It sounds far-fetched. But Dr. Lee Chul, author of The War That Has Already Began, argues that this is what could happen if North Korea attacks South Korea under the auspices of China. He asks, “Have you ever considered the possibility of war before you dismiss it as far-fetched?” Married to a Taiwanese and living in China for more than 30 years, he says that as an engineer, he has worked on many Chinese government projects and has had the opportunity to see the intentions of high-level Chinese officials. “I may have made some incorrect assumptions, but I have not made any untrue statements,” he says. Here’s the question and answer
Q.If it fails, the regime and the Communist Party will collapse, so will President Xi Jinping launch an invasion?
A: If it fails, it’s predictable that the leadership will be removed from power, but I don’t think the CCP will collapse, because the Chinese system is now unworkable without the CCP.
Cross-Strait reunification is central to the Communist Party’s “second 100 years” goal of building a socialist modernizing power. It’s also why Xi has been able to talk about the Chinese Dream, serve three consecutive terms, and fill the leadership with cronies. The Chinese Constitution says, “Taiwan is part of the sacred territory of the People’s Republic of China. It is the sacred responsibility of all Chinese people, including Taiwanese compatriots, to fulfill the great task of reunifying the motherland.”
China’s plans to invade Taiwan are not recent; the last time I was told by an insider that they had finalized a timeline and strategy was in 1999. They were already preparing for technical sanctions imposed by the U.S. after an invasion, so they’ve been preparing for at least 24 years. When people say, “Why is China suddenly doing this now?” it shows how narrow the view of China has been in South Korean society.
Q. So when and under what circumstances do you think they will invade?
In February, U.S. CIA Director William Burns said that Xi had ordered preparations for an invasion of Taiwan by 2027.
A: 2027 is the most likely date, but it could happen under circumstances where China is expected to win, i.e., when the U.S. policy or strategy to protect Taiwan is inadequate. Trump has said that Hong Kong’s democratization and the Taiwan issue are China’s internal affairs, and if he becomes president, he may decide not to intervene.
China will play the North Korea and Russia cards against South Korea and Japan, respectively. If Russia strengthens its military power in the northern four corners, Japan will have no choice but to prepare for it.
China, especially with 80% of its economic power concentrated in the eastern part of the country, will not attack Taiwan without giving the U.S. and South Korean military prior warning. It is likely to cause massive tensions with North Korea and demand that the U.S. and South Korean military forces be tied to the Korean Peninsula.
The initiation of an attack on Taiwan would be electronic warfare, most likely AI warfare, with a large-scale mobilization of drones at the beginning of the conflict. China is now the world’s largest producer of military drones, and they’ve recently converted 900 J-7 fighter jets to drones and deployed them to airfields along the southern coast, and they’ve also heavily equipped their amphibious ships with drone injectors, so I think they’re going to try to exhaust Taiwan’s main defense weapons.
Q.Will North Korea listen to China? Kim Jong-un has called China the “enemy of a thousand years.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during their summit in Pyongyang in June 2019.
A: If North Korea is stable, there’s no reason for them to respond, but if they’re on the ropes, there’s a chance they’ll comply if you offer them a counteroffer that’s hard to refuse.
There are reports of unofficial participation of some North Korean troops in the war in Ukraine, and there are reports of North Korea sending troops beyond arms. I think it’s very likely that North Korea would not have gotten a free ride and would have gotten support from Russia, but it would have gotten bypassed support through China.
And China doesn’t want North Korea to start a full-scale war with a full-scale invasion of the South. They just want to create enough of a situation to tie up the U.S. and South Korean forces, and I think that would be a small-scale war, but much bigger than Yeonpyeong Island. Right now, whether North Korea launches an ICBM or a nuclear torpedo메이저사이트, a lot of South Koreans just say, “Oh, another one,” so if you want to create military tension, North Korea will have to come out stronger.
Q. With such a large power differential between the U.S. and China, do you think China will lose?
Taiwan Strait and the PLA’s Eastern Front situation.
A: It’s no secret that China is vastly outgunned, but I don’t think China can win an all-out war with the world’s most powerful country. China’s goal is cross-strait reunification. A cross-strait war would be a localized war over Taiwan, and China is trying to get the upper hand here. If you fight the US in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, China would lose easily, but if you fight the US in its own backyard, it’s hard to tell.
China has a very thorough radar station and air defense network on its southern coast, and its range covers all of Taiwan. I think it’s more likely to be a guerrilla war and irregular warfare. To use an analogy, the way the Vietnamese used against the U.S. in the Vietnam War: not fighting when the enemy wants to fight, not fighting where the enemy wants to fight, not fighting the way the enemy thinks.
Q. Is there any chance that China will pursue peaceful reunification?
A Hong Kong police officer beats a protester during the 2019 Hong Kong unrest.
A: China has been trying to achieve peaceful reunification for a long time, firstly by increasing Taiwan’s dependence on the mass economy, and secondly by providing Taiwanese with huge economic benefits so that they would accept the one country, two systems without antagonizing China, such as no tariffs on Taiwanese companies, buying agricultural products, sending tourists to spend money, etc.
But after the return of Hong Kong, China broke its promise of one country, two systems. The laws of Hong Kong were supposed to be set by the Hong Kong legislature, but the National People’s Congress created and enforced the Hong Kong Security Law and set up a public security department to deal with protests. When Taiwanese saw this, they were like, “If that’s the one country, two systems, we can’t do that.” Oh, my God.