Gordon Chang relates that RAND says the Chinese are very close to absolute air superiority in a potential Taiwan invasion.
This is very bad news on a number of fronts. First, peace in East Asia has generally been stable due to American power’s being preponderant. If China achieves superiority even in a single theater like Taiwan, there will be repercussions throughout the area which make the Eastern European and Baltic reactions to Russia’s invasion of Georgia look subtle and measured. The largest and most obvious will be Japan’s development and deployment of nuclear weapons. Also, South Korea will likely reorient itself towards the U.S. in fairly short order. Southeast Asia will also be convulsed. I would not be shocked to see (even nominally communist) Vietnam give not only docking rights but perhaps even a base at Cam Ranh Bay to the U.S. Navy, given the ancient and bitter enmity between China and Vietnam, their dispute over the potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands, etc.
Secondly, if China successfully takes Taiwan, its policies towards its neighbors (and us) will become increasingly belligerent, and small wars could break out from India to Manchuria. And, of course, there’s always the potential of plunging the continent into a major war by accident or design.
As Chang writes, only a serious reorientation of U.S. policy is going to provide China with disincentives for achieving its goals by force and disabusing them of the notion that the world will countenance their invading Taiwan (et al.).
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.