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Old 07-22-2006, 09:54 AM   #1
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Taiwan bares its teeth

Found this at SubSim, browsing for news about Silent Hunter IV: Taiwan holds largest War Games in 20 years.

It's essential that Taiwan keeps updating its military because its defense rests largely on a capability parity with the People's Liberation Army,'' Yu Maochun, history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, said in an e-mail. A key component is the submarine fleet that Taiwan does not yet have.''

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, who supervised today's exercise, wants defense spending raised beyond the current 2.5 percent of the island's $346 billion economy.

China on March 4 announced a 14.7 percent increase in its defense budget to 283.8 billion yuan ($35 billion), the biggest jump in four years. The mainland's defense spending is more than the figure disclosed and is seven to 11 times higher than the $8.3 billion that Taiwan spends annually, the island's defense report said in May.
I personally fully supports the independence and sovereignity of the nation of Taiwan, but I'm not certain if this arms race is the way to keep the peace. At the same time, I don't think Taiwan should allow itself to lag too far behind the Chinese military budget-wise. The People's Republic still maintains that it "may" use military force if Taiwan declares independence.

What are your opinions on the situation there? Should Taiwan declare itself independent? Should it strive to strenghten its defences?

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Old 07-22-2006, 02:36 PM   #2
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A strange situation with Taiwan (Republic of China) and China (People's Republic of China). Both governments officially claim to be the rightful government of the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan. In reality they operate as two separate national governments.

In recent years some Taiwanese felt that their government should give up its claim to the mainland and just establish itself as the government for Taiwan. This concept has gained some traction in Taiwan but the PRC government has made it clear they will not sanction such a move and have threatened invasion of Taiwan if it happens.

How to keep the peace then? The best option is probably to continue with the status quo. Better not to test the Chinese government's threat of invasion by declaring independence. While I believe most countries don't have official diplomatic representation in Taiwan (due to these countries competing claims as the rightful government of both mainland China and Taiwan) this doesn't mean that Taiwan doesn't have unofficial relations with other governments, particularly the U.S. Taiwan seems to have done quite well for itself operating thus for the past 50 years.

I do think that it's important for Taiwan to maintain a military strong enough to deter China from serious thoughts of invasion. IMO Taiwan should avoid appearing like an easy target. If China were to invade Taiwan then I think we're looking at another world war. I personally don't want that, even though I think a future military confrontation between the U.S. and China is inevitable.

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Old 07-23-2006, 03:37 AM   #3
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I honestly don't believe many countries would go to bat for Taiwan. Corporate interests can just move to another country. Besides, our trade relations with China are HUGE and shadow our trade with Taiwan. I really doubt Corporate American would throw away our progress with China for Taiwan.

I don't think a confrontation is necessary. China is slowly becoming more liberal and more accepting to free enterprise. Besides, of all the countries I want to be buddy buddy with, I want China. I believe that China will be the country that takes over when America begins to slump, 10, 50, 100, 500 years in the future.
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