Channeling Realism to Avert a War Over Taiwan

Summary: Powerful special interests in America are pushing for a confrontation with China. Taiwan might be the excuse. USMC Major Gayl (ret) tells the story. There is still time to avoid falling off this precipice.

China vs USA - AdobeStock-217164166. By olinchuk.
By olinchuk. AdobeStock-217164166.

Channeling Realism to Avert a War Over Taiwan
By Major Franz J. Gayl, USMC (Ret.)

This article is pending future publication in the Marine Corps Gazette, and is published here with permission; Copyright © May 2020; MCA&F ( The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not reflect the views of the Marine Corps, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense or the United States Government.


Marines have faith the battles they fight are winnable and for causes that warrant their sacrifices. Unfortunately, those expectations will be disappointed in a fight for Taiwan’s independence. Fear is one of the strongest motives to fight [1], and the Chinese Communist Party fears that Taiwan’s U.S.-backed secession violates China’s sovereignty, threatens its civilizational identity, and undermines dynastic CCP legitimacy [2] [3]. The People’s Republic of China is therefore prepared to endure massive casualties and societal costs to prevent secession [4]. In contrast, U.S. motives to support Taiwan’s independence are elite self-interests [5] [6] as the outcome of China’s civil war poses no compelling threat to U.S. sovereignty or democracy. U.S. military intervention will lack whole of society support when an uncompromising PRC bleeds us for a dubious U.S. objective. Instead, the U.S. should modernize and preserve Fleet Marine Forces to fight against existential threats that China and others may someday pose to U.S. national security [7]. This will motivate whole of society determination to win decisively [8] for causes that fully warrant Marine sacrifices. But Taiwan’s independence from China is not one of them.


Click to enlarge.

Map of China

The Marine Corps is preparing for China-related contingencies in the Western Pacific [9] with Taiwan’s defense featuring prominently [10] [11] [12]. Unification of Taiwan with the Mainland People’s Republic of China (PRC) remains the core national security priority of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). One China has been the rallying objective of Chinese nationalists, but for decades the threat of U.S. military intervention has deterred the PRC [13], securing a peaceful status quo. However, today PRC political elites [14] [15] [16] led by CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping [17] [18] have determined that circumstances drive the need to achieve unification sooner.

Most U.S. experts hold that the status quo should and will continue as-is [19]. U.S. superpower and possibly [20] [21]Japanese protection, while not promised, is practically assured. When combined with the U.S.-armed Republic of China (ROC) Armed Forces the military balance of power favors a U.S.-backed Taiwan [22] going forward. Also, the PRC’s timeline for unification liberally spans from 2021 to 2049 – the 100th anniversaries of the founding of the CCP and the PRC, respectively [23].

However, the status quo path has been disrupted [24]. Ever since a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen to Donald Trump in 2016 [25] tensions between Taiwan and the PRC have increased. Then in 2019 President Tsai sought Taiwan’s seating in the United Nations (UN) [26] as a nation separate from China. Following her 2020 reelection, President Tsai went further, and in a statement of solidarity with Hong Kong (HK) protesters, she rejected the PRC’s One Country, Two Systems vision for Taiwan [27]. Other disruptions include Taiwan’s harboring of HK agitators sought by the PRC as fugitives [28], contrast between the PRC’s and Taiwan’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic [29] [30], loss of the CCP’s traditional ally aboard Taiwan; the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) party [31] [32], international criticism of PRC internal policies [33] including the mass imprisonment of Muslim Uighurs [34] and deteriorating trade relations with the U.S. [35] [36]. In response to the destabilizing immediacy of Taiwan’s defiance Secretary Xi recently warned that the PRC will act under its Anti-Secession Law if necessary [37] [38].

The CCP also perceives a perfect storm of U.S.-debilitating events that have caused a favorable shift in PRC fortunes [39]. This includes the PRC’s earlier COVOID 19 recovery [40] [41], a global leadership vacuum as the U.S. struggles with the pandemic [42], blatant U.S. hypocrisy [43] in condemning rioting in the U.S.[44] while celebrating rioting in HK [45], unsubstantiated reports claiming that the combination of the pandemic [46] and domestic civil unrest [47] may have degraded U.S. readiness [48] and China’s long-held conviction that the U.S. is a civilization in decline [49] [50] [51] [52].

Click to enlarge.

Map of China

The U.S. military remains fully ready to fulfill its global obligations [53], and many experts insist the likelihood of a PRC invasion remains low [54]. On the other hand, there are indicators that the PRC may be executing policy and military [55] [56] precursors in preparation for forced unification [57]. These include the PRC’s imposition of tough national security laws in HK [58] [59] and aggressive People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and Air Force activities in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Taiwan Strait [60]. In view of Taiwan’s accelerated alienation [61] [62] [63] from China, the CCP may perceive that it has little to lose externally [64] [65] and everything to gain internally [66] by unifying sooner [67].

As background, three Joint Communiqués published in 1972 [68], 1979 [69], and 1982 [70] have stabilized U.S.-PRC diplomatic relations with respect to Taiwan. In each the PRC stated there is only One China and that Taiwan is a part of China. While acknowledging the PRC position, the U.S. did not agree on Taiwan’s status, and maintains it is undetermined. However, none of the Three Communiques expressed U.S. support for Taiwan’s independence as a nation separate from China.

The PRC cherishes the Three Communiques, but its determination to unify Taiwan with the Mainland, peacefully or non-peacefully, transcends the political character of One China’s national leadership. Whether unification is achieved under the CCP, the KMT or another rival nationalist party such as China New Party (NP) [71], One China’s sovereign authority over Taiwan is non-negotiable [72].

Taiwan’s status became contested in 1971 when United Nations (UN) Resolution 2758 seated the PRC and expelled the U.S.-aligned totalitarian ROC [73] aboard Taiwan. Then on 1 January 1979 the U.S. President formally recognized the PRC, severed formal relations with the ROC and abrogated the Formosa Resolution [74] that required the U.S. to protect Taiwan. But Congress harbored deep reservations about the PRC, as it believed CCP policy excesses had caused the deaths of millions of Chinese, impeded China’s modernization, and threatened communist expansion throughout Asia, to include Taiwan [75]. Fearing a Mainland invasion, Congress enacted the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) [76] on 10 April 1979 to militarily deter the PRC in the hope that the anti-communist ROC KMT would eventually succeed the CCP in ruling all China.

The TRA directs maintenance of informal U.S. relations with Taiwan, to include commercial and cultural ties separate from the formal U.S.-PRC diplomatic relationship. The TRA also mandates a Congressional role in providing military capabilities to the ROC for the island’s self-defense and directs that the U.S. maintain the capacity to resist any Mainland effort to force unification. It is important to note that the TRA does not legally obligate the U.S. to employ instruments of national power [77] if the PRC absorbs Taiwan by force. Also, the TRA is just one of several shaping factors that contribute to the totality of U.S., China, and Taiwan relations.

While the TRA’s allusions to intervention are not legally enforceable, fearing loss of credibility in its legally binding security assurances with other regional allies the U.S. will surely act on them as if they were [78] [79] [80]. In anticipation of the TRA’s enactment the PRC advised against the establishment of a separate U.S. security relationship with Taiwan knowing it would lead to conflict in the future [81]. It can be viewed as equivalent to China establishing a separate security relationship with, and arming Hawaii’s sovereignty movement [82].

Since 1979 the political and strategic context has evolved. In 1992 the one-time ROC KMT and PRC CCP archenemies began to work cooperatively towards peaceful unification, while tolerating different interpretations of China’s legal governance [83]. Separately, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [84] emerged as a center-left alternative party to the nationalist KMT that emphasized Taiwan’s distinctive identity. Since 2016 the DPP has retained power, and its insistence on Taiwan’s de jure independence [85] has been actively supported by U.S. special interests and increasingly by the U.S. Government [86] [87] [88] [89] [90]. Taiwan’s relationship with the U.S. has become indistinguishable from an alliance between two sovereign nations [91] [92].

Click to enlarge.

Map of China

Separately, the Mainland PRC has evolved economically and militarily into a superpower and the U.S.’ most formidable peer competitor. The PRC perceives the U.S. as the primary threat to One China unification and quest for increased global influence [93]. Its military modernization is tailored to exploit U.S. asymmetries, technological dependencies, and vulnerabilities. This includes an anti-access area-denial strategy [94] that combines weaponized artificial intelligence [95] [96] [97], military space [98], anti-satellite weapons [99], a modern nuclear triad [100] that integrates new intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple independently targetable reentry [101] and hypersonic glide vehicles [102], advanced undersea, surface anti-ship [103] and cyber warfare [104], as well as counter-command and control [105] capabilities – including high altitude electromagnetic pulse weapons [106]. In accordance with its unique, Unrestricted Warfare doctrine, the PRC’s arsenal also weaponizes financial tools [107] [108] that treat the U.S. national debt as a strategic vulnerability and exploits the PRC’s status as a sole source for critical rare earth natural resources [109], 5G telecommunications technology [110] [111], and PRC pharmaceutical [112] and other critical manufacturing monopolies. The ability of the U.S. to deter or contain China’s unified One China objective is no longer a foregone conclusion.

Once the CCP senses the necessity and opportunity [113] it will act under its Anti-Secession Law [114] using coercive tools short of kinetic war [115] to bring Taiwan to heel. Confident in both U.S. military intervention and in the difficulties the PRC would face in mounting a cross-strait amphibious assault [116], a defensively well-armed Taiwan [117] will remain intransigent, eventually triggering a kinetic conflict [118]. Pressured by ideological, commercial, and political special interests, the U.S. will feel obligated to militarily intervene under the TRA [119]. The PRC will view U.S. intervention as an existential threat to One China territorial sovereignty, and war with the U.S. will ensue [120].

If the PRC finds itself losing conventionally it knows that the loss of a U.S. carrier, regional base or other capital ship would generate [121] U.S. Congressional support for escalation. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution [122] that drew the U.S. deeper into the Vietnam War serves as a precedent. Considering China’s maturing security ties with Russia [123] [124] [125] and Iran, and the obligation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to come to China’s mutual defense [126], a broader, global conflict is likely. Concurrently, the PRC’s reluctance to be the first to use nuclear weapons will likely evaporate [127]. Escalation would benefit China with economy of force when the opening of other fronts saddles the U.S. and Japan with theater-wide treaty obligations [128] [129] [130] [131].

Taiwan’s greater importance to China than to the U.S. will be evident in the contrasting willingness of the U.S. and PRC contenders to endure casualties over time. Motivated by CCP survival and PRC national honor, China will absorb tremendous PLA [132] and PRC civilian losses, even risking military defeat to outlast U.S. intolerance [133] [134] [135] for such losses, fully aware that U.S. motives will lack a whole of society resolve [136]. With no threat to U.S. territory or its democracy, a conflict would at best have an indecisive outcome like the Korea Armistice Agreement [137] or at worst end in Taiwan’s outright abandonment with our South Vietnam exit as a precedent [138]. The common feature of those two foreign civil wars was lacking whole of U.S. society-embraced motives [139] [140] [141] and lack of confident paths to victory.

Even if the PRC suffers a tactical defeat in the near-term it would still serve to extend CCP legitimacy [142], and represent a mere setback in the longer Chinese Civil War [143]. The PLA will also be able to recover and modernize in-stride more rapidly than the U.S. and Taiwan will be able to recover from their losses [144]. Finally, even in the absence of the PRC, any new government of Mainland China would likewise covet its littorals and insist that Taiwan is sovereign China [145]. A renewed war of unification under a different nationalistic regime would be inevitable. In any Taiwan scenario, escalation to unrestricted and globally destructive total war between the U.S. and PRC is likely, a regrettable outcome considering its cause was never a core U.S. national security interest [146].

The PRC has long emphasized that its strategies reflect Chinese characteristics [147] rather than not western conventions. One legendary characteristic has been China’s capacity and willingness to absorb massive losses in pursuit of regime objectives. For example, during the 19th Century the Qing Dynasty survived the Taiping, Muslim and other upheavals that reduced the Chinese population by 60 million [148]. In the 20th Century prior to 1949, between five and eight million Chinese died during the Chinese Civil War [149], yet both the PRC prevailed and the tactically defeated nationalist ROC survived. In 1950 up to 400,000 [150] poorly armed Chinese troops responded in Korea, and despite suffering disproportionately high losses, reversed the fortunes of a nuclear-armed U.S. [151] [152]. Later, the Great Leap Forward led to the starvation deaths of up to 40 million Chinese [153], and millions more died during the Cultural Revolution [154] [155]. Despite these tragedies the regime survived and emerged stronger while progressively embracing its imperial heritage [156].

The CCP is only the latest Chinese dynasty [157], and under Secretary Xi the regime mirrors the centralization of power under Mao Zedong [158]. A unique characteristic of Chinese politics is that political elites within regimes were the most common causes of regime overthrow, not foreign enemies or revolutions by the masses [159]. Therefore, the dynasty’s future depends on fulfillment of political class expectations [160], and CCP politics today reflect an increasing urgency [161] [162]. When combined with Chinese casualty tolerance and an existential stake in the outcome the PRC will have a decisive psychological advantage over the U.S. in a fight over Taiwan [163].

Fear and honor will be the PRC’s dynastic and whole of society motives [164] to fight for unification. Despite special interests at the root of U.S. motives, the PRC anticipates that honor will likewise guide U.S. decision making. Chinese culture holds fidelity as one of the highest virtues in all relations [165], and failure to act reliably on just an allusion to a TRA promise causes loss of face that is indistinguishable from cowardice [166]. Publicly, the PRC suggests that the U.S. is afraid of China [167] [168]. However, the scale of the PRC’s military modernization betrays a conviction that the U.S. will assuredly act [169] on the TRA as an honor-binding security guarantee.

History contains examples of unintended consequences of honor-based international obligation fulfillment. For example, networks of treaty-bound European adversaries unraveled into the First World War [170], that led directly to the even more disastrous Second World War [171]. The TRA and a web of allied security treaties in the Western Pacific [172] [173] [174] [175] will likely be acted upon in much the same way [176]. If the U.S. military intervenes in this internal Chinese affair the national cost of the calamity will quickly exceed the value of defending Taiwan’s ambitions.

Many familiar with the TRA will disagree, observing that the TRA’s language ambiguities have been its strengths. It has served to deter the PRC while leaving to the discretion of U.S. decision makers the form of response, whether military, soft power, or no response at all [177]. This was true throughout the many decades that the PRC was comparatively weak, but as an ever more powerful superpower China is no longer so easily intimidated.

Others will point out that Taiwan’s undetermined status makes it a mere proxy state [178] and provide Cold War examples where proxy wars did not cause nuclear-armed patrons to escalate beyond a limited threshold as resolutions were open to negotiation. But this is mistaken because for the PRC Taiwan is sovereign China.

At the other extreme, some view the TRA as an honor-binding commitment to defend Taiwan. Furthermore, if the U.S. advertises TRA ambiguity as its strength a signal of U.S. unreliability [179] is relayed to all other allies in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) with whom the U.S. has actual mutual defense treaties [180]. Instead they propose that the TRA should be replaced with a legally binding security treaty that extends the U.S. nuclear umbrella to protect Taiwan, and stations U.S. forces there as a casualty tripwire to trigger U.S. escalation [181].

But the PRC’s contention that Taiwan is sovereign Chinese territory is compelling. It has in fact been a province of sovereign China since the Qing Dynasty, which ruled from 1644 to 1912. It remained sovereign China under the nationalist ROC from 1912 to the ROC’s civil war retreat to Taiwan in 1949. After 1949 the ROC continued to be recognized as One China’s legitimate representative and despite the PRC’s Mainland victory was seated as a chartered member of the UN [182] [183], until its UN expulsion and replacement by the PRC as China’s legitimate representative in 1971. In spite of periods of foreign occupation by the Dutch and Japanese, Taiwan has been a territory and province of China continuously since 1683 [184]. This fact has been documented in authoritative, historical U.S. maps (Figures 1-3), and the modern KMT and NP platforms reaffirm One China’s uninterrupted national unity.

Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3.
Qing Dynasty in 1644-1912 [185] One China in 1979 [186] Republic of China in 1912-1949 [187]

Taiwan’s secessionists therefore continue to espouse a false, revisionist history of Taiwan’s separate identity and heritage. Most UN Member states recognize the ruse, and only 14 of 193 states and the Holy See still maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan separate from China – and that number continues to drop [188].

Some historians will counter that the Qing Dynasty ceded Formosa to Japan in 1995 in the Treaty of Shimonoseki [189]. Staunch independence advocates contend that occupation signaled the birth of Taiwan’s nation-like status separate from China [190]. But a coercive foreign occupation is a temporary artificial identity and separation, not independence. For example, the Communist German Democratic Republic was always a weak artificial identity forcibly created under Soviet occupation [191]. Following Germany’s reunification in 1989 East Germans had not ceased to be Germans any more than Taiwanese had ceased to be Chinese when Taiwan was reunited with the Republic of China in 1945. Taiwan’s artificial identity would never have taken root were it not for DPP secessionist confidence in U.S. military support under the TRA [192].

