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> WHAT IF?, China invaded Taiwan
Stanley Tree
post May 10 2009, 05:54 PM
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So as I was studying for my Chinese-U.S. foreign relations class, I came across an interesting topic (bear in mind, book was written at the end of 1996, right after the Taiwan Strait Crisis): the writers of the book brought up a "what if" in which China invaded Taiwan. The question was whether or not America would help defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, especially if it was Taiwan-induced (although I can't see any situations where Taiwan would be that dumb). I think this question is a little outdated (or I just put too much trust into Hu Jintao's sanity), but very interesting.

I think that America would have come to the aid of Taiwan as near as three or four years ago, but with the continued progress of China, and new dangers in the region (North Korea's insanity being the main perpetrator), I don't think U.S.'s economic benefit of a strong Taiwan is balance enough against a costly war and a huge hit to relations with China, who will soon (or already is) the most important country in the world.


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Jonesy
post May 10 2009, 06:28 PM
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Well, don't wars usually help our economy? There's that at least. (But yes, wars in general suck)


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TheWerg
post May 10 2009, 06:47 PM
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No.

See: the two wars we're currently embroiled in.

Being at war with China would destroy our economy, and really probably isn't a possibility. They hold a HUGE portion of our national debt. You know all the deficit spending we've been doing in the last decade or so? Yeah, wouldn't have happened without China.

Just looked at one of my extemp outlines. They held $1.2 trillion of our national debt according to the January 20, 2009 Time magazine. When they slowed the buying of our debt early this year, it threw our economy into chaos. Or so I wrote for my speech. It might be made up, but I think it's true.


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Jonesy
post May 10 2009, 07:07 PM
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QUOTE (TheWerg @ May 10 2009, 01:47 PM) *
No.

See: the two wars we're currently embroiled in.

Being at war with China would destroy our economy, and really probably isn't a possibility. They hold a HUGE portion of our national debt. You know all the deficit spending we've been doing in the last decade or so? Yeah, wouldn't have happened without China.

Just looked at one of my extemp outlines. They held $1.2 trillion of our national debt according to the January 20, 2009 Time magazine. When they slowed the buying of our debt early this year, it threw our economy into chaos. Or so I wrote for my speech. It might be made up, but I think it's true.

We aren't in any wars, we're in "police actions", and I'm talking about wars that the country rallies behind and believes in. I was also joking. wink.gif


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Tsjr1704
post May 10 2009, 10:15 PM
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No, the economic disruption that a war with Taiwan would bring to China — an export-based economy — would be destructive enough to convince them to not pursue that sort of action.


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AK_WDB
post May 11 2009, 01:34 AM
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QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 02:15 PM) *
No, the economic disruption that a war with Taiwan would bring to China — an export-based economy — would be destructive enough to convince them to not pursue that sort of action.

This is based on the assumption that authoritarian regimes use a rational basis for their actions, which does not tend to be true. However, China's been claiming sovereignty over Taiwan for 60 years and hasn't actually done anything about it; unless there's some important recent event that I haven't heard about, I don't seen any reason why they would suddenly invade Taiwan now. Modern Chinese leaders are by and large a lot more sane than the old Mao crowd, as we learned in 2007.

Would the United States hypothetically aid Taiwan in such a situation? That's a difficult question to answer. Certainly there would be a lot of political pressure to do so, as most Americans don't hold very high opinions of China to begin with---one-party state, poor labor standards, etc. Since China is, as the debater said, an ever-growing force in the world economy and international politics, going to war with them would be extremely foolish in my opinion, but it's not like the United States never engages in foolish wars.
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zzzptm
post May 11 2009, 01:59 AM
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A Chinese invasion of Taiwan is a cure for Chinese unemployment. It'll happen if things are desperate enough in China. The US would have to borrow massively to fight China - and it's already close to the end of its tether as far as debt goes.

But should exports collapse in China - and they are headed that way - the leaders there will want to be able to distract people from domestic troubles with a patriotic war. And if Taiwan isn't enough, China can always bleed off excess population in a war with Vietnam.

Jonesy: war is NOT good for the economy, ever. It is ruinous. "Police actions" are still de facto wars in terms of cost. The US did not emerge from the Great Depression until after the recession of 1947-48. The boost in production from the war was due to a host of aberrations, and much of that production wound up either exploded or at the bottom of the sea somewhere.


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Tsjr1704
post May 11 2009, 02:54 AM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2009, 09:34 PM) *
QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 02:15 PM) *
No, the economic disruption that a war with Taiwan would bring to China — an export-based economy — would be destructive enough to convince them to not pursue that sort of action.

This is based on the assumption that authoritarian regimes use a rational basis for their actions, which does not tend to be true. However, China's been claiming sovereignty over Taiwan for 60 years and hasn't actually done anything about it; unless there's some important recent event that I haven't heard about, I don't seen any reason why they would suddenly invade Taiwan now. Modern Chinese leaders are by and large a lot more sane than the old Mao crowd, as we learned in 2007.

