Breaking News China-US War?

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US Military Eyes Taiwan-Facing Port in Philippines​


The US military is considering building a Taiwan-facing port in the northernmost islands of the Philippines, according to a report by Reuters, citing government and armed forces officials.

The new facility would reportedly allow Washington easy strategic access to the self-ruled island, which China considers a “breakaway province.”

The proposed port in the Batanes islands is less than 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Taipei for potential US military intervention in case Beijing invades the island nation.
Batanes governor Marilou Cayco told Reuters that she has already sought funding from the US to build the facility for “unloading cargo from Manila during rough seas in monsoon season.”

The US is expected to make a decision on the proposed port in October.

‘A Choke Point’​

The waterway between the Batanes islands and Taiwan is considered a “choke point” for vessels moving between the Pacific and the South China Sea.
The Taiwanese defense ministry has said the Chinese military regularly sends ships and aircraft through the area to monitor movements.

Washington’s involvement in a potential Taiwan-facing port could heighten tensions in the region.

Earlier this year, Beijing promised a resolute response to a high-level meeting between US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen.
It also warned Washington of countermeasures to President Joe Biden sending a $1.1-billion arms package to Taiwan last year to boost its defense capabilities.

Chinese military jet
A Chinese military jet flying as part of exercises near Taiwan. Photo: AFP

Strategic Location​

According to military observers, the Philippines holds strategic importance for Taipei in case of a Chinese invasion.

A “crucial ally,” Manila could serve as the island nation’s resupply point considering their proximity.
It could also house some Taiwanese fighter jets to protect them from Chinese missiles.

However, Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilbert Teodoro rejected cooperation with Taiwan, saying it would “disregard” a core Chinese issue.

 

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Energy Is Taiwan’s Achilles’ Heel​


The U.S.-China standoff is heating up, especially in tech. The two countries have been increasingly targeting each other’s inputs and supply lines of semiconductors, the microchips that are crucial to the modern economy and have diverse applications, from artificial intelligence development to military operations. There is one element of this competition that could have unexpected and potentially pivotal consequences: Taiwan and its energy supply vulnerabilities.

Following the momentous decision by the United States to place export controls on advanced semiconductor and AI technologies to China back in October 2022, Beijing banned purchases of chips from U.S. producer Micron in May and has hampered corporate mergers involving U.S. semiconductor companies that work in Chinese markets. Japan and the Netherlands joined the United States in adopting export controls on crucial semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China earlier this year, and Beijing most recently announced export licensing requirements on gallium and germanium—two important elements used for semiconductors, the mining of which China dominates—that are set to come into effect on Aug. 1.

One critical centerpiece of this semiconductor competition between the United States and China is Taiwan. The island, primarily via the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), produces 90 percent of the world’s most advanced chips. To stymie Beijing’s ambitious technological goals, Taiwan has been working with the United States to restrict Chinese access to these chips (as well as the advanced technologies that underpin them). These factors—in addition to the broader tensions between the United States and China over Taiwan’s security alignment with Washington and its overall political status vis-à-vis Beijing—make the island a particularly important element of the U.S.-China competition over semiconductors.

So far, the United States has had an advantage in this competition. China’s progress in developing its own advanced semiconductor manufacturing capabilities has been slower than Beijing had hoped, despite billions in investment from the state. But at the same time, Taiwan is vulnerable to China’s own restrictions, including exports of raw materials such as rare earth metals, which China also dominates and has proven to use as a tool of its foreign policy in the past.

Beyond these well-known vulnerabilities, there are other ways that Beijing could seek to influence Taipei, both in terms of its role in the semiconductor standoff and in line with China’s broader goal of “reunifying” with Taiwan. One option is a military intervention. A second option is to impose an economic blockade on the island. A third option is nationalizing TSMC’s operations in mainland China. Yet all of these options come with substantial risks of blowback, including the potential for sparking a direct military clash with the United States and/or a major economic recession, the latter of which could undermine the core legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party.

