Taking Notes

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryAs things seem to be spiraling out of control for Russia in its brutal war against Ukraine, Russia’s neighbor on the other side of the world is taking notes on what not to do in case of a conflict. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) may seem intent on taking Taiwan, and may have even tried to launch a blockade and invasion against the Republic of China (ROC, its official name) on Taiwan back in early August. Well, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit may have derailed that. We may never know as the PRC and Communist Party of China which rules it will never tell us. According to my friend Russ, an American who has remained in Taiwan, the Chinese military is still in one form or another flying bomber jets into Taiwan’s air defense zone (an area deemed by Taiwan as an air line of defense to protect the island, not its actual airspace. The actual air defense zone is in the Taiwan Straits halfway between Taiwan and China).

Russia actually had the easier part of invading Ukraine. Since both countries share a flat land border, it was easy for Russian troops to just march across. There is almost 100 miles of water between China and Taiwan, and in case of war Taiwan could just mine the waters. This does not include ROC submarines lurking underwater ready to pick off any Chinese military vessels that happen to wander in the Taiwan Straits. We saw how China attempted to practice a military blockade against Taiwan. However, Taiwan decided not to respond. The ROC government has stated that if China should try to invade Taiwan and use its missiles, Taiwan would also launch missiles at China. This is different from Ukraine because Ukraine does not have the weaponry at this moment capable of hitting Russia itself. The fact that Taiwan does could alone be a game-changer.

The fact that Russia is losing the war against Ukraine is something that is spooking the Communist Party of China. The Ukrainian military has now more advanced western weapons, and more weapons in many cases than does the Russian military. Taiwan has been building up its military arsenal for decades. Taiwan has some of the most advanced weaponry on earth, and has built a vast tunnel network in the mountains of the country that a would-be invader would come to grief with. On top of that, Taiwan has some of the most poisonous snakes on earth, and unless an invader has troops equipped with the latest anti-venom kits, they will lose a lot of soldiers just from this (the ROC military certainly has anti-venom kits). Also, dengue fever is prevalent in many parts of southern Taiwan and could take out a lot of PRC soldiers in of itself. This of course does not include the countless booby-traps, pillboxes and attack tunnels that have been set up throughout the island.

In short, Taiwan is a fortress that would make any invasion extremely costly. The PRC has not had combat experience in over 40 years since its disastrous campaign against Vietnam in the Sino-Vietnam War (1979). Taking on an opponent like Taiwan would cost the PRC military dearly. And this does not even include intervention by the United States and Japan. Bringing their military into the equation would devastate the Communist Party of China and its military. Even if China may have a bigger military naval fleet, it is not a deep water fleet. This is important because the United States does, and because of this, the U.S. Navy could attack and devastate China’s oil and raw materials supply lines. This would do more to destroy the PRC’s ability to make war against anything else. With all of this in mind, I hope the Communist Party of China is taking very careful notes.

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