Asia Is a US-China war about to break out?

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Rotayjay

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I've personally always considered a US-China war a mere theoretical possibility, on the never-never, probably won't happen. Then today I read Stan Grant's article.


Actually made me **** myself a bit, much morseo than covid-19 because I'm grateful to have my health. If the United States and China start a war then Australia is in for a world of pain - especially us blokes who are of military age.
 

Chief

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I've personally always considered a US-China war a mere theoretical possibility, on the never-never, probably won't happen. Then today I read Stan Grant's article.


Actually made me **** myself a bit, much morseo than covid-19 because I'm grateful to have my health. If the United States and China start a war then Australia is in for a world of pain - especially us blokes who are of military age.
I dunno. Would liven up the Port Adelaide game.
 

JackFlash

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It's an inevitability. What President Xi has to weigh up is, even under "Crazy Joe" the US military could make a complete mess of the Chinese eastern seaboard. If War does break out Australia is going to lose out big time, we will be decimated. Wheras China would rather conduct political and economic warfare to undermine the U.S. and the West to further its strategic objectives, you have to remember that Xi also knows "Joe is Crazy". It's not getting better in a hurry, the Chinese military might more than matches the USA. Xi does not care about 26 million Australians just has he doesn't care about the 26 million in Taiwan. No, this war will be nuclear folks and that means Eddie's plan for the AFL might have to be put on hold for a while! If we make it to 2030 it will be a miracle!
 

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Malifice

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It would be a serious error by Beijing to actually test America by invading Taiwan.

Their current strategy of infiltrating and undermining the democratic process internally (Hong Kong 2.0) and a subsequent 'peaceful annexation' is where they're going at present.

Biggest risk for mine is a miscalculation in the current freedom of navigation or military probes and sabre rattling.
 

Malifice

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It's an inevitability. What President Xi has to weigh up is, even under "Crazy Joe" the US military could make a complete mess of the Chinese eastern seaboard. If War does break out Australia is going to lose out big time, we will be decimated. Wheras China would rather conduct political and economic warfare to undermine the U.S. and the West to further its strategic objectives, you have to remember that Xi also knows "Joe is Crazy". It's not getting better in a hurry, the Chinese military might more than matches the USA. Xi does not care about 26 million Australians just has he doesn't care about the 26 million in Taiwan. No, this war will be nuclear folks and that means Eddie's plan for the AFL might have to be put on hold for a while! If we make it to 2030 it will be a miracle!
The US military could absolutely retake Taiwan should China be stupid and shortsighted enough to invade it. The Seppos would also use the opportunity to take the Islands China has taken in the South China sea. They have more than ample maritime and air power to pave the way for a Marine landing at any and all of those islands.

The main question would be do the Yanks have the stomach for the casualties it would cost (both in terms of US service personnel and Taiwanese civilians). US military casualties would be in the tens of thousands, and civilian casualties in the hundreds of thousands.

China have a very clear 'no first strike' policy with its nukes, so unless the USA fired first (and they wouldn't) then it's highly doubtful it goes nuclear.
 

Saint

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Those two countries are waging a cold war already through cyber and trade. But realistically, the world is so global these days that any war (i.e. China trying to re-take Taiwan) would cost them so much in lost trade that the net effect would be hugely negative. And that's not including considering what the physical damage might be to Ports and cities.

If the US declared a trade embargo on China (No coal in, no fuel in, no manufactured goods out) the population would freeze within a month and begin to starve within a couple of months, combined with not being able to manufacture anything nor be able to sell anything.

The US could pick any one of huge parts of Africa or SE Asia and create a new manufacturing hub. There isn't actually a lot China has going for it that the rest of the world needs.

China needs western consumer markets more than the west needs China's cheap labour.

The price of cheap crap we don't need at Kmart would go up for a few months before all the companies figured out somewhere else to import cheap crap from. All the stuff we need, like cars, computers, electrical components are all still made in Japan, Thaliand Korea, Germany, Mexico as well as China.

If China were decimated like that it would probably just get India up off it's arse.
 