There is, however, another option that China could take to influence Taiwan, one that is more subtle yet can potentially prove effective. Taiwan can’t power itself. It relies on imports for more than 97 percent of its energy needs, and two particularly important energy sources for the island are natural gas and coal. Collectively, these two energy sources account for more than 80 percent of Taiwan’s electricity generation, with electricity serving as a critical (and often overlooked) input for semiconductor production. TSMC alone accounts for more than 6 percent of the island’s energy consumption, and electricity needs for the company’s consumption have grown by more than 30 percent just between 2020 and 2022. Indeed, Taiwan has already grappled with periodic electricity shortages related to its nuclear energy infrastructure.

Because Taiwan is an island, all these energy imports must come from maritime supply routes, which makes them vulnerable. China has become increasingly active in conducting large-scale naval exercises that surround the island, particularly during sensitive periods such as U.S. congressional visits to Taiwan or visits by the Taiwanese leadership to the United States. Such exercises can functionally compromise or cut off Taiwan’s supply lines for a limited period, without sparking the kind of blowback that a full-scale blockade or military intervention would. And even a limited disruption could prove significant for Taiwan, which currently has stockpiles that would last only 11 days for natural gas and 39 days for coal.

A breakdown of Taiwan’s primary coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) providers reveals further vulnerabilities. Some are friendly countries that are aligned with Taiwan’s objectives regarding China, including Australia, which provided 55 percent of the island’s coal imports and 32 percent of its natural gas imports in 2021. The United States provided 9 percent of Taiwan’s LNG supplies in 2021 and that could grow in the future. However, both countries face constraints in supporting Taiwan from an energy perspective—it would take at least 30 days for additional LNG shipments originating from the United States to arrive in Taiwan, while Australia has already been subject to coal import cutoffs by China over political disputes related to COVID-19.

Additionally, some of Taiwan’s energy providers are not as strategically aligned with the island as are the United States and Australia. For example, Russia—which has been strengthening its ties with China—is a significant energy provider to Taiwan, accounting for just under 15 percent of its coal imports and 10 percent of its natural gas imports in 2021. Moscow has clearly demonstrated its use of energy as a political weapon in Ukraine and throughout Europe and could choose to cooperate with China if Beijing were to manipulate Taiwan’s energy supply.

After all, China accounts for a much larger market for Russia’s energy supplies than Taiwan does, and Beijing has been instrumental in keeping the Russian energy-economy afloat since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It is not beyond the realm of possibility, then, that Moscow could collaborate with Beijing in diverting some of Russia’s Taiwan-bound energy exports to instead go to China as a pressure tactic.

Perhaps more realistically, China could use legal mechanisms to regulate Taiwan’s energy imports on “environmental” grounds and require those shipments to first go through Chinese ports for inspection for a certain period of time, rather than carrying out a full-scale replacement or diversion. Unlike the United States or Australia, Moscow is much less likely to oppose such a move by Beijing, potentially providing China with additional forms of leverage, both economic and diplomatic.

This type of pressure against Taiwan is not limited to Russia. Qatar provides 25 percent of Taiwan’s natural gas exports, but China represents a much larger energy and broader trade market for the Gulf state. It is perhaps instructive that Qatar has not joined the United States and its allies in sanctioning Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, with its trade with Russia actually growing over the past year despite the West’s attempts to isolate Moscow. Indonesia, which provides 24 percent of Taiwan’s coal imports and 6 percent of its LNG imports, serves as another potential source of leverage for Beijing. Indonesia is a major recipient of investment from China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and its energy exports to China largely outweigh those to Taiwan in absolute terms. Like Russia, it is not inconceivable that such countries outside of the pro-Western camp would stay neutral or possibly even cooperate with China in the manipulation of Taiwan’s energy supplies, whether in a de jure or de facto form.

