The sounds of saber rattling you hear in the China-Taiwan part of the world is in my opinion frustration with Russia. You see, Taiwanese people are happy with the current arrangement. They are essentially an autonomous zone off the coast of China. China on the other hand views Taiwan as a breakaway province that is part of China, not separate. Xi Xinping, the leader of China, has been ratcheting up the rhetoric lately and has been using his military to scare the Taiwanese people.
What I do not understand is this. What does China really want here? Taiwan is only really known for semi-conductors, think the chip in your computer, car, etc. While this is a large booming sector of the world economy, couldn’t China just copy the IP and mass produce on the cheap? They do this with literally everything else. The US will never support that you say? Every CEO in America is looking to cut costs by even $.01 to meet or beat quarterly numbers. Trust me, China would be inundated with orders for their semi-conductors. Sure, our military will still order from Taiwan but let’s be honest, we have a hell of a lot more computers and cars than we do military items.
A military conflict seems increasingly likely, but is it necessary? The US has stated we will defend Taiwan. I would assume South Korea, Japan and the Philippines may get involved too. But is it necessary? Taiwanese people are likely ready to fight to the death, it sounds like they have the island fortified the best they can. (Far better than Ukraine ever was). They seem to have advanced military capabilities, (again better than Ukraine) as they have always figured a day will come when China will swallow them up.
If I am Taiwan, I have a plan set up, so the second Chinese war planes approach I evacuate all the engineers, scientists etc. to a safe haven. I make sure all IP, files, etc. are evacuated or destroyed as well. These are what I feel China really wants. I do not think they really want the land. I would also make sure any buildings or other structures were rigged to blow upon China encroaching. My opinion? Take the land, but it will be proven useless over time.
In my opinion, China is very angry at Russia behind the scenes. The war in Ukraine has dragged on, now it appears likely to have a long stalemate. This is not the way the plans were drawn up. The plan was to occupy the US and its allies, and while Russia marches on toward NATO borders China would take Taiwan. It didn’t happen. China is now having to assist Russia much like we are assisting Ukraine. We are now re-positioning ships and other war machines in the Pacific as a counter to China, exactly what they do not want. China is now watching Russia go to North Korea and Iran to re-stock their military and it’s been uncovered that Russia’s military is ripe with corruption.
In summation, I believe China does take Taiwan. I think the US and others essentially secure a “peace agreement by bending the knee to Xi.” It’ll be a classic US split the baby in half and hope both sides are ok with it. With the goings on in the middle East, Russia-Ukraine, and the usual unrest in Africa, I do not think the American people have the stomach for another conflict. I do not think many bullets will be fired, but as a warning to China, do not underestimate a populace who does not want to be occupied/governed by an adversary. The US never learned its lesson in the Middle East, and we lost many a service member/contractor to needless occupations. I also believe China has a very corrupt military as well. They may not be as powerful with weapons as we think. They do, however, have a large supply of bodies. The supply of bodies, also like Russia, contains hundreds of thousands if not millions of “expendable” bodies. Think slave labor types, political prisoners, ethnic minorities, opposition forces, rural areas, and you know North Korea will supply ample bodies as well. My point being China’s folks in the mainland may not even know a war is going on.