CD Xbow

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The US military could absolutely retake Taiwan should China be stupid and shortsighted enough to invade it. The Seppos would also use the opportunity to take the Islands China has taken in the South China sea. They have more than ample maritime and air power to pave the way for a Marine landing at any and all of those islands.

The main question would be do the Yanks have the stomach for the casualties it would cost (both in terms of US service personnel and Taiwanese civilians). US military casualties would be in the tens of thousands, and civilian casualties in the hundreds of thousands.

China have a very clear 'no first strike' policy with its nukes, so unless the USA fired first (and they wouldn't) then it's highly doubtful it goes nuclear.
I am very sceptical about the ability of the US to retake Taiwan should the PRC successfully invade. It is within reach of literally tens of thousands of PRC missiles, to retake Taiwan the US would have to destroy the missile batteries and airfields on the mainland. The Yanks may or may not be able to do it, but it would mean outright war, an outcome neither side wants.

I am also very sceptical about the ability of the USN to operate safely within about a thousand k's of the Chinese coast should the PRC decide they are willing to 'do violence' to remove them.

Those two countries are waging a cold war already through cyber and trade. But realistically, the world is so global these days that any war (i.e. China trying to re-take Taiwan) would cost them so much in lost trade that the net effect would be hugely negative. And that's not including considering what the physical damage might be to Ports and cities.

If the US declared a trade embargo on China (No coal in, no fuel in, no manufactured goods out) the population would freeze within a month and begin to starve within a couple of months, combined with not being able to manufacture anything nor be able to sell anything.

The US could pick any one of huge parts of Africa or SE Asia and create a new manufacturing hub. There isn't actually a lot China has going for it that the rest of the world needs.

China needs western consumer markets more than the west needs China's cheap labour.

The price of cheap crap we don't need at Kmart would go up for a few months before all the companies figured out somewhere else to import cheap crap from. All the stuff we need, like cars, computers, electrical components are all still made in Japan, Thaliand Korea, Germany, Mexico as well as China.

If China were decimated like that it would probably just get India up off it's arse.
I don't think lost trade, damaging manufacturing or harming their own populace figures highly in President Xi calculations. All three have happened in the PRC already due the bans on our coal. He wants his place in Chinese history as the man who unifies China and restores China pre-eminence. He's riding the tiger of ultranationalism to get there, using all the usual tools of the despot. Same story played out in Europe last century with terrible results.

Added - some folks believe we have actually been at war with the PRC for some years, our side just hadn't realised it. Events of the past couple of years have shown us the Panda is dead, it's a Dragon now. We now see the true face of the PRC, hopefully just in time.
 

Admiral Byng

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Let us hope it never happens. It would be devastating for Australia - no more exports of iron ore or coal to China.

China's economy is not quite as robust as we all imagine, they are papering over the cracks in a few key areas. The knock-on economic effects of a war over Taiwan could cripple the Chinese economy. The US, EU and Japan acting collectively collectively could cripple the Chinese economy. If that happens then domestic unrest in China would break out. Who knows what could emerge from that, if the Chinese Communist Party lose power.
 

Saint

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I am very sceptical about the ability of the US to retake Taiwan should the PRC successfully invade. It is within reach of literally tens of thousands of PRC missiles, to retake Taiwan the US would have to destroy the missile batteries and airfields on the mainland. The Yanks may or may not be able to do it, but it would mean outright war, an outcome neither side wants.

I am also very sceptical about the ability of the USN to operate safely within about a thousand k's of the Chinese coast should the PRC decide they are willing to 'do violence' to remove them.


I don't think lost trade, damaging manufacturing or harming their own populace figures highly in President Xi calculations. All three have happened in the PRC already due the bans on our coal. He wants his place in Chinese history as the man who unifies China and restores China pre-eminence. He's riding the tiger of ultranationalism to get there, using all the usual tools of the despot. Same story played out in Europe last century with terrible results.

Added - some folks believe we have actually been at war with the PRC for some years, our side just hadn't realised it. Events of the past couple of years have shown us the Panda is dead, it's a Dragon now. We now see the true face of the PRC, hopefully just in time.
All they're doing at the moment is what most large economic powers do. Using their leverage economically to get what they want.

