Sunday, April 04, 2010

China, Taiwan Defense Cooperation?

Unredacted has a great post on a State Dept analysis of how US plans to nuke China would precipitate a general nuclear war over the islands that Chiang held in just off China, Jinmen and Matsu.
According to today’s hot doc, the US Air Force was ready and willing to drop nuclear bombs on Communist China at the outset of the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis. This 13 August 1958 State Department memo describes blow-by-blow how a dispute over two islands in the Taiwan Strait could have evolved into “general nuclear war between the US and the USSR.”

This memo, sent to President Eisenhower’s Under Secretary of State, Christian Herter, depicts how nuclear war between the USA and USSR could have evolved from a dispute between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China over the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. Taiwan held these two strategically important islands, but the PRC also claimed (and shelled) them. America’s “existing contingent war plans,” derived from its 1954 security agreement with Taiwan, “call[ed] for the defense of Quemoy and Matsu by nuclear strikes deep into Communist China, including military targets in the Shanghai-Hangchow-Nanking and Canton complexes where population density is extremely high.“
It reads like a computer game player's fantasy of global destruction.... and it also shows how far things have come since those horrible days. Recently the China Reform Monitor offered a couple of paragraphs from the Chinese papers on possible KMT-CCP military cooperation over "Chinese territory".
The Beijing-owned Ta Kung Pao that People’s Liberation Army Major General Luo Yuan, deputy secretary general of the Chinese Military Science Society, has called “for military cooperation between China and Taiwan under the ‘One China’ principle.” He blamed U.S. arms sales for damaging cross-Strait relations and advocated the development of “a cross-Strait military trust and security mechanism.”

[Editor’s Note: Four days later the Wen Wei Po, another Beijing-owned Hong Kong daily, published a similar report claiming “there is vast space for defense cooperation in the South China Sea between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.” The article said “the basic foundation for cross-strait cooperation in the South China Sea is that neither side is willing to cede Chinese territory to other countries” and it could include the joint exploitation of oil resources.]
Cross-Strait military cooperation. What a nightmare of complications that would present. Both Taiwan and China have, since 1969, claimed the Senkaku Islands, which had previously been undisputed Japanese territory. The US bound by Treaty to defend Japan. What if China moves on that once it has settled the Taiwan Question?

More interesting is whether such cooperation would call upon KMT military authorities in Taiwan to suppress independence activists if the PRC demands it.

A longtime observer of Taiwan defense affairs noted that a military pact is probably in the cards for Ma, especially if gets elected to a second term. Or sooner, if it looks like Ma will lose.
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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Both Taiwan and China have, since 1969, claimed the Senkaku Islands, which had previously been --undisputed --Japanese territory."

You can start searching for a teaching job in Japan .

You're no longer welcome here traitor!

Chai Tu

Michael Turton said...

Haha. I just might, but the sashimi is cheaper here.

Carlos said...

Anonymous… I understand your feelings that the islands should belong to the ROC, but the truth is Japan has de facto control of them. The US held the islands immediately after the war and then it handed off their administration to Japan. In other words, the US clumsily gave them to Japan.

It’s similar to what happened to Taiwan. We can (and do) argue that Taiwan shouldn’t have been handed to the ROC… but it was. Taiwan has had to live with that reality ever since.

It makes sense to fight to correct perceived wrongs. If you think it’s worth the effort, you can argue that Japan should give up the islands to Taiwan. But you have to admit that Japan has had control of them for decades.

Michael Turton said...

Carlos, neither the ROC nor the PRC made any claim to the islands, which Japan annexed in 1895, until 1969, when Japan announced the possibility of oil under the shelf below them. Then suddenly they became Chinese territory for every minute of the last 5,000 years.

The fact that the islands belonged to Japan was the reason they were returned to Japan.

Anonymous said...

The islands belong to Ilan county you arrogant American ignoramus!

Michael Turton said...

The islands belong to Ilan county you arrogant American ignoramus!

Wow, you're so brave, flinging insults from behind anonymity.

Anonymous said...

"Haha. I just might, but the sashimi is cheaper here.
"

What do you mean by that?

I take that as an insult.



Chai Tu

Anonymous said...

"Wow, you're so brave, flinging insults from behind anonymity."


Of course I'm scared of you. You're 6'4", built like Arnold
and an ex-Green Beret black belt
3rd.dan.

But I think in the meantime it'll be good for both of us if I 'remain' scared of you cause being brave this time would do us no good unless you think otherwise traitor.

Thoth Harris said...

Chai Tu is a Communist Chinese commenter; anyone lacking so much class in the way they comment like this can't be Taiwanese.

Anonymous said...

"Chai Tu is a Communist Chinese commenter; anyone lacking so much class in the way they comment like this can't be Taiwanese."


And what do you call that person
who we welcome here with open arms but then vocally sided with the other claimant of a still disputed group of islands?

Chai Tu