In the most difficult situation is Taiwan - a partially recognized state in East Asia. China claims sovereignty over the island of Taiwan and other islands belonging to the Republic of China. During the civil war in China, the conservative political party of the Kuomintang was defeated, and the remnants of its troops retreated to Taiwan. With the support of the United States, the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China has retained this island. Beijing views Taiwan and the adjacent islands as part of a united and indivisible Chinese state. Taiwan used to also claim sovereignty over all Chinese territory. Recently, however, this question is not raised.
The United States has a special position. On the one hand, Washington benefits from the conflict between two Chinas, which does not allow the Chinese from the two shores of the Taiwan Strait to reach an agreement between themselves and become a single state. Absorption of Taiwan, China will seriously strengthen the Middle Kingdom. In 1979, the US Congress passed the Relationship with Taiwan Act, the United States pledged to defend Taiwan, to resist any involuntary attempts at uniting it with China and arming it. On the other hand, Washington does not want to annoy the “Chinese factory” too much to avoid a major crisis. So, regular shipments of American weapons KR cause a negative reaction of the PRC. Therefore, the United States refuses to assist the Kyrgyz Republic in carrying out large-scale modernization of the armed forces. So, George Bush at one time promised to deliver F-16 C / D planes to Taiwan, which Taiwan requested, but then, due to the tough position of China, Washington decided to limit itself to upgrading the already delivered F-16 A / B. As a result, since 2000, Taiwan has not received new aircraft, which seriously weakened its air force against the background of the rapid development of the PRC army. Taiwan is forced in a number of directions to intensify the development of the national military industrial complex.
The balance of forces in the region has seriously changed not in favor of Taiwan. China is already able to carry out an operation to restore the unity of the state. But for now, China prefers a peaceful path. And on this path has achieved considerable success. This worries Washington, who fears losing an important lever of influence on the Middle Kingdom. And this is happening at the moment when the United States pursues a policy of containing China.
Under Barack Obama, Washington initially tried to improve relations with Beijing, even to create a so-called. "Big Two". Therefore, Obama supported the election in 2008 of the Kyrgyz Republic by President Ma Ying-jeou, the chairman of the Kuomintang, who proclaimed a policy of rapprochement with the PRC. Ma, still being the mayor of Taipei, advocated a gradual unification with mainland China and declared the independence of Taiwan unacceptable. At the initiative of Ma Ying-jeou, a direct charter flight between China and Kyrgyzstan was established for the first time, Taiwan was opened to tourists from China. Beijing eased restrictions on Taiwanese investment in the PRC economy.
However, when Obama’s plan for the Big Two failed and the United States switched to the policy of containing China, the unification of the PRC and the KR, which lurked in the long run, ceased to like Washington. The Americans don’t want to lose the “Taiwan aircraft carrier” off the coast of the People’s Republic of China at a time when the APR becomes the main “front” of the confrontation between the United States and China. But in the conditions of a peaceful rapprochement between Beijing and Taipei, Washington has few opportunities to stop this process. Americans need the Taiwanese map more than ever, but the CD shows an almost complete lack of interest in the United States. Taipei again recognized the “1992 Consensus of the Year”, which implies recognition by the two sides of the unity of China: “China and Taiwan are not separate states.” Now, turning Taiwan towards the United States can only be a major change in Taipei’s domestic policy. Thus, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supports the official recognition of Taiwan’s independence from the mainland state and suggests changing the constitution for this. DPP comes under the slogan of the "national identity" Taiwanese. However, Ma Ying-jeou won the new presidential election in 2012. DPP suffered a new defeat.
Taiwan has close economic relations with China. When Taiwan became one of the “Asian tigers” with a highly developed high-tech industry. Taiwanese began to transfer environmentally harmful, technologically backward, labor-consuming and material-intensive production, as well as the production of components to mainland China (labor in the PRC was cheaper). The production of the most important components was preserved in Taiwan. The economic interests of the “upper ranks” of both parts of China coincided, so Beijing was calm about such an economic offensive by Taiwan. The economic cooperation between China and Taiwan made the war unnecessary. Politicians and businessmen are extremely interested in maintaining the status quo and expanding economic cooperation between the two Chinas. There is a process of merging the power and material interests of the mainland and Taiwanese elites. Beijing is doing everything to make the two economies and two financial systems become one. After this political unification will occur in the most natural way.
In 2010, the Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation was signed. This contract provides for the reduction or abolition of tariffs for Taiwanese goods imported into the PRC in the amount of 14 billion. Chinese goods received preferential access in the amount of 3 billion dollars. Beijing deliberately made concessions to Taipei. From January 1, 2011, the three-year “Early Harvest” program began, which is designed to significantly reduce customs tariffs, up to their complete abolition. Since February 2013, financial institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic have been granted the right to conduct lending operations, transferring funds and creating deposits in Chinese yuan (renminbi). On the very first day, Taiwanese opened deposits for 1,3 billion yuan (about 208 million dollars). The Chinese yuan and the banks of the PRC are carrying out a planned offensive. Now the war with Taiwan is simply unprofitable for China. There will be a threat of destruction of the island’s economy. Taiwan is valuable to China as a source of investment, technology and profit. Why fight if you can just "buy" Taiwan?
Ma Ying-jeou distanced noticeably from the United States. In particular, military ties between the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic, which have recently been very diverse, have come down to simple purchase and modernization of weapons. In addition, the US has not resolved the issue with the delivery of new fighters and did not help Taipei with the purchase of new submarines. Taiwan was forced to decide on the independent design and construction of new submarines 8-9. In 2001, US President George W. Bush approved the delivery of eight diesel-electric submarines to Taiwan. But since then no further progress has been made. The problem is that the States themselves do not build diesel-electric submarines for more than 40 years, and they don’t want to annoy China. Germany and Spain refused to supply their submarines for political reasons, fearing a deterioration in relations with the PRC.
At the same time, the US has some trumps. Thus, the global economic crisis plays into the hands of the United States. First, the economy of China was hit. Celestial is facing serious challenges. Systemic defects in the Chinese economy are forcing Beijing to pursue a more active, even offensive foreign policy in order to divert public attention from domestic problems. The factor of the need for a “small victorious war” will become, for a while, a political reality for the PRC. The Chinese state and party apparatus is in close cooperation with the business (often through kinship), so the ideology of Chinese nationalism will gradually come to the fore. Japan’s “trolling” over the Senkaku Islands and the creation of an air defense zone are the first steps in this direction. The growth of the aggressiveness of the PRC in upholding its national interests seriously worries its neighbors. The question arises how the Celestial Empire will behave if a new wave of crisis leads to even more serious consequences.
Secondly, these are the economic problems of Taiwan itself. The first wave of the global crisis of the Kyrgyz Republic experienced well. GDP continued to grow steadily. However, in the period of the second wave, the situation deteriorated markedly. GDP growth in 2012 was only 2%. This is not a crisis yet, but it is already unpleasant. Began to increase prices for utilities. In Taipei, for the first time, protests were held for economic reasons. The popularity of the president has fallen significantly. Ma Ying-jeou's rating fell to 13%, this is the lowest result of his career. New election - in 2015 year. The Democratic Progressive Party is already blaming the current regime for rapprochement with China. DPP stronghold - the so-called "indigenous" Taiwanese, descendants of immigrants from southern China, settled on the island a few centuries ago. They consider themselves a separate community from China, speak their own dialect, which is very different from the normative Chinese language. Indigenous Taiwanese are about 80% of the island’s population. The supporters of a united China are less and less. Now there are only about 5%. Most of the people in Taiwan are in favor of maintaining the status quo. However, the number of supporters of complete independence is growing. It is believed that if Ma Ying-jeou decides to raise the issue of reunification with mainland China, the parliament will not support him.
Thus, while the situation is stable. If there were a relatively peaceful picture on the planet, then it could be assumed that China in the medium or long term will take over Taiwan by peaceful means. But current negative trends can easily tip the balance in the opposite direction. In 2015, the Kyrgyz Republic can be headed by a representative of the DPP, who either slows the emerging trend to merge the economies and finances of the two Chinas, or cause a new acute crisis (it will decide de jure to declare independence of the Kyrgyz Republic), which sooner or later will lead to military conflict. Beijing in the face of the global systemic crisis will no longer be able to allow itself to maintain the status quo and will conduct an operation to annex Taiwan. In the meantime, the Kuomintang rules in Taiwan, Beijing will refrain from using force to reunite.
Militarily, Taiwan is seriously inferior to China and unable to repel its blow. The priority of the construction of the armed forces is the creation of a relatively small army equipped with the latest technology. A major obstacle to creating such an army is the refusal of most states to sell Taipei weapons.
After the United States refused to supply the new F-16C / D fighter jets, the modernization programs that were already in service with the 145 F-16A / B Air Force became priority. The program of modernization of the Taiwan multipurpose fighter AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-kuo is also being implemented. Aircraft equipped with a weapon system Wan Chien own design. The Wan Chien system (lit. “10 Thousands of Swords”) is a cluster of weapons that is equipped with more than 100 submunitions with a range of more than 200 km. The launch of a cluster rocket can be made over the Taiwan Strait. Due to the considerable range of weapons can hit targets in mainland China (concentrations of troops, airfields, ports and industrial facilities). In addition, the Taiwanese military has the hope that if Republicans win in the US, the Kyrgyz Republic will be able to buy F-5 35 generation fighters.
In 2009, a contract was signed for the supply of 12 aircraft base patrol aviation P-3C Orion. The first aircraft of the Taiwan Navy received in September 2013. The transfer of the last of 11 aircraft will take place in 2015. In the spring of 2013, the E-2K Hawkeye early warning radar upgrade program was completed. The United States upgraded four Taiwanese E-2T flying radars purchased in 1995. On airplanes updated radar, control systems, software, avionics and propellers. At the same time, Taiwan is developing programs for the development of unmanned aerial systems, long-range missile weapons, and the development of cybersecurity units. In November 2013, Taiwan received the first 6 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. The contract for the supply of 30 cars was signed in 2008. All cars should be delivered by the end of 2014. According to the Ministry of Defense of Taiwan, AH-64E will significantly increase the mobility and power of the country's army.
As noted above, the situation with the underwater fleet heavy. In service there are two submarines built in the 1980s in Holland. Two more old submarines of the 1940s are used as training. Taipei was forced to initiate a national program for the design and construction of submarines. To strengthen the power of the surface forces, Taiwan asked the United States to sell 4 destroyers armed with the Aegis air defense system, but Washington refused. The base of the fleet is 4 destroyers of the type "Kidd" ("Key Moon"). To replace part of the Knox type frigates that were adopted during the Vietnam War, the delivery of two Oliver Hazard Perry frigates from the US Navy is expected. It is possible that Taiwan will receive two more similar ships. In addition, the issue of the purchase of a series of corvettes of national construction and minesweepers is being decided. The process of replacing old missile boats with new missiles of the Kuang Hua VI type, built using stealth technology, is ongoing. They are armed with four extended-range Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles. Minesweepers and missile boats are necessary for the defense of the Taiwan Strait.
In general, the Taiwanese Navy is small but well balanced. The main disadvantage of the Taiwan Navy is that it is difficult (due to the controversial political status of the Kyrgyz Republic) access to modern military technology. The main weaknesses are the lack of defense and the problem of the submarine fleet.
Squadron type Kidd
To be continued ...