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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Will China take back Taiwan? Will we make a stand? Will China use nuclear arms?

Will China take back Taiwan? Will we make a stand? Will China use nuclear arms?
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Mastrap
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Jul 20, 2005, 07:27 AM
 
Why on earth are we still trading with China? I hasten to add that I have no issue with Chinese people, but the Chinese government is a danger to the free world. Personally I have stopped buying products made in China wherever I can.

US reports China missile build-up

The report says the military balance is tipping against Taiwan
China has increased the number of short-range ballistic missiles on its coast opposite Taiwan, the US has said.

In an annual report to Congress, the Pentagon claimed there were now up to 730 such missiles in place. Last year's report found only 500.

The Pentagon said China could now be spending up to $90bn a year on defence, and that its military build-up put regional balances at risk.

But China has dismissed the claims, insisting its rise would be peaceful.

"Not only is China not a threat to anyone, but we would also like to make friends with people in every country, work together and develop mutually beneficial co-operation in order to facilitate everyone's progress," Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said on Wednesday.

'Credible threat'

The Pentagon report said that China did not face a threat from any other nation.

Yet it found that Beijing continued to invest heavily in its military, and its modernisation plans are aimed primarily at winning a war with Taiwan.


REPORT'S KEY FINDINGS
Build-up of short-range missiles opposite Taiwan
Increase in long-range missiles and hardware from Russia
Military spending could be up to $90bn - the highest in Asia
But the US is the top military spender, with an estimated $399bn annual defence budget

According to the American findings, there are now between 650 and 730 short-range ballistic missiles in position opposite Taiwan, with 100 more being deployed every year.

China is also developing the capability to launch air strikes and mount a blockade against the island, the report said.

In the past, the US has cautioned both China and Taiwan not to change the status quo.

Washington is Taiwan's main arms supplier and could be drawn into any conflict.

Broader ambitions

But the Pentagon also believes that China's strategic planners are looking beyond Taiwan.

The report points to China's growing missile capability and the imminent deployment of mobile, long-range ballistic missiles, known as DF31s, which could hit targets worldwide with nuclear warheads.

The Pentagon report says Chinese defence spending could be up to $90bn this year, more than twice the estimated figure given by Beijing.

This would make it the largest military spender in Asia - and third in the world after the US and Russia.

The US itself is thought to have an approximate annual defence budget of almost $400bn, according to World Bank figures.

The Chinese navy has bought into service advanced guided missile destroyers, submarines and fighter aircraft, bought from Russia.

Over the long term, says the Pentagon, if current trends persist, the Chinese military could pose a credible threat to other modern militaries operating in the region.

According to the BBC's Pentagon correspondent Adam Brookes, this is code for American forces in Asia.

The drafting of this report has been a contentious process, reflecting divisions in Washington between those who view Chinese power as a serious emerging threat and those who take a more benign view, our correspondent says.

But the final product is a document tough in substance and in tone, which will do little or nothing to reassure those Americans who worry about China's intentions, he says.
     
TETENAL
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Jul 20, 2005, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap
Why on earth are we still trading with China?
Because they make our cheap stuff? We could hardly afford all our computers, cell phones, clothes, DVD players, and plastic stuff if that would be all produced by ourselves.
     
Mastrap  (op)
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Jul 20, 2005, 08:13 AM
 
As I've said, I try and avoid stuff made in China. So far that hasn't been much of a problem.

(I know some of Apple's machines are assembled in China)
     
OreoCookie
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Jul 20, 2005, 08:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap
As I've said, I try and avoid stuff made in China. So far that hasn't been much of a problem.

(I know some of Apple's machines are assembled in China)
All major US (and European) companies heavily rely on China. Apple outsourced certain parts to China, as did HP, etc.

I agree with your assessment that China is not a `nice country', but I think democratic values with eventually rub off and stick to them. The big cities in China don't have much to do with communism anymore and bit by bit, they'll become more democratic. If we attempt to stop trading with them, it'll drive them in isolation which is not good for all of us.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
rambo47
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Jul 20, 2005, 09:39 PM
 
I fing it mind-boggling that we trade with China, yet continue the embargo against Cuba. Yeah, that embargo is going to force Fidel Castro into exile any day now. I guess it's all politics and dollars. Principles never stood a chance against $ & votes. Politicians suck. Period.
     
altocumulus
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Jul 20, 2005, 11:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by rambo47
I fing it mind-boggling that we trade with China, yet continue the embargo against Cuba. Yeah, that embargo is going to force Fidel Castro into exile any day now. I guess it's all politics and dollars. Principles never stood a chance against $ & votes. Politicians suck. Period.
we'll see when it happens. they have been trading words for years. i think it is inevitable, especially with this military build-up. china has seen that the US will compromise it's ideals (mainly democracy in this case) in order to achieve it's goals (natural resources, WoT, etc.). though, they may wait until the US is embroiled in another conflict to do it, so the military will be spread thinner. navy may be able to do some damage, but the US wouldn't be able to do much as far as liberating taiwan.

nukes? probably not. you don't nuke territory you want to take over.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.
     
