This Update is sent to OCC Members and Friends
New Members Since Last UpdateDr. David K. Jeng (IL), President, Link International Enterprises, Ltd.
Pace opposes Taiwan independence
Chinese leaders on March 22 warmly welcomed Marine Gen. Peter Pace here as he began a visit intended to expand military-to-military contacts between the United States and the world's most populous nation. It is the chairman's first visit to China after many years of military service in Asia. "Our military, economic and political ties are important to peace in Asia and the world," Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. "This visit is very important to the militaries of both nations. I truly believe the future is very bright for U.S.-Chinese cooperation."
Chinese military leaders honored Pace with a troop review at the Defense Ministry's Bayi Building, near Tiananmen Square. His counterpart, People's Liberation Army Gen. Liang Guanglie, hosted the event and held the first meeting with the chairman.
Pace discussed a full range of concerns with the Chinese military leaders. On the Taiwan issue, the chairman said he told the Chinese leaders that U.S. actions in this respect are dominated by the "'One China Policy,' the 'Three Communiques' ( between the United States and China ), the Taiwan Relations Act and a sincere desire to see reunification done in a peaceful manner." (Source: PressZoom, March 22, 2007).
U.S. opposed Chen's independence remarks
Sean McCormack, U.S. Department of State Spokesman at daily briefing on March 4 responded to a question about resident Chen of Taiwan regarding the possibility of his seeking independence for Taiwan and even changing the name of Taiwan, stated:
As is well established, the United States does not support independence for Taiwan. President Bush has repeatedly underscored his opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo by either Taipei or Beijing because these threaten regional peace and stability, U.S. national interest and Taiwan's own welfare. President Chen has repeatedly pledged that he would not alter the guarantees in his 2000 inaugural address not to declare independence, change the national title, push for inclusion of sovereignty themes in the constitution, or promote a referendum to change the status quo in regards to the questions of independence and unification. President Chen has also reaffirmed his 2004 inaugural pledge to exclude sovereignty themes from the process of constitutional reform, which would focus exclusively on good governance and Taiwan's economic competitiveness.
President Chen's fulfillment of his commitments is a test of leadership, dependability and statesmanship and of his ability to protect Taiwan's interests, its relations with others, and to maintain peace and stability in the Strait. Rhetoric that could raise doubts about these commitments is unhelpful.
He further said:
Well, I think I used the words "rhetoric that could raise doubts about these commitments," which again refers to our opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo. And any rhetoric that might, in any way, contravene that, I called those unhelpful.
We would expect that inasmuch as any comments deviated from these commitments that he would make it clear that he was -- he continued to adhere to the previous commitments.
Isn't Taiwan independent? (The China Post Editorial, April 2, 2007 reproduced below with permission).
Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state. But three academics who have drafted a "second republic" constitution do not seem to think so. If they do, they shouldn't have written a self contradictory passage in the preamble of the draft constitution, the one which President Chen Shui-bian believes is"timely,""apt" and "viable."
That passage says the Republic of China was founded in 1911. That is a slip of the pen, perhaps. The Republic of China was proclaimed on Jan. 1, 1912. The Chinese Revolution that toppled the Manchu Qing dynasty and put an end to China's monarchical rule took place in 1911. Practically everyone in Taiwan who has learned history knows that. Are the three constitutional scholars "old professors" who are supposed to be absent-minded? Or are they trying to rewrite Chinese history?
That aside, the professors wrote into their draft constitution Taiwan and China are two different countries and the people in the former have the final say in their country's future. Any change to the political relationship between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China must be decided by negotiations between the two sides and subject to approval of the people of Taiwan, they added.
Do they have to state in the constitution the universally acknowledged inalienable right of the people to determine the future of their country? We don't think the constitution of any country in the world makes mention of that self determination right. But the professors seem to forget no independent, sovereign state has to negotiate a change in its political relationship with any other country. A sovereign state makes decisions on any change in foreign relations by and for itself. In fact, there is no political relationship between two independent, sovereign states that needs to be changed. Negotiations are necessary between a suzerain and a vassal or between the central government and a province, if they want to change their relationship. Do the three learned professors regard the relationship between China and Taiwan as one between a suzerain and a vassal or between a sovereign state and one of its provinces as Beijing claims?
China could potentially defeat U.S. in conflict over Taiwan
In a RAND Corporation report released March 29, China could potentially defeat the United States in a future military conflict over Taiwan by using strategies designed to limit U.S. military access to the area
The report examines scenarios in which China might employ what are known as "antiaccess" strategies - actions that would impede the deployment of U.S. forces into a combat zone, limit the locations from which American forces could operate, or compel the U.S. military to conduct operations farther from the conflict than it would prefer.
