China: US troops stationed on Taiwan despite Beijing’s “red line” warning

The United States has quietly done what Beijing warned not to do or risk an entire war. Now it could be all that China needs for an invasion.

Taiwan is preparing to fight on the beaches, fight on the landing, fight on the fields and streets. Or so the United States hopes.

It’s all part of a “history strategy” conceived under former President Donald Trump. And it aims to make the prospect of invading the 24 million island democracy unpleasant for Beijing. It is the very definition of “discouragement”.

But it’s a dangerous game – and it’s one where a “red line” has already been crossed.

The Chinese Communist Party (CPC) says the presence of some U.S. troops on the last unconquered outpost of the deposed Republic of China (ROC) would be an immediate provocation of war.

But U.S. troops have been there since at least 2008 with special forces troops searching the coast of Taiwan, looking for places from which to ambush an invading force. They also trained the Taipei military on how to use equipment provided by the United States.

They tried to raise the physical and material cost of an entire attack.

But is it worth fighting for island democracy?

“Taiwan is not a vital Australian interest. We have no alliance with Taipei,” former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating said on Wednesday during a National Press Club luncheon. “There is no paper in Canberra that has an alliance with Taipei. We do not recognize it as a sovereign state – we have always seen it as part of China.”

But our key ally partner of ANZUS, Washington, sees things differently.

U.S. President Joe Biden upset the apple cart last month when he said DC would rush to help Taiwan if China attacked. His foreign minister, Antony Blinken, backed that on Wednesday when he said: “We are not alone in this decision to ensure that we maintain peace and stability in that part of the world.”

2027 deadline for invasion

In March, the outgoing commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific, Admiral Philip Davidson, dropped a bomb when he told the U.S. Senate that China plans to attack Taiwan “in the next six years.”

This statement sent shockwaves through international and military communities. Many accepted the alarm. Others consider it unfounded.

One argument focuses on President Xi’s desire to establish a legacy for his rule and his goal of “national rejuvenation” by 2027.

“Although Chinese President Xi Jinping clearly aims to lead Taiwan to a heel, and by force if necessary, he also continues to promote‘ peaceful reunification ’as Beijing’s preferred resource,” notes senior RAND defense analyst Derek Grossman.

“Xi would probably strengthen his language if he thought war was a real possibility. Rather, Xi has moved to a quiet speculation about a possible attack by weakening rumors on Chinese social media that Beijing has mobilized PLA reserves and instructed civilians to store food. “

Another argument is that China’s rapidly expanding naval forces do not include enough amphibious attack ships to establish a bridge. Media controlled by CCP, however, recently responded to this criticism by boasting how the nation’s fleet of civilian ferries was built to military tolerances (i.e. capable of carrying tanks) precisely for such a purpose.

The Pentagon’s 2021 Annual Report to Congress on China, released last week, walks a fine line balancing both arguments.

“An attempt to invade Taiwan would likely strain the PRC’s armed forces and invite international intervention,” it reads. “These tensions … make an amphibious invasion of Taiwan a

a major political and military risk for Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party. “

It details, however, how Beijing has stepped up its “diplomatic, political and military pressure against Taiwan” since 2020.

Mr Grossman, however, notes one point of comparison.

“It’s also fair to note that as flamboyant as China’s behavior against Taiwan has been in recent years, Beijing has actually pulled its fists compared to what it could do so far. For example, during the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait Crisis, Beijing lobbied. ballistic missiles near Taiwan – a very provocative initiative that has yet to be repeated.

Travel wire

“The United States should be aware that no matter what threats it makes or the forces it uses, Taiwan’s reunification with the motherland is inevitable,” an anonymous editorial in the Communist Party controlled. Chinese Daily a news service claims.

“Trying to prevent it will only increase the chances of dragging itself into a military collision with the Chinese mainland.”

Taiwan first officially confirmed the presence of U.S. troops last year.

A statement from Taiwan’s Naval Command stated: “In order to maintain regional peace and stability, the military and security cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the United States are going normally.”

Foreign policya magazine says a data analysis of official Pentagon reports identified the presence of U.S. troops as stationed on Taiwan as early as 2008, under the government of President George W. Bush.

It is not an awesome force.

In June, the Foreign policy report states, the total presence on the island included 30 soldiers and 15 Pentagon civilians supported by 23 Marines. The number of task force troops engaged in training and planning, however, could not be determined.

“The change under former U.S. President Donald Trump – which continued under his successor, Joe Biden – has seen the deployment of more U.S. troops, including Special Forces, not only to train Taiwanese on hardware acquisitions but to help them prepare for scenarios that include repelling Chinese landings, according to two people familiar with the deployment, “he said. Foreign policy.

“U.S. troops working from the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy in the country, have been taking a walk with the Taiwanese for years to help point out areas to strengthen against a Chinese landing.”

‘Front porch’

“The U.S. military presence on the island is part of an effort extending over several administrations to strengthen Taiwan’s ability to fight any possible Chinese invasion, but it also risks further fueling tensions between Washington and Beijing,” he argues. Foreign policy Pentagon analyst Jack Detsch. “U.S. and Taiwanese policymakers are already wary of a Chinese launch across the Taiwan Strait sometime this decade.”

Mr. Keating rejects talk of a Beijing-based invasion threat. “The only time the Chinese will attack or be involved in Taiwan is if the Americans and the Taiwanese try to declare a change in Taiwan’s status,” he asserted.

Taiwan, he said, is already part of China. But he did not directly address Beijing’s claim to the entire South and East China Sea.

“China wants its front door and its front porch, that is Taiwan, its sea, it doesn’t want U.S. navies to influence that. It wants access from its coast into the deeper waters of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific. That’s the bottom line, “said Mr. Keating.

But Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan seem to be standing in their way.

Mr Biden said last month that the US and its allies would only “act” if China used force to change the “status quo”.

On Wednesday, Blinken expanded on that position, saying: “There are many countries, both in the region and beyond, that would see any unilateral action to use force to disrupt the status quo as a major threat to peace and security.

“They would act, too, in case that happens.”

Australia’s defense minister, Peter Dutton, said late last month that he would see “what was the US response”, adding that “we obviously have an alliance with the US”.

Last month, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen raised interest by mentioning the unmentionable presence of U.S. troops. Beijing was outraged.

This week, it reiterated that sentiment in response to Mr Blinken’s reaffirmation of Washington’s support for Taipei.

“Although the secessionists on the island are trying to find out whether the United States will really sacrifice lives for them. That is a dubious point,” the Chinese Daily writing reads. “Reunification will happen whether the United States supports them or not. The question is whether it should be done by force. That is what they should ask of their conscience.”

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