And a nation’s self-narrative of sovereignty is the most important factor in predicting real behaviors, not legal opinions. The ruthless U.S. response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor included the firebombing of Tokyo and the first employment of nuclear weapons and exemplified the emotional power and violence [193] generated when a nation’s deep-seated self-narrative perceives a sovereignty violation. The legality of China’s claim to Taiwan, and the U.S.’ claim to Hawaii – which is questionable [194] [195] – are immaterial from the perspective of identity and realpolitik [196] and its outcomes.

Ever since the ROC withdrew to Taiwan following its tactical defeat in 1949 there has been a pause in fighting, but the bitter contest remains unresolved [197]. Civil wars are particularly brutal [198], as demonstrated in China as well as in Korea and Vietnam – together the three deadliest civil wars in modern history [199]. The U.S. had its own experience with the attempted secession of renegade territories – such as the PRC regards Taiwan today. The determined Union waged the American Civil War to prevent the Confederacy from seceding in the deadliest war in U.S. history [200].

Many will counter that our civil war is a bad analogy, insisting that Taiwan only became associated with Chinese national identity following the 20th Century establishment of Chiang Kai Shek’s totalitarian ROC aboard Taiwan [201]. But as noted earlier, Taiwan has been de facto sovereign Chinese territory for centuries. Han Chinese from the Fujian Province across the Taiwan Strait established a presence aboard Taiwan before the 1700s. This was reinforced by a larger Han migration under the Qing Dynasty during the 1700s, and another in the 20th Century by the Chinese nationalists. Temporary occupations of Formosa (a.k.a. Taiwan) during periods of imperial weakness caused interruptions to provincial governance, but never One China’s integrity. Today, between one and three million Taiwanese reside on the Mainland [202], many managing businesses and creating One China economic interdependencies. Han racial majorities on both sides of the strait, deep cross-strait familial ties with Fujian Province, Mandarin as the common language, and the shared traditional foundations of Confucianism and Chinese history cement the reality that Taiwan is an organic component of China.

Some will object that these are merely PRC talking points. But a separate Taiwanese identity divorced from China is secessionist propaganda that lacks any factual foundation, as the material, ethnic and historical realities stand by themselves.

Others will counter that CCP special interests are the only motives that drive the PRC’s hardening position on Taiwan. These include a PLA hungry for combat experience [203], the CCP’s determination to maintain legitimacy, and Secretary Xi’s own impatience. But independent of those interests the totalitarian CCP has a key advantage. Through centralized messaging [204] it animates two-million-plus active duty PLA and the nation’s 1.4 billion citizens with the unifying, nationalistic conviction that Taiwan is sovereign China – a whole of society fear and honor motivating power [205] that the U.S. lacks.

As for the Marine Corps and all Services, honor as a powerful motive can always be assumed [206], and sustaining casualties is the cost of patriotically fulfilling duties. But in our democratic U.S. mobilization for strategic victory in a major war that will certainly call for universal conscription requires unified, whole of society support to endure the sustained sacrifices. Motivating intelligent Americans that are well-aware of past 20th and 21st Century U.S. expeditionary debacles [207] [208] to perceive Taiwan’s differences with China as a threat to the U.S. worth risking total, even nuclear war guarantees U.S. public skepticism, not animation.

Some will insist on a U.S. moral obligation to Taiwan. But morality is a weak cause in practice, and the U.S. has frequently refrained from military action, despite observing behaviors that were universally recognized as immoral. These include America’s delayed entrance to WWII in Europe [209], U.S. evacuation of South Vietnam in 1975 [210], and decisions not to intervene in genocides in Africa [211] [212] and Cambodia [213]. In each case the U.S. weighed courses of action and came to reasoned conclusions that military intervention was not in the national self-interest.

Alternatively, U.S. military interventions when the national self-interest was lacking have led to national regret. As examples, U.S. humanitarian-based interventions in Lebanon [214] and Somalia [215] ended disastrously when the loss of U.S. warfighters compelled U.S. withdrawal. Core national security-based motives were absent, and moral outrage was an insufficient motive to stay. The concerns of prosperous, capitalist Taiwanese and HK citizens losing liberal freedoms when absorbed within One China [216] are trivial compared to the crimes and moral tragedies recalled above. But U.S. intervention in Taiwan promises a similarly bad ending, with the price being paid by forward-deployed Marines and Sailors [217].

Many disagree, arguing that to lose Taiwan is to cede American influence in the Western Pacific [218]. Taiwan is sighted as one of the Four Asian Tigers [219], a free enterprise jewel whose mere existence accelerates the de-legitimization of the CCP and tyranny everywhere, while serving as a model for China’s eventual democratization. They will also point to Taiwan’s manufacturing of critical electronics technologies such as semi-conductors [220]. Finally, Taiwan’s advocates will dismiss PRC assertions and point out the U.S.’ inherent obligation to protect the free citizens of any allied nation.

Ironically, the devastation of any China-Taiwan conflict will be [221] magnified many times when U.S. military intervention escalates to total war. Recognizing this inevitability, U.S. compassion for the Taiwanese people [222] should encourage a formally codified denouncement of any support for secession in advance of a war. Taiwanese secessionists previously emboldened by U.S. military assurances would fall silent, returning One China unification to a peaceful process. Also, the absorption of Taiwan, together with restive HK could over the longer term transform the PRC from within [223]. U.S. recognition that Taiwan’s status is strictly China’s internal affair would be consistent with the U.S.’ wise lack of military intervention in other restive Chinese territories such as Tibet [224], Xinjiang [225], Inner Mongolia [226] and HK [227]. The same logic must apply to Taiwan.

Finally, if the Taiwanese commitment to independence is as strong as claimed by its advocates, its citizenry will not kowtow to a PRC occupier or flee the island. Instead, a prolonged insurgency could lead to the demise of communism in China [228], just as adventurism in Afghanistan contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union [229].

But a Taiwan policy revision is unlikely due to powerful elite self-interests in the U.S. that sustain the TRA. Leading this cause are PRC-averse U.S. and Taiwanese lobbyists [230] [231], politicians, journalists [232] [233], authors [234], think tanks [235] [236], and defense industry lobbyists [237] [238] who benefit politically and financially from the TRA’s existence. Elite interest messaging encourages the Taiwanese to parse their identity away from China’s [239]. This has served to manipulate politicians and allowed cooperative media to subtly equate the TRA with an obligatory defense guarantee [240] [241] [242], perhaps even tempting a U.S. President to justify a diversionary war to distract from contentious domestic politics [243].

For example, in an effort to whip up national security hysteria some have suggested the PRC deliberately employed COVID-19 as a biological weapon [244] [245] [246]. This included alleged PRC suppression of information to permit the virus to first spread to adversaries [247], while employing it as a coercive tool to gain leverage over Taiwan [248]. The media has also reported that some special interests may be materially incentivized to attack the PRC [249].

Some recent pandemic-focused othering [250] of Chinese is reminiscent of WWI [251], WWII [252] and Cold War propaganda [253], in its reinforcement of negative ethnic stereotypes [254]. Historically, othering has served as a conditioning mechanism to dehumanize adversaries in the eyes of warfighters, preparing them to act with less discrimination and greater brutality in conflict [255]. Assaults on Chinese and Asians in the U.S. have also increased because of pandemic stigmatization [256] [257]. Special interest othering of the PRC is juxtaposed against U.S. Government fawning admiration of Taiwan that appears covetous, providing fuel to CCP propaganda that conjures imagery of China’s Century of Humiliation [258], which included Taiwan’s occupation.

In the U.S. Congress the TRA provides the influential 163-member, bipartisan, bicameral House and Senate Taiwan Caucus [259] a cause and platform to chastise the PRC and claim U.S. ideological superiority [260] in foreign relations. For the U.S. defense industry Taiwan has been and remains a major market for foreign military sales and security assistance, with weapons sales between 1980 and 2020 totaling more than 82 billion dollars [261]. Taiwan also has an outsized impact on the overall U.S. defense budget [262] considering the DoD’s pivot towards USINDOPACOM [263]. The reciprocal relationship between defense contractors, lobbyists, their respective contributions, and a Member of Congress’ re-electability is well documented [264]. When the linkages between Congress, Taiwan and the U.S. defense industry [265] are considered, the consistent Congressional voting support for robust arms sales to Taiwan is predictable, even when not in the interests of the U.S. or the warfighters who pay for bad policy with their lives.

One pre-crisis alternative could be a Presidential Directive supplementing the TRA [266] that prohibits any agency within the national defense community from taking any action if it relates to Taiwan’s secession ambitions. This includes U.S. inaction in the face of the PRC’s employment of non-peaceful means to preempt secession, and a requirement to end arms sales to Taiwan [267], a TRA-enabled practice that is incendiary to U.S.-China-Taiwan relations. Once the global community and Taiwan recognize that the U.S. unambiguously opposes an independent nation of Taiwan, DPP secessionist rhetoric would cease [268], removing the most explosive flash point in U.S.-China relations.

A direct benefit would be a redirection of China’s regional focus. For a personified China [269] [270] diplomatic, economic, territorial and security difficulties with its fair-weather partners [271] [272] [273] would be exposed [274]. China’s pains with the DPRK [275], Russia [276] [277], Iran [278] [279] and India [280] [281] would be unmasked, diverting PRC attention in a way that depressurizes U.S.-China relations.

Military conflicts with China in the USINDOPACOM are still possible. They include the U.S. enforcing UN-verified Japanese [282] and Philippine [283] claims to natural islands and resources in the South and East China Seas [284], and neutralizing PRC-armed artificial islands [285] that threaten freedom of navigation in international waters. Such limited objectives are militarily relevant [286] [287] and will not necessarily escalate into major conflict. Alternatively, if the PRC threatens U.S. territory and our way of life, achieving a whole of society commitment to defeat China in total war is guaranteed [288], as we experienced in mobilizing to defeat Imperial Japan, a cause for which every American sacrifice was worthy.

However, if the U.S. permits the unamended TRA to persist we will sleep-walk [289] into a catastrophic total war with China [290] lacking both a compelling cause and whole-of-society buy-in. The FMF mission in the Western Pacific assures that Marines will bear the brunt of a collision between PRC existential fear and U.S. special interests in Taiwan. Instead, the U.S. should amend the TRA and preserve FMF strength in preparation for war with the PRC or others motivated only by our core national security interests.


The author extends special thanks to Colonel Robert “Ogre” E. McCarthy III, USMC for his extensive insights and continuous emphasis that one must reflect on classical perspectives on warfare in order to fully understand state and civilizational behaviors today.

See the footnotes below at the end of the post.


Globe and China Flag

Other perspectives on China

How does China see its role in the world? See the films Wolf Warrior (2015) and Wolf Warrior 2 (2017). WWII became the highest-grossing film in China. See Wikipedia for Wolf Warrior and WW II. Especially read this insightful review by Helen Raleigh at National Review. To see how China sees America, read about this important speech by Major General Qiao Liang of the PLA.

  1. A look at the American Empire.
  2. Judging America’s leadership of the world economy.
  3. A ruthless America striving to contain his nation’s growth.

Franz Gayl

About the author

Franz Gayl serves as a civilian science and technology adviser at HQ Marine Corps in the Pentagon. He enlisted in USMC In 1974, and retired as a Major in 2002. During these years he served as an infantry officer, operational test officer, and as a space plans officer. As a civilian he has served as the USMC representative to the high energy laser Joint Technology Office, as a DARPA intern, as the science adviser for the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq, and as the S&T advisor within Naval Special Warfare Development Group X-Squadron.

I received a BA in PoliSci from the Univ. of MN, an MS in Space Systems Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MS in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University. He has two patents as sole inventor, with a 3rd pending.

For More Information

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By Tom Miller, senior Asia analyst at GaveKal (2017).

From the publisher …

“Under Xi, China is pursuing an increasingly ambitious foreign policy with the aim of restoring its historical status as the dominant power in Asia. From the Mekong Basin to the Central Asian steppe, the country is wooing its neighbors with promises of new roads, railways, dams, and power grids. Chinese trade and investment presents huge opportunities for China’s neighbors, and its ability to build much-needed infrastructure could assist in the development of some of the world’s poorest countries.

“Yet China’s rise also threatens to reduce its neighbours to the status of exploited vassals. In Vietnam and Myanmar, resentment of Chinese encroachment has already incited anti-Chinese protests, and many countries in the region are seeking to counterbalance its influence by turning to the US and Japan. Combining a concise overview of the situation with on-the-ground reportage from over seven countries, China’s Asian Dream offers a fresh perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: what does China’s rise mean for the future of Asia and of the world?”

End Notes.

[1] Thucydides, translated by M. I. Finley and Rex Warner, History of the Peloponnesian War, New York, NY: Penguin Classics, 1954, Page 129: “Thus there is nothing remarkable or inconsistent with human nature in…yielding to the strongest motives – honour, fear, and self-interest”, available at

[2] Cartwright, Mark, Mandate of Heaven, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2017, “An important element of the mandate was that although the ruler had been given great power he also had a moral obligation to use it for the good of his people, if he did not then his state would suffer terrible disasters and he would lose the right to govern”, available at

[3] Cropsey, Seth, China’s Worst Fears: Hong Kong, Taiwan and Any Other Democracy, Washington, DC:”>, 2019, “Unrest, revolution and civil war indicate the loss of such a mandate,” available at

[4] Chu, Bevin, The Myth of Casualty Aversion: Your Death is Acceptable, 1999, Beijing is willing…to lose hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of Chinese troops’ lives to prevent the loss of Taiwan, which is sovereign Chinese territory. Beijing is willing to lose at least as many lives preventing Taiwan secession as the Union was willing to lose preventing Confederate secession, or North Vietnam was willing to lose to prevent the partition of Vietnam into northern and southern halves”, available at

[5] BBC, What is the ‘One China’ Policy? Beijing, China:, 2017, “Taiwan is not recognized as an independent country by much of the world nor even the United Nations [however, it] leverages on its long-term emotional relationship with the US to extract concessions. It employs a small group of powerful lobbyists in Washington DC including former senator Bob Dole, who US media reported helped to arrange contacts that culminated in a controversial phone call between Mr Trump and Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen”, available at

[6] Ibid. Thucydides, translated by M. I. Finley and Rex Warner, History of the Peloponnesian War, Page 129, “…and then, yielding to the strongest motives—honour, fear, and self-interest…”

[7] Cohen, Ariel, Time for Europe and U.S. to Face China’s Global Threat – Together, Washington, DC: Newsweek, 2020, “China’s political system may be incompatible with the West. One hopes that these differences will not lead to the 21st century version of the Peloponnesian Wars between the democratic Athens and the austere and autocratic Sparta…Washington is also worried about Beijing’s space and naval advances, including the 24/7/365 schedule of its shipyards which are working hard to build a new, massive People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). China also refuses to join Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) talks while boasting the largest INF arsenal…”, available at

[8] Reifler, Jason and Gelpi, Christopher, Success Matters: Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq, Atlana, GA: Georgia State University, 2006, “Ultimately, however, we find that beliefs about the likelihood of success matter most in determining the public’s willingness to tolerate U.S. military deaths in combat”, available at

[9] Cancian, Mark F., The Marine Corps’ Radical Shift Toward China, Washington, DC: CSIS, 2020, “The restructured Marine Corps will focus single-mindedly on a conflict with China in the Western Pacific”, available at

[10] Anderson, Gary, Deterring and Defeating Chinese Neo-Imperialism, Washington, DC: Small Wars Journal, 2020, “…the rapid reinforcement of Taiwan if China gives unambiguous signs of attack -or actually launches an invasion- is a capability that would increase both deterrence and warfighting capacity, not to mention protecting a vibrant democracy. Here again; smaller, heavily automated MAGTFs and stealthy, robotized means of reinforcement/resupply would greatly increase the challenge to mainland Chinese AA/AD and power projection capabilities”, available at

[11] Tzu-ti, Huang, Reports Alleging US Marines Conduct Training in Taiwan Rebutted, Taipei, Taiwan:, 2020, “…approximately 200 Marines were welcomed home…following a six-month deployment spanning the nations of Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. Chinese media…associated the troops’ deployment with a wargame conducted by Marine Corps War College in April involving conflict scenarios in the Taiwan Strait, and [a] military drill in the waters of the Philippines, in which Taiwan, the U.S., Australia, Japan, and other countries had participated”, available at .

[12] 2019.12.26 Yeager, Jake, Expeditionary Advanced Maritime Operations: How the Marine Corps Can Avoid Becoming a Second Land Army in the Pacific, Washington, DC:, 2019,

[13] Lampton, David, Experts’ Analyses – Why The Taiwan Issue Is So Dangerous, Washington, DC:, 2020, “In effect, the prevention of Taiwan going independent is absolutely critical to the legitimacy of the Chinese communist regime”, available at .

