The Chinese Blockade Of Taiwan May Have Already Begun
China announces the "Median Line" will cease to exist as Taiwan says blockade has begun.
In the wake of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the Chinese have taken unprecedented steps. Wednesday the Chinese military continued a series of massive exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan. Ominously, these exercises specifically included what Chinese state media called “joint blockade training.” That specific phraseology is clearly a deliberate reference to long-standing planning for a naval and air blockade of Taiwan to cut it off from the rest of the world.
China also announced that it will fire missiles directly over Taiwan and that the “median line” which marks the boundary of Taiwan’s territorial waters “will cease to exist”.
Per the China Global Times, “Joint blockade, sea assault, land attack, and air combat drills were at the core of the operation, as the exercises tested the troops' joint operational capabilities.”
The Chinese are now commencing live-fire drills in six large maritime areas off the coast of Taiwan. Collectively, these areas represent the encirclement of the island nation. Even a cursory look at the map also shows that the areas appear to all be located in the vicinity of major Taiwanese ports. The Chinese are positioning their forces as they would to ‘blockade the island’. Live-fire exercises necessarily involve warning all other ships and aircraft out of the area, so in effect, the Chinese are already ordering away any vessels or aircraft inbound to these ports.
In case you couldn’t figure all that out on your own, the China Global Times spelled it out for you.
“From the designated PLA military drills area, the operations could pose a threat to major ports and shipping lanes in Taiwan, forming a complete blockage. This blockage style could be one of the action plans taken in the future for achieving the reunification by force, Herman Shuai, a retired Taiwan lieutenant general, told the Global Times on Wednesday.”
“Two northern exercise areas designated by the PLA are located off the coast of Keelung Port and Taipei Port, the central exercise area is located off the Taichung Port, the southern exercise area is located off the Kaohsiung Port and the eastern one is located off the Hualien Port. The exercise areas are a "template" for "locking down Taiwan,If the PLA exercises take a long time, it will constitute a substantial blockage of Taiwan."
Just to twist the knife a little bit, the Chinese also added that anybody in Taiwan resisting reunification was a traitor and a secessionist and could be tried according to Chinese criminal law. Per Zhang Hua, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Taiwan secessionists can be judged according to Criminal Law for splitting the country, destroying the reunification of the motherland, and endangering national security, the expert said. That means in essence, there is no law of war nor will secessionists be treated as ‘prisoners of war’ – if you resist and China takes control of the island.
Taiwan is completely dependent on imported energy. It brings in one million barrels of oil a day and 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas a month. That boils down to 200,000 tons of fuel every single day. Without that energy, nothing works and nothing moves on the island. There are no meaningful alternative sources of energy.
To stop the flow of fuel to Taiwan’s homes and factories and power plants, the Chinese do not need to patrol every inch of the island’s coastline. They just need to position themselves offshore in the vicinity of those ports that can handle meaningful quantities of imports. Taiwan will not survive on a few barrels of oil smuggled in on fishing boats. To hold out it will need a continuous flow of large, slow merchant vessels that dock at big, specialized port facilities.
It should be added that even a relatively small quantity of sea mines can close Taiwan’s ports quite easily. Only a concerted, expensive, mine clearing operation could address that.
Food and other critical necessities can also be cut off by the Chinese at will. Taiwan is absolutely dependent on food imports as well. Without food from the outside world, its people will starve.
To break a blockade would require the direct intervention of the United States Navy. No coalition of allied nations is going to act to break the blockage without U.S. participation. The chances that this administration will order our forces to break the blockade are vanishingly small.
Our Biden enterprise has reportedly taken tens of millions of dollars from the Chinese over the course of many years. Much of that money has come from individuals with direct ties to the Chinese intelligence services. Biden’s cabinet is filled with individuals who climbed in bed with Beijing a long time ago and are identified with the idea of the “managed decline” of the United States.
Even if these Chinese hirelings were to decide to order the 7th Fleet to break the blockade of Taiwan, it is unclear that it could succeed. Our navy has declined dramatically in size. Our industrial base has withered to the point where replacing lost vessels has become increasingly difficult. Our servicemen and women are spending inordinate amounts of time learning about the evils of their white supremacist nation and deciding what pronouns they prefer.
An effort to reopen the sea lanes to Taiwan may well end in disaster. We may watch carriers sink to the bottom and the Chinese seize control of East Asia. The victories won in the Second World War may well be lost in a relatively short period of time.
This was all not so long ago the stuff of war games and science fiction. No longer. Biden has brought us to the doorstep of the unthinkable. A Chinese blockade of Taiwan may already have begun, and we are very unlikely to do anything to break it.