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China - Preparing for War - by Lawrence A. Franklin for The Gatestone Institute - 06.09.23

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping is rapidly militarizing his country and has instructed its army to "prepare for war" and "fight and win" it.

"Chinese ruler Xi Jinping replaced the senior leadership of China's Rocket Force, which is responsible for almost all of China's 400 or so nuclear warheads. These personnel changes are part of what is almost certainly the most ominous development of this time. It looks like Xi is contemplating using or at least threatening to use his most destructive weapons. In other words, China is planning to go to war." — Gordon Chang, China expert, Newsweek, August 14, 2023.

"Xi sacked Rocket Force commander, Li Yuchao, and its political commissar, Xu Zhongbo. Neither has been seen in public since. Li's deputy, Liu Guangbin, has also disappeared, along with Zhang Zhenzhong, a former deputy. At about the same time, Wu Guohua, deputy commander of the Rocket Force, reportedly took his own life in early July." — Gordon Chang, Newsweek, August 14, 2023.

Xi is doubtless weighing the risk-reward ratio of launching an aggressive operation against Taiwan during US President Joe Biden's term of office. Xi is doubtless aware that his "window of opportunity" may be closing in 18 months, accompanied by a felicitously distracting US presidential election.

The timing of any Chinese assault on Taiwan will most certainly be determined by Xi's assessment of the domestic political strength of the Biden administration as well as the possible need for a strong diversion from his own imploding economy.

Xi is also doubtless assessing the US president's resolve to back up his repeated declarations that US forces would come to the defense of Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, as opposed to the US State Department's immediate walk-back of the promise.

The Chinese Communist Party claims that the US is treating Taiwan as an independent state and these VIP visits violate its "One China Policy." The truth, most likely, is that the CCP's repeated transgressions against Taiwan's air and maritime sovereignty, after then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's August 2022 visit to Taiwan, are actually just part of the CCP's military invasion exercises on its way to an all-out assault.

The CCP's Eastern Theater Command has, in addition, established a Joint Operations Command Center, responsible for coordinating all phases of an actual invasion of Taiwan. Military moves suggestive of the CCP's hostile intent toward Taiwan, included recent deliveries of wheeled armor vehicles to China's coastal province of Guangdong, an area with several natural launch points for an invasion of Taiwan.

Xi Jinping and former Foreign Minister Qin Gang both warned the US about interfering in what China claims is an internal problem, and Xi added: "Western countries led by the United States have carried out all-round containment, encirclement and suppression of China, which has brought unprecedented severe challenges to China's development."

Xi has stressed that "the Taiwan question is the core of China's core interest" and has described as "wishful thinking" any expectation that China might compromise on the eventual incorporation of Taiwan into Communist China.

China has also rolled out a campaign of intimidation that shows China calling the shots. These began with the berating the US in Alaska, to which the State Department's response was "deep concerns" and continued with smuggling over the US border fentanyl and other drugs that have killed an estimated 200,000 civilians.

For a finishing touch, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the spring of 2022, tried to sell the public the idea that the US is attempting the "full-blown containment and suppression of China."

The danger, of course, is that if Xi loses faith in the possibility of a peaceful union with Taiwan, which he may hope will come about on January 13, 2024 with the election in Taiwan of a new, more complaint president, and if China's economy continues to collapse, he could decide to incorporate Taiwan with military force. He will then need to decide on the most appropriate time to launch an invasion of Taiwan. After witnessing the Biden Administration's abandonment of Afghanistan, that would most likely be while Biden is still in power.

China's leadership might be calculating that as the months get closer to the 2024 US presidential election, the Biden administration will be too focused on campaigning to response in a serious way to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. There are sure to be parallel threats to the United States, thanks to China's greater knowledge of US military sites from the spy balloon; land purchases near military bases from which the Chinese could jam, disable, or entirely prevent a US response; and a new group of possibly up to 5,000 men, many single and of military age, brought into America over its southern border.

These men, even now, may be militarizing China's new US "farmland" -- as they did on China's artificial islands in the South China Sea –- to sabotage US electric grids, water supply, power plants, civilian and military airports, communication centers, highways, tunnels, bridges, ports and other strategic infrastructure.

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China - Preparing for War - by Lawrence A. Franklin for The Gatestone Institute - 06.09
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Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.

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