[14] Hong, Ji Yeon and Yang, Leo Y, Factional Competition and Power Sharing under Authoritarianism, San Diego, CA: UCSD, 2018, “This paper explores the nature of factional competition under authoritarian regime from the power-sharing perspective, using novel data from China. A core proposition of stable power sharing is that the strong, often incumbent, ruling group allows political survival and challenges of weaker political groups…Our findings suggest that elite competition in China has a tendency of power concentration, rather than power sharing. They also imply that the recent trend of power personalization in China may not be just a sudden phenomenon but reveals latent patterns of Chinese elites’ behavior”, available at file:///C:/Users/Franz/Downloads/InformalEliteCompetitionAndPower-Sha_preview.pdf.

[15] Li, Cheng, The Powerful Factions Among China’s Rulers, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2012, The fact that there are more ambitious candidates than available seats may naturally create a sense of winners and losers…Controversy concerning personnel appointments, especially when it comes to membership in the Politburo and PSC, could become viciously contentious, leading factional infighting to spiral out of control”, available at

[16] Li, Cheng, China’s Most Powerful “Princelings”: How Many Will Enter the New Politburo?, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2007, “It has been widely noted that large numbers of Communist Party leaders have taken advantage of their political power to convert the assets of the state into their own private wealth…In an authoritarian regime such as China where leaders are selected rather than elected, however, the top officials who come from privileged family backgrounds are generally suspected of having reached their high positions primarily because of political nepotism”, available at

[17] Easton, Ian, The Clock Is Ticking: China Will One Day Invade Taiwan,, 2020, “Xi will bide his time and hope the Taiwanese government cracks under mounting pressure, allowing him to conquer his target cheaply. At the same time, his military generals will continue planning and preparing to deliver on their ‘sacred’ mission. Coercion could easily fail, making invasion a tempting option―especially in a future scenario where the balance of power looks more favorable to Beijing than it does today”, available at

[18] Fifield, Anna, Paramount and Paranoid: China’s Xi and the Communist Party Face a Crisis of Confidence, Washington, DC: Washington Post, 2019, [Xi] has to contend not just with a slowing economy but also a protracted trade war with the United States… escalating Western criticism of Chinese policies toward ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang… an increasingly assertive Taiwan at the same time as a pro-democracy movement swells in Hong Kong…All of these loom as dangers to Xi’s authority as the party’s general secretary”, available at

[19] U.S. Department of State, U.S. Relations with Taiwan: Bilateral Relations Factsheet, Washington, DC: DoS, 2018, “The United States does not support Taiwan independence…The United States insists on the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences, opposes unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and encourages both sides to continue their constructive dialogue on the basis of dignity and respect”, available at

[20] Newsham, Grant, Japan Must Help Defend Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan: Taipei Times, 2020, “Tokyo either helps Taipei defend itself or sits by and hopes that Taiwan does not come under Chinese control. If it is the latter option, Japan had better prepare to give Beijing a near veto over its military, political, economic and even domestic policies”, available at

[21] Bartlett, Duncan, How Far Will Japan Go to Help Keep Taiwan Free?, Tokyo, Japan: Japan Forward, 2019, “Taiwan’s president has urged Japan to help protect the island from what she calls ‘tremendous pressure’ from mainland China”, available at

[22] Thompson, Drew, China Is Still Wary of Invading Taiwan, Washington, DC:, 2020, “With bilateral trade crashing, diplomatic relations at their worst, and a politically divided United States fighting an epidemic, this seems like an opportune time for Chinese President Xi Jinping to achieve a critical element of his “China Dream” and call on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to force Taiwan to unify with the People’s Republic. But despite a recent outbreak of jingoistic language, the chances of China’s military crossing the Taiwan Strait to subdue the self-governing island still remain small”, available at

[23] Wang, Brian, President Xi Pushes for Resolving the Taiwan Matter Between 2021 and 2049,, Sunnyvale, CA: 2017, “China still has an official policy of peaceful unification with Taiwan, but China President Xi Jinping has in several recent speeches signaled that he wanted to see the Taiwan matter resolved between 2021 and 2049, marking the centennials of the founding of the Communist Party and its successful revolution”, available at

[24] Hsieh, Milo, China Changing the Status Quo in the Taiwan Strait: US Report, Taipei, Taiwan: Ketagalan Media, 2019, Beijing has escalated ‘diplomatic, economic, cultural, and political warfare’ on Taiwan and influenced the 2018 election. On conventional security issues, the commission expressed concerns over the crossing of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets over the middle line of the Taiwan strait. The crossing is seen as a major provocation and an escalation of military tension on Beijing’s side”,

[25] Phillips, Tom, Smith, Nicola, and Woolf, Nicky, Trump’s Phone Call with Taiwan President Risks China’s Wrath, Beijing, CN, Taipei, Taiwan, and San Francisco, CA, 2016, “’During the discussion they noted the close economic, political, and security ties that exist between Taiwan and the United States,’ a statement said. ‘President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming president of Taiwan earlier this year’”, available at

[26] Chung, Lawrence, Taiwan Won’t Give In to Beijing as it Seeks UN membership, Island’s President Tsai Ing-wen Says, Hong Kong, CN: South China Morning Post, 2019, Taiwan will not bend to pressure from Beijing to give up its ambition of joining the United Nations, the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen told a group of UN permanent representatives at an unprecedented high-profile reception at its de facto embassy in New York”, available at

[27] Lee, Yimou, Taiwan Leader Rejects China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems Offer’, Beijing, China: Reuters, October 9, 2019, “Taiwan’s president rejected on Thursday a ‘one country, two systems’ formula that Beijing has suggested could be used to unify the island and the mainland”, available at

[28] Global Times, Taiwan Accused of Manipulating HK Unrest for Harboring Rioters, Beijing, China:, 2019, “While busy inciting and participating in a series of riots and other illegal activities in Hong Kong over the past two months, radical forces were seemingly also trying to find themselves a hiding place outside of Hong Kong, as reports revealed that some 30 individuals have already escaped to Taiwan”, available at

[29] Thiessen, Marc A., As Taiwan Shows, the Antidote to the Virus is Freedom, Washington, DC: Washington Post, 2020, “[I]f you want to see the difference between how a totalitarian and a free Chinese society handles a public health emergency, just contrast the actions of the People’s Republic with those of the Republic of China, Taiwan”, available at

[30] Flatley, Daniel and Wingrove, Josh, Trump Seeks to Pin Virus Blame on China, Yet Reprisal Is Uncertain, New York, NY:, 2020, “President Donald Trump is escalating efforts to pin blame on China for unleashing a pandemic…and is exploring ways to hold Beijing accountable”, available at

[31] Hioe, Brian, The Fall of the KMT?, Taipei, Taiwan:, 2016, “This defeat was unprecedented, seeing as the KMT has never lost control of the legislature… it does appear that the KMT has a limited lifespan at this point”, available at

[32] Pepper, Suzanne, China’s Dream of Unifying with Taiwan is Fading Fast Amid the Coronavirus and Hong Kong Protests, Hong Kong, CN:, 2020, “[Chiang Chi-chen, leader of the KMT] Taiwan’s long-standing preeminent political force [now insists that there is a] need to clarify the ambiguities within the 1992 consensus in light of Beijing’s escalating pressure not just for Beijing-centered definitions of the 1992 Consensus, but for Beijing-defined solutions as well”, available at

[33] Anderlini, Jamil, How Long Can the Communist Party Survive in China?,, 2013, “The signs include a hollow state ideology that society does not believe in but ritualistically feigns compliance with, worsening corruption, failure to provide the public with adequate social welfare and a pervasive public sense of insecurity and frustration. Other signs include increasing social and ethnic unrest, elite factionalism, over-taxation with the proceeds mostly going into officials’ pockets, serious and worsening income inequality and no reliable rule of law”, available at

[34], Data Leak Reveals How China ‘Brainwashes’ Uighurs in Prison Camps,, 2019, Leaked documents detail for the first time China’s systematic brainwashing of hundreds of thousands of Muslims in a network of high-security prison camps, available at

[35] Reuters, Trump ‘Torn’ Over US-China Trade Deal as Officials Push to Fulfill its Terms, Washington, DC:, 2020, “Key Points: Trump, …has threatened to terminate the trade deal if China fails to meet its purchase commitments”, available at

[36]Scissors, Derek and Blumenthal, Daniel, Opinion: China Is a Dangerous Rival, and America Should Treat It Like One, New York, NY: New York Times, 2019, “A 2017 national security strategy document called China a ‘revisionist’ power attempting to reorder international politics to suit its interests…[Sui-Lee Wee’s linked 2017 NYT article stated that] President Trump’s [2017] national security blueprint…lumped economic challenges posed by the United States’ foreign rivals, particularly China, with the sort of traditional notions of national security that have long driven American policy”, available at> and

[37] BBC, Xi Jinping Says Taiwan ‘Must and Will be’ Reunited with China, Beijing, CN: BBC, 2019, Mr Xi said, adding Beijing would never tolerate any form of activity promoting Taiwanese independence. Instead, unification was ‘an inevitable requirement relations with Taiwan were ‘part of China’s domestic politics’ and that ‘foreign interference is intolerable’ Beijing ‘reserves the option of taking all necessary measures’ against…Taiwanese separatist activities”, available at

[38] 10th National People’s Congress, Presidential Decree No. 34 – Anti-Secession Law, Beijing, China: 2005, Article 8: “In the event that the “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan’s secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan’s secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful re-unification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, available at

[39] Hale, Erin, In Shadow of Coronavirus, China Steps Up Manoeuvres Near Taiwan,, 2020, “China seems to be testing the water and see how much they can do to threaten the government of Taiwan and see the potential response from the US’”, available at

[40] Huang, Yanzhong, China’s Approach to Containing Coronavirus Cannot be Replicated,, 2020, “China has gotten a grip on its coronavirus outbreak by deploying authoritarian methods of containment…the rapid centralization of political power in China since 2012 has generated strong incentives for government officials to rush to jump onto President Xi Jinping’s bandwagon to demonstrate their political loyalty”, available at

[41] Allen, John, Burns, Nicholas, Garrett, Laurie, Haass, Richard N., Ikenberry, G. John, Mahbubani, Menon, Menon, Shivshankar, Nye, Joseph S., O’Neil, Shannon K., Shake, Kori, Walt, Stephan M., How the World Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic,, 2020, To some, this will appear as a great and definitive triumph for democracy. To others, it will showcase the clear ‘benefits’ of authoritarian rule”,

[42] De Luce, Dan, Dilanian, Ken and Lee, Carol E., As U.S. Struggles to Stem Coronavirus, China Asserts Itself as Global Leader, Washington, DC:, 2020, “’Beijing’s push for global leadership is able to get so much tailwind by virtue of the relative absence of any U.S. leadership’”, available at

[43] Mitchell, Tom and Liu, Xinning, China Blasts Trump Over His Response to US Unrest, Singapore and Beijing, China: Financial Times, 2020, “Beijing calls president a hypocrite for criticising rioters while supporting Hong Kong protesters”, available at

[44] Oprysko, Caitlin, Trump Threatens to End Protests with Military, Washington, DC:, 2019, “President Donald Trump on Monday declared himself the ‘president of law and order’ and said he would mobilize every available federal force both ‘civilian and military’ as he vowed to put an immediate end to violent protests that have swept the nation for days”, available at

[45] Echols, William, Pelosi Accused of Applauding Hong Kong Violence Over Tiananmen Candle Vigil Praise,, 2020, “They have told blatant lies, applauded violence as ‘a beautiful sight to behold’, made unfounded allegations against the Hong Kong police, groundlessly accused Beijing of ‘encroaching on Hong Kong people’s autonomy and freedom‘”, available at

[46], Clear and Present Danger: COVID-19 Rippling Through the Ranks is Crippling U.S. Military Strength, Washington, DC: Washington Post, 2020, available at available at

[47] Herman, Steve, White House Says Trump Prepared to Invoke Insurrection Act, Washington, DC: VOA, 2020, “President…’has sole authority to invoke the Insurrection Act’”, available at

[48] Johnson, Jesse, U.S. Military Faces Down Two Challenges in Western Pacific: COVID-19 and China, Tokyo, Japan: The Japan Times, 2020, “[E]xperts say anxieties among allies such as Japan will continue to grow under the current circumstances. ‘There’s certainly trepidation in Tokyo over U.S. military readiness due to the pandemic’”, available at

[49] Mail Online Reporter, The US is no Match for China’: Beijing’s State Media Compares America to a ‘Primitive Society’ as it Blasts Washington’s Handling of Coronavirus Pandemic, London, UK:, 2020, “‘American democracy is dying’…The COVID-19 spread in the US is almost like that of a primitive society. It should not have been like this if the US had the slightest science and organization…[t]o put it bluntly, the U.S. is no match for China in terms of anti-epidemic organization and mobilization”, available at

[50] Wen, Wang, COVID-19 Blunders Signal End of ‘American Century’, Beijing, China: Global Times, 2020, “The fractured US society means that new domestic policy never receives the full support of the American people, giving room to populist and protectionist policies to be seen as acceptable within the country. This is leading the international image of the US to decline from one of a global empire to an inconsequential regional power”, available at

[51] Independent Research Project, Realism and Realpolitik: Setting the Conditions for America’s Survival in the 21st Century, Washington, DC: Industrial College of the Armed Forces, 2006, “The second [research assumption is] that the natural rise and fall of great civilizations is a rational explanation for America’s diminishing influence over the day to day outcomes of global affairs in the 21st Century. This decline is highlighted and exacerbated by the rise of China…,” available at

[52] Packer, George, We Are Living in a Failed State: The Coronavirus Didn’t Break America. It Revealed What was Already Broken, Washington, DC: The Atlantic, 2020, “When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and it exploited them ruthlessly. Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years”, available at

[53] Garmone, Jim, Esper Details Defense Readiness in Face of Pandemic, Washington, DC:, 2020, “So far, the pandemic has had a low impact on readiness, [Secretary] Esper said…The military has 2 million service members; fewer than 5,000 have been infected and fewer than 100 have been hospitalized. This is a testament to the overall health of the force and to them following CDC guidance, the secretary said. ‘So, at this point in time, we are in pretty good shape,’ he said”, available at

[54] Thompson, Drew, China Is Still Wary of Invading Taiwan, Washington, DC:, 2020, “U.S. President Donald Trump’s unpredictability, and his administration’s steadfast support for Taiwan, makes it impossible for Xi to believe China’s hawks who claim that the United States is unwilling to brave the costs of coming to Taiwan’s defense. Japan’s steady turn away from China also raises doubt about whether it would sit out a Taiwan”, contingency. available at

[55] Rai, Arpan Tensions Rise as China Sends Fighter Jets After US Transport Plane Flies Over Taiwan, Beijing, China: Hindustan Times, 2020, “China dispatched fighter aircraft across the Taiwan Strait hours after an US transport plane flew over the island of Taiwan on Tuesday, raising military and diplomatic tension in the region by several notches”, available at

[56] Everington, Leoni, China Warns it could Turn Military Exercises into Invasion of Dongsha, Penghu, and Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan: Taiwan News, 2020, “In response to Japanese media reports that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is planning on holding war games in August to prepare for a future assault on the Taiwan-controlled Dongsha Islands… the PLA has the capability of turning ‘any exercise into action if Taiwan secessionists insist on secession’”, available at

[57] WSJ Editorial Board, China Moves on Hong Kong, Washington, DC: Wall Street Journal, 2020, “China’s forceful takeover of Hong Kong appears to have begun, and threats against Taiwan are rising”, available at
[58] Lague, David, Xi Makes High-Stakes Power Play in Move to Subdue Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China:, 2020, “Chinese leader Xi Jinping[‘s] move to impose tough national security laws on Hong Kong risks…increasing tensions in an already fraught relationship with the United States and undermining Hong Kong’s status as a global financial hub”, available at

[59] Mahtani, Shibani, Fifield, Anna and Liang, Tiffany, China Signals Plan to Take Full Control of Hong Kong, Washington, DC: Washington Post, 2020, “China’s ruling Communist Party signaled that it is moving swiftly to bring Hong Kong under its full control, with a top official saying Thursday that Beijing plans to alter the system that has allowed the territory to enjoy a level of autonomy for the past 23 years”,

[60] Ibid. Hale, Erin, In Shadow of Coronavirus, China Steps Up Manoeuvres Near Taiwan,, 2020, “The exercises also come as Taiwan and its unofficial ally, the US, have seen their defensive capabilities affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected sailors in both navies”, available at

[61] Heath, Timoty R., Why China Will Not Unify with Taiwan by 2020—and Beijing Lacks Compelling Military Options, Washington, DC:, 2017, “Scarcely 10 percent of Taiwan’s people support unification. A widening generational divide suggests support will continue to fall, since 80 percent of Taiwan’s youth between ages 20-29 oppose unification”, available at—and-beijing-lacks-compelling-military-options.

