Friday, October 06, 2017

Anatomy of a Silliness

Anchoring ships in southern Taiwan

This week Ian Easton's new book The Chinese Invasion Threat was launched. Many news organizations followed Bill Geertz' report in the Washington Free Beacon without actually checking with Easton. In Taiwan the Taipei Times dutifully went with the Geertz report, saying that Easton's book says China plans 2020 invasion:
China has finalized a clandestine plan to invade Taiwan in 2020 by launching missile attacks, blocking the nation’s air and sea space, and carrying out amphibious landings, Washington-based think tank Project 2049 Institute research fellow Ian Easton said.
Taiwan News originally had this story. I alerted them, they then contacted Easton and changed their report. Liberty Times retracted their version of the Geertz piece. Why?

Because Easton never says this. Nowhere in the book. And none of the news organizations I googled below had the good sense to contact Easton and confirm, or get a copy of the book.
Report: China Has Secret Plans to Invade Taiwan by 2020www.popularmechanics.com/military/news/a28510/china-secret-plan-invade-taiwan/1 day ago - The Washington Free Beacon reports that China has a secret plan to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2020. While the existence of the plan does ...

China 'has drawn up secret plans to invade Taiwan by 2020' - Daily Mailwww.dailymail.co.uk/news/article.../China-drawn-secret-plans-invade-Taiwan-2020.html2 days ago - China is planning to invade Taiwan in 2020, US analyst claims in a new book; 'Secret documents' in the book reveals a plan by the Chinese ...

China's Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020 - Free Beaconfreebeacon.com/national-security/chinas-secret-military-plan-invade-taiwan-2020/3 days ago - China has drawn up secret military plans to take over the island of Taiwan by 2020, an action that would likely lead to a larger U.S.-China ...

China set to invade, retake Taiwan by 2020: Taipei | TODAYonlinewww.todayonline.com/chinaindia/china/china-set-invade-retake-taiwan-2020-taipeiOct 27, 2015 - TAIPEI — China has completed its planned build-up of joint forces for military engagement against Taiwan and is on its way to ensure victory in ...

China plans 2020 invasion: researcher - Taipei Timeswww.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2017/10/05/20036797441 day ago - China has finalized a clandestine plan to invade Taiwan in 2020 by launching missile attacks, blocking the nation's air and sea space, and ...

China's Secret Military Plan: Invade Taiwan by 2020 | RealClearDefensehttps://www.realcleardefense.com/.../chinarsquos_secret_military_plan_invade_taiwan...2 days ago - China has drawn up secret military plans to take over the island of Taiwan by 2020, an action that would likely lead to a larger U.S.-China ...
The whole thing is based on Easton's reference to a Reuters report of Taiwan's MND from 2013 and then a further discussion of noises from China about 2020, which Geertz for whatever reason runs the wrong way with...
Taiwan says China could launch successful invasion by 2020 - Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-china-idUSBRE99809020131009
Oct 9, 2013 - China will be able to fend off U.S. forces and successfully invade Taiwan by 2020, the island's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, the first ...
Easton's book forcefully makes quite the opposite point: Taiwan would be very hard to take, and there is no way China will be able to do it in 2020. In fact, after reading it, I was greatly cheered. Hopefully I will have a review up at News Lens today or tomorrow, but right now, I will only say that it is an excellent and exhaustively detailed book, well worth the money.
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4 comments:

Zla'od said...

THANK YOU! Christ, not one of these hacks checked their supposed source. And here I was, trying to figure out whether he meant "in 2020" or "by 2020."

While I am sure the PRC is preparing for all sorts of possibilities, surely it would take into account whatever political and military developments emerge over the next few years. So I was inclined to believe that Easton had seen such a report, but disinclined to take it at face value. (Hell, the US government probably has "preparations" in place for dealing with an alien spacecraft landing in Times Square.)

Jerome Besson said...

Taiwan-related social media made their 中秋節 feast of it.
I too fell for it.
Sharing your post.

Anonymous said...

Media NEVER passes up a chance to misquote or misrepresent something!

StefanMuc said...

Another one with the Easton claim:

https://synglobe.net/2017/10/09/is-china-plotting-to-assassinate-taiwans-president