Errius wrote on 2022-08-02, 21:44:
I don't understand why the U.S. administration is antagonizing China at a time of conflict with Russia. This is LBJ level statesmanship.
Listening to people who claim to have knowledge of what our generals are thinking, it goes like this.
China wants to take Taiwan. But the PLA (People's Liberation Army) is still 5 years away from developing the sorts of amphibious landing and logistics capabilities that will be required for sustained action in Taiwan. So in the near term (5 years), time is on China's side. On the flip side, China's One Child Policy has absolutely wrecked their demographics, and they are facing a steeper demographic decline over the next 50 years than any other nation on Earth.
Additionally, Xi Jinping wants to "run" for an unprecedented 3rd term, as well as finally unify China for the 100th year celebration of the formation of the PLA. So basically, China's best chance is to invade Taiwan in 5 years while their strength is peaked, and for symbolic and political reasons.
As for why we don't just decide "Fuck it" and let China reassert their dominion over Taiwan, well, TSMC makes something like 95% of the worlds most advanced semiconductors. They are such a strategically important resource worldwide, that many people, both in Taiwan and outside, would rather burn all their facilities to the ground than let them fall into the hands of the CCP. Putting aside how much of a technological advantage that would give China overnight, it would also allow China to blatantly steal the IP of nearly every American tech firm that went fabless over the last decade.
So the reasoning of the warhawks is to set off the war over Taiwan earlier rather than later. If China of today takes the bait, they will fail. It may result is the destruction of large portions of TSMC's facilities, but that result is still preferable to allowing them to fall into the hands of the CCP. It's not even incompatible with advantaging domestic silicon production. Suddenly those 2nd or 3rd rate Intel processes look a lot better with TSMC in smoking ruins and Samsung in South Korea still firmly within reach of China's sphere of influence.
Personally I'm far more skeptical of US competence in any conflict with China. I'm also far less skeptical about China's capabilities. IMHO they just want it more. Which may let them punch above their weight, inspiring them to feats of basic competence the US seems incapable of anymore.
We'll see I guess.
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