In response to the latest military operations China’s been conducting in Taiwan’s airspace, the United States banded together with our allies in the region to begin preparing for the 21st century’s first conflict in the Pacific area.
However, despite all the recent attempts at showing off their military prowess, analysts are divided on whether China or North Korea will be responsible for launching the first strike. Although they all agree that either of the two nations is fully capable of doing so.
US allies gearing up for all-out war in the Pacific Ocean
To prevent this, the US is now bolstering troops in the region and enforcing our ties with Australia, Japan, and other allied countries.
— Taiwan & Rising S Company 🇺🇸🇹🇼🇺🇦 (@RisingSC_taiwan) January 9, 2023
Patrick Cronin, security chair for the Asia-Pacific region at Hudson Institute, believes the threat China and North Korea posed previously has only grown in recent times and we’re extremely vulnerable to attack right now.
Back at the start of 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Putin claimed was only a military drill, was a wake-up call for US allies in the Pacific. China was already determined to take back Taiwan.
This also helped analysts create projections for any of the possible conflicts that may arise, including the impact they would have on supply chains, production, and the preparations necessary to stave off a conflict.
Marine Corps’ top commanding officer James Bierman called this “setting the theater,” adding it’s a necessity if we wish to prevent Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan from suffering a similar fate to Ukraine.
Japan’s decision to deploy surface to air missiles in Yonaguni – 100km from Taipei, which China considers its territory – will cause 🇨🇳 to retaliate by making a move on Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, the nearest China can edge on Japan. War over useless Pacific rocks is now more likely. pic.twitter.com/9bX1UNpvNE
— Gal Luft (@GalLuft) January 14, 2023
China may follow in Russia’s footsteps
Japan previously had quite the pacifist stance regarding North Korea and China, but a recent visit to Washington outlined that to no longer be the case.
This is likely due to numerous Chinese missiles fired during one of the country’s largest military exercises to date, which landed in Japan’s economic zone back in August this year.
Lloyd Austin claims even though he doesn’t see an imminent invasion of Taiwan happening, he’s not excluding the possibility; with all the effort China’s put into demonstrating its power, it’s bound to happen sooner than later.
At the same event as Austin, CSIS Australia chair Charles Edel added that the Taiwan situation is a step away from erupting.
Biden mocked Russia in 1997 as Moscow warned that NATO expansion would make Russia turn toward China. 25 years later – war in Europe, and Russia aligned with China and (increasingly) Iran pic.twitter.com/r6JklgAjQ3
— Glenn Diesen (@Glenn_Diesen) January 12, 2023
Despite all of this, Beijing has yet to deny they’ll be using force to retake Taiwan. The local media seems to be extremely proud of the military prowess they’ve demonstrated, some even claiming that any US intervention in Taiwan won’t end well.
Thankfully, Taiwan is aware of the impending danger that China presents; they’ve increased their own ability to fend off an attack, part of which was increasing the length of their mandatory military service.
However, the beaches where Chinese landing craft would deploy their troops look to be more of a tourist area than the country’s first line of defense.