Politics China/Taiwan Crisis

Hmmmm, from the actual transcript, they mentioned Taiwan. You might have been a victim of Twitter. Or maybe she made a mistake and they corrected it. If you listen to the entire interview see below, you can see that she is pretty much telling China to F*** off.

So yes, still ballsy

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"End of quote repeat the line".
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China’s ambassador to Australia, Xiao Qian, has a friendlier way of presenting the Chinese Communist Party propaganda department’s talking points than many of Beijing’s wolf warriors, but it’s the same content, just in nicer wrapping. At his National Press Club speech yesterday there was no strident shouting about Australian ‘finger-pointing’ or emotional claims that Australia had breached the UN charter.

One distinctive thing about his storytelling is the passive, almost invisible role that the CCP has played in the Australia–China relationship and in Chinese actions in the world, contrasted with the active role that the Australian government must take to ‘reset the relationship’.

As the ambassador tells it, it’s all about the emotions and reactions of a highly strung 1.4 billion Chinese people who are quick to feel anger and act on that impulse, all the while apparently feeling great personal warmth and friendship for others, including the Australian people. In this world, the CCP is not a highly controlling autocratic regime; at most it simply acts as a conduit for its people’s emotion.

So, while the Chinese customs folk have put tariffs on some Australian products, the Chinese government has apparently not put in place $20 billion worth of economic sanctions against Australian exports. No, apparently it’s just that the Chinese people had received ‘very negative messages’ from the Australian government and so ‘are not happy’ and not buying Australian products. A warm atmosphere between us—to be created by the Australian government—can change that.

There was also a continued theme from his previous public comments. He told us again that ‘China’s policy of friendship and cooperation towards Australia remains’.

He told us that both governments ‘need to adopt positive policies towards each other’. He said that ‘there has been a good start’ and assured us that the Chinese government is ready to engage with the Australian government to resolve differences.

But there’s little sign that this is the position of his seniors in Beijing, where it seems the expectation continues to be an Australian compromise first as the price for deeper engagement.

The actual content of the speech was core, boilerplate CCP messaging about mutual benefit, proper handling of differences, and China never seeking hegemony, expansion or a sphere of influence.

It had a surreal quality because of the absence of the Chinese government as a real driver of events and decisions in the world he presented, and because that government’s military aggression and expansive territorial claims in places like the South China Sea and against Japan in the East China Sea seemed not to exist.

Some coded references were still clear: Australia is a great nation, but it must not be influenced by ‘a third party’—which is the standard CCP way of telling countries that they are mere pawns of the US without minds of their own, while right-thinking nations listen to China and act in accordance with its interests—independently, of course.

But the high point of his Alice in Wonderland presentation was about Taiwan.

This surreal world was on display with the ambassador’s storytelling about the large Chinese military forces operating aggressively around Taiwan that fired a barrage of ballistic missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The ambassador distilled this into a single event: a ‘ballistic missile dropped in … an area of dispute,’ he said, and so no one had any right to complain. Indeed, the boilerplate foreign ministry material made an appearance here. China was ‘compelled’ to take ‘legitimate and justified’ ‘countermeasures’ because of the crisis of a political visit to Taiwan.

Most impressive in his rhetorical presentation was the breathtaking lack of proportion and perspective he provided between the Pelosi visit to Taiwan and the large, violent—and continuing—actions by the Chinese military to intimidate and frighten the 23 million people of Taiwan.

To the ambassador, this all makes sense because, ‘It is the US side that fired the first shot.’ Equating the visit of an 82-year-old American politician to a peaceful democratic people with the dangerous and violent military actions ordered by Xi Jinping against Taiwan and Japan isn’t sophistry and isn’t just propaganda—it’s delusion. There are real problems flowing from the limited perspectives inside Xi’s Beijing echo chamber.

And fast behind this was Xiao’s stated belief that most Taiwanese believe Taiwan is part of China and support unification. When confronted with continued polling showing that a large majority of Taiwan’s 23 million people say the opposite, the ambassador simply said, ‘The poll is misleading’.

He spoke several times about ‘the one-China policy’, which is Beijing’s view that Taiwan is a part of the motherland and Taiwan’s government is just a ‘local government’ inside China subordinate to the ‘central government’ in Beijing.

