From a published China hawk author. The truth is that the Taiwanese themselves are more interested in playing politics than playing war. The pro-independence party fears strengthening the military will strengthen the pro-status quo party, and so, they will never strengthen the military in any meaningful way. Not only that, they cannot adopt a realistic strategy because that would require the populace buy into the idea of making massive sacrifices for even a chance that an outside power will intervene.
The populace will not buy into that idea. It would be political suicide. There can be no strengthening of Taiwan itself under a DPP regime.
On the flip side – the KMT themselves have next to no interest in fighting China. Their entire platform is to keep the status quo, gain more access to the mainland’s markets, get richer.
So you have one party that is willing to fight, but not willing to support their military. On the other, you have a party that is supportive of the military, but not willing to fight.
You can see the paradox here.
The author’s final paragraph:
At this point an admission is due: it is easy for me to write all that. It is easy for me to judge, to pontificate on why some other country needs to militarize its society. The costs are not my own. I will not be called up for a year’s conscription. I will not be paying higher taxes; it is not my culture at stake. But the call is now going out for America to commit itself to Taiwan’s defense. I cannot advocate sending American servicemen to die for the sake of a country that is not serious about defending itself. Unless American diplomats deliver a similar ultimatum to the Taiwanese, I am not sure they ever will be.
And here is where I will insert a hypothesis of my own:
The Taiwanese elites are fully aware of this. And they’re okay with this, because they’re more concerned about holding onto their own power internally than they are concerned about a Chinese invasion.
Because despite the very widely publicized rhetoric, cross straits relations are actually pretty stable and have been for years.
China cannot hide the preparations for an invasion force. They cannot hide hundreds, thousands of ships and planes and everything else required to invade. So if we can’t see it, the logical conclusion is they aren’t planning to do it in the near future.
If I can reach this conclusion, then any high ranking government/party official will reach it as well.
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