It’s Not Just About Taiwan
“China’s goal is not just to dominate the world, but to reduce the rest of us to subservience.” With that terrifying projection, China expert Steven Mosher has been trying to rouse America from its complacency and caution the Biden administration over its appeasement of the Red Dragon. He reads clear and present danger in a leaked video showing Chinese military commanders discussing a 90-day countdown to a Taiwan invasion. Mosher says the video is authentic, and that the Biden administration’s mixed signals on Taiwan smack of a fecklessness that will only embolden China.
Other experts, too, warn of the government’s “strategic ambiguity” toward China as the “reunification” rhetoric with Taiwan has become more aggressive. There is a growing fear that Chinese President Xi Jinping, having suffered few consequences for his forays into the South China Sea and his crackdown in Hong Kong, will be emboldened to take on U.S. allies and attack American assets. On July 6th, it was announced that China would join Russia and Iran in war drills in our hemisphere, a clear threat to the security of the United States.
Mosher is no armchair theorizer. He’s fluent in Chinese and was the first American social scientist to visit China, as early as 1979. He is the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order, an overview of China’s ambitions in South Asia. He has served in the Navy, and is a member of the Committee on the Present Danger China (CPDC), an independent task-force based in Washington, D.C. Mosher’s assessment on Taiwan was presented recently on the Securing America podcast, anchored by Center for Security Policy (CSP) founder Frank Gaffney.
China pursues a Sun Tzu-inspired, multi-pronged, multi-front war. In 1999, two Chinese air force colonels updated Sun Tzu’s ideas for the 21st century and wrote Unrestricted Warfare, a vade mecum on how to destroy America and the free world “without firing a shot.” Besides its sporadic military depredations, China continuously stays on attack mode on the economic, technological, foreign policy and other fronts.
Meanwhile, it has imposed full control on its citizens, using ubiquitous surveillance, artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and other technology. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is tyrannical, and anyone who shows any sign of deviating from the CCP narrative, or any group deemed unacceptable (like the Falun Gong or the Uighurs), faces indoctrination, imprisonment, torture or death. China – by all accounts and videos posted by brave citizens via the internet – has already become a dystopia. Leaked clips of the Shanghai lockdown showed people desperate for food or treatment leaping to their deaths off buildings. These images should be burned in the minds of citizens of the free world as trenchant reminders of the pernicious route to totalitarianism.
In the Securing America interview, Mosher discusses a leaked video (May 2022) of top brass in China’s southern military command during a planning session with party leaders. He says China has been holding many such meetings to summon every potential resource for the effort. In the video, the military leaders list what will be required, and when, from the commercial sector. Specifics of airports, railroads, railroad cars, and planes needed are mentioned. Sixty-two roll-on, roll-off cargo ships are to be modified for taking armored brigades across the Taiwan Strait. The army brass also speak of factories manufacturing drones, ships, etc., and of how workers may be needed around the clock, for which locking them in is mentioned as a tactic.
Mosher says the U.S. faces increased risk under the obsequious Biden administration. The president and the executive staff, he says, are telegraphing “strategic confusion.” In May, Biden proclaimed that the U.S. would take military action to defend Taiwan, but under Chinese pressure, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reassured China, saying “the United States remains committed to our One China policy…” and opposes “any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side.”
In an earlier Securing America podcast, Col. (Ret.) John Mills, another member of the CPDC and a 33-year Army veteran with significant experience in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Defense (DoD), recalled how Blinken was put on the defensive by Chinese officials at the contentious Anchorage meeting in 2021, the first face-to-face high-level talks of the Biden administration. When Blinken brought up global concerns over China’s human rights record concerning Hong Kong, Taiwan, prison camps, and forced organ harvesting, China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi turned the tables by mocking the U.S.’s human rights record. Citing Black Lives Matter riots, Jiechi alleged that America, too, had “deep-seated” civil rights problems with blacks, and said China was making “steady progress in human rights.” This at a time when Africans in China complained that they were targets of suspicion, forced into quarantine and Covid testing, and banned from restaurants.
Mills described another instance of the Biden administration kowtowing to the CCP. During the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue last month, PLA general and China’s Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe summoned American defense officials to Singapore. Despite short notice, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin asked the officials to make the 21-hour trip, endure a 12-hour jetlag, and convene for negotiations shortly on arrival. Mills reports in astonishment that the Chinese set and controlled the agenda with the foggy-headed American officials. He says any discussion of China unleashing a bioweapon on the world, its violation of human rights, its aggression in the South and the East China Seas never came up, and that the Chinese berated the American officials. He says that under President Trump, the U.S. wouldn’t have attended the meeting – or would have extracted significant concessions before doing so. He believes that the present government is “handing the playing field to the Chinese” in a “willful, intentional destruction of American interests.”
Capt. James Fanell, a former intelligence chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and a distinguished CPDC member, provided his perceptions of the military threat presented by the Chinese in the Western Pacific. The build-up of Chinese ships, missiles, aircraft, and space capabilities has given them a decisive advantage, he says, adding that only seven years ago, when he was serving, the U.S. Navy was predominant in the region. Now, the Chinese outnumber the U.S. Navy ten-to-one, commanding 350 ships in the Western Pacific to our 70 around the world. In the South China Sea, the Chinese have built three naval bases to control throughput. America, he says, is also at significant disadvantage in naval, air, strategic rockets and intelligence-reporting satellites.
According to Fanell, China has a “counter-intervention” strategy: before or when it invades Taiwan in a “short, sharp” war that could start with naval and rocket attacks, China may attack American bases in Japan. (Confirming his fears, a July 2nd report says three Chinese ships have been circling Japan.) He believes, like many other military observers, that since 2020, we are facing a “decade of concern,” for the CCP is intent on kinetic measures to force the “unification” of China. He warns of an upcoming nuclear break-wall of 350 ICBM silos in central and western China that may be used as blackmail to take Taiwan.
The DoD’s latest Annual Report to Congress on China says Beijing wants to “reshape the international order to better align with its authoritarian system and national interests.” It also says China wants a “great rejuvenation” by 2049 – the centenary year of the communist revolution – “to match or surpass U.S. global influence and power.”
We cannot recognize this threat and in the same breath speak of “engagement and cooperation on security matters,” as the report does on its inside title page. We must instead defend Taiwan, and bolster America’s status as a superpower and protector of freedom everywhere in the world. If we don’t act decisively and in short order, we may wake up to the precipitous loss of our constitutional republic and the freedom, liberty and dignity we take for granted as citizens of the free world.