郭宝胜 Baosheng Guo
郭宝胜 Baosheng Guo

The only way to avoid the Taiwan Strait war is that US troops to be stationed in Taiwan

 Baosheng Guo    A Chinese dissident and commentator 


Although the Ukrainian war is developing rapidly in favor of the righteous side, and Russia's defeat has been determined, it is very necessary to reflect on why the war was not avoided in advance. Especially for Taiwan, it should draw lessons from the Ukraine war and try to avoid the outbreak of the Taiwan Strait War.  

On April 16, John Bolton, the former US national security adviser, called for the US military to re-station in Taiwan to effectively deter China from invading Taiwan at a meeting held by the Taiwan League of Nations and the World Taiwanese Congress.  One of his reasons is that the economic sanctions collectively launched by the Western states have not yet achieved the effect of deterring Russia from retreating, which may make China believe that it will survive the joint sanctions of the West, because the economic ties between China and Western countries are stronger. Complicated and closer, many Western countries may not be willing to sacrifice their own interests to sanction China, just as some European countries, India and other countries continue to cooperate with Russia in economic and trade, consciously or unintentionally easing sanctions. Bolton believes that since other means cannot deter the CCP from using force, the presence of US troops in Taiwan is an effective means of deterrence.  

The US government's highest goal on the Taiwan Strait issue is to avoid the occurrence of a war in the Taiwan Strait and to deter the CCP's military aggression against Taiwan. On April 14, White House National Security Adviser Sullivan reiterated the U.S. security commitment to Taiwan, noting that the U.S. would "adopt all possible means" to ensure that China does not invade Taiwan. Although the United States has made many commitments to Taiwan's security after the Ukraine war, many people have doubts about the U.S' Taiwan commitment because the United States and NATO have failed to prevent Russia from aggression against Ukraine.  

Although the response of the United States and NATO after the outbreak of the Ukraine war is generally commendable, such as severe economic sanctions against Russia, diplomatic isolation, strong assistance to Ukraine, especially the recent opening of heavy offensive weapons, etc., but the efforts of the United States and NATO to try to prevent the outbreak of war before the war have indeed failed. The West has tried its best to prevent Russia from aggression in Ukraine.  

Sun Tzu's Art of War said: "The superior strategy is to fight the plan", that is, it is the best policy to eliminate the enemy's plans and thoughts before the war. Although the West's attitude and behavior towards Russia's invasion of Ukraine after the war is worthy of admiration, the West did not dispel Putin's plans and thoughts of aggression against Ukraine at first, and indeed did not win in the highest strategy. With this unsuccessful experience, people have reason to doubt whether the United States can stop the CCP's plan to invade Taiwan by force. Although people do not doubt that once the CCP invades Taiwan, the United States and the West will aid Taiwan, sanction and attack the CCP.  

Why did the United States and NATO fail to stop Putin's invasion of Ukraine? The reason is very simple, that is, only the threat of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation will not deter Putin. Two or three months before the outbreak of the Russian aggression against Ukraine on February 24, the United States and NATO repeatedly shouted at Putin, especially US President Biden held video talks with Putin many times, warning Putin if he invaded Ukraine, there will be severe, unprecedented economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation. But apparently, none of these threats, warnings, and exhortations worked. Putin has the experience of being sanctioned by economic sanctions after the invasion of Crimea, and has economic support from China, India and other countries, so although the economic sanctions will deal a heavy blow to Russia, they cannot prevent Putin from taking aggressive actions.  

The experience of Ukraine will also apply to the CCP. For the CCP, economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation could not deter Xi Jinping. Since Trump started the trade war, the CCP has been preparing for decoupling from the US economy. From the so-called "internal circulation" to the recent "building of a unified national market", it is making intensive preparations for decoupling from the Western economy. In terms of diplomacy, China and Russia have united many dictatorships and authoritarian states in the world and have become another international group. Xi Jinping does not care about being isolated by the West. Therefore, in response to the CCP's aggression against Taiwan, using economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation as deterrent means is as doomed to failure as preventing Putin's invasion of Ukraine.   