[62] Fifield, Anna, Taiwan’s Born Independent Millennials are Becoming Xi Jinping’s Lost Generation, Washington, DC: Washington Post, 2019, “A generation of young Taiwanese, who like to say they were ‘born independent,’ have never thought their homeland could be subsumed into the People’s Republic of China the way Hong Kong was in 1997”, available at

[63] Washington Post, The Taiwanese see themselves as Taiwanese, not as Chinese, Washington, DC:, 2017, “The majority of Taiwanese believe that Taiwan is already an independent country”, available at

[64], The World Has a Hard Time Trusting China. But Does It Really Care? The Conversation, 2019, “The challenge for China, if it wants to be trusted by the rest of the world, is how to move beyond Mao Zedong’s famous dictum: ‘Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the utmost importance for the revolution’. This thinking should have no place in a globalized world, but in CCP circles, it’s back in vogue”, available at

[65] Wainer, David, U.S.-Led Nations Criticize China at UN for Treatment of Uighurs, New York, NY:, 2019, “’We call on the Chinese government to uphold its national laws and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including freedom of religion or belief,’ U.K. Ambassador Karen Pierce said“, available at

[66] Tsang, Steve, The Importance of Taiwan to China,, 2017, “Taiwan is of great importance to China. According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Taiwan is a ‘sacred territory’ of China. Its future or, from Beijing’s perspective, its expected re-incorporation into China or not is a matter that can affect the capacity of the Chinese Communist Party of China (CCP) to retain legitimacy in China. With nationalism on the rise and the CCP seeing its legitimacy as based on the promotion of a ‘unified view of China and the world: One China, One Truth, One World, One Dream’, the Party cannot afford to let Taiwan have a future separate from its own. Taiwan will therefore remain a core national interest of the PRC as long as the CCP retains its monopoly of power”, available at

Taiwan is of great importance to China. According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Taiwan is a ‘sacred territory’ of China.1 Its future or, from Beijing’s perspective, its expected re-incorporation into China or not is a matter that can affect the capacity of the Chinese Communist Party of China (CCP) to retain legitimacy in China. With nationalism on the rise and the CCP seeing its legitimacy as based on the promotion of a ‘unified view of China and the world: One China, One Truth, One World, One Dream’,2 the Party cannot afford to let Taiwan have a future separate from its own. Taiwan will therefore remain a core national interest of the PRC as long as the CCP retains its monopoly of power.

[67] Hille, Kathrin and Shepherd, Christian, Taiwan: Concern Grows Over China’s Invasion Threat, Taipei, Taiwan and Beijing, China: 2020, “Beijing is ramping up its firepower and rhetoric…”, Financial Times, available at
[68] Peoples Republic of China and the United States, The Joint U.S.-China Communique. Shanghai, China: US DoS, 1972, available at

[69] U.S. and China, Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, Shanghai, China: US DoS, January 1, 1979, Page 1: “The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China [and] acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China”, available at

[70] U.S. and China, August 17 Joint Communique, Shanghai, China: US DoS, August 17, 1982, Page 1: “Respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs constitute the fundamental principles guiding United States-China relations”.

[71] Wikipedia, New Party (Taiwan),, 2020, “The New Party (NP), formerly the Chinese New Party (CNP), is a Chinese nationalist political party in Taiwan, affiliated with the pan-blue coalition, and supportive of the unification of Taiwan with Mainland China”, available at

[72] Consular Jia Xiudong, Interview by ICAF Student Researcher, Governmental Affairs and Congressional Liaison Office, Washington, DC, Chinese Embassy, March 1, 2007, Page 27: “For China, the importance of resolving the issue of Taiwan in strict accordance the 3 Joint Communiqués transcends any other national priority…. No matter who governs One China, or under what pretext, Taiwan would always stand out separately as China’s Number One national security priority”, available at

[73] U.N. General Assembly, U.N. Resolution 2758 – Seating of China and Expulsion of Taiwan, New York, NY: UN, October 25, 1971, available at

[74] Public Law 5, Joint Resolution – Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of China, Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, 1955, available at

[75] Shen, Lyushun, Goldwater: Unwavering Friend of ‘Free China’, Washington, DC:, 2014, “The senator strongly argued that it is a core American value and in the country’s best interest to stand by Taiwan as it faced an existential threat from tyrannical communists…Goldwater challenged the administration through a lawsuit against the president of the United States and argued all the way to the Supreme Court, where he ultimately failed”, available at

[76] U.S. 96th Congress, H.R.2479 Taiwan Relations Act, Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, 1979, available at

[77] The Lightning Press, Intellectual Fuel for the Military,, 2020, “[T]the instruments of national power are: Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economic (DIME)”, available at

[78] Bush, Richard, The United States Security Partnership with Taiwan, Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2016, “Despite the ambiguity of public American rhetoric, the capabilities that the PRC has acquired to complicate any U.S. intervention suggest that it assumes the United States will in fact act to defend Taiwan”, available at

[79] Horton, Chris, Taiwan’s Status Is a Geopolitical Absurdity, Washington, DC: The Atlantic, 2019, “Hailing the TRA as ‘the cornerstone of U.S.-Taiwan relations,’ Senator Marco Rubio, who was not part of the delegation, echoed the strong sentiment in Congress about the importance of Taiwan to American interests. ‘We must continue to strengthen our alliance with Taiwan, a fellow democracy, in the face of China’s rising aggression in the region,’ he told me. ‘Taiwan is a critical security partner in achieving our shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific’”, available at

[80] Bosco, Joseph, Save the Taiwan Relations Act, But Scrap Ambiguity: Defend Taiwan, Washington, DC:, 2020, “It is up to Washington to invoke the TRA and tell China that attacking Taiwan certainly would mean war with the United States”, available at

[81] Ibid. Jia Xiudong. p. 27: “America’s is perceived as encouraging Taiwanese independence advocates by means of veiled military assurances in the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), and the continued sales on modern weapons to the Province of Taiwan that are in blatant violation of the Joint Communiqués, documents that the Chinese cherish as inviolable”.

[82] Lyte, Brittany, Native Hawaiians again Seek Political Sovereignty with a New Constitution, “Washington, DC: Washington Post, 2017, “Colonization of these Pacific islands — and eventual statehood nearly 60 years ago — has always been a bitter subject for Native Hawaiians, the only indigenous group in the United States that does not have political sovereignty”, available at

[83] Xu Shiquan, The 1992 Consensus: A Review and Assessment of Consultations Between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and the Straits Exchange Foundation, Washington, DC: American Foreign Policy Interests, 2001, available at ment.pdf.

[84] Wikipedia, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP),, 2020, available at

[85] New York Times, China Has Lost Taiwan, and it Knows It, New York, NY: New York Times, Opinion, 2019, “Despite Beijing’s efforts at sabotage, Taiwan’s democracy is proving well and truly alive”,

[86] U.S. Congress, H.R. 2002 – Taiwan Assurance Act, Washington, DC: House of Representatives, May 8, 2019, available at

[87] U.S. Congress, Taiwan Allies International Protection Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act of 2019, Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, 2020, available at

[88] Reagan, President Ronald, The U.S. Six Assurances to Taiwan. Washington, DC: White House, 1982, available at

[89] U.S. Congress, S. CON. RES. 38, Concurrent Resolution, Washington, DC: U.S. Senate, 2016, available at

[90] U.S. Congress, H. Con. Res. 88 – Reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances as Cornerstones of United States-Taiwan Relations, Washington, DC: Congress, May 17, 2016, available at -concurrent-resolution/88/text.

[91] Ku, Julian, Taiwan’s U.S. Defense Guarantee is Not Strong, But It Isn’t That Weak Either., 2016, “[T]here is little difference between the U.S. defense obligation to Japan (and Korea and the Philippines) and its obligations to Taiwan. In each case, the U.S. declares certain actions to be threat to “peace and security” and promises to use its constitutional processes to formulate a response…Ultimately, the core of any security guarantee is not legal obligation, but political will”, available at

[92] Lederer, Edith, US Tweets Support for Taiwan, Sparking Opposition from China,, Washington, DC: Associated Press, 2020,The United States has Tweeted its Support for Taiwan’s Participation in the United Nations, Provoking a Sharp Protest from China which Claims the Self-Ruled Island”, available at

[93] Xiaobo Liu, Great Power Competition and China-U.S. Relations, Haikou, China: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, 2020, “The United States, however, has embraced a unipolar security vision [and] identified China as a potential adversary that intends to replace the United States as the dominant global power…This has made containment of China central to U.S. security strategy”, available at

[94], What is Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD)?, Washington, DC:, 2020, China’s A2/AD is concentrated around Taiwan and the South China Sea, putting U.S. military forces—such as a Carrier Strike Group—and installations in the region within range of precision-guided cruise and ballistic missiles”, available at

[95] U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, USCC Annual Report, Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, November, 2019, Page 9: “Chinese military strategists see AI as a breakout technology that could enable China to rapidly modernize its military, surpassing overall U.S. capabilities and developing tactics that specifically target U.S. vulnerabilities”, available at

[96] Kania, Elsa B., Trip Report: Insights on Current Chinese Developments in Artificial Intelligence and National Security, Washington, DC: Center for a New American Security, 2019,

[97] Center for a New American Security, Insights on Current Chinese Developments in AI and NS, Washington, DC: CNAS Trip Report, 2019,

[98] Guo, Huadong and Wu, Ji, Space Science and Technology in China: A Roadmap to 2050, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China: Science Press, 2010, available at

[99] Gertz, Bill, China May Deploy Anti-Satellite Laser Weapons Next Year Able to Destroy U.S. Military Satellites, Washington, DC: Washington Free Beacon, 2019, China’s military is expected to deploy a laser weapon capable of destroying or damaging U.S. military satellites in low earth orbit in the next year, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) disclosed in a report on space threats”, available at
[100] Department of Defense, China Military Power Report, Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, May 2, 2019, Page 65: “China continues to improve its ground and submarine-based nuclear capability and is pursuing a viable nuclear ‘triad’ with the development of a nuclear capable air-launched ballistic missiles”, available at

[101] Bostock, Bill, China Used a Massive Military Parade to Unveil a Supersonic, Nuclear-Capable Missile that could Get Around the US Missile-Defense System,, 2019, “Chinese authorities say each missile can carry 10 nuclear warheads…The Dongfeng-41 is also designed to bypass barriers like the US’s Ballistic Missile Defense System by firing decoy missiles,” available at

[102] Lague, David, China leads U.S. on Potent Super-Fast Missiles, Zhuhai, China: Reuters, 2019, “China is leading the U.S. in a race to deploy hypersonic missiles that would defeat existing air defense systems, according to senior U.S. officials”, available at

[103] Roblin, Sebastien, China’s DF-100 Anti-Ship Missiles Are Ready To Sink the U.S. Navy, Washington, DC: The National Interest, 2019, “A military insider says the weapon is now in active service. It has a range of about 2000-3000km [1242-1864 miles] and is mainly designed for big targets at sea…Big targets at sea’ almost certainly means ‘aircraft carriers’” available at

[104] Ng, Jr, China Broadens Cyber Options, Bangkok, Thailand: Asian Military Review, 2020, “China is prepared to use its burgeoning cyber capabilities for industrial espionage, trans-national harassment, national defence and as a support to military operations”, available at

[105] Office of the Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to Congress – PRC Military and Security Developments, Washington, DC: DoD, 2019, Page 48: “The PLA created the SSF in 2016 as a theater command-level organization to centralize strategic space, cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare missions. The creation of the SSF highlights China’s understanding of information as a strategic resource in modern warfare”, available at

[106] EMP Commission, Assessing the Threat from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP): Executive Report, Washington, DC: EMP Commission, 2018, Page 5: “Combined-arms cyber warfare… may use combinations of cyber-, sabotage-, and ultimately nuclear EMP attack to impair the United States quickly and decisively by blacking-out large portions of its electric grid and other critical infrastructures”, available at

[107] Col Qiao Liang, Col Wang Xiangsui, Unrestricted Warfare, Page 190: “Obviously, warfare is in the process of transcending the domains of soldiers, military units, and military affairs, and is increasingly becoming a matter for politicians, scientists and even bankers.”

[108] Gertz, Bill, Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist Chinas Drive for Global Supremacy, New York, NY: Encounter, 2019, Books, Page 142: “The penetration of the U.S. dept equity markets by Chinese bad actors represents a national security peril, both in serving as an important source of funding for some of China’s most ominous security threats to vital US and allied security interests, and, over time, giving rise to a massive new China lobby of beholden US investors.”

[109] Silver, Michael, China’s Dangerous Monopoly on Metals, New York, NY:, 2019, “American negotiators seem to be ignoring China’s growing domination of raw materials that are crucial to both countries’ security and standard of living. Rare-earth metals are essential for producing most technological equipment. It is impossible to build a car without cerium, a smartphone without europium, a guided missile without neodymium”, available at

[110] Bucci, Steven P., The Threat Isn’t Coming, It’s Here: Security Dangers Imminent If China Controls 5G, Washington, DC: The Heritage Foundation, 2019, “Instead of a Chinese state-sponsored surveillance company handling mobile data at a sporting event once a week, the company could become a nation’s 24/7 provider…in a position to access emails, important files, and other data flowing through its hardware. Even though secure communications are encrypted, emerging quantum computing technology (in which China plays a leading role) eventually will break those codes instantly…[it] represents a threat to basic democracy throughout the world”, available at

[111] Kirk, Charlie, China’s Growing 5G Dominance is a Disaster for US Security, Washington, DC:, 2020, “The first country to deploy 5G will own the economy of the future, establish itself as the worldwide leader in technology and innovation, and have an upper hand in terms of national security. It is crucial that America — not one of our greatest adversaries, such as China — continue to lead the world”, available at

[112] U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, USCC Annual Report. Washington, DC – U.S. Congress, 2019, “China is the world’s largest producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The United States is heavily dependent on drugs…sourced from China”, available at

[113] Cheng, Evelyn, Foreign Involvement in Taiwan Independence is ‘Intolerable,’ China’s Xi Says, Beijing, China: CNBC, January 1, 2020, “The issue of Taiwan is part of China’s domestic politics. It is a core interest of China” available at

[114] Pan, Philip P., China Puts Threat to Taiwan Into Law, Washington, DC: Washington Post Foreign Service, 2005, “China enacted a law Monday authorizing the use of force against Taiwan if it moves toward formal independence, codifying its long-standing threat to attack the island”, available at

[115] Kristof, Nicholas, This Is How a War with China Could Begin: First, the Lights in Taiwan go Out, New York, NY: New York Times, 2019, “The main worry of military planners here isn’t so much a full-scale amphibious invasion. Rather, they fear the mainland sowing chaos and disrupting the economy as a way of trying to bring Taiwan to heel”, available at

[116] Stratfor Contributor, China’s Hopes For Bridging The Taiwan Strait, Washington, DC:, 2013, “More than six decades after Taiwan’s estrangement from mainland China, the Taiwan Strait still represents the most physically formidable and symbolically inaccessible barrier to Beijing’s objective of eventual reunification with the island”, available at

[117] Congressional Research Service, Evolution of the One China Policy – Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei, Washington, DC: CRS, 2010, “From the time of normalization on, the United States, as a result of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, has been obligated to provide minimal levels of defensive capability for Taiwan”, available at

[118] Huang, Cary, China’s Xi Jinping has Opened the Door to War with Taiwan, Hong Kong, China: South China Morning Post, 2019, “Xi has said the ‘problem’ cannot be put off for another generation and has called on the military to be prepared to fight ‘bloody battles’ for every ‘single inch’ of its territory”, available at

[119] Ibid. Ku, Julian, Taiwan’s U.S. Defense Guarantee is Not Strong, But It Isn’t That Weak Either.