While not as sexy as a military intervention or full-scale blockade, it is such forms of subtle or piecemeal energy manipulation that could prove influential in boosting China’s strategic position. Even without such manipulation, Taiwan’s semiconductor industry faces other risks from an energy perspective: TSMC is projected to increase its electricity consumption by 267 percent by 2030, and given the large role that the company plays in the island’s overall energy consumption, this will require larger and more diversified sources of energy. Taipei’s goals for expanding renewable energy development are off target, while the current government plans to phase out nuclear energy, making Taiwan’s future energy security even more precarious.

As China’s semiconductor competition with the United States ramps up in both scope and scale, Taiwan’s energy vulnerability is a reality that both Taipei and Washington need to take seriously. Without adequate preparation, any disruption to Taiwan’s energy supply, regardless of the cause, could have significant economic and geopolitical consequences that may ripple out well beyond the island.
 

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9dashnew.jpg

America Cannot Dismiss China’s 10-Dash Map​


Last week, China released a new map called the 10-Dash map as a successor to Dash-9. This map represents an escalation by Beijing to further extend its unilateral redrawing of international boundaries. It is an extraordinarily provocative move. It also violates the International Law of the Sea.


With the 9-dash line, China brazenly claims waters which are thousands of miles away from its territory, but along the coast of smaller nations. The latest map further solidifies those claims and expands upon them with the addition of one more “dash” around Taiwan. The United States must not stand idly by as China tries to redraw the world map.

Beijing's intent is to, first, acquire more territory and resources as some of these areas are rich in hydrocarbons; second, increase pressure on Taiwan by edging closer to its boundaries; and third, flex its muscles with its neighbors while testing U.S. reaction and resolve.

The publication of the 10-Dash map indicates that China is getting bolder in pursuing its strategic objective to change the regional balance of power and pursue regional hegemony.

The countries of Southeast Asia, who are directly threatened by this Chinese action, are furious and have responded strongly, with some stating that they will take measures necessary to defend their territory. But it is not clear what those measures will be, and their collective failure to respond effectively to 9-Dash has clearly emboldened China to push ahead.

The latest Chinese action has serious implications for the United States, and it would be a mistake to just dismiss this as bluster. We have treaty commitments to some of the countries threatened, including the Philippines. Our supply chain for several strategic items depends on unfettered access to the region. We simply cannot allow the arbitrary expansion of Chinese power to stand.

Countries in the region are watching for a U.S. response and are more open than previously to the prospect of greater security and military cooperation with the United States. Chinese hegemony in the region will change the global balance of power and directly threaten our vital national interests.

What should we do? Having just returned from a trip to Southeast Asia, I recommend the following measures be taken:

1. Deter Chinese escalation and aggression. For this, we will need to address gaps in our capabilities and those of our allies. Burden-sharing must become a hallmark of our rebalancing of power in the region. We must learn from our mistakes in Europe during the containment of the former Soviet Union. We should not and need not carry a disproportionately heavy amount of that burden.

2. Addressing the chasm in shipbuilding should be a priority. China’s shipyards have a capacity that far exceeds U.S. shipyards, by orders of magnitude—some estimate the gap is 25 million gross tons per year in China vs. 100,000 gross tons per year in the United States. Furthermore, China builds ships for a much lower cost. We must expand our industrial base for manufacturing ships. We should also take advantage of allied capabilities. For example, South Korea has the capacity to produce ship hulls. Some of our laws and policies stand in the way of cooperative production, but there are shelf-ready solutions. The rules should be changed to allow neutral components to be manufactured elsewhere, with the more sensitive capabilities subsequently installed in either the United States or another allied country.

3. Burden sharing and pooling resources should extend to maintenance and repair work on our and allied ships to get them back into commission more quickly. For example, we are in an advantageous position with our nuclear submarines, but many are in maintenance for extensive periods largely because of the legal requirement for only American entities to do the work. This requirement should be appropriately reviewed and adjusted.