James L
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Jul 21, 2005, 01:11 AM
 
How does a country that spends almost $400 billion per year have any right to condemn another for spending less than 25% of that amount on the same thing (military budget).

Seems pretty hypocritical to me.
     
loki74
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Jul 21, 2005, 01:12 AM
 
I'm fine with China getting arms... I mean the trade we're doing with them will only increase, and that's good for them. You know the US trade deficit? Yeah, in this case, I'm glad for it. Because the Chinese are gonna love the amount of business they get from us, and they're loving that trade deficit we've got.

You're right, it is about money. And thats why I'm not afraid of China getting weapons. They have no reason to use them against us. If anything, they have reason to use it against our enemies--the less fighting we need do, the less money we need to spend on military stuff. The less we spend on military stuff, the better our economy gets. The better our economy gets, the more money we have to trade with China--something they really want.

Reagarding the communism stuff: I see the communism in China slowly dwindling away--the British set a very good example for them, one they seem keen to follow.

Regarding the takeover of Taiwan: Yeah they might. We know they want to, but they also know if they do it will probably piss the hell out of the US. (We're not quite as easily corruptible as altocumulus and others would have you believe... it just makes them feel good to say that.) Piss the hell out of the US, trade goes down with them, that hurts their economy. At the moment, their economy is a huge priority for them. If that changes, they may get cocky and try to take over Taiwan, that or if they're incredibly stupid. But that will not be in the near future.

"In a world without walls or fences, what need have we for windows or gates?"
     
undotwa
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Jul 21, 2005, 04:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap
Why on earth are we still trading with China? I hasten to add that I have no issue with Chinese people, but the Chinese government is a danger to the free world. Personally I have stopped buying products made in China wherever I can.
I'm no big fan of Chinese domestic or foreign policy, but keep in mind that we are not only trading with China but people. Were we to stop trading with China, the mutual social cost would be very substantial. China's economic 'miracle' would collapse (causing massive job losses etc.) and place considerable strain upon our own economies (to what degree, I'm not sure, but it would be considerable).
In vino veritas.
     
blackwind
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Jul 21, 2005, 09:06 AM
 
China is not a major threat to anyone as a result of its economic success. If China gets everything it wants (except for Taiwan) through economic cooperation with others, then it will not be forced to do anything dangerous.

Another thing to remember is that China is surrounded by potentially hostile (and relatively strong) neighbours if China were to try to extend its reach militarily. As a result, its potential "sphere of influence" is not nearly as great as one imagines.

India can match China's manpower, and India also has nuclear weapons. Russia has always been wary of China due to its huge population and Russia's limited defense of the resource-rich Siberia. Japan and China are traditional rivals. South Korea has U.S. military bases there. The Vietnamese are not fond of China's past invasions and occupations of Vietnam. Taiwan and China are still at odds. Finally, the U.S. itself is interested in the region, and the U.S. still has near-total dominance of the sea as well as numerous bases in the region.

Just the fact that Russia, India, Japan, and the U.S. are wary of China (and vice versa) kind of neutralizes China's reach.

As for China's development of improved ICBM's, one must remember that China currently has no weapon that can reach the continental U.S. Although this seems like a hostile act, it is a concern to the Chinese government since the U.S. is capable of launching a nuclear "first strike" against China without anyway for China to retaliate.

Of course, the U.S. would not attack China without provocation, but with regard to international politics, only the rule of "realpolitik" (ie. each nations must act selfishly to ensure its survival) stands. To the Chinese government, it is better to be safe than sorry, and it would be better to have a viable deterrent than not, even if it disturbs everyone else around the world.
     
Macrobat
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Jul 21, 2005, 09:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by rambo47
I fing it mind-boggling that we trade with China, yet continue the embargo against Cuba. Yeah, that embargo is going to force Fidel Castro into exile any day now. I guess it's all politics and dollars. Principles never stood a chance against $ & votes. Politicians suck. Period.

I think that's more a matter of Cuba only being 90 miles away from the US than anything else.
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