RAND researchers have identified a number of measures that U.S. forces can take in order to neutralize possible antiaccess strategies. These include: deploying air and missile defense systems near critical facilities; moving vulnerable ships out of port at the first sign of conflict; and reducing vulnerabilities in communications and computer systems.
Since China could also use political and diplomatic strategies aimed at jeopardizing access to forward bases in places such as Japan, researchers also recommend that U.S. strategists strengthen both the alliance relationships with such countries and their military and technological capabilities.
The most likely conflict between the United States and China would be over Taiwan," said lead study author Roger Cliff. "Although the United States currently has an overwhelming conventional military advantage, China could accomplish the objective of forcing Taiwan to surrender by employing an antiaccess strategy of preventing enough U.S. forces from getting to the region in time."
Cliff and his fellow researchers noted that, since the end of the Cold War, U.S. strategists have become increasingly concerned that an adversary might adopt and attempt to employ strategies designed to interfere with the U.S. military's ability to deploy or operate in overseas conflicts.
Potential foreign adversaries like China are likely to use such strategies because it is improbable they could defeat the United States in a traditional military combat, the study says. Additionally, the absence of a single dominant adversary means the United States will have relatively few forward-deployed forces in the vicinity of a conflict before it erupts.
The study says potential Chinese antiaccess strategies include:
* Pressuring American allies such as Japan to limit or deny the United States the use of bases on their territory in a conflict.
* Striking or jamming information and computer systems to delay the deployment of U.S. military forces or to deny the United States access to information about enemy locations.
* Disrupting U.S. logistics systems to prevent the timely delivery of supplies and delay the arrival of critical reinforcements.
* Attacking air bases and ports to prevent or disrupt an influx of forces and supplies.
* Attacking naval assets such as aircraft carriers to limit the U.S. ability to launch aircraft from the sea.
The net result of these strategies is that China could actually defeat the United States in a conflict -- not in the traditional sense of destroying the U.S. military, but in the sense of China accomplishing its military and political objectives while preventing America from achieving some or all of its objectives," Cliff said.
"The Chinese People's Liberation Army is well aware of its own shortcomings and the United States' military superiority," Cliff said. "Instead of engaging U.S. forces head-on, they would attempt to take advantage of what they perceive to be American weaknesses - including the need to deploy and operate forces thousands of miles from home."
Researchers for RAND, a nonprofit research organization, examined Chinese military publications to determine what types of antiaccess strategies Chinese military analysts are considering employing. Most previous antiaccess studies relied on "mirror imaging" techniques, in which American analysts simply imagine what they would do if they were in China's position.
The Taiwan Status Quo "As We Define It"
The Heritage Foundation released an article May 22, by Ambassador Harvey Feldman, Distinguished Fellow in China Policy in the Asian Studies Center. The article defines the Taiwan status quo. Fieldman states:
The Chinese government asserts something it calls "the sacred One China Principle" which, when it speaks to the people of Taiwan, goes like this: One China is the China that will be created by the necessary and inevitable unification of Taiwan with the mainland. But when China addresses an international audience, it goes like this: There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is a province of that China whose only lawful representative is "the people's government in Beijing." This is the formula used to block Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization and other international bodies. . .
In 1991, a dozen years after the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing, the Taipei government stopped claiming to be the legitimate government of China and asked to be recognized only as the government of the territory it obviously controls, Taiwan and associated islands. But the government still calls itself, formally, "The Republic of China" (ROC for short), its name under a constitution written for all of China, adopted in Nanjing in 1947, and brought to Taiwan by Chiang Kai-shek in 1949. That constitution has been amended many times, for example to eliminate the seats of those who claimed to represent mainland districts not under ROC control since 1949, but it remains in force.
The U.S. regarded neither the amendments nor dropping the claim to be the legitimate government of all of China to be changes in the status quo--or at least not changes that merited some statement of displeasure. After all, it would be a bit difficult to insist that the ROC should maintain its claim to legally govern all of China when the U.S. recognizes another in that role. But were the Taipei government to call the mainland-issued 1947 constitution null and void, drop the name Republic of China, and call itself something simple and descriptive like "Taiwan," the U.S. would likely denounce these actions as a most grievous unilateral change in the status quo. China would regard it as intensely provocative.
Taiwan's two most recent presidents have frequently asserted that Taiwan is a state separate from China, sovereign and independent. But so long as this claim is not placed within a legal framework, Washington and Beijing have decided that, however galling, they can live with it.
. . . In 2005, China enshrined that threat in a piece of legislation known as "The Anti-Secession Law." But since everyone knows China does not decide its policies on the basis of law, this too was not considered a change in the status quo.
So what is the status quo? For that matter, what is Taiwan's status? The U.S. says it follows a "One China Policy." Does that mean it regards Taiwan as a Chinese province?
