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China Rolls Over Taiwan


I know its kind of random, and the sourcing is a bit strange coming from the American Conservative magazine, but a piece written by a UPI reporter in the magazine that posits how a potential conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan would go is worth a read.

This piece comes on a day that Chinese defense chief Cao Gangchuan told his Japanese counterparts Chinas military is not a threat to security in the region and that his defense buildup and development are becoming more transparent.

But he did reiterate that the main justification for Chinas accelerating defense spending and buildup is primarily due to tensions over the Taiwan issue.

Give the futuristic “The Chips are Down” piece a read and see what you think…food for thought at least.

…Beijing announced that if the newly elected government in Taiwan declared independence, China would intervene militarily. The United States responded by dispatching two carrier task forces attached to the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Ronald Reagan. Besides the usual high-tech armament, including ship-to-shore missiles, ship-to-air missiles, and ship-to-ship missiles, and 400-odd warplanes aboard the carriers, the combined task force also included two Battalion Landing Teams, some 4,000 Marines.

The Chinese had nowhere near as many warships, planes, or tanks, but they had 350,000 men aboard transport shipsand they had a secret weapon in orbit.

As the Chinese expeditionary force approached Taiwan, they crossed an imaginary red line drawn across a Pentagon map, breaching the point American generals estimated would be one from which the Chinese would not turn back.

From his command post aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, Adm. Anthony S. Samuelson picked up a secure telephone connecting him directly to the Pentagon and to the office of the secretary of defense. The secretary picked up on the first ring.

Tell me its good news, admiral.

Wish I could, sir. They are now in firing range and are not about to turn around. It looks like this is it.

The secretary of defense asked the admiral to stand by. He picked up a burgundy phone on his desk.

The president answered instantly. Madame President, said the secretary, You must order the attack. If we are to proceed, it must be now.

The president scanned the room, moving her eyes around the Oval Office where her national security advisers were gathered. Each in turn nodded his head, indicating a silent yes. The president of the United States put the phone to her ear and told her secretary of defense to proceed. With a heavy heart, Chelsea Clinton placed the receiver back in its cradle.

As the first Chinese soldier set foot on the beaches of Taiwan, the order was received from Adm. Samuelsons headquarters to open fire.

Minutes before the order was given, some 300 miles up in space, a Chinese scientific satellite released a burst of electro-magnetic energy aimed at American and Taiwanese forces. Other similar satellites positioned strategically around the Earth released a number of similar bursts directed at strategic U.S. missile silos in the continental United States, Korea, and Australia.

Total confusion followed. Not one order issued electronically by U.S. command-and-control centers reached its target. Missiles fired from the ships of the Seventh Fleet went straight into space and exploded harmlessly above the earth. The Abrams M1A1 tanks started to turn around in circles like demented prehistoric dogs trying to bite their tails. The few planes that managed to take off from the carriers crashed into the South China Sea. Search-and-rescue helicopters were unable to even start their engines.

The Chinese were able to walk ashore and take Taiwan without firing a single shot.

(Gouge: NC)

– Christian

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Dennis August 30, 2007 at 2:55 pm

This article brings up an important issue. But not in the way he thinks.
During the cold war all of the electronics created for the military were Electromagnetically sealed from nuclear discharges (so I am not too worried about the M1′s).
And I think today they still probably are.
However, when I was in the Navy we switched from paper maintenance sheets to computer “sheets” to track all maintenance.
Just before I left in 99′, they were talking about putting all of the maintenance manuals on DVDs (it made sense, our set was twice the size of an encyclopedia set).
As far as I know none of these “off the shelf” computers could take a electromagnetic bomb going off near them.
So the question I have now is: How many vital communication and organizational systems have been put on a Dell?


Chris August 30, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Isn’t military hardware EMF shielded specifically for “a burst of electro-magnetic energy”? ie: nuclear weapons?


Ed August 30, 2007 at 3:39 pm

The only thing funnier than this story was the Chinese Tankers picture.


Jalann August 30, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Lead shielding on old computers was designed to prevent EM signals from going out of the computer. You don’t want someone monitoring EM signals deciphering passwords. Remember back then, there weren’t many computers. Now, there is a flood of EM energy and it’s hard to decipher, so the shielding isn’t necessary.
I knew someone from Taiwan. He said it would be terrible if China invaded. They have so many gun nests, Dragon’s Teeth and mines it would be like Normandy again. So, no one would walk into Taiwan without firing a shot. The Taiwanese would shoot plenty.


James August 30, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Walking in without a shot fire eh? So according to the author, the Chinese have/or will develop an EMP satellite which also disables our rifles and squad leader’s decision making abilities. Sounds pretty serious, someone in the pentagon should look into that…because when the missles stop firing and M1s start turning in circles, appearently so will our men


Paul August 30, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Dennis, you don’t want to know how much of that stuff is kept in laptops these days (answer: everything we can cram in there). EMP weapons have been around conceptually for so long that I can’t but think that most of the critical fighting systems would be fine. As would most of the on-the-ground radios, not to mention the old die-hard field phones. However, maintenance records and anything else of a non-combat (read: support) function would quite possibly be toast. The question is, how much of that would actually be aboard an ARG? I never went on a MEU so I can’t speak for them, but whenever we deployed, all the essential comm stuff was hardened but not the admin and maintenance.
Caveat: I was an engineer, not a grunt or high tech guru, so this is all personal experience with other support elements and speculation.