He told us that all nations needed to uphold Beijing’s one-China policy and if we did there would be peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. That could be true in some dystopian future, but not in the way the ambassador might have us believe. If Beijing attempted to conquer Taiwan and its people and succeeded there would be silence, if not peace, at least after the smoke of the invasion cleared.

Quoting the actual text of Australia’s diplomatic recognition of Beijing’s government back in 1972: ‘“The Australian Government recognises the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of China [and] acknowledges the position of the Chinese Government that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China”,’ the ambassador warned us that ‘this principle … should not be misinterpreted’. And then he promptly did so, pretending that Australia acknowledging the PRC’s view was the same as Australia agreeing with it.

Once, the ambassador slipped and referred to ‘our one-China policy’ instead of ‘the one-China policy’, creating a narrative gap in which other versions of this critical policy on Taiwan might exist (as they do) and compromises might be needed. But this was a momentary lapse, quickly rectified: Beijing could not compromise on Taiwan and would not renounce force against it, just as Beijing could not compromise on any of its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The ambassador’s ability to sound urbane while presenting the unapologetically uncompromising position of his superiors back in Beijing is a display worth watching, if only to notice the gap between his words of warmth and friendship and Beijing’s actions. Welcome to the world of the CCP.
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/a...ing and the invisible Chinese Communist Party
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his cabinet have already done much to demonstrate Australia’s commitment to continuity and consistency on China policy, and it has been worth watching.

With the international system more precarious now than it has been in decades, the new government could have been forgiven for wanting to take some time to get its eye in before sending any major foreign policy signals.

But it quickly grasped the scale of the China challenge and moved to defend our sovereignty and national interests in ways that are easy to understand and broadly consistent with the previous government’s approach.

Beijing was always going to view the new government’s first few months as an opportunity to get Australia to change course or make a sufficiently large concession that could be used to divide Australian politics along China lines.

But neither occurred.

In responding to China’s military exercises surrounding Taiwan, its Solomon Islands push, the reckless Chinese interceptions of Australian military aircraft and Beijing’s latest list of unreasonable demands to reset the bilateral relationship, Australia’s political leaders have on balance struck the right note: Australia will act in the interests of Australia.

With both sides of Australian politics taking all of this very seriously, as they should, the question now is how to sustain a national focus and resolve over time.

Maintaining a realistic perspective and developing an honest communication style in relation to China matters will be the most useful habits for us to form over the long haul.

While three years in China’s bad books seems like a long time, we need to remember that we’re still in the feeling-out stage of a very long game that we’ll have to play to the end.

There will be many ups and downs in the bilateral relationship for many years to come, and in the next few years at least probably more downs than ups.

A healthy China discourse in Australian politics in this context is one that is not only free of partisanship and false bravado but also openly accepting of the long and potentially painful road ahead for Australia and the region.

To pace ourselves amid all this we need to be ourselves. And being ourselves requires us to focus sufficient attention on what it is we are doing and feeling, and to direct energy away from some of the things we cannot control.

Accepting that we cannot penetrate the black box of Chinese government decision-making or truly know what China’s leaders think of us is a good start.

Much time and energy can be wasted predicting how China will react to something we’re planning to say or do, and whether a punishment for something we have already said or done was intended to deter us or signal something to someone else.

Thinking that way is exhausting. It’s also dangerous, because it makes almost all problems and policy choices seem China-centric.

Beijing’s pressure-and-release tactics are designed to give China prominence and to take a psychological and emotional toll on us, and they often do.

But not letting what China says about us have any meaningful impact on our desire and endeavour to pursue our own interests in our own way will make those tactics far less effective over time.

And it will mean that, no matter what happens, China will not get the better of us.
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/t...ring too much about what Beijing thinks of us
Hmmmm, from the actual transcript, they mentioned Taiwan. You might have been a victim of Twitter. Or maybe she made a mistake and they corrected it. If you listen to the entire interview see below, you can see that she is pretty much telling China to F*** off.

So yes, still ballsy
2 different interviews.