Actually, no. In fact, the U.S. makes no formal statement at all about Taiwan's status. In the communiqué establishing diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, the U.S. "acknowledged" the Chinese position that there is but one China of which Taiwan is a part. That word, "acknowledged," is diplomatic jargon meaning "we understand that is your claim.
Washington has never said it regards Taiwan as a PRC province. Nor, when various Taiwan spokesmen assert that the island republic is a separate, independent sovereignty, has the U.S. contradicted that claim. It is true that both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations have said they would not support Taiwan's membership in international organizations that admit only states. But in this, they appear not to have read American law carefully enough.
On the basis of Taiwan Relations Act, the author considers that Taiwan is a state. The status quo is " that, for all purposes other than the exchange of formal embassies and ambassadors, American law treats Taiwan as a state separate from the People's Republic of China." The author concludes
Clearly, there is nothing to be gained and much to be lost by needlessly provoking China by some form of words or pushing it into a situation in which it feels obliged to strike out militarily. But it would be useful for the U.S. government, as it seeks to maintain the status quo "as we define it," to review just how it is defined already in the Taiwan Relations Act.
US Report on China military power on Taiwan Strait
U.S. Department of Defense released May 25 a report to Congress on China military power pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act Fiscal Year 2000. China is now building capacity for conventional precision strike:
Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBMs) (< 1000 km). According to DIA estimates, as of October 2006. the PLA had roughly 900 SRBMs and is increasing its inventory at a rate of more than 100 missiles per year. The PLA's first-generation SRBMs do not possess true "precision strike" capability, but latergenerations have greater ranges and improved accuracy.
Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles (MRBMs) (1000-3000 km). The PLA is acquiring conventional
MRBMs, apparently to increase the range to which it can conduct precision strikes, to include their
possible use in targeting naval ships operating far from China's shores.
Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACMs). China is developing LACMs for stand-off, precision strike capability against hard-targets. First- and second-generation LACMs may be deployed in the near future.
Air-to-Surface Missiles (ASMs). China is believed to have a small number of tactical ASMs and
precision-guided munitions, including all-weather, satellite-guided and laser-guided bombs, and is pursuing foreign and domestic acquisitions to improve airborne anti-ship capabilities.
Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs). PLA Navy has or is acquiring nearly a dozen varieties of ASCMs, from the 1950s-era CSS-N-2/STYX to the modern Russian-made SS-N-22/SUNBURN and SS-N-27B/SIZZLER. The pace of indigenous ASCM research, development and production - and of foreign procurement - has accelerated over the past decade.
Anti-Radiation Weapons. The PLA has imported Israeli-made HARPY UCAVs and Russian-made antiradiation missiles, and is developing an anti-radiation missile based on the Russian Kh-31P (AS-17) known domestically as the YJ-91.
Artillery-Delivered High Precision Munitions. The PLA is deploying the A-100 300 mm multiple rocket launcher (MRL) (100+ km range) and developing the WS-2 400 mm MRL (200 km range). Additional munitions are being fielded or are under development.
The report also mentionsChina's aircraft carrier developments. In October 2006, Lieutenant General Wang Zhiyuan, vice chairman of the Science and Technology Commission of the PLA's General Armament Department stated that the "Chinese army will study how to manufacture aircraft carriers so that we can develop our own . . . [A]ircraft carriers are indispensable if we want to protect our interests in oceans."
China first began to discuss developing an indigenous aircraft carrier in the late 1970s. In 1985, China purchased the Australian carrier the HMAS Melbourne. Although the hull was scrapped, Chinese technicians studied the ship and built a replica of its flight deck for pilot training. China purchased two former Soviet carriers - the Minsk in 1998 and the Kiev in 2000. Neither carrier was made operational; instead, they were used as floating military theme parks. Nevertheless, both provided design information to PLA Navy engineers.
In 1998 China purchased the ex-Varyag, a Kuznetsov-class Soviet carrier that was only 70 percent complete at the time of the Soviet Union's collapse. Recent deck refurbishment, electrical work, fresh hull paint with PLA Navy markings, and expressed interest in Russia's Su-33 fighter has re-kindled debate about a Chinese carrier fl eet. The PLA's ultimate intentions for the Varyag remain unclear, but a number of possibilities exist: turning it into an operational aircraft carrier, a training or transitional platform, or a floating theme park - its originally-stated purpose.
Regardless of Beijing's final objective for the ex-Varyag, PLA Navy study of the ship's structural design could eventually assist China in creating its own carrier program. Lieutenant General Wang stated that, "we cannot establish a real naval force of aircraft carriers within three or five years." Some analysts in and out of government predict that China could have an operational carrier by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015); others assess the earliest it could deploy an operational aircraft carrier is 2020 or beyond.