Would the United States hypothetically aid Taiwan in such a situation? That's a difficult question to answer. Certainly there would be a lot of political pressure to do so, as most Americans don't hold very high opinions of China to begin with---one-party state, poor labor standards, etc. Since China is, as the debater said, an ever-growing force in the world economy and international politics, going to war with them would be extremely foolish in my opinion, but it's not like the United States never engages in foolish wars.


You contradict yourself in the last sentence — the west has engaged in unwise wars despite of supposedly having the political and moral entitlement of being the beacons of human liberty, so assuming they'd act rationally because they are "democratic" is to ignore how their foreign policies are often tied to safeguarding the investments of politically important corporate interests.

The invasion of another country, giving money to a political faction to gain influence, and opening up markets through force, are historically motivated by the need to overcome economic cycles and for capturing the release of surplus investment capital. This is chiefly a phenomenon that serves as the basis for western capitalist imperialism. China does not occupy the same structural position in the world economy that the UK and US has. China's stock of direct foreign investment was $94 billion two years ago. That sounds large, but it's small in comparison to China's direct foreign investment at home (invst. they are receiving) which was $768 billion for the same year. China's export revenues reached $1.22 trillion, which means a majority of it's overseas revenue is from the export of goods, not from returns on foreign investment. The net movement of surplus value is negative, in that wealth floats from their soil to the "developed" nations, instead of being used to enrich themselves.

China hasn't invaded a country for decades. Just recently, China donated 4.5 tons of humanitarian aid for victims of three hurricanes that battered Cuba. It also has assisted Sudan and other African countries in the construction of railroads. I'm not saying this to romanticize "Red" China, but to make the point that it's in their interest to morally and strategically avoid being as confrontational as the United States is (as of right now, at least).

QUOTE
But should exports collapse in China - and they are headed that way - the leaders there will want to be able to distract people from domestic troubles with a patriotic war. And if Taiwan isn't enough, China can always bleed off excess population in a war with Vietnam.


As of right now, I think China wants to take ahold of key parts of international capital so that the yuan can become a major currency on the level of the Euro or dollar. They need our cash still.

This post has been edited by Tsjr1704: May 11 2009, 03:08 AM


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AK_WDB
post May 11 2009, 03:25 AM
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QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 06:54 PM) *
You contradict yourself in the last sentence — the west has engaged in unwise wars despite of supposedly having the political and moral entitlement of being the beacons of human liberty, so assuming they'd act rationally because they are "democratic" is to ignore how their foreign policies are often tied to safeguarding the investments of politically important corporate interests.

How exactly did I contradict myself?
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Tsjr1704
post May 11 2009, 03:29 AM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2009, 11:25 PM) *
QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 06:54 PM) *
You contradict yourself in the last sentence — the west has engaged in unwise wars despite of supposedly having the political and moral entitlement of being the beacons of human liberty, so assuming they'd act rationally because they are "democratic" is to ignore how their foreign policies are often tied to safeguarding the investments of politically important corporate interests.

How exactly did I contradict myself?


"This is based on the assumption that authoritarian regimes use a rational basis for their actions, which does not tend to be true."

"but it's not like the United States never engages in foolish wars."


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AK_WDB
post May 11 2009, 03:33 AM
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QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 07:29 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2009, 11:25 PM) *
QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 06:54 PM) *
You contradict yourself in the last sentence — the west has engaged in unwise wars despite of supposedly having the political and moral entitlement of being the beacons of human liberty, so assuming they'd act rationally because they are "democratic" is to ignore how their foreign policies are often tied to safeguarding the investments of politically important corporate interests.

How exactly did I contradict myself?


"This is based on the assumption that authoritarian regimes use a rational basis for their actions, which does not tend to be true."

"but it's not like the United States never engages in foolish wars."

Yeah, I'm not seeing a contradiction there.
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Stanley Tree
post May 11 2009, 04:13 AM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 11 2009, 03:33 AM) *
QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 07:29 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2009, 11:25 PM) *
QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 06:54 PM) *
You contradict yourself in the last sentence — the west has engaged in unwise wars despite of supposedly having the political and moral entitlement of being the beacons of human liberty, so assuming they'd act rationally because they are "democratic" is to ignore how their foreign policies are often tied to safeguarding the investments of politically important corporate interests.

How exactly did I contradict myself?


"This is based on the assumption that authoritarian regimes use a rational basis for their actions, which does not tend to be true."

"but it's not like the United States never engages in foolish wars."

Yeah, I'm not seeing a contradiction there.


Oh I see, he's calling the United States an authoritarian regime.

The idea of invading Taiwan has definitely cooled over the last decade (and especially after the Olympics), and while new Communist China is not as insane as Mao's Communist China, invading Taiwan would not be considered "radical" in relation to the absolute ridiculousness that Mao incurred on the Chinese population. I don't think China invading Taiwan would help their unemployment level all that much; a large amount of the foreign trade industry is funded by Taiwanese companies. Also, it would be kinda tough to immigrate THAT many Chinese people over to that island, which is not large anyways.

