The story from The Hill is becoming disturbing…

China’s military said Monday it has carried out beach landing and assault drills near Taiwan “in recent days” amid rising tensions with the island.

A Chinese military newspaper reported that the troops in the drills were “divided into multiple waves to grab the beach and perform combat tasks at different stages,” according to Reuters.

Taiwan has recently complained of increased pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese rule in the democratic country.

That’s pressure that we’ve all seen lately.

China is now threatening to take Taiwan over by force should they decide to declare independence, which is a move they’ve been hinting at for years. They’ve been pumping out impressive press releases about how big their military is and so on for the last decade. And certainly they have more in uniform than anyone else in the region.

Thing is, that they have not made good on that threat, however is to my mind a solid indication that their position is not as strong as they’d have us believe. Put simply if China thought for a minute they could get away with it they would have done it a long time ago.

I see the US is training the Taiwanese military in ways to counter invasion forces. I see also that the US has war game operations going with Japan right now. Japan, for its part, is in the process of converting at least two of its former battleships into baby carriers.

The likelihood of Japan putting up much of a fight over Taiwan is a question mark in my mind. First of all, they don’t have much of an Air Force or naval tradition for the last 60 years. I think we can take as an indication how seriously the Japanese take this to shake themselves out of their post World war II fear about engaging in war again. This is only slightly boosted by the malice of the Japanese against the Chinese over several points between them since World war II.

I fear that anything Japan is going to come up with is going to be too little too late, regardless of whatever support they would be getting from the US.

As to the US itself responding to that, no. I just don’t see it particularly with the current administration. The US is at this point the weakest it has been since the end of World war II, with an even weaker leader. Assuming China invades, the Biden administration will stamp their feet, they will issue declarations through the UN, and that will be the end of it. The US just got through losing Afghanistan at the hands of Joe Biden, and Biden’s ability to respond properly to such a situation is at best questionable now. Particularly given China’s hand in Afghanistan. This particular point figures large in anything that China is doing right now. Consider, China waited until Joe Biden was firmly in Wisconsin the White House before it started turning up the heat on Taiwan. Now why do you suppose that is?

All this is not to say that Taiwan is helpless to the invasion threat. The rumor has been going on for years now that Taiwan has nuclear capability and has been keeping it pretty much on the hush much the same as for example Israel as over the years. It’s been suggested that if they drop a couple of those on the Three gorges dam, it not only knock several gigawatts of electrical generation capacity offline but it would basically put Shanghai underwater. After being under continuous threat for as long as Taiwan has I can’t imagine that they haven’t come up with that one on their own. At the same time however I can’t imagine the China doesn’t have intelligence confirming that nuclear capability.

Do I think anything is going to happen in the immediate sense? Probably not. This is probably just a large PR campaign on the part of China. Using a saber in battle requires drawing it. Rattling that saber, does not. I suspect the China understands now is a bad time to be actually making a move on Taiwan. China simply wants to keep their claim on Taiwan in the public eye because they think it advantages them going forward.