The Report in Chapter Six reviews force modernization and security in the Taiwan Strait.
The security situation in the Taiwan Strait is largely a function of dynamic interactions among policies and actions taken by the mainland, Taiwan, and the United States. China's emergence as a global economic force, increased diplomatic clout, and improved air, naval, and missile forces strengthen Beijing's position relative to Taipei by increasing the mainland's economic leverage over Taiwan, fostering Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, and shifting the cross-Strait military balance in the mainland's favor. Taiwan, meanwhile, has allowed its defense spending to decline in real terms over the past decade, creating an increased urgency for the Taiwan authorities to make the necessary investments to maintain the island's self-defense capabilities.
The U.S. Government has made clear that it opposes unilateral changes to the status quo by either side of the Taiwan Strait, does not support Taiwan independence, and supports peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences in a manner acceptable to the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. In accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act [Public Law 96-8, (1979)], the United States has taken steps to help maintain peace, security, and stability in the region.
In addition to making available to Taiwan defense articles and services to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability, the U.S. Department of Defense, through the transformation of U.S. Armed Forces and global force posture realignments, is maintaining the capacity to resist any effort by Beijing to resort to force or coercion to dictate the terms of Taiwan's future status.
For its part, Taiwan has taken important steps to improve its joint operations capability, strengthen its officer and non-commissioned officer corps, build its reserve stocks, and improve crisis response capabilities. Taiwan has bolstered its defensive capabilities by taking delivery of the final two of four KIDD-class DDGs in September 2006. These improvements have, on the whole, reinforced Taiwan's natural defensive advantages in the face of Beijing's continuing build-up. However, Taiwan has yet to acquire other major end items offered for sale by the United States in 2001, namely, Patriot PAC-3 air defense systems, P-3C Orion anti-submarine aircraft, and diesel electric submarines. These systems would enable Taiwan to make necessary improvements to its air and missile defense and anti-submarine warfare capability. In the six years since the offer was made, China has continued to make significant advances, some unexpected, in the capability areas these systems are designed to protect against.
Said the Report, there are factors of deterrence in Beijing's attempt to use force against Taiwan.
China is deterred on multiple levels from taking military action against Taiwan. First, China does not yet possess the military capability to accomplish with confidence its political objectives on the island, particularly when confronted with the prospect of U.S. intervention. Moreover, an insurgency directed against the PRC presence could tie up PLA forces for years. A military conflict in the Taiwan Strait would also affect the interests of Japan and other nations in the region in ensuring a peaceful resolution of the cross-Strait dispute.
Beijing's calculus would also have to factor in the potential political and economic repercussions
of military conflict with Taiwan. China's leaders recognize that a war could severely retard economic development. Taiwan is China's single largest source of foreign direct investment, and an extended campaign would wreck Taiwan's economic infrastructure, leading to high reconstruction costs.
International sanctions could further damage Beijing's economic development. A conflict would also severely damage the image that Beijing has sought to project in the post-Tiananmen years and would taint Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics, for which China's leaders would almost certainly face boycotts and possibly a loss of the games. A confict could also trigger domestic unrest on the mainland, a contingency that Beijing appears to have factored into its planning.
Finally, China's leaders recognize that a conflict over Taiwan involving the United States would give rise to a long-term hostile relationship between the two
nations - a result that would not be in China's interests.
RAND: China could defeat US
The RAND Corporation, a well-known US think tank, released March 29 a report on China's ability to counter the US in a military confrontation. Researchers say China could potentially best the United States in a military conflict over Taiwan. China could use "antiaccess" strategies to limit the ability of U.S. forces to deploy into combat zones and find locations to base operations. The scenarios examined by the researchers involved Chinese efforts to keep U.S. military operations at a distance from the conflict.
The researchers suggested a number of measures the U.S. military could take to counteract the Chinese strategy. The report said U.S. forces should deploy air and missile defense systems near important locations, move ships out of port at times when conflict seems likely and reduce vulnerabilities in communications and computer systems.
China has already scheduled 2008 as year to get Taiwan back. US only deterrent has been the fleet. Now China has demonstrated (via submarine activity) that our fleet can be neutralized ; further that China is building a "deep water" navy to take on our fleet. China also has shown the ability to shoot down our satellites which would paralyze our military. There also are reports of Chinese submarine patrols off our West Coast. Indeed; China can and will defeat USA in ALL fields if action is not taken.
Taiwan's military staged a simulation last month that showed that Taiwan would rain missiles on China and stave off a Chinese victory. A nice thought, but no missiles have been deployed -- the simulation discussed the situation in 2012. Taiwan is currently developing cruise missiles with a roughly 600 km range, according to recent reports. (Source: The View from Taiwan, May 1, 20070.