If China invades Taiwan, there will be missiles going everywhere already. An invasion wouldn't be over in a day. And when was the last time there was an amphibious invasion of this scale? The Korean War?

China and the US could fire missiles for weeks, but China would need to get boots on the ground to physically take Taiwan. No doubt they've got lots of boots, but they've physically got to get them onto Taiwan and supply them in an ongoing way. A traditional amphibious beach-head would provide so little cover from air (in particular) and sea-power as to be useless for supply purposes.

They'd find it very hard get enough ships ashore and unloaded in one spot (or multiple spots) for a successful amphibious invasion.
 

Malifice

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I am very sceptical about the ability of the US to retake Taiwan should the PRC successfully invade. It is within reach of literally tens of thousands of PRC missiles, to retake Taiwan the US would have to destroy the missile batteries and airfields on the mainland. The Yanks may or may not be able to do it, but it would mean outright war, an outcome neither side wants.

I am also very sceptical about the ability of the USN to operate safely within about a thousand k's of the Chinese coast should the PRC decide they are willing to 'do violence' to remove them.
You're underestimating the US Air power. The only 5th gen air superiority fighter the Chinese have are 50 of the (untested) J-20 and they're up against nearly 4 times that many F-22A's which have runs on the board and are (on paper at least) far superior.

It remains to be seen if the Chinese can detect them, or the B-2 stealth bombers supported by US AWACS and EW Aircraft. Apparently the Yank AWACS can spot the J-20's.

While the F-22 project has been shelved, the facilities are still there to start production again at a pen stroke.

The US Air Force also have 1,000 F-16, 450 F-15s and 120 F35's available (and that's just air superiority and multi-role fighters). The Navy has another 530 F/A-18 Super Hornets, and Marines another 300 of the same (plus another 100 F-35's in current operation as well).

All up it's 200 x F-22's 1,000 x F-16's, 450 x F-15's, 850 x F/A-18's and 250 x F-35's. And that's just the bulk off their multi-role fighter and air-superiority aircraft. Their AWACS, EW, transport and Bomber fleet is just as impressive.

The bulk of the Chinese Airforce is outdated Mig-21's (400) and SU 27's (300) and the home-built J-10 (300). It's big enough to deter the US from hitting it without significant casualties, but the US would win the air war if they brought their full force to bear.

As for land based strikes, they have their stealth bomber fleet and multiple long range cruise missile options (including 75 submarines). Tomahawk missiles (the go-to) have a 2,000 km range which a sub can pretty easily penetrate with stealth.

Where the Chinese have the advantage is on boots on the ground, but that advantage is negated seeing as Taiwan is an island, and the US would not be interested in the slightest about putting troops on the ground on mainland China. They would obtain air superiority, bomb the bejesus out of Chinese troops in Taiwan (and on the mainland), and then land the Marines there to take the island.

It would cost tens of thousands of US soldiers (mainly marines, navy and air force), and hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese and Chinese civilians and military personnel. The only reason the Chinese would do it is if they think the USA would baulk at paying such a hefty burden (and the fact that the Americans would be reluctant to fully commit to such a conflict, which would allow Putin free reign over Europe).

It doesnt make any sense. The Chinese are better off doing what they're doing at present, which is taking Taiwan slowly via propaganda, threats, cyberwarfare, trade and infiltration.
 

spinynorman

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Lol China isn’t invading Taiwan. These are the delusions of a decaying empire that thinks other countries have the same lust for war as they do.

They used these same fears to justify various conflicts throughout the Cold War, despite a fair criticism of the Soviet Union being their reluctance to aid post-colonial socialist states. The New Cold War is every bit as baseless and hysterical as the old one, but sadly seems to be as effective in whipping up the panic (even if it isn’t going to see the comparative improvement in life quality that was seen by your average citizen of the First World through the 1940s to 1970s).
 

Ned_Flanders

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You're underestimating the US Air power. The only 5th gen air superiority fighter the Chinese have are 50 of the (untested) J-20 and they're up against nearly 4 times that many F-22A's which have runs on the board and are (on paper at least) far superior.

It remains to be seen if the Chinese can detect them, or the B-2 stealth bombers supported by US AWACS and EW Aircraft. Apparently the Yank AWACS can spot the J-20's.

