Australia warns war with China over Taiwan is coming
HONOLULU, HI: Australian Special Forces commander Major General Adam Findlay has warned of a coming “kinetic” war with China over Taiwan. This is in addition to the long-standing and ongoing Chinese Communist Party “grey war” against the West. Involving cyber attacks, aggressive military actions, tariffs, sanctions, and economic espionage.
The building of militarized artificial islands in the South China Sea and the seizure of Hong Kong are the work of an expansive and reckless China. It more resembles Imperial Japan in the 1930s than a modern member of the international community. China’s provocative actions against Taiwan and aggressive measures against Australia are the harbinger of a dangerously unstable time to come.
In the face of no resistance, war with China over Taiwan is increasingly possible. And more than likely.
Major-General Findlay’s remarks one year ago to senior special forces command officers was leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald and has received widespread attention. Tensions from Ukraine to Taiwan are increasingly ratcheted up.
It comes as Pacific Rim defense partner nations from Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and especially the United States must finally come to grips with a militaristic, assertive and increasingly destabilizing China under Xi Jinping.
As the Herald reported:
“One of the nation’s top military commanders told his troops that Beijing is already engaged in “grey zone” warfare against Australia and they must plan for the high likelihood this may spill over into actual conflict in the future.”
The candid and confidential briefing by Major-General Adam Findlay to Australia’s special forces soldiers last year gives the most detailed public knowledge insight into how the nation’s top military planners view the threat of China.
The then-special forces commander, who has since stepped down but who still advises the Australian Defence Force, highlighted the steps Australia’s military was taking to prevent war but also described a “high likelihood” that actual conflict could break out due to the unpredictable nature of foreign affairs.
In the past week the Australian government’s language on China has hardened. Defence Minister Peter Dutton has said a war over Taiwan could not be discounted, that Australia was “already under attack” in the cyber domain. Influential public servant Michael Pezzullo, the Department of Home Affairs secretary, warned the “drums of war” were beating.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
General Findlay’s briefing, however, was never intended for a public or political audience. Rather, he told dozens of highly trained special forces officers and soldiers that “China has game planned” to avoid crossing traditional military red lines and was instead waging a more subtle form of attack.
“China said, let’s be smarter. Let’s just play below the threshold, before it goes to war. Let’s achieve things strategically without having war. So, now we have a new dimension.”
China was on the one hand talking the language of “co-operation, where we all have happy families”. But, along with the “Russia and North Korea and Iran and all the other aligned states”, Beijing was competing with Australia in “the grey zone”.
The South China Post elaborated:
John Blaxland, a former intelligence officer who is now a professor at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, said the military commander would not have leaked the briefing, and he suspected it was disclosed by a member of Dutton’s inner circle “to prove the point that it is not just Peter Dutton speaking, this is a considered opinion by a practitioner who knows his stuff”.
He said Findlay’s briefing was not unusual in a military setting, but its leaking was intended as a wake-up call to Australia as it faced an increasingly uncertain security environment amid China’s rise.
“What we’ve seen in the last few years is that sense of China’s benign trajectory has just vaporised in the face of wolf warrior diplomacy and the repeated exercise of sharp power around the world, and now particularly aimed at Australia,” said Blaxland.
“It’s not that there are drum beats in Australia, it’s that there’s talk of drum beats in Beijing,” he said. “That’s the issue.”
China: A modern nation or a 21st century Imperial Japan
China’s actions in the last 12 years have hardly been the actions of a major power seeking to join the rules-based order of the West. Instead they have exploited the West’s naive policies and greed for profits to become the second-largest economy on the planet. While the United States is now $30 TRILLION dollars in debt, China has a trillion-dollar surplus of cash.
But China has problems that we cannot discount. They are an authoritarian police state with over two million Uighur’s in concentration camps. The CCP persecutes and imprisons millions of Fallon Gong practitioners. They engage in forced organ donations, or harvesting, from living patients. Mostly Uighur’s and Fallon Gong prisoners.
The “donation” of livers, hearts, lungs and eyes is usually fatal.