Peter Davidson August 30, 2007 at 4:25 pm

So, because the Chinese launched a missile that destroyed a satellite, they suddenly have the ability to create EMP-weapon satellites powerful enough to wipe out a military net? This article completely disregards the fact that military computing gear is EMP-hardened, it ignores the fact that it requires a nuclear explosion in space to create the EMP effect described, and it ignores the fact that if the Chinese did do something on that order, their entire Eastern coast would suffer similar, disastrous consequences.
Considering the source this came from, this infantile Red-scare writing is expected. What is unexpected is that a blog I respect, Defense Tech, would post it. Shame on you, Defense Tech.


Tim G August 30, 2007 at 4:54 pm

This has to be the single worst article I’ve ever seen on DT. At least the DARPA newblurbsare “stuff we are actually thinking of trying to build”; this is “stuff some retard conservative journalist hack thinks China has already build let’s all be scared but wait look he’s progressive because the President is a woman, oh we’d better trust him now”.


Solomon August 30, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Anyone who is even a casual observer of US and European Military Trends would have to be alarmed at the network centric turn our forces have taken. Our reliance on “electronics” make us beyond vulnerable. Anyone who doubts that this is a serious achilles heel is kidding themselves.


Jak D. Ripper August 30, 2007 at 5:20 pm

I have a design flying on the E4B command post. Everything we did on that design was done to EMP hardening standards. We ran dosage tests on every IC that didn’t already have a rating on it. Several of my coworkers spent several days and nights at a local hospital irradiating and testing those ICs. As far as inputs and outputs go we withstood the standard EMP test parameters. In other words we were hardened against everything but a direct hit.
As to the M1 Abrams tanks spinning in circles, that is total BS. Those tanks were designed to take on the Soviets. Remember them? Bad guys with nukes? Poorly written SciFi at best.


Solomon August 30, 2007 at 5:34 pm

GOD YOU GUYS ARE KILLING ME!!!! Who would have thought that an RPG could penetrate any area of an M-1 before the Iraq war???? Who would have thought that IED’s would be the next RMA??? An attack on this vulnerability makes nothing but sense! Everyone can accept the possibility of F-35′s armed with lasers but refuses to look at the possibility that our enemies are working on ways to nullify our advantages! AMAZING!


campbell August 30, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Ooooooh, yeah,Baby!! right there!
Gawd…that was so good! worth every stupid “we’re the tech-iest, mostest bad force on the planet” BS post I’ve ever seen on DT!
…geez, I think I need a smoke…


Solomon August 30, 2007 at 8:04 pm

You all still fail to get the “force of connection” here…let me explain further then.
The Oct 27, 2003 edition of the Army Times reported that the Armor boys over at Ft Knox were concerned because an M-1 had been penetrated through the side skirt, with the projectile penetrating to the crew compartment causing injuries. The weapon was identified as an RPG-7V1. The insurgents, AQI, and JAM has no steady supply of these weapons. If they did, then combat in Iraq would be far deadlier than it already is. NO ONE in the Army or Marines, listed that particular weapon as a threat! It was an unknown factor (this gets back to the Taiwanese thing)
Roadside bombs, IED’s, and EFP’s were all known threats but to the extent that they were used against us far exceeded expectations. AQI, the insurgents and JAM have used these weapons far more extensively than the Fatah and Hamas did against the Israelis. These weapons were an unknown factor (this gets back to the Taiwanese thing)
War in Iraq
Tailored weapons for tailored threats is a luxury. Statements about the M-1 being designed to attack back through the Fulda Gap are nothing short of irresponsible. Saying that our forces are not designed for occupation is also missing the point. But I digress, unfortunately Rummy was right in one regard, you do fight battles with the forces that you have.
Back to the issue at hand…
My responses were to the idea that China is working on weapons that will destroy our net centric fighting forces. I consider that “insurgent warfare” by other means. If a primitive enemy can cause our forces problems then how about a force that has innovation, natural resources, improving technology and is buying not only our tech but Russian and European tech as well.
The scenario pointed out in this article is not as far fetched as many think. And yes, YOU GUYS ARE STILL KILLING ME THINKING OTHERWISE!


JIGuy August 30, 2007 at 9:05 pm

Well then, I guess it’s good for the US that its forces are getting so much practice in a low-tech environment. After all, the fancy gadgets will be gone once the Chinese set off their focused EMP device.