While the F-22 project has been shelved, the facilities are still there to start production again at a pen stroke.

The US Air Force also have 1,000 F-16, 450 F-15s and 120 F35's available (and that's just air superiority and multi-role fighters). The Navy has another 530 F/A-18 Super Hornets, and Marines another 300 of the same (plus another 100 F-35's in current operation as well).

All up it's 200 x F-22's 1,000 x F-16's, 450 x F-15's, 850 x F/A-18's and 250 x F-35's. And that's just the bulk off their multi-role fighter and air-superiority aircraft. Their AWACS, EW, transport and Bomber fleet is just as impressive.

The bulk of the Chinese Airforce is outdated Mig-21's (400) and SU 27's (300) and the home-built J-10 (300). It's big enough to deter the US from hitting it without significant casualties, but the US would win the air war if they brought their full force to bear.

As for land based strikes, they have their stealth bomber fleet and multiple long range cruise missile options (including 75 submarines). Tomahawk missiles (the go-to) have a 2,000 km range which a sub can pretty easily penetrate with stealth.

Where the Chinese have the advantage is on boots on the ground, but that advantage is negated seeing as Taiwan is an island, and the US would not be interested in the slightest about putting troops on the ground on mainland China. They would obtain air superiority, bomb the bejesus out of Chinese troops in Taiwan (and on the mainland), and then land the Marines there to take the island.

It would cost tens of thousands of US soldiers (mainly marines, navy and air force), and hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese and Chinese civilians and military personnel. The only reason the Chinese would do it is if they think the USA would baulk at paying such a hefty burden (and the fact that the Americans would be reluctant to fully commit to such a conflict, which would allow Putin free reign over Europe).

It doesnt make any sense. The Chinese are better off doing what they're doing at present, which is taking Taiwan slowly via propaganda, threats, cyberwarfare, trade and infiltration.
if taiwan declares independence or agrees to host a us base, china will move regardless of cost. it would be seen domestically as a repeat of the opium war reparations to the west, and would leave the ccp stuffed if they kowtowed and accepted it.

and the civilian death toll will be in the millions (both sides will try to bomb the sh*t out of the other to the point of surrender, and both sides have enough missiles to keep it sustained for some time)

im not convinced war is inevitable, but its moving in that direction
 

Malifice

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if taiwan declares independence or agrees to host a us base, china will move regardless of cost. it would be seen domestically as a repeat of the opium war reparations to the west, and would leave the ccp stuffed if they kowtowed and accepted it.

and the civilian death toll will be in the millions (both sides will try to bomb the sh*t out of the other to the point of surrender, and both sides have enough missiles to keep it sustained for some time)

im not convinced war is inevitable, but its moving in that direction
China don't have the force projection for any kind of bombing campaign of US soil. To get to the US they need either carriers or mid air refueling of bombers, and while they have that capacity, its dwarfed by what the US can throw at it in return. Anything they sent towards the continental US would be shot down or sunk, with the possible exception of intercontinental ballistic missiles (non nuclear) but they'd be insane to use such weapons as it could easily be interpreted as a nuclear first strike by the US.

Their naval and air assets are not on the same level as the US. They have an advantage in troop numbers, but that's useless if they cant deploy them anywhere, and the US are not intrested in invading the mainland.
 

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Ned_Flanders

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China don't have the force projection for any kind of bombing campaign of US soil. To get to the US they need either carriers or mid air refueling of bombers, and while they have that capacity, its dwarfed by what the US can throw at it in return. Anything they sent towards the continental US would be shot down or sunk, with the possible exception of intercontinental ballistic missiles (non nuclear) but they'd be insane to use such weapons as it could easily be interpreted as a nuclear first strike by the US.

Their naval and air assets are not on the same level as the US. They have an advantage in troop numbers, but that's useless if they cant deploy them anywhere, and the US are not intrested in invading the mainland.
where did i say they want to invade the USA? Im talking about Taiwan

China will nuke the island before they let it be independent or a US version of Cuba
 

CD Xbow

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Lol China isn’t invading Taiwan. These are the delusions of a decaying empire that thinks other countries have the same lust for war as they do.

