Sunday, April 10, 2005

Chinese Paper Tiger

Since the New York Times is invariably wrong, I was encouraged to read that it fears a Chinese attack on Taiwan. In fact this is very unlikely before 2008 because a) they don't have the capability and b) their economy is totally vulnerable.

The NYT wails:

In fact, American carriers responding to a crisis would now initially have to operate at least 500 miles from Taiwan, which would reduce the number of fighter sorties they could launch. This is because China now has a modern fleet of submarines, including new Russian-made nuclear subs that can fire missiles from a submerged position. America would first need to subdue these submarines.

Sounds pretty grim. But hang on a minute, if China is that advanced militarily, how come they were invisible during the Tsunami relief? It happened right in their backyard. They did nothing while US delivered a humanitarian triumph.

April 10, 2005: The large and dramatic U.S. Navy relief effort in Aceh also delivered a lot of good will for the United States, and reduced the appeal of Islamic radicalism. Islamic terrorists were never very popular in the first place, and several years of arrests, bloody terror attacks and news of Islamic terrorist activities elsewhere in the world have further tarnished their image. Thus there is less religious violence. Even the separatist rebels in Aceh are pushing for a negotiated settlement.

If China attacks Taiwan, the President will just embargo trade with them and then they're toast.

My guess is that China will wait for an appeasing Dem president and the completion of the 2008 Olympics before they try. But that's 4 years away - plenty of time for Taiwan to get nukes.

Crispy Peking Duck anyone?