4. Our aircraft and those of our allies are vulnerable to Chinese missiles on airfields without hardened shelters. Our allies should assume a greater portion of this burden by assuming broader responsibility for hardening these facilities across the region.

5. The United States must assume the role of dispute mediator among the bickering nations affected by China’s Dash-10 provocation. Each nation is clear that the move is a violation of their borders, their sovereignty, and their security. They all have a strong shared interest in meeting this threat. But bilateral disputes among them are impeding their ability to act. This is an important opportunity for the United States to quietly step in as a mediator and work behind the scenes to help resolve these disputes. Such a strategic move would enable the affected countries to pursue joint cooperative policies against Chinese provocations.

These steps are necessary if we are to avoid further aggressive moves by China. The geopolitical risk is outsized. Without taking such bold measures, China may well miscalculate its capacity to continue this encroachment and overreach. There is a distinct potential for this strategic trend to lead them into a major regional conflict. We must take concrete steps like these now in order to preclude such a development.

Zalmay Khalilzad is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
 

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55 Chinese sailors are feared dead after nuclear submarine 'gets caught in a trap intended to snare British and US vessels in the Yellow Sea'​


  • Twenty-two officers were among the 55 reported to have died in the Yellow Sea
  • China denies it happened - and apparently refused international assistance

Fifty-five Chinese sailors are feared dead after their nuclear submarine apparently got caught in a trap intended to ensnare British sub-surface vessels in the Yellow Sea.

According to a secret UK report the seamen died following a catastrophic failure of the submarine's oxygen systems which poisoned the crew.

The captain of the Chinese PLA Navy submarine '093-417' is understood to be among the deceased, as were 21 other officers.

Officially, China has denied the incident took place. It also appears Beijing refused to request international assistance for its stricken submarine.

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The UK report into the fatal mission reads: 'Intelligence reports that on 21st of August there was an onboard accident whilst carrying out a mission in the Yellow Sea.

'Incident happened at 08.12 local resulting in the death of 55 crew members: 22 officers, 7 officer cadets, 9 petty officers, 17 sailors. Dead include the captain Colonel Xue Yong-Peng.

'Our understanding is death caused by hypoxia due to a system fault on the submarine. The submarine hit a chain and anchor obstacle used by the Chinese Navy to trap US and allied submarines.

'This resulted in systems failures that took six hours to repair and surface the vessel. The onboard oxygen system poisoned the crew after a catastrophic failure.'

As yet there is no independent confirmation of the suspected loss of the Chinese submarine in the public domain.

Beijing has dismissed open source speculation about the incident as 'completely false' while Taiwan has also denied internet reports.

Mail Plus approached the Royal Navy to discuss the details contained in the UK report but official sources declined to comment or offer guidance.

The UK report, which is based on defence intelligence, is held at a high classification.

A British submariner offered this explanation: 'It is plausible that this occurred and I doubt the Chinese would have asked for international support for obvious reasons.

'If they were trapped on the net system and the submarine's batteries were running flat (plausible) then eventually the air purifiers and air treatment systems could have failed.

'Which would have reverted to secondary systems and subsequently and plausibly failed to maintain the air. Which led to asphyxia or poisoning.

'We have kit which absorbs co2 and generates oxygen in such a situation. It is probable that other nations do not have this kind of tech.'


The Chinese Type 093 submarines entered service in the last 15 years. The vessels are 351ft-long and are armed with torpedoes.

The Type 093s are among China's more modern submarines and are known for their lower noise levels.

The sinking is understood to have taken place in waters off China's Shandong Province.

 

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somehow I can only wish that dog eats dog... would be a win win if both weaken and kill each other.. but this is nothing more than a dream.. thats highly unlikely to happen in the next 20 years becaues both had much too loose..
 