This is the interview for that transcript:
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But the transcript doesn't match the interview, she said China at 9:54, transcript says:
It was only about saying [Taiwan] is one of the freest societies in the world
And she also corrected herself later:
And just because the President of Taiwan is a bully – excuse me, the President of China acts like a bully
The smoke has cleared from China’s military exercises in the Taiwan Strait last month, and the sequence of events highlights some of the realities of the regional security outlook.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on 2 August and from 4 to 7 August, the People’s Liberation Army conducted large-scale military exercises around Taiwan, including missile launches. Following the first round of exercises, further drills were conducted from 8 to 15 August. During that time, on 10 August, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council released a new white paper, titled The Taiwan question and China’s reunification in the new era. Chinese diplomats immediately began promoting its message around the world, including in Australia.

It is Beijing’s third white paper on the Taiwan issue, after those in 1993 and 2000, and has been in preparation for years. The timing of its release gives visibility to the mechanics of Beijing’s actions towards Taiwan in which an ideologically driven policy process is leveraged by tactical opportunism. While its release would have been anticipated in the lead-up to the Chinese Communist Party’s national congress in October, the specific timing shows how Beijing sought to link policy and military escalation directed at Taiwan to the actions of the US.

There’s a debate about whether the US should have created that tactical opening, but the developments do highlight Beijing’s underlying escalation pathway towards Taiwan. The August exercises in the Taiwan Strait crossed the so-called median line that had represented a nominal commitment to a cross-strait equilibrium. However, since their formal end in mid-August, the PLA Air Force has continued to conduct flights across the line. It is building on the military activity of the past several years and Pelosi’s visit gave an opportunity to step up the PLA presence across the Taiwan Strait and shift the status quo.

This accords with the CCP’s ideological commitment to the unification of Taiwan as the ultimate demonstration of China’s development under its leadership, what party chairman Xi Jinping calls the ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’. In the party’s ideological system, which it has described with a distinctive Marxist scientism as the ‘tide of history, China is always moving forward to this goal. Beijing’s calibrated military escalation serves to validate this ideological belief and the party’s legitimacy.

This highlights the complex risk calculus for conflict in the Taiwan Strait. Given the CCP’s ideological necessities, it was predictable that Beijing would continue its methodical military and diplomatic escalation directed at Taiwan punctuated by opportunistic displays of state and military power. But it’s been simultaneously much more difficult to predict whether Beijing would consider a full-scale invasion and occupation of Taiwan, given the enormous risks and inevitably devastating outcomes.

Escalation and invasion have presented distinct and, in terms of the CCP’s ideological project, even contradictory geopolitical risk regimes. Invasion could be argued to represent a failure of the CCP’s Marxist teleology in the sense that such drastic action shouldn’t be necessary if unification is indeed unfolding in accordance with history’s laws.

The 10 August white paper can be read as an attempt to reconcile these contradictions by building an argument for the unfettered use of state power to achieve unification. It includes a statement of Beijing’s position that Taiwan is Chinese territory, including a reinterpretation of the 1971 UN resolution that recognised Beijing and excluded the ‘representatives of Chiang Kai-shek’. It describes the absolute necessity of unification to realise China’s ‘great rejuvenation’. The white paper also states Beijing’s commitment to ‘peaceful reunification’, but, against the longstanding opposition of the Taiwanese people and the lack of any viable roadmap from Beijing, this claim becomes a pretext to focus on the forces that stand, in the party’s view, against history—separatists and the ‘external forces’—which serves to justify achieving unification through ‘all necessary measures’.

The white paper’s hard message has been promoted by China’s representatives around the world. In Australia, the Chinese ambassador, Xiao Qian, described the chilling prospects of ‘re-educating’ the Taiwanese people and punishing so-called separatists. It was a stark statement of what unification actually means: it would criminalise the people of Taiwan for being Taiwanese, and destroy Taiwanese society as it is today, with shocking connotations for human rights and uncontainable effects on regional security.

At the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi used a new metaphor: ‘Any move to obstruct China’s cause of reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history’. There’s no talk of passively waiting for history’s ‘tide’ to naturally submerge Taiwan.

US President Joe Biden appears to understand these implications in his repeated statements about US military defence of Taiwan premised on Washington’s commitments to Beijing from the 1970s and 1980s. At the same time, US support for Taiwan validates the CCP’s ideological position on ‘external forces’, creating a dangerous dynamic in which Washington’s efforts to maintain the status quo are used by Beijing as justification for actions against Taiwan.