[120] Ibid. Xiaobo Liu, Great Power Competition and China-U.S. Relations, The 2019 White Paper of China’s National Defense said, “the People’s Liberation Army will resolutely defeat anyone attempting to separate Taiwan from China and safeguard national unity at all costs.”
[121] Farley, Robert, We Asked an Expert to Imagine a U.S.-China War. We Wish We Hadn’t, Washington, DC: The National Interest, 2019, “The biggest moment will come when the PLA makes an overt attack against a US aircraft carrier…If China decides to attack a US carrie…[t]he loss of a major warship and its crew might serve to solidify US commitment (at least in the short term) rather than undermine it”, available at https://national

[122] Editors,, “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution”,, 2019, The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorized President Lyndon Johnson to ‘take all necessary measures to…prevent further aggression’ by the communist government of North Vietnam [following] an alleged attack on two U.S. naval destroyers stationed off the coast of Vietnam. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution effectively launched America’s full-scale involvement in the Vietnam War”, available at

[123] Gingrich, Newt, China-Russia Military Alliance would have incredible Impact on US, Washington, DC: Fox News, 2019, “Looking at years of public statements, support, and rhetoric, the U.S. would be expected to intervene on Taiwan’s behalf… Now, imagine that China launches a campaign against Taiwan with the help of Russian air forces…This would entirely change the dynamic, making it much more difficult and costly (in blood and treasure) – and much less likely for any sort of U.S. victory”, available at

[124] Congressional Research Service, Northeast Asia and Russia’s “Turn to the East”: Implications for U.S. Interests, Washington, DC: CRS, 2016, “The Chinese-Russian relationship is driven in large part by the perceived threat of the U.S. rebalance to Asia and their shared perspective of American unilateralism”, available at

[125] Weir, Fred, Russia, China looking to form ‘NATO of the East,’ Moscow, Russia: The Christian Science Monitor, 2005, “In joint maneuvers last August, Russian strategic bombers, submarines, and paratroopers staged a mock invasion of a “destabilized” far eastern region with Chinese troops “, available at

[126] PRC and DPRK, Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance Between the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Beijing, China: PRC, July 11, 1961, Page 2: Article II: In the event of one of the Contracting Parties being subjected to the armed attack by any state or several states jointly and thus being involved in a state of war, the other Contracting Party shall immediately render military and other assistance by all means at its disposal, available at

[127] Ibid. Jia Xiudong, p. 29: “any necessary means would be employed by China to prevent a renegade Province of Taiwan from seceding from One China”.

[128] U.S. and Republic of Korea, Mutual Defense Treaty Between the U.S. and the ROK, Washington, DC and Seoul, South Korea, 1953, available at

[129] U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, Security Treaty Between Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. (ANZUS), San Francisco, CA: US DoS, 1951, available at

[130] U.S. and Philippines, Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines; August 30, 1951, available at

[131] U.S. and Japan, Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the U.S. and Japan. Washington, DC and Tokyo, 1960, available at

[132] Lew, Christopher, Complexities of Controlling the Gun: The PLA Role in CCP Politics, Nottingham, England: University of Nottingham, 2016, “As the armed wing of the CCP, the PLA has been an intensely political entity from its very inception”, available at

[133] Larson, Eric V., Public Support for U.S. Military Operations, Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1996, ”public support over the course of an operation continues to be affected by changes in the perceived benefits, prospects, casualties, and support from leaders. The net effect is that support for a U.S. military intervention rarely remains at its initial levels and over time (and as casualties increase) tends to fall”, available at

[134] Feaver, Peter D. and Gelp, Christopher, A Look at Casualty Aversion: How Many Deaths Are Acceptable? A Surprising Answer, Washington, DC:, 1999, “Overwhelmingly, both civilian and military leaders agreed with the statement, ‘The American public will rarely tolerate large numbers of U.S. casualties in military operations’”,

[135] Moore, Emma, Attrition and the Will to Fight a Great Power War, Montgomery, AL: Strategic Studies Quarterly, 2019, Page 13: “The first 48 hours of a hot war…with China could see erosion of US credibility call into question which allies would respond to a call for support against China…The public tolerance for casualties may be low compared to twentieth-century conflicts”, available at

[136] Larson, Eric V., Casualties and Consensus: The Historical Role of Casualties in Domestic Support for U.S. Military, Santa Monica, CA:, 1996, “[W]e should expect disagreements among leaders whenever the U.S. deploys its forces, and these disagreements will continue to foster divisions among the public. The absence of a larger foreign policy consensus will contribute to support that is often shallow and highly responsive to the costs in casualties”, available at

[137] UN Command and Korean People’s Army, Korean Armistice Agreement, Panmunjom, Korea: 1953, available at

[138] Stur, Heather, Why the United States Went to War in Vietnam, Washington, DC: Foreign Policy Research Institute, 2020, “Vietnam was America’s test case to prove that it could meet the global challenge of communist wars of liberation”, available at

[139] Stur, Heather, Why the United States Went to War in Vietnam, “[President Lyndon Johnson believed that] If the U.S. failed to step in and help South Vietnam, it would send a message to the rest of Southeast Asia and the world that the U.S. was not truly committed to containing communism”.

[140] The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Tet Offensive,, 2020, “The offensive was a crushing tactical defeat for the North, but it struck a sharp psychological blow that eroded support for the war among the American public and political establishment… Much of the American public viewed the Tet Offensive as a sign of the undying North Vietnamese aggression and will”, available at

[141] Koch, David H., Vietnam was an Oil War, Washington, DC: Daily Kos, 2018, “Vietnam was a resource war. US knew there was oil in Vietnam”, available at

[142] Ibid. Lampton, David, Experts’ Analyses – Why The Taiwan Issue Is So Dangerous, “Chinese leaders believe that, if they were to let Taiwan go independent and not respond, they would probably be overthrown by their own nationalistic people…they would be willing to engage in what we might call ‘self-defeating military adventures’ in order to prevent that result, even if they knew they were going to lose”.

[143] Roach, Stephen, Opinion: What the U.S. Misses about China: Beijing Takes the Long View, New York, NY:, 2019, “Time and again, the long view in China has stood in sharp contrast to America’s short-term approach”, available at

[144] Ibid. Farley, Robert, We Asked an Expert to Imagine a U.S.-China War. We Wish We Hadn’t, “China will not find it difficult to reconstruct war losses…we can expect that the Chinese shipbuilding and aviation industries will replace most losses within the decade…the war will, by necessity, ‘modernize’ the PLA by destroying legacy capability…[t]he United States may have a harder time replacing losses, and not only because US warships and aircraft cost more than their Chinese counterparts”.

[145] Ibid. Farley, Robert, We Asked an Expert to Imagine a U.S.-China War. We Wish We Hadn’t, “Even if the US wins, it will not ‘solve’ the problem of China; even in the unlikely event that the CCP collapses, a successor regime will still dispute China’s littoral”.

[146] Ibid. Farley, Robert, We Asked an Expert to Imagine a U.S.-China War. We Wish We Hadn’t, “The United States will have to face the ‘was it worth it?’ question. In victory or defeat, the US will suffer substantial military and economic damage”.

[147] Ho, Matt, A Simple Guide to Xi Jinping Thought? Here’s how China’s Official Media Tried to Explain it, Hong Kong, China: South China Morning Post, 2018, “Officially called ‘Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’, the doctrine is now enshrined in both state and party constitutions. It laid out a series of national goals for 2050, such as making China a nation with pioneering global influence, turning the military into a ‘world class’ force”, available at

[148] Kissinger, Henry, On China, New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2011, Page 65: “[T]he conflict between the Taiping and the Qin[g] ranks as one of history’s most deadly conflicts, with casualties in the tens of millions…it is estimated that during the Taiping, Muslim and Nian upheavals China’s population declined from roughly 410 million in 1850 to roughly 350 million in 1873.”

[149] Bender, Jeremy and Macias, Amanda, 5 Of The 10 Deadliest Wars Began In China,, 2014, “5. The Chinese Civil War…1927–1950, with casualties estimated at 7.5 million”, available at

[150] Chan, Minnie, China’s Korean War Veterans Still Waiting for Answers, 60 Years On, Hong Kong, CN: South China Morning Post, 2013, “Beijing remains reluctant to declassify documents that might finally shed light on the decision to rush to North Korea’s aid in 1950, resulting in the deaths of between 149,000 and 400,000 Chinese soldiers.”

[151] Offner, Arnold A., Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945–1953, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002, available at

[152] Conn, Stetson, MH Pub 20-2 – South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1961, available at

[153] Hsiung-Shen Jung, Jui-Lung Chen, Causes, Consequences and Impact of the Great Leap Forward in China, Canada: Center of Science and Education, 2019, available at

[154] Wikipedia, Cultural Revolution,, 2020, “The Cultural Revolution damaged China’s economy while tens of millions of people were persecuted, with an estimated death toll ranging from hundreds of thousands to 20 million”, available at

[155] Spice Digest, Introduction to the Cultural Revolution, Stanford, CA: SU, 2007, available at

[156] Yee, Chan Kai, Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements: The Silent, Peaceful Coup D’état in China,, 2018, “[Secretary] Xi stresses centralized, unified leadership of CCP Central Committee over foreign affairs …Samuel Huntington pointed out usually a country westernizes at the initial stage of modernization, but later it will return to its own culture. China returned to its own culture…Deng Xiaoping… set up China’s CCP Dynasty…Xi is able to centralize power to be a real emperor like most of China’s dynasty founders”, available at

[157], China’s Latest Dynasty Fights for Survival, Washington, DC:, 2017, “Though modern China has changed considerably from its imperial origins, it retains an authoritarian system of governance reminiscent of an earlier era”, available at

[158] Huang, Zheping, What China’s Xi Jinping Wants With All That Power, Quartz, Chinese president Xi Jinping has amassed so much power that he’s been called the ‘chairman of everything.’ Now China appears set to make a move that would allow Xi, already the most authoritarian Chinese leader in generations, to stay in power perhaps for life…’Xi is less of a Dengist and more of a Stalinist-Maoist’”, available at

[159] Ibid. Wang, Yuhua, Can the Chinese Communist Party Learn from Chinese Emperors? Lessons from History for Xi Jinping, “Lesson two: Elite rebellion is the most important cause of dynastic fall. Most dynasties were overthrown not by foreign enemies or the masses, but by political elites…the biggest threat was from within the regime rather than from society or foreign countries”.

[160] Heath, Timothy R., The Consolidation of Political Power in China Under Xi Jinping, Washington, DC: RAND Testimony Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 2019, “Potential involvement in elite politics. The possibility of powerful political leaders conspiring with PLA units raised itself in the Politburo aspirant Bo Xilai’s shocking downfall in 2012. News reports have suggested elements of the 14th Group Army had supported Bo’s bid for power”, available at

[161] Blumenthal, Daniel, The Unpredictable Rise of China: Xi Jinping Seeks National Rejuvenation, But His Nation’s Mounting Power Masks Increased Instability, Washington, DC: The Atlantic, 2019, “Xi is more powerful than his predecessors…In 2012 [Xi] delivered the rejuvenation speech [that] highlighted China’s ‘century of humiliation,’ from the Opium Wars to the fall of the last Qing emperor in 1911 [placing] the CCP firmly within the history of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization and established its purpose as continuing the struggle for China’s great renewal after the fall of the Qing Empire [and] reclaim previous Qing-dynasty holdings . China today is making up for the absence of attractive political principles or ideologies by creating a new empire of fear”, available at

[162] Fiol-Mahon, Alexandra, Xi Jinping’s Anti-Corruption Campaign: The Hidden Motives of a Modern Day Mao, Washington, DC: Foreign Policy Research Institute, 2018, “Throughout history, leaders in China have often resorted to implementing anti-corruption campaigns. Though these campaigns are a means of curbing extreme levels of corruption, they are also an effective method of pursuing political goals…Although many differences separate the background, goals, and execution of Mao’s and Xi’s anti-corruption campaigns, the basic objective is the same: to rid the party of any political opposition or potential rivals”, available at

[163] Stokesbury, James L., A Short History of the Korean War, New York, NY: Quill William Morrow, 1988, Pages 156-57: “Democracies can therefore best fight two kinds of war: little ones that are simply fought by their professionals…and great big ones, in which everyone can be caught up in a crusading furor. They have very great problems in trying to fight a middle-sized war, where some go and some stay [and] even more trouble if they place a very high value on the worth of the individual, while their opponent does not.”

[164] Orlin, Eric, Why Thucydides Is (Sadly) So Relevant Right Now, History News Network, 2016, “One of the dominant themes running through his text is the notion that human beings are motivated primarily by three factors: fear, honor and self-interest. Especially during wartime, when faced with a choice between doing the right thing and doing what is in one’s own interest, states invariably choose the latter”, available at

[165] Foreigners in China, The Five Chinese Virtues, Beijing, China:, 2007, “Fidelity is honesty. This means that, externally, one’s deeds match one’s words; and that internally one’s words and mind are in unison. Fidelity is a key to the perfection of human nature. It is the basis without which other virtues lose their authenticity; hence they are inseparable”, available at

[166] Ibid. Thucydides, translated by M. I. Finley and Rex Warner, History of the Peloponnesian War. Page 337: “For to a manly spirit more bitter is humiliation associated with cowardice than death”.

[167] O’Connor, Tom, China Asks: if the U.S. is so Powerful, Why is it so Afraid of Us [PRC] and Russia?, Washington, DC: Newsweek, 2019, “’If even the United States feels that threats are in all directions, what should other countries do?’ Geng asked, noting that it appeared Washington was ‘afraid of a looming threat’”, available at

[168] Livermore, Doug, China’s “Three Warfares” In Theory and Practice in the South China Sea, Washington, DC: Georgetown Security Studies Review, 2018, “Strategic Psychological Operations:…intimidating adversaries and encouraging acquiescence to PRC-desired outcomes; Overt and Covert Media Manipulations:…influence domestic and international perspectives associated with ongoing disputes involving the PRC’s interests; Exploitation of National and International Legal Systems:…constrain adversary behavior, contest disadvantageous circumstances, confuse legal precedent, and maximize advantage in situations related to the PRC’s core interests”, available at

[169] Rogan, Tom, Preparing to Fight China, the New Imperial Japan, Marines Look for Victory in 1940s Roots, Washington, DC:, “How does the Marine Corps plan to defeat an enemy that has the same ambition as Imperial Japan — seizing control of the far western Pacific Ocean and then using that control to deny the free political and trade choices of other nations…Secure control of forward territory…the Marines are returning to their Pacific roots”, available at

[170] Graham, Allison, The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?, Washington, DC: The Atlantic, 2015, “In 1914, few could imagine slaughter on a scale that demanded a new category: world war. When war ended four years later, Europe lay in ruins: the kaiser gone, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, the Russian tsar overthrown by the Bolsheviks, France bled for a generation, and England shorn of its youth and treasure. A millennium in which Europe had been the political center of the world came to a crashing halt”, available at

[171]Nemcek, Mark, How the Conclusion of WWI led to WWII, Boston, MA:, “The Treaty of Versailles sent Germany into economic chaos…but other countries were also struggling from WWI…The chaos that WWI brought, and left behind after it was over, was immense. In chaos people often look to powerful people that they will hope will step up and do what is necessary to get their country back to a normal state…In Germany’s case this man of power was Adolf Hitler, In Italy that was Mussolini, and in Russia that was Stalin”, available at–Eo5V3Dn3yu8SSgxYxcZ5Wj2n.

[172] Ibid. U.S. and Republic of Korea, Mutual Defense Treaty Between the U.S. and the ROK.

[173] Ibid. U.S. and Japan, Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the U.S. and Japan.

[174] Ibid. U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, Security Treaty Between Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. (ANZUS).

[175] Ibid. U.S. and Philippines, Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines.

[176] Sachs, Jeffrey D., Opinion: The U.S., Not China, is the Real Threat to International Rule of Law, New York, NY: Globe and Mail, 2018, “[A]s with Europe’s great powers back then, the United States, led by an administration intent on asserting America’s dominance over China, is pushing the world toward disaster”, available at

[177] Magnier, Mark, Unloved But Essential: 40 Years On, the Taiwan Relations Act Remains Flexible, Durable and Effective, Hong Kong, China: South China Morning Post, 2019, “Tsai vowed to strengthen Taiwan’s defence and counter any use by Beijing of boycotts, embargoes and intimidation, while crediting the US law with helping Taiwan to survive its ‘darkest hour’ of global isolation…’The TRA has helped create a force for good,’ she said in an address from the presidential office. ‘It has supported Taiwan’s development of the defence capabilities that we need, to resist any form of coercion,’” available at

[178] Chen, Charles I-hsin and Tang, Ingrid, America vs. China: a Proxy War Through Taiwan?,, 2019, “For Taiwan, this new and emerging proxy war is both good and bad. In a way, Taiwan may benefit from this new model; it could be a free-rider relying on Washington to secure its diplomatic relations. In another way, Taiwan may be the victim of this proxy war for it is likely to lose allies depending on the power competition between the United States and China”, available at

[179] Corr, Edwin G. and Abrams, Elliott, Allies, Beware: The U.S. Is a Fair-Weather Friend, New York, NY: Wall Street Journal, 2015, “It may be dangerous to be an enemy of the United States, but in recent decades it often has been almost as risky to be a friend. There was Ngo Dinh Diem, the first president of South Vietnam, overthrown and assassinated by his army in 1963 after losing American support. Or the thousands of Iraqis and Afghans who assisted American troops a decade ago but are still waiting for the visas for safe haven in the U.S. The uncomfortable truth is that America has too often treated former allies as expendable”, available at

[180] Bosco, Joseph, Save the Taiwan Relations Act, But Scrap Ambiguity: Defend Taiwan,, 2019, “It is up to Washington to invoke the TRA and tell China that attacking Taiwan certainly would mean war with the United States. To be credible, the warning has to be public. Chinese leaders have proved themselves rational actors when they fully understand the consequences of their actions, so there would be no war, even if Taiwan politicians tried to take advantage of the U.S. security guarantee by making moves toward formal independence”, available at

[181] Khatiri, Shay, Treat Taiwan Like the Independent Ally It Is, Washington, DC: The Bulwark, 2020, “The U.S. should also explicitly extend its nuclear security umbrella to cover Taiwan…Stationing American troops on the island is a key factor: Even if the United States extends a nuclear guarantee to Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party might still take a gamble and invade Taiwan. But if such an invasion led to thousands of dead Americans over a few days, the American people would be outraged and would demand their leaders punish China”, available at

[182] Cheung, Han, The Day China Joined the UN: UN Resolution 2758, Passed in 1971, Still Carries Ramifications for Taiwan Today, Taipei, Taiwan: Taipei Times, 2015, [T]he ROC was a charter member of the UN, formed also this week, on Oct. 24, 1945, along with the Soviet Union, the UK and the US. The UN General Assembly debated transferring China’s seat from the ROC to the PRC throughout the 1950s and 1960s, but the US was able to use its influence to block the move”, available at .

