Sunday, August 16, 2015

"Xi Jinping’s New Generals: There are some oddities in the most recent round of PLA promotions."

Shaking up the general staff in order to get ready for what?
Maybe this: China's Military Trains for Taiwan Invasion With Mock-Ups


Chiu ChunLing said...

The unsubtle signals towards Taiwan are probably (for now) a charade. Exactly what this display of (unlikely) possible military contingencies is supposed to accomplish is unclear, it doesn't seem to have helped Hung Hsiu-chu consolidate support even within the KMT, let alone the Taiwan at large. Certainly the competing claims to the Senkaku (Diaoyu/Diaoyutai) islands figure into this picture, with the Beijing-influenced narrative of a strong Taiwanese claim to the islands apparently currently ascendant over the international law based perspective that recognizes the legitimacy of the Japanese claim.

It seems clear that Hung cannot win election, and will actually cost the KMT heavily by association. But she does seem to be affecting the 'moderate' position on a number of issues relevant to Beijing's interests, including regional support for Japan's territorial integrity. Certainly, this shift is also significantly attributable to mistakes by Japan's own leadership. I don't see Taiwan approving of any significant regional aggression by Beijing in the near future...but given the way things stand, I also don't see them making too much of a fuss as long as Japan is the target.

Recently, Beijing has shifted regional attention away from the Senkaku dispute itself, pursuing the creation of alternate 'facts on the ground' elsewhere. But there is very little chance that they have actually given up on drawing Japan into a conflict on unfavorable terms. The obvious thing would be to engage in minor provocations until they produce a "disproportionate" Japanese response, then fan the image of a resurgent Japanese militaristic nationalism (which the current government of Japan has singularly failed to disprove).

Thus far, Obama's "pivot" in the Pacific has lacked credibility. If Japan gets suckered into some kind of dangerous nonsense and lacks significant regional supporters, the U.S. could face some very unpleasant choices, any of which might (and, with Obama in play, would) end in serious damage to the existing security structure in the Pacific.

The global economic consequences of that would be non-trivial.

Josh said...

It seems the whole world is gearing up for another war.'sPlanToConquer.htm