It will require policy discipline from the US and its allies to manage this intrinsically escalatory dynamic. The Australian government has so far called for maintaining the status quo but not articulated an argument about what this means (maintaining Taiwan’s de facto sovereignty) and why this is in Australia’s interests. Policy analysis in Australia’s public life tends to see Taiwan as nothing more than a proxy of American power, not as a unique society of 24 million people to which Australia’s interests are directly tied.

As the white paper signals Beijing’s priorities following next month’s national party congress, it shows that Australia has a great deal of policy work to do to develop a properly informed position on Taiwan that is both robust and finessed and supported with domestic political legitimacy.
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/b...n to crush Taiwan under the wheels of history
The National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, ostensibly the party’s highest leadership body, is not where real power is contested, but is a performative exercise used to legitimise China’s undemocratic leadership. The recent 20th party congress was no different.

Many headlines were devoted to the escorting of former supreme leader Hu Jintao from the ornate Great Hall of the People. But a closer look at the changes in the composition of high-ranking bodies, and the release of an amendment to the CCP’s constitution, reveal critical clues to China watchers about the country’s future economic and political direction—changes that could have long-term impacts on both China and the world.

With the eviction of the remnants of factional opposition, General Secretary Xi Jinping secured his absolute dominance over the party apparatus. The demotion of Hu Chunhua (a vice premier once regarded as a possible successor to Xi) from the politburo and the exclusion of Li Keqiang (the premier) and Wang Yang (the former vice premier in Li’s cabinet) from the CCP Central Committee symbolised the complete withdrawal of the Youth League faction from the political stage.

Notably, though not outright reformist, these three politicians are seen as reform minded. In addition, a group of the party’s economic experts who have previously supported market-oriented policies and were perceived as friendly to the private economy were either eliminated or retired from the politburo, including banking regulator Guo Shuqing, central bank governor Yi Gang, finance minister Liu Kun, and ‘economic tsar’ Liu He. Instead, devoted Xi loyalists Li Qiang and Ding Xuexiang have been granted seats in the Politburo Standing Committee, and Xi’s long-time friend He Lifeng was elevated into the politburo.

As is common practice in the party-state system, Li Qiang, the second-ranked member of the Politburo Standing Committee, is expected to be named China’s next premier, replacing Li Keqiang at the annual legislative session in March 2023. Ding will likely be appointed executive vice premier, a position that is generally responsible for implementing Xi’s most important economic and social policy directives, while He Lifeng is a potential successor to Liu He. Among this new finance team, only He Lifeng has significant experience in finance at the state level, since neither Li Qiang nor Ding has working experience on economic issues in the state council.

Such promotions clearly indicate the changing requirements to enter Xi’s inner circle, from ability and expertise to loyalty. It has heightened fears that ideology and loyalty to ‘Xi Jinping thought’ will get in the way of much-needed market reforms. In response, the stock market, which might be the only place in China allowed to give a real reaction to the outcome, tumbled on the Monday following the congress. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index experienced its biggest daily drop since November 2008 (though it has since recovered some of those losses).

Xi’s work report to the 20th party congress placed substantially more emphasis on security than reports to previous party congresses. Wu Guoguang, a former member of the central policy group on political reform during the tenure of Premier Zhao Ziyang, said he believes that, although there has been no official announcement, the era of China’s ‘economic construction as the centre’ has come to an end. Security has now been recognised as being of at least the same importance as economic development.

Those views are corroborated by the party’s newly amended constitution announced last Wednesday, in which ‘secure development of the economy’ was added for the first time. Given the sluggishness of China’s economy at present, and the growing questions about whether China’s meteoric economic development has reached its end, strategies for strengthening government control, domesticating market forces and maintaining the stability of a regime whose legitimacy has rested on economic development will become the primary focus for the CCP under Xi’s control.

The new line-up of the CCP Central Military Commission heralds a worrying future for the situation across the Taiwan Strait. Xi’s promotion of 72-year-old Zhang Youxia to first-ranked vice chairman of the committee indicates an end to the age-restriction convention for membership of the Politburo Standing Committee known as the seven up, eight down (七上八下) rule. Zhang, regarded as a close associate of Xi, was a company commander during the Sino-Vietnamese War in 1979 and is one of few senior generals with actual combat experience.

