代表从它在联合国组织及其所属一切机构中所非法占据的席位上驱逐出去。”这一决议不仅从政治上、法律上和程序上彻底解决了包括台湾在内全中国在联合国的代表权问题,而且明确了中国在联合国的席位只有一个,不存在“两个中国”、“一中一台”的问题。随后,联合国相关专门机构以正式决议等方式,恢复中华人民共和国享有的合法席位,驱逐台湾当局的“代表”,如1972年5月第25届世界卫生大会通过第25.1号决议。联合国秘书处法律事务办公室官方法律意见明确指出,“台湾作为中国的一个省没有独立地位”,“台湾当局不享有任何形式的政府地位”。实践中,联合国对台湾使用的称谓是“台湾,中国的省(Taiwan,Province of China)”①。













































































Source : 国务院新闻办公室