They used these same fears to justify various conflicts throughout the Cold War, despite a fair criticism of the Soviet Union being their reluctance to aid post-colonial socialist states. The New Cold War is every bit as baseless and hysterical as the old one, but sadly seems to be as effective in whipping up the panic (even if it isn’t going to see the comparative improvement in life quality that was seen by your average citizen of the First World through the 1940s to 1970s).
Having lived through much of the cold war it was neither baseless nor hysterical. I'll add a LOL, for good measure.

BTW I don't think we are going to have another cold war, I expect rather more of a hot peace.

I think Taiwan is at very real risk from the belligerent PRC. As mentioned earlier by other posters it's likely to be a pressure campaign/gray zone actions hoping to get Taiwan to fold without 'war'. However if those measure don't work I expect the PRC will contemplate invasion if it continues under it's current leadership.

You're underestimating the US Air power. The only 5th gen air superiority fighter the Chinese have are 50 of the (untested) J-20 and they're up against nearly 4 times that many F-22A's which have runs on the board and are (on paper at least) far superior.

It remains to be seen if the Chinese can detect them, or the B-2 stealth bombers supported by US AWACS and EW Aircraft. Apparently the Yank AWACS can spot the J-20's.

While the F-22 project has been shelved, the facilities are still there to start production again at a pen stroke.

The US Air Force also have 1,000 F-16, 450 F-15s and 120 F35's available (and that's just air superiority and multi-role fighters). The Navy has another 530 F/A-18 Super Hornets, and Marines another 300 of the same (plus another 100 F-35's in current operation as well).

All up it's 200 x F-22's 1,000 x F-16's, 450 x F-15's, 850 x F/A-18's and 250 x F-35's. And that's just the bulk off their multi-role fighter and air-superiority aircraft. Their AWACS, EW, transport and Bomber fleet is just as impressive.

The bulk of the Chinese Airforce is outdated Mig-21's (400) and SU 27's (300) and the home-built J-10 (300). It's big enough to deter the US from hitting it without significant casualties, but the US would win the air war if they brought their full force to bear.

As for land based strikes, they have their stealth bomber fleet and multiple long range cruise missile options (including 75 submarines). Tomahawk missiles (the go-to) have a 2,000 km range which a sub can pretty easily penetrate with stealth.

Where the Chinese have the advantage is on boots on the ground, but that advantage is negated seeing as Taiwan is an island, and the US would not be interested in the slightest about putting troops on the ground on mainland China. They would obtain air superiority, bomb the bejesus out of Chinese troops in Taiwan (and on the mainland), and then land the Marines there to take the island.

It would cost tens of thousands of US soldiers (mainly marines, navy and air force), and hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese and Chinese civilians and military personnel. The only reason the Chinese would do it is if they think the USA would baulk at paying such a hefty burden (and the fact that the Americans would be reluctant to fully commit to such a conflict, which would allow Putin free reign over Europe).

It doesnt make any sense. The Chinese are better off doing what they're doing at present, which is taking Taiwan slowly via propaganda, threats, cyberwarfare, trade and infiltration.
Agree it doesn't make any sense, but folks running the ultra nationalistic line often don't make sense.

I'm not underestimating US airpower, the problem for the US is simply distance. They can't bring their full force to bear. In any conflict in the western pacific the PRC would bring vastly superior numbers of aircraft and missiles, many of which are modern and top class, they would also threaten the US fleet from a distance with their ballistic antiship missiles fired from the safety of central china.

The F22 production line cannot be restarted at the stroke of a pen.

The US has not recapitalised it's fleet of aircraft or ships in a way that is suitable for long range war in the Pacific after decades of stupid wars in the middle east. You pay a price for your actions.
 

spinynorman

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Having lived through much of the cold war it was neither baseless nor hysterical. I'll add a LOL, for good measure.
The United States came out of the Second World War by far the most powerful country in the world, with the Soviet Union a deeply battered second. Stalin and his successors repeatedly refused to support nascent socialist-communist organisations in the post-colonial world, from Vietnam to Indonesia to Iran to Chile, while the United States brutally oversaw directly or indirectly the slaughter of civilians in said countries to stop them from falling to this threat. And that’s before we go to domestic United States policy, with McCarthyism surely the epitome of baseless hysteria.

