The Hong Kong protesters are doomed. But, the West cannot ignore their fate or waver in support because President Xi Jinping is using Hong Kong as a testbed for what ultimately yearns to do in Taiwan.
It’s time to draw-down U.S. forces from South Korea and move them on to Taiwan, only then can the United States build a proper defensive perimeter around China in the Asia-Pacific and only then will Washington be playing to its traditional strengths as a maritime power.
As the United States searches for greater leverage to use against China, it must be willing to look outside the economic realm and toward the geopolitical. It must be willing to recognize Taiwan as a fully free and sovereign state.
The Chinese are a great people with a rich history. They have known general dominance throughout their 4,000-year history. What’s more, as Deng Xiaoping said when the Soviet Union collapsed, China has been engaged in a second Cold War with the United States. They’ve been winning—and they will continue to do so unless we do more than what we’ve been doing to counter them.
“Make no mistake: China will not leave Taiwan alone to its own devices. What’s more, the Chinese believe they have a decades-long historical record of American actions supporting Taiwan when faced against a potential Chinese military threat. China has made it their mission to reacquire Taiwan—sooner rather than later. Given America’s previous support for Taiwanese independence, Washington had better be prepared to withstand Chinese attacks against U.S.”
“For the first time in decades, the United States is competing against a rival whom, in many respects, it has fallen behind. First, American leaders must fully acknowledge the threat. Then the U.S. must move to do what the Spanish failed to do to the rising United States: challenge it early enough to head off any real threat.”
“If the United States is to fulfill its grand strategy, fulfill its objectives in the region, fulfill its commitments to its allies, then in this evermore congested, competitive environment, the United States will have to accept more risk. But not only to accept more risks; but to deliberately take more risks, in order for that risk to match the value that the United States attaches to its objectives in Asia.”
“My recommendation would be to give Taiwan scores of cruise missiles (or to encourage the Taiwanese to build massive amounts of their own cruise missiles), coupled with the EA-18 Growlers (as well as the E-2D Hawkeyes that support the Growlers) that would be needed to suppress and overcome the Chinese S-400 threat. Taiwan has a handful of Hawkeyes and would need considerable amounts of Growlers to make their S-400 countermeasures fully effective. The United States must make selling Taiwan these upgraded systems a major priority in its relations with Taiwan.”
“When China looks around the world, they see every state as potential fuel for their meteoric rise. When America looks to the world, they see partners seeking to cooperate in an American-dominated international system. Given the disparity in outlooks—and the rise of China’s power—Americans would do well to abandon the naïve sentiments of the idealists and notions about an inevitable “end of history” that culminates with the global embrace of liberal democracy. Instead, we should return to an understanding of realistic American strategic concepts such as “peace through strength.”
“Otherwise, in a few short years, the United States might wake up to a surprise attack more devastating than Pearl Harbor over Taiwan–and the United States just might lose such an engagement. Whoever wins, the resulting conflict would be costly and devastating on an order not experienced since the Second World War.”