I keep on wrapping my mind around this one, and I really don't know. I don't think China will invade Taiwan, as I said an invasion of North Korea is much more likely now that U.S.-China relations are cooling. However, if they did, I sincerely think the U.S. would defend Taiwan at this point. They have defended Taiwan since the KMT got its business together in the 70s, and after projecting that they would help defend Taiwan for years, I think it would be hard for them not to, despite the economic climate.

And as for the "war helps the economy" is fairly misleading. In World War II, we were just coming out of a depression and all of a sudden jobs were everywhere; it doesn't really happen like that in most wars. However, if we started a long, protracted war with China, the potential job gain might be intriguing (although, it will probably just be outsourced tongue.gif)


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BadgerCam
post May 11 2009, 04:23 AM
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QUOTE (Mr. Tree @ May 10 2009, 09:13 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 11 2009, 03:33 AM) *
QUOTE (Tsjr1704 @ May 10 2009, 07:29 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 10 2009, 11:25 PM) *

How exactly did I contradict myself?


"This is based on the assumption that authoritarian regimes use a rational basis for their actions, which does not tend to be true."

"but it's not like the United States never engages in foolish wars."

Yeah, I'm not seeing a contradiction there.


Oh I see, he's calling the United States an authoritarian regime.

The idea of invading Taiwan has definitely cooled over the last decade (and especially after the Olympics), and while new Communist China is not as insane as Mao's Communist China, invading Taiwan would not be considered "radical" in relation to the absolute ridiculousness that Mao incurred on the Chinese population. I don't think China invading Taiwan would help their unemployment level all that much; a large amount of the foreign trade industry is funded by Taiwanese companies. Also, it would be kinda tough to immigrate THAT many Chinese people over to that island, which is not large anyways.

I keep on wrapping my mind around this one, and I really don't know. I don't think China will invade Taiwan, as I said an invasion of North Korea is much more likely now that U.S.-China relations are cooling. However, if they did, I sincerely think the U.S. would defend Taiwan at this point. They have defended Taiwan since the KMT got its business together in the 70s, and after projecting that they would help defend Taiwan for years, I think it would be hard for them not to, despite the economic climate.

And as for the "war helps the economy" is fairly misleading. In World War II, we were just coming out of a depression and all of a sudden jobs were everywhere; it doesn't really happen like that in most wars. However, if we started a long, protracted war with China, the potential job gain might be intriguing (although, it will probably just be outsourced tongue.gif)

With our record, outsourced to China.


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AK_WDB
post May 11 2009, 05:34 AM
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QUOTE (Mr. Tree @ May 10 2009, 08:13 PM) *
Oh I see, he's calling the United States an authoritarian regime.

Even if that were the case, there would be no contradiction in my statements. In fact, there would be a logical agreement. I'm really not sure where he's coming from.

QUOTE (Mr. Tree @ May 10 2009, 08:13 PM) *
And as for the "war helps the economy" is fairly misleading. In World War II, we were just coming out of a depression and all of a sudden jobs were everywhere; it doesn't really happen like that in most wars. However, if we started a long, protracted war with China, the potential job gain might be intriguing (although, it will probably just be outsourced tongue.gif)

Now wait a minute. Economic growth does not become void because "the jobs will just be outsourced". Politicians like to complain about job outsourcing to boost their populist and patriotic credentials, but...yeah, you probably get where I'm going. Guess I won't start that argument here.
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TheWerg
post May 11 2009, 05:35 AM
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Perhaps he can't comprehend a double negative?


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Stanley Tree
post May 11 2009, 05:47 AM
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Hence the tongue.gif

And I see what tsjr is saying. You are accusing America of doing the same thing that those authoritarian regimes are doing. It's not a grammatical problem.


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AK_WDB
post May 11 2009, 05:49 AM
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QUOTE (Mr. Tree @ May 10 2009, 09:47 PM) *
Hence the tongue.gif

And I see what tsjr is saying. You are accusing America of doing the same thing that those authoritarian regimes are doing. It's not a grammatical problem.

Yes, I said both tend to use irrational bases for going to war, but how is that a contradiction?
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Stanley Tree
post May 11 2009, 07:02 AM
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It's not a contradiction per se, just funny. Let's leave it at that.


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tryingtothinkaga...
post May 11 2009, 07:12 AM
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actually, I think he assumed that when AK_WBD called authoritarian regimes illogical he was implying that democratic regimes ARE logical....that's about the only way you could pull a contradiction out of that.


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zzzptm
post May 11 2009, 12:37 PM
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China's invasion of Vietnam in 1979 coincided with the disruption of power after the fall of the Gang of Four and then the moderates. With Deng on the ascendant, a little assertion helped cement his credentials as a supreme leader.

If the current crop of leaders can't make conditions in China improve, they will have to resort to some diversion to keep themselves in power. The bigger the problem, the bigger the diversion. Unemployment in China is set to take off, given that American consumption is moving from 70% of GDP to about 60% of GDP, which is where it had been historically. That drop in consumption will mean the end of the Chinese export machine's miracle and increased pressure on Beijing to find a way to keep its people from turning on them.


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