[183] United Nations General Assembly, Charter of the United Nations, San Francisco, CA: UN, June 6, 1945, Page 3: “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter”, available at

[184] World Heritage Encyclopedia Edition, Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press:, 2020, Taiwan Under Qing Dynasty Rule, The Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan from 1683 to 1895. The Qing court sent an army led by general Shi Lang and annexed Taiwan in 1683…Taiwan was governed as part of Fujian province at the time, only becoming a separate province later…Taiwan was then considered the most developed province in China”, available at

[185] Map Publisher: S. Augustus Mitchell, Publication: Mitchells 1864 New General World Atlas, Map Title: Hindoostan, Farther India, China and Tibet, *Author Note: The S. Augustus Mitchell 1864 New General World Atlas is an authoritative American publication that confirms U.S. recognition in 1864 that Taiwan (a.k.a. Formosa) was a territory organic to the Qing Dynasty that ruled the Chinese Empire from 1644 to 1912, available at

[186] Map Publisher: Central Intelligence Agency, Publication: 1979 China-Maps, Map Title: Eastern China, *Author Note: The 1979 CIA Eastern China map is an authoritative American publication is evidence that in 1979 the U.S. recognized Taiwan to be a territory organic to the sovereign People’s Republic of China (Mainland and Taiwan) which entered into normal diplomatic relations with the U.S. in 1979, available at

[187] Map Publisher: The World Publishing Company, Publication: 1948 World Atlas, Map Title: Page 034 – China, *Author Note: The World Publishing Company 1948 World Atlas is an authoritative American publication that confirms that in 1948 the U.S. recognized Taiwan as a territory organic to the sovereign Republic of China (Mainland and Taiwan) that legitimately ruled China from 1912 to 1971 (UN recognition) and from 2012 to 1979 (U.S. recognition), available at

[188] Young-sup, Taiwan Losing Friends, Hu, Seoul, South Korea: The Korea Times, 2020, “The number of countries Taiwan has diplomatic relations with has dwindled to only 15 after the Solomon Islands and Kiribati severed relations with it recently. Nobody can deny that this was a result of Taiwan’s conflict with China, which asserts the island country is merely a part of itself under the ‘One China’ principle…In the previous three years, five other countries ― Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso and El Salvador ― cut ties with Taipei”, available at

[189] Encyclopedia Britannica, Treaty of Shimonoseki,, 2020, “By the terms of the treaty, China was obliged to recognize the independence of Korea, over which it had traditionally held suzerainty; to cede Taiwan, the Pescadores Islands, and the Liaodong (south Manchurian) Peninsula to Japan”, available at

[190] The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), Taiwan is a Modern, Sovereign Nation, Taipei, Taiwan: Taipei Times, 2014, “From the perspective of international law, Taiwan ceased to be a part of China in 1895. Over the years Taiwan has evolved into a country in its own right… Between 1895 and 1945, Taiwan was a Japanese colony. Afterwards, it became an occupied territory under the control of the Allied forces until 1952. Japan gave up claims to Taiwan and Penghu as part of the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951…From its former undefined status in international law, Taiwan has evolved into a sovereign state independent of the PRC. This is the result of its democratization; the development of a Taiwan out of the ROC and the unique political, economic, social and cultural systems which have given it autonomy. However you look at it, Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state”, available at

[191] Gready, Paul, Continuity and Discontinuity of East German Identity Following the Fall of the Berlin Wall: A Case Study, London, England: Cultures of Political Transition: Memory, Identity and Voice Pluto, Press, 2003, Page 15: “East Germany was an artificial creation; as such, national identity had never been very strong. But another kind of GDR identity did exist ‘within the dominant culture’… which became revitalized after unification, available at .

[192]Sheng, Yang, Taiwan Separatist Lobby Try Hijacking US Policy, Beijing, China:, 2020, “When the US established formal diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China in 1979, Taiwan had used its lobby groups to ensure the US passed the Taiwan Relations Act to maintain some connections between the island and the US under table, including arm sales”, available at

[193] The Japanese decision for war against the United States was the product of Japanese fatalism, racial arrogance, cultural incomprehension…Yet the end result of this drive for power, honor, and reputation was Japan’s complete destruction and subsequent occupation by the United States.

[194] U.S. Congress, S.J.Res.19 – 103rd Congress (a.k.a. Apology Resolution), Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, 1993, “Declares that the Congress: (1) on the 100th anniversary of the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893, acknowledges the historical significance of this event which resulted in the suppression of the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people…(3) apologizes for the overthrow and the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination…”, available at

[195], Free Hawaii,, 2020, “In 1993…America publicly admitted to illegally overthrowing its ally and trading partner the Sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii and falsely imprisoning the beloved Queen Liliuokalani. Since then, America, has done everything it can to avoid the consequences of this Bill. The inevitable result will be the restoration of a sovereign Hawaii”,

[196] Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Realpolitik Political Philosophy,, “Realpolitik, politics based on practical objectives rather than on ideals. The word does not mean “real” in the English sense but rather connotes “things”—hence a politics of adaptation to things as they are. Realpolitik thus suggests a pragmatic, no-nonsense view, and a disregard for ethical considerations. In diplomacy it is often associated with relentless, though realistic, pursuit of the national interest”, available at

[197] Ibid. Bender, Jeremy and Macias, Amanda, 5 Of The 10 Deadliest Wars Began In China, Without a signed peace treaty, there is still some debate about whether the Chinese Civil War between the Republic of China and the Communist Party of China ever legally ended because the nationalist forces fled to Taiwan and established a competing government”.
[198] Mizokami, Kyle, 5 Most Lethal Civil Wars of All Time: War Within Nations are Some of the Most Brutal Conflicts in History, Washington, DC:, 2015, ”When a country is threatened with dissolution or partition it strikes at the heart of nationalist sentiment. For that reason, civil wars can be uncommonly brutal”, available at
[199] Ibid. Mizokami, Kyle, 5 Most Lethal Civil Wars of All Time, “[During] the Chinese Civil War…[m]ore than eight million people were killed…mostly civilians killed by disease, starvation and reprisals…[During the technically unresolved Korean Civil War] [n]early one million South Koreans died during the war, or just under five percent of the population [and] North Korea…suffered an estimated 1.5 million killed…ten to fifteen percent of the overall population…[During Vietnam Civil War] [m]ilitary dead amounted to…300,000 South Vietnamese personnel…up to 1.1 million North Vietnamese personnel [and up to] 2.5 million civilians”.

[200] Wikipedia, American Civil War,, 2020, “Analyzing the number of dead by using census data to calculate the deviation of the death rate of men of fighting age from the norm suggests that at least 627,000 and at most 888,000, but most likely 761,000 soldiers, died in the war. This would break down to approximately 350,000 Confederate and 411,000 Union military deaths, going by the proportion of Union to Confederate battle losses”, available at

[201] Brown, Melissa J., Is Taiwan Chinese, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004, available at

[202] Wikipedia, Overseas Chinese,, 2020, “People’s Republic of China, 890,000-2,900,000”, available at

[203] Rempfer, Kyle, Does Your Combat Experience Even Matter Against Chinese and Russian Troops?, Washington, DC:, 2019, “[S]ome pundits point to the U.S. military’s surplus of combat experience and large-scale logistical expertise in massing forces as an overwhelming advantage”, available at

[204] Mc Donald, Scott and Burgoyne, Mike, Global Influence: Perspectives and Recommendations,, 2019, Chapter 10, (Dr. Alexander L. Vuving): “As a Leninist state, the PRC’s governance system relies heavily on the state’s control and manipulation of the information environment. Propaganda, censorship, as well as coercive and non-coercive measures to ensure self-censorship are not just indispensable parts of the daily work of the PRC, but also belong to its most treasured toolkit”, available at

[205] Brady, Anne-Marie, Regimenting the Public Mind: The Modernization of Propaganda in the PRC, Sage Publications, Ltd. and, 2002, available at> and

[206] Army News Service, Understanding Why Soldiers Decide to Fight, Washington, DC: Careers, 2019, ‘That person means more to you than anybody,’ a soldier said. ‘You will die if he dies. That is why I think that we protect each other in any situation. I know that if he dies, and it was my fault, it would be worse than death to me’”, available at

[207] Tierney, Dominic, Why Has America Stopped Winning Wars?, Washington, DC: The Atlantic, 2015, “Since 1945, the United States has experienced little except military stalemate and loss—precisely because it’s a superpower in a more peaceful world…The Korean War…deteriorated into a grim stalemate…In Vietnam, the United States faced outright military defeat…[We] swaggered into [Afghanistan]…but the Taliban recovered…setting the stage for today’s stalemated conflict…In Iraq [we] triggered the collapse of civil government and widespread unrest…Since 1945…United States is one for five…The Gulf War in 1991 is the only success story”, available at

[208] Hussain, Murtaza, Post -Cold War Foreign Policy has Been a Near Total Failure. Two New Books Look at Why, Washington, DC: The Intercept, “The liberal impulse to define conflicts as moral crusades, rather than as clashes over interests or national security feeds an ugly annihilationist tendency in policymaking”, available at>

[209], American Response to the Holocaust,, 2018, “The extermination of European Jewry began when the German army invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941….But the State Department…decided not to inform Wise… until November 1942”, available at

[210] Appy, Christian, America Officially Lost the Vietnam War 40 Years Ago This Week: How the Endgames in Iraq and Afghanistan Compare to the Fall of Saigon,, 2015, “If our wars in the Greater Middle East ever end, it’s a pretty safe bet that they will end badly”, available at

[211] Haperen, Maria van, The Rwandan Civil War, 1994, available at

[212] The New Jersey Coalition, Genocide in the Dafur, Sudan, 2009, available at

[213] Kiernan, Ben, The Cambodian Genocide, 1975-1979, 2019, available at

[214] Zimbler, Brian L., Peacekeeping Without the UN: The Multinational Force in Lebanon and International Law. Yale Univ., 1984, available at

[215] Poole, Walter S., The Effort to Save Somalia – Operation Restore Hope, Washington, DC: Joint Staff, 1994, available at

[216], Xi Jinping Offers ‘One Country, Two Systems’ for Taiwan’s Unification,, 2014, “Chinese President Xi Jinping today said Taiwan independence is ‘unfeasible’ and “no secessionist act” will be tolerated, even as he proposed the Hong Kong model of ‘One country, Two systems’ for peaceful reunification of the island with mainland China”, available at

[217] Collins, William A., Our Troops as Cannon Fodder, Washington, DC: Institute for Policy Studies, 2012, “Officials and partisans who promoted the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early on favored “Support Our Troops!” as a rallying cry…Meanwhile, the government did precious little to support the troops themselves. Basic personal and vehicle armor had to be arm-wrestled into the military budget”, available at

[218] Carpenter, Ted Galen, China Flexes Its Military Muscles in the Western Pacific, Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2019, “Some US analysts and pundits believe that Beijing already is becoming America’s full-fledged military peer competitor in the Pacific…Beijing may be very close to achieving that goal already…As its military power has expanded, China’s behavior has become noticeably more assertive, if not aggressive, in such locales as the East China Sea, the Taiwan Strait, and the South China Sea”, available at
[219], After Half a Century of Success, the Asian Tigers Must Reinvent Themselves,, 2019, “The four Asian tigers—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan—once fascinated the economic world…Before long, they were producing memory chips, laptops and equity derivatives”, available at

[220] Jones, Fredrick, Taiwan Semiconductor: Well-Positioned Despite US-China Trade War,, 2020, “Taiwan Semiconductor Manufactur (TSM), the Leading Semiconductor Foundry Pure Play, is Currently at the Center of a Geopolitical Battle Between the US and China, 2020, “This battle involving TSMC highlights the growing importance of chips in the modern economy. TSMC plays an integral role in supplying the world with cutting-edge semiconductor technologies”, available at
[221] Newsham, Grant, War in the Taiwan Strait is Not Unthinkable,, 2020, “Taiwan will suffer immensely, regardless of whether the PLA actually manages to capture the island and eliminate organized opposition…China will likely want to terrorize the civilian population into submission early with its initial missile and airstrikes…once fighting starts in urban areas casualties will be in the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands…the society and economy will be brought to their knees”, available at

[222] Fell, Dafydd, Party Politics in Taiwan Party Change and the Democratic Evolution of Taiwan, 1991-2004, 2006, Page 105: “In the presidential campaign the missile tests gave the NP [a.k.a. Chinese New Party] the opportunity to blame Lee Teng-hui’s gradual independence for bringing Taiwan to the brink of war for instance, the NP ad slogan, ‘don’t let our children become Taiwan independence’s cannon fodder’”, available at

[223] Chang, Gordon G., Hong Kong May Topple Communism, New York, NY:, 2019,A constant of Chinese history is that regimes begin to disintegrate along the periphery”, available at

[224] van Walt, Michael, From a Legal Standpoint, Tibet has to This Day Not Lost its Statehood. It is an Independent State Under Illegal Occupation,, 2020, “In 1950, the newly established Communist regime in China invaded Tibet, which was rich in natural resources and had a strategically important border with India. Tibet today is under China’s occupation…The Chinese government justifies its occupation by claiming that Tibet has been part of China for around 800 years. Its claim is not supported by the facts”, available at

[225] Xu, Beina, Fletcher, Holly, and Bajoria, Jayshree, The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Washington, DC: Council on Foreign Relations, 2014, “It is clear that the Chinese leadership fears that Xinjiang separatism has and will continue to gain support, with possible ramifications both for other latent Chinese separatist movements without a Muslim connection and for other Chinese Muslims without a separatist agenda”, available at

[226], Inner Mongolia has Become China’s Model of Assimilation,, 2017, “But Chinese Mongolians are still asserting their identity”, available at

[227], The Hong Kong Protests Explained in 100 and 500 Words, Hong Kong, China:, 2019, “Anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong for months and the situation shows no sign of dying down”, available at

[228] Mouzhou, Wang, What Happens After China Invades Taiwan? Even a Tactically “Successful” Invasion of the Island Might Lead To Strategic Defeat for the PRC and the Communist Party, Washington, DC:, 2017, “[T]he United States has spent significant blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan and has achieved relatively few results. An invasion of Taiwan could provide the PRC with an object lesson in the difficulties of counterinsurgency… individuals in Taiwan are quite likely to actively resist their occupiers”, available at

[229] Reuveny, Rafael and Prakash, Aseem, The Afghanistan War and the Breakdown of the Soviet Union, Washington, DC: British International Studies Association, 1999, Page 693: “We argue that the war in Afghanistan was a key factor, though not the only cause, in the breakdown of the Soviet Union”, available at

[230] Ibid. Sheng, Yang, Taiwan Separatist Lobby Try Hijacking US Policy, “Especially with the conservative Republicans with anti-Communist mentality, the island has found common ideological ground with them…in the 1980s, the Democrats also found they have political values in common, so even though Taiwan politicians provided material benefits to influence US foreign policy, they would not be criticized in US public opinion due to ideological reasons”.