Xi Jinping has just given himself the title of “helmsman” as Chairman of the Communist Party of China. This was last bestowed on Mao Zedong “the Great Helmsman”. Western commentators marvel at how Xi seems at the peak of consolidated power.
They fail to see the cracks just below the surface.
Xi has consolidated power by crushing all opposition in the Party. It is a fragile hold that could easily come apart. Within the Central committee, there are rumblings of discontent. Xi has no appointed successor. China is inherently unstable. From Hong Kong to Tibet to the Uighurs to human rights violations and an Olympic boycott, there are problems looming on the horizon.
The crushing of Hong Kong and the threats against Taiwan do not signal strength. They signal weakness. An inability to come to grips with the need for open political expression from any society with a rising standard of living. From any country that seeks to have a growing middle class. That wants to truly be a part of the family of nations.
Xi Jinping seems to want none of these things. The Chinese seems to think that brute strength and intimidation with a healthy dose of stealthy espionage is the way to do business. They met with no opposition as they built islands in the South China sea and made ridiculous territorial claims.
Their ongoing military build-up, especially their Navy, is meant to challenge the American Naval and military presence in the Pacific Rim.
A war over Taiwan would be catastrophic for China as well.
Any war between China and the West would be a cataclysmic event. Even a war over just Taiwan would decimate the island. But would also destroy much of South China as well. Taiwan is not without extensive defense capabilities. Even if the West were to abandon it, which is not the case.
An invasion of Taiwan would be met with a barrage of missile attacks on the mainland. The cost in lives would be in the millions. The spread of a war over Taiwan to the rest of the region would be inevitable. What is the plausible expectation of China projecting power at that point.
The combined forces of the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Great Britain, would come together. The ASEAN alliance would be invoked. Britain is sending British warships through the South China Sea as we speak. Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, and India would quickly join with the western effort. The Chinese navy could quickly be destroyed by American firepower.
But American ships are also extremely vulnerable.
Most importantly China is dependent upon foreign oil for 83% of its energy.
Just as Imperial Japan was brought to its knees with an oil embargo, China could be cut off from Mid East and South Asian oil supplies in the event of conflict. Their economy would grind to a halt. Only the combined navies of the United States, Australia, Britain, and France could accomplish it.
The worldwide disruptions would be earth-shattering. Overall it lies the shadow of nuclear weapons and an escalating conflict that could easily spiral out of control as either side faces defeat.
But China is not thinking rationally as a fellow member of the family of nations. They are on an imperialist mission to dominate the planet and change the rules-based order. The CCP has met no resistance that has deterred them so far. They wield enormous economic influence.
The warnings from Australia about war with China are real
A war with China may not arrive for 5 to ten years from now, or it could erupt in September. Many say the Covid pandemic is a biological attack on the world by China. Based on well-documented “gain of function” research. What happened at the Wuhan lab, and the subsequent spread of a genetically altered virus around the world is the very definition of asymmetrical warfare. With catastrophic results.
It is not clear that Joe Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken have what it takes to stand up to Xi Jinping. Like so much of woke corporate America and the political elite in America, they seem to have been bought and paid for. Or been compromised.
For China the “grey war” against the West is working out just fine.
The CCP needs to be stopped. The stability of the Communist regime must be challenged. The resolve of the West must be stiffened. The Winter Olympics need to be boycotted. The regime must be delegitimized. Hong Kong should be avenged. Taiwan must be preserved. The CCP must be held accountable for the Covid pandemic. Woke corporate profits based on Chinese slave labor must be condemned. Genocide of the Uighur’s and Nazi-style forced organ harvesting must be denounced.
Xi Jinping needs to know that conflict with the West and war over Taiwan will be an unthinkable disaster. For both sides. Xi may believe in an imperial China, but it is based on an unsustainable authoritarian police state built on sand. Dependent on Western markets that may quickly evaporate.
We should be mindful of our Australian brothers in arms. And prepare to stiffen our resolve.
Taipei Skyline by YNES95 for Flickr under ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license and as seen on Wikipedia ynes95, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons>