October 25, 2004

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China and war

The Jamestown Foundation have posted an article looking at China's energy security question (via Kolya). Between China's rapidly expanding industrial base and its rapid replacement of bikes for cars its demand for energy will continue increasing quickly. So China is worried where it will get its energy from. It continues to expand its domestic power generation through increased oil exploration, greater use of nuclear and natural gas power, developing strategic reserves and energy conservation. But it will continue to become a greater consideration in China's geopolitical planning in the years to come; for example the great efforts exerted by China to capture the new Russian oil pipeline and its opposition to sanctions on Sudan. The final question is this: will China eventually go to war to secure its energy supplies?

Likewise the SCMP reports on a conference held last week in Taiwan on China's likely modes of attack on the island. Held jointly with American think-tanks, the consensus was that China would aim to quickly force Taiwan to negotiate with Beijing under a one-China principle rather than trying to completely conquer the island. The strike would be limited in scope, only trying to eliminate Taiwan's will to fight and to prevent the US entering the conflict. It would do this by targetting the island's leadership and communication infrastructure and forcing a Taiwan negotiation without a US presence. In being quick and launching such a "decapitation" strike the PLA sees it can reduce or eliminate any chance of the US being able to respond. Taiwan's answer will be a need to hold off long enough for the US to join the fray and escalate the war. It all sounds about right.

posted by Simon on 10.25.04 at 10:52 AM in the


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