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somehow I can only wish that dog eats dog... would be a win win if both weaken and kill each other.. but this is nothing more than a dream.. thats highly unlikely to happen in the next 20 years becaues both had much too loose..
Conservative estimate predicted war is around 2025-2027. Where the U.S. is at its weakest and China at its strongest
 

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Conservative estimate predicted war is around 2025-2027. Where the U.S. is at its weakest and China at its strongest

This shit ain’t coming before 2035 at earliest.

if it does, then we are gonna need to learn how to live without electricity and grow our own food.
 

Gary

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This shit ain’t coming before 2035 at earliest.

if it does, then we are gonna need to learn how to live without electricity and grow our own food.

My biggest worry isn't actually based on hard calculations on China's power balance with the U.S but Xi Jinping's age.

Xi Jinping is currently 70 years old, if he wants to cement his legacy (which he wanted anyway) to unify Taiwan, I don't think he will wait even 10 more years and be too old to direct the conflict.

Same with Putin in Ukraine.
 

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The highly qualified inventories of armies survive with their ability to replace losses on the front line. Japan's most advanced cruisers in World War II had to complete the war far away from the front line due to lack of fuel.

The most important thing to understand here is that logistics needs will flow to the front without interruption.

However, we no longer live in the times of World War II. The USA cannot produce hundreds of warplanes in 1 month. It cannot produce dozens of warships in a month.
Unlike World War II, the most visible issue of today's reality in the defense industry will be the mass production of subcomponents. Because here, critical raw materials will need to be procured, stocked and mass produced with economy of scale. Here, procuring the raw material is a separate problem, and protecting that raw material from sabotage or covert attacks by China or Russia will be a another problem.
But let the USA have as much money as it wants. If you are dependent on China for rare earth elements, you cannot obtain them from China for your radar that was destroyed on the front line. Once you destroy the technology that the USA has, perhaps the only one of its kind in the world, reproducing it will not be child's play.

It will also be necessary to distribute critical raw materials in a balanced manner across production across the defense industry. Because this is directly related to the war strategy you will develop against the enemy. If you produce too much of something unnecessarily, you will waste the resources you have.

There is also a famous legend in World War II. Because the Nazi's army inventory was built by American companies. Are you 100% sure that this will happen this time? Because the Earth is much smaller now than it was 70 years ago. And the needs are now much more complex.

If people thinks that the Americans could overwhelm its enemies by sheer industrial power then I have a bridge to sell. This is no longer pre Globalization America.

Look at the :

  1. Casting productions
  2. Supply chain vulnerabilities
  3. Replacement time of munitions v expenditures
That CSIS write here

Add to the recent expose that Russia (who the West belittle as a country with GDP the size of Italy) produces 7 times the ammunition of the West combined...and you started to think if they're ready at all.

Yes, some might have hope that USN carrier fleet might save the day with dozens (actually 10) of Carriers, but that would not be sufficient because nobody expect all those to operate at the same time, at least 1/3rd of those carriers will be on maintenance, 1/3 as reserves and only 1/3 operable at any given time, and nobody ever said that Carrier air wing alone could make up for the sheer size of land based combat aircraft China will deploy even when you deploy 2-3 in a surge situation. If China finally manages just 5-6 carrier strike group then the odds are even greater.

During the Solomon island campaign the U.S only willing to station their carriers near the Islands for a short period of time, due to the threat of Japanese land based aviation in Rabaul. Look at the Orbat starting from 7:10.


Please note that in a combat situation where losses multiply, damages etc, the U.S doesn't have the necessary docking to support the repair of ships. Over a long period of time the USN will be thinned by attrition and could no longer control the sea.

The U.S admits that its shipyard are in no shape tosupport a fight. What little they have don't seem to support

  1. Building to expand
  2. Building to replace combat losses
  3. Repairing and maintenance
They need to sacrifice one for the other, as the docks simply aren't there


So I have fear and hopes when it comes to the Americans, I hope they actually win in the Pacific but the long term consequence is their retreat.
 

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