Oct 19, 2022 • 1HR 53M

Could China Conquer Taiwan?

Chris Nicholson on When, Why, and How

 
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Chris Nicholson joins me to discuss the military and political situation surrounding Taiwan. We talk about the two ways China can try to take control of the island: a direct invasion or blockade. Chris believes that a direct invasion would be too costly. However, China does seem to have the potential to cut Taiwan off from the rest of the world with its navy. Furthermore, its collection of intermediate-range ballistic missiles gives it the ability to inflict serious harm on the American navy, should the US choose to get involved. US submarines remain a large advantage, but everything else is potentially vulnerable. Moreover, China’s naval advantage is increasing over time.

We also talk about why we should care about Taiwan in the first place. Chris explains the semiconductor issue, why it’s important, and the latest moves by the Biden administration to shut down Chinese progress in this area.

I present my theories about what China is doing with regards to Zero Covid. I argue that there are three main possibilities: 1) the government discovered a new method of social control and wants to hold on to it; 2) this is all about pride in the success of its system; and 3) they actually think it’s a good policy. We discuss the implications of what sticking to Zero Covid could mean for the future of Chinese growth and military power.

Click here for a video and the transcript of the conversation. In the video, you can see us reference a map and pull up other useful things from the internet as we talk. The audio, video, and transcript are all available to paid subscribers now and will be released for everyone else after one week.

Ranges of Chinese missiles. Source.

Links:

Alexander Wooley, “Float, Move, and Fight: How the U.S. Navy Lost the Shipbuilding Race.”

Eric Tegler, “Nothing Left To Fight With: A New Paper Calls Out America’s Shrinking Air Force And Likelihood It Can’t Win Against China.”

Richard Burgess, “Navy Fleet Would Shrink Further Under 2023 Ship Decommissioning Plan.”

Mallory Shelbourne, “CNO Gilday: Industrial Capacity Largest Barrier to Growing the Fleet.“

Xavier Vavasseur, “Five Type 052D Destroyers Under Construction In China.”

Ken Moriyasu, “India presents China a two-front problem, U.S. Navy chief suggests.“

Thomas Shugart, “Mind the Gap, Part 2: The Cross-Strait Potential of China’s Civilian Shipping Has Grown.”

Lonnie D. Henley, “China Maritime Report No. 21: Civilian Shipping and Maritime Militia: The Logistics Backbone of a Taiwan Invasion.“

Scott Foster, “SMIC’s 7-nm chip process a wake-up call for US.”