TAIPEI – They focus on whether China can sink an American aircraft carrier or lobe missiles in Guam, missing the bigger problem. And it's not about the tragic loss of a democratic friend in Asia.
The nightmare is how the strategic landscape will change radically if China controls Taiwan, either by political or brutal force.
China sees Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines as a long wall. Bud Cole, the famous specialist in Chinese naval problems, called it "The Great Wall at Sea" for good reason. Incredibly geographical; Without sight of his plane, let alone fleet, Beijing has no choice but to take Taiwan.
What would a post invasion Taiwan look like?
The occupation of Chinese military forces in Taiwan would largely reverse the tables in the United States. The "wall" would now be an American point of view problem.
China has radically changed its balance of power in the South China Sea with the same island occupying philosophy. Islands are taken, so armed, and territorial lines are expanded through dubious "legal" statements, such as exclusive economic zones, fishing areas, historic claims dating back hundreds of years.
The Declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is only a matter of time for both the South China Sea and possibly the Taiwan Airspace. Taiwan's giant mechanisms are not renewed at a pace to stop Chinese advances in warriors and electronic warfare. Although Taiwan acquires new F-16Vs, it will still have a significant problem in the air force projection, as China is increasing fighter patrols that perform transhipment patrols on the island.
If Taiwan fell tomorrow, the Chinese fleet could use the northeastern naval base of Suao as a submarine base. Not just any ordinary base but far better than the Yulin Naval Base on Hainan Island, where Chinese nuclear submarines leave their cave facilities to enter the groundwater of the South China Sea. At Suao, the water falls off the coast into the abyss, giving submarines a much better ability to fall under thermal layers and disappear.
Although Suao is a medium-sized port, this is the 168th flotilla correlates six Knox class frigates, ten Perry class frigates and four Kidd classes destroyers, together with a logistics hub.
The back of the bag has a high mountainous back which could be cut to submarine tunnels such as Yulin. Most of Taiwan's east coast are rugged mountains that push directly into the ocean.
The second base of great envy in China is Taiwan's Hualien Air Force Base, which is home to the 401th Wing with three squadrons of F-16 fighter aircraft. Located just south of Suao, the base has a "nuclear evidence" bunker carved from within Chiashan Mountain. Having been one of the few Americans to get into the huge facility, it hit me like something from a James Bond movie (minus Ninjas off the ceiling).
Only another air base uses a catacomb of underground facilities, and it is Taitung on the southeast coast. The base Shihzishan (Stone Mountain) is not as big as Chiashan Mountain, but can remember about three fighter squadrons during an attack. At present, the base is the home of the 737 Tactical Combined Wing's F-5 Tiger Airplane used for training.
Both airbases could be the home of China's fighter aircraft, like the J-11 / J-15 / J-16, all with a range of two thousand miles and a battle area of half. This does not include the use of aviation fuel to increase patrol time. China is planning a refueler variant of its new Y-20 strategic airlifter, which would extend their patrol time and reach.
Occupation of these three bases on Taiwan's east coast -Suao, Hualien, Taitung-will force the United States and Japanese naval forces to meet Chinese air force projection directly for the first time in the Pacific.
One should not ignore the Chinese forces at Taichung Air Force Base and Kaohsiung Naval Base on Taiwan's west coast. Both would be dream bases for H-6K bombs and Type 055 destroyers, respectively.
When China has established military bases on the island, the Taiwan Strait could be closed to commercial traffic in Beijing's political, economic, or military agendas. Middle East oil and gas travel up the Taiwan Strait and East Coast to Korea and Japan would be under China's strategic umbrella.
Japan and Korea should consider tailoring their foreign policy in Beijing's favor. This could be done in a number of ways, such as voting in China's advantage in the United Nations, closing US military bases, accepting Beijing's trade rules, etc.
USA. Intelligence loss will include bumping the Japanese Fishhook sonar program, which Taiwan also participates in. Fishhook is a series of sonar stations along the Ryuku Island chain from Japan to Taiwan.
Added clothing would include the US Taiwan signal intelligence facility at Pingtun Li on the Yangmingshan Mountain. Not to mention intelligence collected from other antenna facilities around Taiwan, including Linkou and Betel Nut Village. Everyone has given tremendous value to the US National Security Agency and Pacific Command.
China regards Taiwan as nothing more than a stone to occupy. China uses the same hopeful thinking in the South China Sea that the United States used during World War II in the Pacific. It is this kind of thinking that Beijing uses to justify its motivation to expand its military power. Perhaps the United States should reconsider its strategy in Asia on the same terms.
Wendell Minnick is a writer, commentator, journalist and speaker who has spent two decades covering military and security issues in Asia, including a intelligence book and over 1,200 articles. From 2006 -2016, Minnick served as Asian President of Defense News, a Washington-based defense weekly newspaper.