According to human historical experience, the only way to stop wars is to use wars to stop wars, in fact, military struggle. Before the outbreak of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the United States and the West made a major mistake, that is, they voluntarily gave up the threat of military means. The United States and NATO have repeatedly reiterated that they will not send troops to Ukraine to participate in the war and have repeatedly reiterated that Ukraine will not be included in NATO immediately. Although these statements are in line with the certain political correctness of the West, they are self-disarming and voluntarily disarming. Putin's understanding of the West's bottom line made him more daring and unscrupulous. In fact, this kind of statement from the West at that time was completely unnecessary. At the very least, the West should adopt a policy of strategic ambiguity, that is, before Ukraine is invaded, whether NATO would send troops into Ukraine has always been vague or has no commitment, which would make it difficult for Putin and ultimately dare not invade.  

Although it is impossible to go back in time, NATO's best strategy at the time was to boldly say to Putin that once you invade Ukraine, NATO will definitely go to war, or Ukraine will immediately become a NATO member. In this way, Putin has largely been afraid to go to war with the 30-member NATO. In addition, if NATO could directly send troops into Ukraine when the Russian army was under heavy pressure on Ukraine at that time, then it would be more able to express NATO's decision to participate in the war, thus ending Putin's aggressive ambitions, and preventing 5 million refugees from exile in Europe, more than 10 millions of Ukrainians were displaced, thousands of civilians were massacred, and dozens of cities were bombed to rubble.   

On April 5, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testified before the House Armed Services Committee: "Frankly, unless there is a commitment to send U.S. troops to the Ukrainian mainland, I'm not sure that Putin can be stopped.” This is the first time the U.S. military has admitted that all other means of deterrence other than military means are ineffective. But why did the United States and NATO not send troops? This is mainly due to the fear of direct conflict with Russia, especially triggering a nuclear war.     

In fact, the brave who two men meet on a narrow path shall win. Once the United States and NATO show the attitude and courage to fight at all costs before the war, Putin will not dare to directly conflict with NATO to a large extent, because his opponent is not a country, but 30. This is not one nuclear weapon state, but several nuclear weapons states. Before the war, the United States and NATO did not have enough courage and wisdom to carry out military deter against Russia, which was the initial and biggest strategic regret of Ukraine's war.    

Referring to Ukraine's experience, the only way for the United States to stop the CCP's invasion of Taiwan is also a military struggle. If the U.S. can declare in time that the U.S. will enter the war if the CCP invades Taiwan, or directly send U.S. troops to Taiwan now, then the CCP’s invasion of Taiwan may be avoided. Otherwise, Xi Jinping is as ambitious and daring as Putin, and any unexpected bad things will happen. Like Putin, Xi Jinping is not afraid of economic sanctions, and diplomatic isolation, so all non-military means of deterrence are ineffective against Xi Jinping.    

As we all know, the CCP has listed six triggering conditions for the military unification of Taiwan, including the deployment of foreign troops in Taiwan, the declaration of independence by Taiwan, and the organization of a referendum on independence by Taiwan. So, some people say that the US military stationed in Taiwan will make war break out. In fact, first, the CCP’s words never count. It has been clamoring to conquer Taiwan for several years, but it has never been fulfilled. Therefore, if the US military is stationed in Taiwan, the CCP does not necessarily invade Taiwan by force. Secondly, suppose the US military is not stationed in Taiwan, then according to the current international situation and cross-strait situation, Xi Jinping's military unification of Taiwan is a sure thing, and the probability of a war in the Taiwan Strait is 100%. But if the United States is stationed in Taiwan, this probability may be reduced to 50%. The CCP either gives up attacking Taiwan by force for fear of a direct war with the U.S. or takes the risk of being doomed to fail by forcefully attacking Taiwan. In any case, from 100% to 50% does reduce the probability of war. 

In short, no action can more clearly express the determination of the U.S. military not to be afraid of direct war with the CCP than the presence of the U.S. military in Taiwan, and there is no action that makes the CCP feel that attacking Taiwan is attacking the United States, so it is possible to deter China to attack Taiwan by force and avoid Taiwan strait war. If the United States really wants to prevent the CCP’s invasion of Taiwan in advance, it should learn from the experience and lessons of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, show the courage and attitude of not hesitate to fight, and directly confront the CCP in the military, and even station troops in Taiwan. It is possible to eliminate the Taiwan Strait war in the bud and eliminate Xi Jinping's vain attempt and ambition to unify Taiwan by force. Although Xi Jinping's invasion of Taiwan is a dead-end for the CCP, the resulting disaster, such as Ukraine, is something that Taiwan must do its best to avoid. Letting the tragedy that happened in Ukraine not repeat itself in Taiwan should be the consensus and the goal that must be achieved by leaders of democratic countries around the world. 


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