Yes, there was certainly a point in the 1960s where nuclear warfare almost eventuated, but that’s another good example of the total hysteria that had taken hold.
 

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My thoughts:

- There won't be a direct military conflict, because neither side wants to risk a nuclear exchange.

- China is adopting what I call the 'NorK strategy' - appearing crazy to scare people, but actually being coldly rational in their actions. However, their intentions and objectives are different. North Korea intends to ward the US off potentially invading or directly striking at them, with the end goal of survival. China IMO intends to intimidate Taiwan into being more compliant (since the Taiwanese people have been making more noises about independence), with the end result of Taiwan becoming a Special Administrative Region (SAR) down the line.

- China won't directly invade Taiwan, at least not until Taiwan is already an SAR. Mounting amphibious invasions is difficult at best, an impending invasion would be pretty obvious, Taiwan would have a very good idea exactly where such an invasion would take place and prepare accordingly, the east is mountainous (all the better to hide artillery and attack from the high ground), the Taiwanese have a tradition of self-defence, and the island is densely populated. Even if China 'won', they would inherit a smoking wreck and incur very high casualties. At best, their victory would be pyrrhic and at worst it'd be their version of the First Chechen War.
 

Present Not Past

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China is playing a game of brinkmanship and is just waiting for the US or it's allies to make a mistake and then it will strike - quickly and deadly.
China is happy to wait until it can position itself as the aggrieved victim in a contrived event and then it will unleash. I don't think it will ever put itself into the position as being the aggressor. That whole area of the world is a ticking timebomb.
 

FireKrakouer

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Didn't stop them in Korea, and it wont stop them now.
Could you please provide a link or two explaining your previous posts ITT about air superiority? I'm not doubting your information, I believe it, and am keen to read more as it is fascinating (and there is just too much BS to sift through on google to find any credible information).
 

CD Xbow

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There is the school of thought that the PRC has been at war with it's neighbours and the West for a number of years, not a kinetic war, but certainly in the grey zone, somewhere along the spectrum of conflict. We failed to recognise it. Be nice to the Panda and it will become more liberal was the theory, and like many theories has been shown to be a myth.

Economic warfare is certainly on the spectrum of conflict, so recent belligerent actions against our trade with the PRC confirms we are at 'war' of sorts. Again, not a kinetic war, but a war nonetheless. The good thing is most folks now recognise the belligerence of the PRC, it's become more authoritarian & ultrnationalistic, it won't be appeased, it won't keep it's promises, and now regarded by most countries as a bad actor and a threat to international stability. President Xi has revealed his cards to early.

So my answer to the question in the OT is we are already at war with the PRC, as is the US.

A better question is the war likely to become kinetic? Maybe. The risk mainly depends on two separate and unrelated things. The first is the mindset of the PRC, which comes down to, does it think the PLA can beat the US in the western pacific and is willing to pay the price?

The other is fate, the terrible misunderstanding or accident that triggers a wider conflict. Cursed are those who live in interesting times.
 

Chief

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IMO China can be waited out as it’s population ages and the one-child policy generation’s restricted productivity leaves them unable to support themselves, along with a few other big issues they have.

Although will they just start culling the elderly to get through it?
 

Malifice

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IMO China can be waited out as it’s population ages and the one-child policy generation’s restricted productivity leaves them unable to support themselves, along with a few other big issues they have.

Although will they just start culling the elderly to get through it?
I dunno. China has always been about the Chinese (Han Chinese really). They've never really tried to invade anyone, and have (for like 4,000 years) basically focused on the home front.

Any external military aggression will be to protect domestic Chinese economic interests.

Taiwan is just stupid mix of Nationalism, 'they're ethnically Han Chinese, who lost the war against the Party, and the Island is really ours also so basically they're still China' type sh*t, that you don't see the British doing with their colonies or acquisitions (anymore).

If Taiwan had the same History, only with China replaced with the UK I reckon the Poms would hand allow them a referendum and leave it there.
 

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