[231] Ihara, Kensaku, Taiwan Invites US Defense Contractors as Diplomatic Chess Heats Up, Tokyo, Japan: nikkei, 2018, available at

[232] Gertz, Bill, China Is the Real ‘Existential’ Threat to the United States, Washington, DC: Washington Free Beacon, 2019, “Gertz said China is waging a multi-fronted war on the United States, attacking it in areas of trade as well as in areas of national security, with ramped-up military efforts in “space weaponry, cyber-attacks, and intelligence operations”, available at

[233] Kim, Anthony B. and Miller, Terry, The Taiwan Relations Act at 40 – New Opportunities Ahead, Washington, DC: The Heritage Foundation, 2019, “The TRA has been the foundation of a strong history of trust and cooperation between the United States and Taiwan…both share values related to democratic principles, open and free markets, and respect for the rule of law. Taiwan has proven to be a reliable and strong partner for America in advancing freedom, opportunity, and prosperity in the region and around the globe”, available at

[234] Gertz, Bill, Deceiving the Sky: Inside Communist China’s Drive for Global Supremacy, Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2019, Page 8: “Page 195: “American leaders have failed to comprehend how China’s long-term strategic goal of taking over a free and democratic island of Taiwan is but one step in a larger plan to achieve regional hegemony followed ultimately by world dominance”, available at

[235] Rigger, Shelley, Why giving up Taiwan will not help us with China, Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 2011, “[U]nlike the many countries that have seats in the United Nations but are at the mercy of political and economic forces that make life miserable, Taiwan is wealthy, successful, and protected for now by powerful friends. Taiwan is able to mobilize others to support its survival, if not its sovereignty. Turning away from Taiwan is a decision the United States should not make lightly. We all have too much to lose”, available at
[236] Thaciki, John J., Jr., The Invasion of Taiwan, Washington, DC: The Heritage Foundation, 2005, available at

[237] Rapoza, Kenneth, Taiwan Just Became A Huge Variable In The China Trade War,, 2019, “Defense contractors will love this order…Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen seems willing to ruffle feathers and challenge Trump, asking for the F-16 and the M-1 tank in order to ‘show the world the U.S. is committed to Taiwan’s defense’ Reuters reports…Lockheed Martin builds the F-16V…The M-1 Abrams tank is built by General Dynamics Land Systems…Taiwan was the third-largest buyer of U.S. military systems, including vehicles and weapons, in 2018”,

[238], Lockheed Martin. Your Mission is Ours.,, 2020, “For the past 30 years, the Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) has defended its skies with Lockheed Martin products starting with F-104 Starfighters and continuing today with the F-16A/B MLU Block 20 Fighting Falcon…The Corporation was also the first defense contractor to establish an Industrial Cooperation (IC) Agreement with Taiwan’s Industrial Development Bureau (IBD), providing new technologies, know-how, and capabilities to local industry”,

[239] Babones, Salvatore, Taiwan Deserves to Be a Normal Country, Washington, DC:, January 15, 2020, available at

[240] Moreno, J. Edward, US lawmakers push WHO to recognize Taiwan as independent state as coronavirus outbreak continues, Washington, DC:, February 2, 2020, available at

[241] Bush, Richard, The United States Security Partnership with Taiwan, Washington, DC:, 2016, available at

[242] Thompson, Drew, Hope on the Horizon: Taiwan’s Radical New Defense Concept, Washington, DC:, October 2, 2018, available at

[243] Tierney, Dominic, The Risks of Foreign Policy as Political Distraction, Washington, DC: The Atlantic, 2020, “[A]irstrikes against suspected terrorist sites in Sudan and Afghanistan, following the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania…Clinton had launched a classic diversionary war to sidetrack the media, whip up patriotic sentiment, and boost approval ratingsIf Trump is looking at near-inevitable removal from office, either at the ballot box or via impeachment, then gambling for resurrection through military action may be tempting even if the odds of success are low. He has nothing to lose—although American soldiers might”, available at

[244] Klayman, Larry, International Criminal Court Complaint: Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide by Development of Outlawed Biological Warfare Weapons by the Peoples Republic of China, Washington, DC: Freedom Watch, Inc., 2020, “Freedom Watch, Inc. requested the opening of an inquiry … of the origins, creation, stockpiling, and negligent handling of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, by the Defendants the People’s Republic of China and the other Defendants, including but not limited to President Xi Jinping and his Politboro”, available at

[245] Gertz, Bill, Coronavirus may have originated in lab linked to China’s biowarfare program, Washington, DC: The Washington Times, January 26, 2020, “The deadly animal virus epidemic spreading globally may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory linked to China’s covert biological weapons program…”, available at

[246] Neale, Spencer, Tom Cotton says coronavirus may have originated in Wuhan ‘super laboratory, Washington, DC:, January 30, 2020, “Cotton said. ‘I would note that Wuhan also has China’s only biosafety level four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens”, available at

[247] Lowsen, Ben, Did Xi Jinping Deliberately Sicken the World?, Washington, DC:, 2020, “Beyond these, there was a darker dimension: the more Beijing cooperated, the less the disease stood to affect other countries. This includes countries China sees as a threat to its existence, like the United States. Why should China suffer the effects of a pandemic while others stayed safe — and increased their strength relative to China — based on China’s own costly experience?”, available at

[248] Li-hua, Chung and Hetherington, William, Viral Outbreak: Virus used as ‘united front’ weapon, academic says, Taipei, Taiwan:, February 2, 2020, “Chinese authorities are ‘weaponizing’ a coronavirus outbreak as a ‘united front’ strategy by refusing to allow the repatriation of 501 Taiwanese, including two infected, from Wuhan…”, available at

[249] Gray, Rosie, The Free Beacon Fired A Top Reporter For A “Financial Transaction” With Someone He Frequently Covered, Washington, DC:, 2019, “On Friday, the Free Beacon’s leadership published a note saying that the site ‘recently learned that senior editor Bill Gertz entered into a previously undisclosed financial transaction with an individual or an affiliate of that individual whom Mr. Gertz had covered in some of his reporting.’ …Guo lives in New York and has been a vocal critic of the Chinese government, and has applied for asylum in the US,” available at

[250] Ooi, Su-Mei and D’Arcangelis, Gwen. Framing China: Discourses of Othering in U.S. News and Political Rhetoric. SAGE, 2017, available at

[251] Bruendel, Steffen, 1914-1918 – Othering-Atrocity Propaganda, Berlin, Germany, 2017, available at

[252] Robertson, Karen, When Art Meets Army: The Dangerous Propaganda of World War II, Columbus, Ohio: Ohio History Connection, 2017, “[R]acist characterizations of Japanese soldiers and citizens…focused on characterizing all individuals of Japanese descent as a dangerous, non-human enemy…drew Japanese characters as animals (often as rats) or with heavily exaggerated eyes and bright yellow skin… encourage[ing] Americans to view all men, women, and children of Japanese descent as inherently dangerous- not just those men in uniform”, available at

[253] Jones, Josh, The Red Menace: A Striking Gallery of Anti-Communist Posters, Ads, Comic Books, Magazines & Films, Durham, NC: Open Culture, LLC, 2014, available at

[254] Xinghui, Kok, “Made In China”: How Wuhan Coronavirus Spread Anti-Chinese Racism Like a Disease Through Asia, Hong Kong, CN: China Morning Post, January 29, 2020, “Nanyang Technological University (NTU) sociologist Laavanya Kathiravelu said ‘xenophobic social media posts were an extension of colonial-era [Chinese] stereotypes…of Chinese as dirty, having bad hygiene and undesirable culinary practices’”, available at

[255] Navarro, Anthony V., Critical Comparison Between Japanese and American Propaganda during World War II,, “[A] gun labeled ‘civilization’ is pointed at the head of Japan again portrayed as a monkey about to be blown away…It neither grovels nor fears the gun that is brandished in its face. It has no conscience of its heinous actions and would more than likely kill again if not put to death immediately; there is no hope for repentance in this beast”, available at

[256] Yoshiko Kandil, Caitlin, Asian Americans Report Over 650 Racist Acts Over Last Week, New Data Says, New York, NY:, 2020, “People have reported being coughed at or spit on and being told to leave stores, Uber and Lyft drivers refusing to pick them up, verbal and online harassment and physical assault…”, available at

[257] Sabarini, Prodita, Anti-Asian Racism During Coronavirus: How the Language of Disease Produces Hate and Violence,, 2020, “History tells us this is not the first time that fear of disease has led to outbreaks of anti-Asian racism. Underlying prejudice against Asian communities has been a staple feature of North American society since the first Chinese workers arrived in the mid-19th century”, available at

[258] Ibid. Gries, China’s New Nationalism, Berkely, CA: University of California Press, 2005, Page 56: “Official Chinese sources frequently declare that [the Century of Humiliation] ended in 1945 with Chinese participation in the Allied victory over Japan”

[259] Formosan Association for Public Affairs, House & Senate Taiwan Caucus (2019-2020), Washington, DC: FAPA, 2020,“Senate Taiwan Caucus: Last Updated 2020/4/17: Co-Chair Menendez, Robert (D-NJ) Co-Chiar Inhofe, James M. (R-OK) Boozman, John (R-AR) Cotton, Tom (R-AR) Isakson, Johnny (R-GA) Ernst, Joni (R-IA) Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) Durbin, Richard J. (D-IL) Moran, Jerry (R-KS) Cassidy, Bill (R-LA) Markey, Edward J. (D-MA) Van Hollen, Chris (D-MD) Collins, Susan M. (R-ME) Peters, Gary C. (D-MI) Josh Hawley (R-MO) Wicker, Roger F. (R-MS) Tester, Jon (D-MT) Burr, Richard (R-NC) Schumer, Charles E. (D-NY) Brown, Sherrod (D-OH) Lankford, James (R-OK) Wyden, Ron (D-OR) Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) Scott, Tim (R-SC) Rounds, Mike (R-SD) Cornyn, John (R-TX) Manchin, Joe, III (D-WV)”,

House Taiwan Caucus: Last Updated 2020/4/17: Co Chair Diaz-Balart, Mario (R, FL-25) Co Chair Sires, Albio (D, NJ-8) Co-Chair Chabot, Steve (R, OH-1) Co-Chair Connolly, Gerald E. (D, VA-11)Brooks, Mo (R, AL-5) Gosar, Paul A. (R, AZ-4) Biggs, Andy (R, AZ-5) Schweikert, David (R, AZ-6) Lesko, Debbie (R, AZ-8) Cook, Paul (R, CA-8) Speier, Jackie (D, CA-14) Costa, Jim (D, CA-16) Eshoo, Anna G. (D, CA-18) Lofgren, Zoe (D, CA-19) Carbajal, Salud (D, CA-24) Chu, Judy (D, CA-27) Schiff, Adam (D, CA-28) Sherman, Brad (D, CA-30) Napolitano, Grace (D, CA-32) Lieu, Ted (D, CA-33) Gomez, Jimmy (D, CA-34) Sánchez, Linda (D, CA-38) Cisneros, Gilbert Ray Jr. (D, CA-39) Calvert, Ken (R, CA-42) Porter, Katie (D, CA-45) Rouda, Harley (D, CA-48) Peters, Scott (D, CA-52) Davis, Susan (D, CA-53) Tipton, Scott (R, CO-3) Buck, Ken (R, CO-4) Lamborn, Doug (R, CO-5) Yoho, Ted (R, FL-3) Waltz, Michael (R, FL-6) Bilirakis, Gus M. (R, FL-12) Steube, W. Gregory (R, FL-17) Hastings, Alcee L. (D, FL-20) Frankel, Lois (D, FL-21) Deutch, Ted (D, FL-22) Wasserman Schultz, Debbie (D, FL-23) Wilson, Frederica (D, FL-24) Bishop Jr., Sanford D. (D, GA-2) Ferguson, A. Drew (R, GA-3) Johnson, Henry C. “Hank” Jr. (D, GA-4) Hice, Jody (R, GA-10) Loudermilk, Barry (R, GA-11) Allen, Rick (R, GA-12) Scott, David (D, GA-13) Graves, Tom (R, GA-14) Case, Ed (D, HI-1) Simpson, Mike (R, ID-2) Quigley, Mike (D, IL-5) Davis, Danny K. (D, IL-7) Foster, Bill (D, IL-11) Shimkus, John (R, IL-15) Kinzinger, Adam (R, IL-16) Walorski, Jackie (R, IN-2) Banks, Jim (R, IN-3) Loebsack, David (D, IA-2) King, Steve (R, IA-4) Marshall, Roger (R, KS-1) Barr, Andy (R, KY-6) Johnson, Mike (R, LA-4) Raskin, Jamie (D, MD-8) McGovern, James (D, MA-2) Trahan, Lori (D, MA-3) Kennedy III, Joseph P. (D, MA-4) Clark, Katherine (D, MA-5) Moulton, Seth (D, MA-6) Keating, William (D, MA-9) Walberg, Tim (R, MI-7) Mitchell, Paul (R, MI-10) Wagner, Ann (R, MO-2) Luetkemeyer, Blaine (R, MO-3) Hartzler, Vicky (R, MO-4) Bacon, Don (R, NE-2) Titus, Dina (D, NV-1) Pallone Jr., Frank (D, NJ-6) Pascrell Jr., Bill (D, NJ-9) Payne Jr., Donald (D, NJ-10) Watson Coleman, Bonnie (D, NJ-12) Suozzi, Thomas (D, NY-3) Rice, Kathleen (D, NY-4) Meeks, Gregory W. (D, NY-5) Jeffries, Hakeem (D, NY-8) Maloney, Carolyn (D, NY-12) Engel, Eliot (D, NY-16) Lowey, Nita (D, NY-17) Tonko, Paul D. (D, NY-20) Price, David (D, NC-4) Foxx, Virginia (R, NC-5) Rouzer, David (R, NC-7) McHenry, Patrick T. (R, NC-10) Meadows, Mark (R, NC-11) Johnson, Bill (R, OH-6) Turner, Michael (R, OH-10) Balderson, Troy (R, OH-12) Ryan, Tim (D, OH-13) Stivers, Steve (R, OH-15) Hern, Kevin (R, OK-1) Mullin, Markwayne (R, OK-2) Lucas, Frank (R, OK-3) Bonamici, Suzanne (D, OR-1) Schrader, Kurt (D, OR-5) Fitzpatrick, Brian (R, PA-1) Boyle, Brendan (D, PA-2) Cartwright, Matt (D, PA-8) Perry, Scott (R, PA-10) Thompson, Glenn (R, PA-15) Kelly, Mike (R, PA-16) Langevin, Jim (D, RI-2) Wilson, Joe (R, SC-2) Rice, Tom (R, SC-7) Fleischmann, Chuck (R, TN-3) DesJarlais, Scott (R, TN-4) Green, Mark (R, TN-7) Gooden, Lance (R, TX-5) Wright, Ron (R, TX-6) Green, Al (D, TX-9) McCaul, Michael T. (R, TX-10) Granger, Kay (R, TX-12) Flores, Bill (R, TX-17) Jackson Lee, Sheila (D, TX-18) Castro, Joaquin (D, TX-20) Olson, Pete (R, TX-22) Marchant, Kenny (R, TX-24) Burgess, Michael (R, TX-26) Cloud, Michael (R, TX-27) Johnson, Eddie Bernice (D, TX-30) Veasey, Marc (D, TX-33) Bishop, Rob (R, UT-1) Curtis, John R. (R, UT-3) Herrera Beutler, Jaime (R, WA-3) Smith, Adam (D, WA-9) Heck, Denny (D, WA-10) Grothman, Glenn (R, WI-6) Graves, Garret (R, LA-6) Moulton, Seth (D, MA-6) Graves, Sam (R, MO-6) Kaptur, Marcy (D, OH-9) Sablan, Gregorio (D, CNMI) San Nicolas, Michael F. Q. (D, Guam)”, available at

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[265] Sarasohn, Judy, The Complexity of Taiwan’s Ties with Lobbyists, Washington, DC: Washington Post, 2005, “Taiwan’s relationships with its Washington lobbyists are sometimes as complicated and tortuous as its relationship with the U.S. government. A case in point is the Taiwan Studies Institute (TSI), a think tank with close ties to the Taiwanese government, and its relationship with Cassidy & Associates, one of the biggest lobby operations here”, available at

[266] Carpenter, Ted Galen, Will the U.S. Go to War with China over Taiwan?, Washington, DC: CATO Institute, 2018, “However, U.S. leaders should also make it clear that Taiwan is on its own, and alter the TRA’s language to remove any implied defense commitment. As fond as we might be of a vibrant, democratic Taiwan, risking a catastrophic war with China is far too great a price to pay to preserve the island’s de facto independence”, available at

[267] ul Khaliq, Riyaz, Stop Arms Sales to Taiwan: China Tells US, Washington, DC: NPR, 2020, “Beijing says recent US arms sale to Taiwan could further harm ties, warns against meddling in China’s ‘internal affairs’…Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said ‘We urge the US to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques and stop arms sales to and military ties with Taiwan, lest it should further harm China-US relations and cross-straits peace and stability‘”, available at

[268] Coffin, Jocelyn, Rhetoric and Reality: Taiwan’s Democratization and its Effects on US-Taiwan Relations, American Journal of Chinese Studies, 2017, “After more than two decades of political liberalization in Taipei, to break unofficial ties today America would be parting with a developed democracy. As a self-proclaimed promoter of democracy…the concurrent increase in tension in the Taiwan Strait limits America’s flexibility”, available at
[269] Teiser, Stephen F., The Spirits of Chinese Religion, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019, “The basic stuff out of which all things are made is called qi. Everything that ever existed, at all times, is made of qi, including inanimate matter, humans and animals, the sky, ideas and emotions, demons and ghosts, the undifferentiated state of wholeness…it involves phenomena we would consider both psychological— connected to human thoughts and feelings—and physical, it can be translated as ‘psychophysical stuff’”, available at

[270] Linder, Alex, Shanghaiist’s Top Things that Hurt China’s Feelings in 2018. Shanghai, China:, 2019, [For example] “Amazon pulls Chinese costumes modeled by white kids making ‘slanty eyes’…Amazon failed to apologize for the racist photos, causing Chinese state-run media to share netizen complaints, accusing the company of “blatant racist advocacy” and implying that “it is acceptable to offend Chinese people…Chinese netizens call for boycott of Balenciaga after Paris shopping mall scuffle…The scuffle saw a Chinese customer being roughly subdued by security guards …Balenciaga responded with a statement that fell far short of an apology, igniting further online anger”, available at

[271] Kashin, Vasily, Russia and China Take Military Partnership to New Level, Moscow, Russia: The Moscow Times, 2019, available at

[272] Hu Jintao & Putin, Vladmir, Sino-Russo Joint Statement: International World Order of the 21st Century, Moscow, Russia, 2005, available at

[273] Albert, Eleanor, The China–North Korea Relationship, Washington, DC: CFR, 2019, Experts say that the pattern of Kim-Xi meetings serves to enhance Pyongyang’s bargaining position with Seoul and Washington. For Xi, the appearance of closer ties with North Korea also helps China in managing its relationship with the United States…” available at

[274] Xie, Yanmei, The Storm Beneath the Calm – China’s Regional Relations in 2016, Brussels, Belgium – International Crisis Group, 2016, available at

[275] Bisley, Nick, What’s China’s Relationship with North Korea Really Like?, Melbourne, Australia: La Trobe University, 2019, “The tension in China and North Korea’s relationship is common knowledge in contemporary China, where citizens describe it as being ‘like lips and teeth’…The teeth are protected by the lips. But also – and this is the North Korean perspective – the teeth can bite the lips…China’s advantages are neutralized by the threat of North Korea’s regime collapse”, available at

[276] Ellyatt, Holly, Are Russia and China the Best of Friends Now? It’s Complicated, Analysts Say, Washington, DC:, 2019, “[T]he relationship between Russia and China was mainly a “utilitarian” one and their alliance shouldn’t be overplayed by analysts. ‘What does China-Russia think, how will Russia-China react? – they do have different interests and the danger is that we over-exaggerate this strategic alliance. It’s one that has limitations and questions’”, available at–how-deep-does-it-go.html.

