Posts Tagged ‘Taiwan’

Sanctions will not deter China from taking Taiwan

June 14, 2022

China is not Russia and Taiwan is not Ukraine but it is a foregone conclusion that China will take over Taiwan before too long.

It is only a matter of when. Chinese honour is already hurt by the fact that Taiwan has lasted for 110 years. Almost certainly by 2030. There is a small probability that it could happen in 2024. The two key questions are

  1. whether Chinese military superiority is sufficient to prevail in a conflict lasting less than 12 months, and
  2. whether the US will have the stomach to get involved militarily.

The likelihood of any other countries entering the fray is already very low and is zero if the US does no more than levy “stringent” sanctions which half the world will ignore. As a military presence the EU is of no significance. The most the EU can do is provide support (in material resources) for the US. 

The first question is probably what engages Chinese strategists the most. Taiwan’s military strength cannot be underestimated and judging the superiority of Chinese military capabilities for a mainly sea borne operation is quite chancy. The rapid neutralisation of the Taiwanese air force will be a critical requirement. In any event, the Chinese capability for accepting and absorbing losses is very much greater than Taiwan’s. However, even in a campaign of attrition the Chinese will probably be looking for the take-over to be completed within 12 months. It is known that this take-over is one of the strategic goals for equipment procurement and the current expansion of the Chinese military. Their provocative sea exercises are nearly all geared to testing the responses of potential opponents and training for Invasion Day.

The second critical question, whether the US will act or just rely on sanctions, will also be exercising the Chinese strategists. They will be studying the US rhetoric and its lack of response in the Russia/Ukraine story very closely. The Chinese probably believe that Invasion Day will occur only when a Democratic President is in the White House and during the second half of a Presidential term. The chances of the US making a lot of noise but doing little else is then very high. China is even less susceptible to US sanctions than Russia (and half the world is even now ignoring the US sanctions against Russia). The Chinese will also be looking for a period which is relatively quiet in US domestic politics to make their move. Turbulent politics at home could even lead to a reckless Democratic President. Action abroad may be seen by a weak President as a way of currying domestic favour.  

There is a small probability that the Chinese assessment of the current US administration’s fear of risks and their paralysis of action, is that timing is unlikely to be better (from their point of view) in the next decade. That creates the possibility – though small – that 2024 as the last year of the Biden administration is seen as a window of opportunity.


Teacher Wang gets away with it!!

May 5, 2011

Following up from my previous post, it would seem that Teacher Wang need not fear new legal actions against his creative marketing techniques!!

From the Taipei Times:

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said it would not pursue legal action against a doomsayer who claimed on his Web site that a magnitude 14 earthquake would hit Taiwan next month.

Freight containers converted into houses that are allegedly to be used by followers of “Teacher Wang” stand in Puli, Nantou County: Photo: AFP/Sam YEH

The bureau said the individual, known as “Teacher Wang” (王), had written on his blog that based on his reading of the Chinese classic I Ching (易經) — also known as the Book of Changes — the super earthquake would hit at 10:42:37am on May 11.

He also claimed that a tsunami would hit on May 17 that could generate a wave as high as 170m.

Some media picked up Wang’s claims and a TV station interviewed him about his “research,” the bureau said.

After Wang’s Web post, some of his followers in Puli (埔里), Nantou County, began building about 170 shelters converted from cargo containers, the Apple Daily reported. Wang also claimed that millions of people would die in the cataclysm.

Wang advised people to stay in cargo containers, which he said would be safer than regular buildings, the paper said, also quoting construction workers as saying that they were rushing to finish by early next month.

To counter what it characterized as groundless claims, the bureau dismissed Wang’s comments as “nonsense” and had initially planned to fine Wang and the blog service provider for allowing Wang to publish comments in violation of the Meteorological Act (氣象法).

The act makes the bureau the only government body allowed to issue weather forecasts or warnings of hazardous meteorological and seismological phenomena. Article 24 of the act stipulates that people who report on such matters without securing permission from the bureau can be fined between NT$200,000 (US$6,973) and NT$1 million.

However, the bureau decided not to impose a fine on either after the blog operator voluntarily removed Wang’s comments.

However, the bureau said it would continue to monitor Wang’s comments.

“Doomsday coming on 11th May – Buy a container only $5500”

May 3, 2011

Taipei 101 as seen from Sun Yat-sen Memorial H...

Taipei 101: Image via Wikipedia

Teacher Wang predicts that a magnitude 14 earthquake and a 170 m tsunami are going to devastate Taiwan on May 11th and cut the island in two.

The Taipei 101 skyscraper and the Presidential Office will be destroyed he warns.  The only way for people to save themselves is by buying a container fitted for electricity, heating and air-conditioning and placing it in the hills beyond the reach of the coming tsunami. Each such container costs around $5500.

More than 100 such containers have been sold so far!!

Teacher Wang sounds more like an inspired marketing manager and less a doomsday prophet.

So far the police have not been able to find him.

From the BBC:

Police in Taiwan are investigating a self-proclaimed prophet whose doomsday warnings on a blog have caused panic. The man, identifying himself as Teacher Wang, said Taiwan would be struck by a magnitude-14 earthquake and 170m (560ft) high tsunami on 11 May. More than 100 cargo containers have been bought and set up in a mountainous area of central Taiwan.

Police said they were investigating if the blogger had conspired with a container business to defraud people. 

Taiwan’s famous Taipei 101 skyscraper and the Presidential Office building would be toppled, he warned.

More than 100 cargo containers have been discovered in the town of Puli, Nantou county. Workers had been hired to fit them with doors, windows and air conditioning, says the BBC’s Cindy Sui in Taipei. The containers cost about $5,500 (£3,300) each, once water and electricity are included, our correspondent adds.

Taiwan is in a quake zone. In 1999 a 7.6-magnitude tremor killed more than 2,400 people and damaged 50,000 buildings. But Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau says there is no basis for the doomsday prediction, since a magnitude-14 tremor is unheard of, and quakes cannot be reliably predicted.

Officials say Japan’s recent devastating quake and tsunami may have led fraudsters to exploit people’s fears. The police have not been able to trace “Teacher Wang”, who had touted his theory to TV reporters but insisted his face not be shown. The authorities have removed his doomsday warnings from the internet. 

Fraud convictions carry a maximum five-year jail term while breaking the law on social order is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, said Taiwanese police. “Teacher Wang” suggested people live in such containers to survive the disaster, which he said would kill millions of people and split the island in half.

Teacher Wang may be just another despicable fraud but he has confirmed that the gullibility of humans is unlimited and he has brightened my day! A $1000 fine with the return of the containers and the purchase price sounds like an appropriate penalty.

And while he may be a little less sophisticated he is much less dangerous than the Global Warming doomsday merchants who are milking billions of carbon trading dollars! If only Teacher Wang had linked everything to Global Warming he may have even been granted tenure at Penn State University……

Workers modify freight containers that are being converted into houses in Puli, central Nantou county on 28 April 2011

The survival containers: photo AFP

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