Another general rewarded with an exceptional promotion is He Weidong, who was confirmed as the second-ranked vice chairman of the commission. During the 20th congress, he advanced three ranks to the politburo. He served in the 31st Group Army in Fujian (now the 73rd Group Army), known as the frontline force against Taiwan. In 2019, he was appointed as the commander of the Eastern Theatre Command and was the main planner of the large-scale live-fire military drills and missile tests surrounding Taiwan after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit in August.

The reshuffle at the top of the Central Military Commission demonstrates Xi’s preference for both political reliability and tactical skill, highlighting the required traits for military leadership in the case of a Taiwan contingency. Given these new developments, Taiwan’s defence minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, believes the People’s Liberation Army will ‘adopt a tougher strategy in dealing with Taiwan in the future.

Since the 19th party congress, the Taiwan issue has been elevated from being a regional affair to now being a key part of the ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’ proposed by Xi. Xi’s work report to the 20th congress has reiterated this talking point. Retaining the old CCP script, Xi again vowed never to renounce the use of force.

In addition, the new amendment to the party’s constitution indicates a clear escalation by stating the CCP’s commitment to ‘resolutely oppose and deter separatists seeking “Taiwan independence”’. Given this escalation, signals of outside deterrence are important, especially when there are no checks and balances within the party. Countries that value the status quo international order must demonstrate their determination to intervene more clearly to avoid a Chinese strategic miscalculation.

Highly concentrated political power has always been propagated as China’s proud governance advantage. Today, that concentration of power has reached new levels, with the decades-old oligarchy quietly collapsing and Xi’s elevation above factional politics secured. In his unrivalled ability to direct and dictate China’s course, Xi is perhaps one of the purest manifestations of ‘a dictator’ in recent history. But with political decision-making resting on the shoulders of one man, how Xi responds to policy failures and successes will have big implications for China, and indeed the world.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/w...=Whos who in the new era of Xi Jinpings China
Author Hsi-Ting Pai is a research intern at ASPI
when it comes to a potential conflict, China's advantage if that Russia set the bar so low that it can only look good when it comes to its military. Would be a paper tiger against the US as well, though. But I guess the military complex needs some threat it can hype
when it comes to a potential conflict, China's advantage if that Russia set the bar so low that it can only look good when it comes to its military. Would be a paper tiger against the US as well, though. But I guess the military complex needs some threat it can hype
With current news in Ukraine, remove Kherson, insert Taiwan, a massive Chinese attack, a few thousand Chinese troops make it ashore, Taiwan pushes them into the sea.

I can’t see the Chinese forces dealing well with any surprises or setbacks.
With current news in Ukraine, remove Kherson, insert Taiwan, a massive Chinese attack, a few thousand Chinese troops make it ashore, Taiwan pushes them into the sea.

I can’t see the Chinese forces dealing well with any surprises or setbacks.
If ever, what China maybe looking at is a second strong front and depleted stocks of western supplies. Plus more people to throw to the meat grinder. Not saying they would suceed, but how many of their Generals actually have been to the Mojave desert and see the unused American equipment just awaiting for a serious war? The initial months would be devastating towards the world economy though as well as to the region.
With current news in Ukraine, remove Kherson, insert Taiwan, a massive Chinese attack, a few thousand Chinese troops make it ashore, Taiwan pushes them into the sea.

I can’t see the Chinese forces dealing well with any surprises or setbacks.

true, in this centralised command structure, flexibility would probably akin to the Russian armed forces. I assume, motivation is somewhat higher and the Chinese won't field 1960s armor.

I don't see any scenario, in which China could successfully take over Taiwan, though. I even doubt the few thousand mentioned Chinese soldiers would make it ashore. Invading an island is so much more difficult than "just" crossing an almost infinite land baorder.

As for depleted stocks, which JungleJim mentioned. They are mostly delivering outphased, outdated tech to Ukraine, which is about a generation behind and more at the level I estimate Chinese tech to be in. For Russia that's sufficient, for China they will probably need to field the new stuff.

There is still a huge tech gap between China and the US and probably China has peaked by now and will start to fall back again. Xi worship is not an environment, where innovation will be nurtured.

From a mere objective point of view, I'd say that China won't invade Taiwan, since it will wreak havoc on China and the mission won't be accomplished at the same time.

However, in the Ukraine crisis, before war finally started, I said Ukraine would win this and it would only hurt Putin in the end and thus he won't invade. Now I'm not relying on the rationality of dictators anymore.

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