[277] Chase, Medeiros, Roy, Rumer, Sutter, Weitz, Russia-China Relations, Seattle, WA – NBR, 2017, “[T]here remain limits on Sino-Russian cooperation….Longer-term vulnerabilities include Russia’s dissatisfaction with its increasing junior status relative to China, [and] China’s much stronger interest than Russia in preserving the existing world order”, available at
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USIP, 2019, “Iran appealed to its allies to continue buying Tehran’s oil despite U.S. pressure. ‘Even though we are aware that friendly countries such as China are facing some restrictions, we expect them to be more active in buying Iranian oil,’ Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri told a visiting senior Chinese diplomat on July 29”, available at

[280] NDTV, China Says Border Situation “Stable And Controllable” Amid Row With India, Beijing, China: NDTV, 2020, “The comments by the Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian came in the backdrop of the continuing standoff between the militaries of India and China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC)”,.available at

[281] Kissinger, Henry, On China, New York, NY: Penguin Group, 2011, Page 2: “China executed a sudden, devastating blow on the Indian Positions and then retreated to the previous line of control even going so far as to return the captured Indian heavy weaponry.

[282] RAND, China’s Military Activities in the East China Sea, Washington, DC: CFR, 2018, “A long-standing rivalry between China and Japan has intensified in recent years…the dispute over the Senkaku Islands remains a focal point”, available at

[283] United Nations, Bulletin Number 91: Law of the Sea, New York, NY: Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea Office of Legal Affairs, 2017, Page 29: “Lawfulness of Chinese actions…the Tribunal found that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by (a) interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, (b) constructing artificial islands and (c) failing to prevent Chinese”, available at

[284] Bulletin Number 91: Law of the Sea, Page 28: “Historic rights and the “nine-dash line””Accordingly, the Tribunal concluded that, to the extent China had historic rights to resources in the waters of the South China Sea, such rights were extinguished to the extent they were incompatible with the exclusive economic zones provided for in the Convention”.

[285] Holmes, James, China’s Nightmare: How the U.S. Navy Could Sink Its Prized Aircraft Carriers, Washington, DC:, 2019, “PLA ballistic missiles could menace U.S. and allied warships plying the seas anywhere within Asia’s second island chain. The upper figure for DF-26 range, moreover, would extend ASBMs’ reach substantially beyond the island chain“, available at .

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[287] Blackwill, Robert D. and Tellis, Ashley J., Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China, Washington, DC: CFR, 2015, “Washington simply cannot have it both ways—to accommodate Chinese concerns regarding U.S. power projection into Asia through ‘strategic reassurance’ and at the same time to promote and defend U.S. vital national interests in this vast region”, available at

[288] Gompert, David C.; Cevallos, Astrid Stuth; Garafola, Cristina L., War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable, Washington, DC: RAND Corporation, 2016, Page 28: “[I]t cannot be excluded that such a Sino-U.S. war could develop characteristics of the two great-power wars that became “world wars”: drawing in others, engulfing and spilling beyond the region, locking the two political systems and populations into a fight to finish, ending in unconditional surrender, dictated peace, occupation, regime extinction, and domination”, available at

[289] Carpenter, Ted Galen, America’s Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan, New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005, “That vulnerability whereby a security patron can be dragged into a confrontation (perhaps even a full-blown war) by an excessively assertive client is the problem that Nikolas Gvasdev and Travis Tanner scholars at the National Interest aptly refer to as the “wag the dog” phenomenon. Taiwan is a textbook example of that danger”, available at

[290] Kissinger, Henry A., Former U.S. Secretary of State Comments before the National Committee on US China Relations on 15 November 2019, New York, NY: National Committee on US-China Relations, 2019, “[a conflict between the U.S. and China would result in] a catastrophic outcome that will be worse than the world wars that ruined European civilization”, available at



17 thoughts on “Channeling Realism to Avert a War Over Taiwan”

  1. The difference from WWII in the Pacific, the heyday of the carrier force, is that now the exact position of all surface vessels is known at all times. And the anti-ship missile has arrived. If you read the accounts of naval battles in that period, these two things leap out at you. Commanders were always having to rely on imperfect information about where the enemy fleet was, and when they launched their strike forces, their hit and destruction rate wasn’t all that high even when and if the planes had found the enemy.

    It seems neither of these will be true now. The enemy has to be assumed to know not only where the fleet is, but how many of its aircraft are in the air and where, are refuelling. What course the fleet is on, and how fast. Given that, surely the effectiveness of volleys of anti-ship missiles with precise targeting will be huge. And then there are the submarines…

    I am a complete amateur in these matters. What does anyone with any expertise think about this
    Will carriers survive the opening phase of any such war? Or will it be like the Repulse and Prince of Wales off Singapore?

    1. The Man Who Laughs

      “I am a complete amateur in these matters. What does anyone with any expertise think about this
      Will carriers survive the opening phase of any such war? Or will it be like the Repulse and Prince of Wales off Singapore?”

      The July August 2020 issue of Modern War has an article on the invasion of Taiwan, although it looks more at possible Chinese plans and choices of landing beaches rather than naval combat. It’s available from Strategy&Tactics Press.,Don’t buy the more expensive game issue as the game is about Hue in 1968, which is what’s on the cover.

      I don;t claim expertise in the sense of being a credentialed expert, I’m just an old wargamer. For what it’s worth, the Old Wargamer points out that China’s ability to take Taiwan is generally assumed in these sorts of discussions, but no one really knows. When people talk about the survivalbility of surface ships, they’re generally thinking of American carriers, as these are symbols of American power. But unless they have recruited Moses to part the straits, it would be China, not America, that would have to get its surface ships safely through contested water.,They must land an army with its equipment and supplies on Taiwan in order to take it. Taiwan has antiship missiles of its own, and these can be fired from land. Some are American made, but the Taiwanese have also rolled their own.

      I for one would not care to be on an American carrier operating anywhere near the Chinese coast, but neither would I care to be on a Chinese ‘phib operating in the same ocean as American nuclear attack submarines. The Old Wargamer says that a war over Taiwan would be a very strange game indeed, and that the winning move for both sides might be not to play.

      1. Interesting. It had not occurred to me how much more risky contested amphibious landings may also have become.

        But you surely have to assume air superiority for the Chinese? In which case, are the anti-ship land based missiles going to be enough, even if they survive?

        Surely the risk to carriers is not just coastal? Its ballistic conventional missiles? And subs, also?

        Lets hope we don’t find out.

      2. Yes, I did read the Lind piece. It didn’t much reassure. The problem is that it may be rational for countries and leaders to behave as he says, and maybe the current leadership is actually behaving this way.

        But all it takes is one misguided leadership. And they don’t even have to do it deliberately, they just have to start a series of events where escalation is likely and finally happens.

        Look at the Cuban missile crisis. We came very close. Maybe everyone has learned. I certainly hope so, its just that human history suggests that to rely on that is rather hopeful.

  2. Taiwan has a quarter of the world’s semiconductor capacity, double that of the US and comparable to that of South Korea. Also, Taiwan is the technology leader in this space, with TSMC producing chips at 3 nanometers while Intel is still having trouble making 10 nanometer chips. Indeed, Intel has just admitted that its chips for the next generation of US supercomputer will probably be made by Taiwanese suppliers.
    Seen that computing and AI are clearly driving the future of both the military as well as the broader economy, the loss of Taiwan and with it surely the rest of the Asian rim would be catastrophic for the US. It may be an unintended consequence of our ‘one world’ mindset, but the US now really needs Taiwan, irrespective of any social or political concerns.

    1. Etudiant,

      “but the US now really needs Taiwan, irrespective of any social or political concerns.”

      I doubt that very much. Semi fab factories can be easily built. The endless stories about enduring tech advantages in fabs for 59 years have proven false.

      “Taiwan is the technology leader in this space, with TSMC producing chips at 3 nanometers while Intel is still having trouble making 10 nanometer chips.”

      Nope. Intel produced its first 10 no chips last year. It’s 10 nm desktop chips are coming, but it’s still close to parity with AMD.

      Producing leading-edge chips for which there is at present little demand isn’t smart. It’s not a race. It is a business.

      “Intel has just admitted that its chips for the next generation of US supercomputer will probably be made by Taiwanese suppliers.”

      That’s like auto makers boasting about their Formula One race cars. It’s not a business.

      Also, chips are among the least important elements in supercomputer performance.

      1. Larry, I think you may be underestimating the issues at Intel. They seem to go way beyond the production of leading-edge chips for which there at present little demand.

        If the stories I am reading are correct, they have a persistent manufacturing problem with keeping up with advances in the production of mainstream server and desktop chips. This is their core business. They have to keep up with manufacturing technology.

        My next build is probably going to be AMD. The first time AMD has seemed like a sensible choice for many years, decades in fact. But it does now.

      2. Henrik,

        I suggest that you re-read my comment. More carefully.

        Also, AMD isn’t a Chinese company. Tech leadership has been changing forever, and that’s not likely to stop.

      3. Honestly I think you are misreading the situation.
        High end chips are what makes smart phones work, which is why Apple is a large TSMC customer, as are Qualcom and Nvidia. Taiwan and Korea can make them, while nobody in the US is close to volume capacity. Even Intel, still struggling to get their 10nm process to perform acceptably after several years of failed effort.
        The idea that semiconductor fabs are ‘easily built’ is also optimistic, the capacity to make the essential equipment is limited, plus the pacing item, extreme UV lithography gear, is very much on allocation from the single supplier, ASML in Europe.
        The US now has about 12% of global semiconductor capacity, versus about 25% each for Taiwan and South Korea. Losing those sites and their skilled people would be a disaster for us.

      4. Nope, advanced semiconductor factories cannot be easily built. Intel knows it for decades, so they copy each factory exactly to simplify troubleshooting. If there is no access to the original factory, and something does not work, then you must develop technology from scratch.

        I agree that Taiwan cannot be defended, and it must be accepted that the US lost leading position in electronics. It was pretty hard to achieve that, as it took many years of firing experienced engineers from Intel and investing money in Taiwan, but it is accomplished now.

      5. Physicist,

        “Nope, advanced semiconductor factories cannot be easily built.”

        History disagrees with you. Taiwan became a powerhouse in advanced semi mfg in a decade. As did AMD.

        Neither required a Manhattan Project or project Apollo to do so.

        It just takes money and patience.

        “and it must be accepted that the US lost leading position in electronics.”

        Just like the previous bold confident claims of that in the past 35 years. For example, in 1985 it was Japan that was going to rule the world soon with its dominance in semiconductors. How did that turn out?

        These cocksure claims pop up like weeds every ten years or so. But we are America, incapable of remembering – and incapable of learning. So each wild scream of doom is considered without knowledge of the past.

        Pitiful, really.

  3. Excellent article! It is going to take me awhile to peruse some of those links.

    I think this is a logical follow-up to your recent reposting of Lind talking about the USMC’s new vision for itself. The strategy seems completely bound to the idea of a major fight with China. Who else meets the “near-peer/peer” adversary status it seems to envision?

    The new site motto is also great.

  4. The Man Who Laughs

    “While it’s often interesting to see people having fun fantasizing about war, perhaps a note of realism is useful.”

    I think realism is very useful indeed. Realistically, I don’t think you published this article because you think a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is impossible, and realistically, I don’t think that Lind and Gayle can both be right. I also think that realistically, Taiwan is de facto an independent country. It has governed itself independently of the rest of China longer than anyone reading this has been alive. if it was really part of one China, and the PRC flag flew over Taipei, this conversation would not be taking place. That does not obligate us to go their defense if they’re attacked, we’re free agents here. But China’s position on this is a bit like me announcing that my conception of myself and the right order of things makes it imperatively necessary that I absolutely must sleep with Scarlett Johannsen. No matter how much of a hissy fit I’m prepared to throw over the issue, there’s no guarantee I can actually bring about what I want, and Ms Johnannsen, who may have other ideas, is going to get a say.

    I think a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is unlikely. They’re not gamblers, and gamblers can lose at favorable odds. In the hypothetical case, we’d have to make some hard decisions. If we had armed the Taiwanese properly from the start, an invasion would be unthinkable, and we wouldn’t have to worry about it. The Chinese might have held their breath until they turned blue, and maybe we would have gotten less cheap stuff made with slave labor, but we did what we did. At this point there are no attractive choices.But denying facts on the ground is a bad place to start.

    1. The Man,

      Simple question, one which China’s leaders understand quite well?

      When was the last successful invasion of a modern State. A real one, not a Micronesia Island or Vatican City?

      Showing the futility of modern war …The great Powers couldn’t even hold their colonies against local insurgents without training or much modern equipment. The Soviet Union couldn’t even hold Eastern Europe, despite having every conceivable advantage.

      And that’s without nukes. That is, an invasion of Taiwan would be like a Cuban Missile Crisis on steroids. An event which so scared the superpowers that they’ve tip-toed around each other since then. As have other nuke powers – India-Pakistan and India-China.

      Also, Americans often judge the world by the Mercator maps used in grade school, seeing Taiwan as a little island. It is between Switzerland and Belgium size, but with a population bigger than both combined(~25 million). An amphibious invasion would have to be of mind-blowing size. Impossible to conceal such preparations.

      China could destroy Taiwan, making an invasion feasible – making themselves a pariah nation. The likely trade sanctions after they kill hundreds of thousands or millions would wreck their export-focus nation in an eyeblink.

      “less cheap stuff made with slave labor”

      Yes, the Right-wing media is as fun to read as their cousins on the Left. Equally unhinged.

      But have fun. Anyway, facts are unwelcome in modern America.

      1. It would be an opposed amphibious landing and invasion across a channel about 100 miles wide. So it would be militarily risky. As you say, preparations would be impossible to conceal. The prerequisite for the crossing and the landings would probably involve an air and missile shock and awe campaign on a grand scale, to achieve total air superiority first. And as you say, it would have enormous consequences for China’s position in the world.

        Yes, it might well be Cuban Missile 2.0. A rational government probably wouldn’t embark on it. They have nothing much to gain from winning – the present situation with an independent Taiwan doesn’t do them much or any harm.

        But that doesn’t mean they won’t try. They seem to be obsessed with Taiwan. People, governments or not, in the grip of obsessions, often end up doing really weird, dangerous and stupid things. Those under them go along. We can look back on all too many such decisions in history.

        Why did Athens embark on the Sicilian expedition?

        I very much hope you are right, and that Lind is right, and that everyone involved is rational enough to see it your way. But I think there is a significant chance that they won’t, or will do it regardless.

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