Roy Smith August 30, 2007 at 9:57 pm

Well,if I understand correctly China just walking on the shores of Taiwan would be quite impossible since Taiwan’s shores are steep cliffs.I read another scenario where China,with assistance from Russia,uses already orbiting satellite killers to take out our satellite communications(& GPS).Then China uses their acquired from Russia Sovremenny Destroyers to launch nuclear tipped Sunburn anti-ship missiles to take out our carrier fleets(the equipment maybe ruggedized,but humans still aren’t).They will also unleash converted(from deactivated J-5,J-6,& J-7I Fighters) UCAVs on our fleet to fire anti-ship missiles & to act as kamikazees & fly into our ships probably not destroyed from the nuclear tipped Sunburns.At the same time that all of this is going on,Russia,Uzbekistan,Kazahkstan,Kyrgyzstan,& Tajikistan,all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization with China,can roll into our bases in Central Asia & Afghanistan & take them out.Also,Iran can launch their anti-ship missiles,speedboats armed with anti-ship missiles,civilian boats,ships,tankers,& other craft(add to that “antiquated” F-14,F-4,F-5,plus the MiG-29 fighters they “acquired” from Iraq during Desert Storm & Su-27/30′s sold to them from Russia,& lastly their Azarakhsh fighters armed with,you guessed it,anti-ship missiles) armed with anti-ship missiles & sink our fleet in the Persian Gulf.Then they(Iran) can move their army into Iraq through Basra.
On a lighter note,I think I mentioned my modified hovercraft that hovers off the ground using electro-magnetic force & using an electro-magnetic “Tesla Dome” field to stop missiles & rockets,& armed with an Active Denial System electro-magnetic weapon souped up to be able to melt vehicles into pools of liquid metal & to burn humans to a crisp & shrink(or shrivel) their bodies to the size of infants in the wrong thread.


Roy Smith August 30, 2007 at 10:23 pm

Oh,& I forgot to mention that Iran will blockade the Strait of Hormuz preventing shipping from entering or exiting the Persian Gulf,that Georgia,Turkmenistan & Azerbaijan(Armenia is already allied with Russia) will be taken over by Russia,Iran,& the other Shanghai Cooperation Organization states preventing us from being able to fly into(or out of) Afghanistan to provide relief aid,reinforcements,&/or retreat…because….our “NATO ally(?)” Turkey & “Global War On Terror ally(?)” Pakistan will both have gone over to the “dark side of the force” & join with Russia,China,Iran,& the other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.Maybe India & Mongolia will also join(if Greece & Turkey can be allies in NATO,why can’t India & Pakistan be allies) the Shanghai Cooperation Organization since they are already observer members along with Pakistan & Iran.


murc August 30, 2007 at 11:35 pm

DT, you owe me 1 minute of my life back for reading that garbage.
I would point out some inaccuracies….but theirs just to many to even waste my time on.
the author of this is clearly a nutjob.


eric August 31, 2007 at 1:53 am

The most likely scenario is that where China just refuses to lend more money to the US, threatening it with immediate bankruptcy. After that Chinese troops indeed walk into Taiwan without firing a shot. WHAT A CRAP STORY!!! It is typical for a society that thinks high tech gizmo’s are a cure to everything, but has lost sight of the reality underneath.


Moose August 31, 2007 at 2:58 am

China has the ability to bankrupt the US, but not without dooming themselves in the process. The economic hit of losing China’s money would be bad, very bad, but eminently survivable. Other countries would buy US Debt and the weakened Dollar would actually give exports a big boost, providing an opportunity to pull the economy back up. Meanwhile, the loss of the US (and probably the rest of the West as well as Japan) as a customer would doom Chinese manufacturing. The money they made in the short term selling US debt wouldn’t be able to sustain them for more than a few weeks, and unlike the US, who would be selling their debt to customers, the Chinese would be trying to sell their debt to countries that would benefit from their downfall (good luck with that). The Chinese economy would go through a total collapse and without customers for their goods (having just bankrupted the West), they’ll have little opportunity to rebuild. Trust me, if China could pull the plug on the US and survive it they would have at the very least used that power as a club by now. It’s a deterrant against our acting against them, in the same way that in a nuclear exchange as we cannot hurt them without being hurt ourselves, but it is not an offensive weapon.


erik August 31, 2007 at 3:48 am

That story snippet was trash. However it is true that americans would lose. China is simply bigger, and getting wealthier every day. Naturally part of that wealth will go to the military, which will in the upcoming couple years transform into the most advanced military in the world.
However it is still true that nuclear arsenal is not part of their doctrine. That is something that they lack, and they won’t build it up either. The reason is that in the long run they can simply do better without them. Americans seem to be doing often the mistake that they believe that the chinese army has got similar military doctrine and resources. They don’t. Never will. It would be madness.


Ardentor August 31, 2007 at 6:17 am

Dont start selling out America yet, the idea that china is somehow destined to replace the US is flawed at best.


Thomas August 31, 2007 at 6:26 am

My BS detector just melted into a pile on the table.
Please Please Please!
Stop posting this crap as filler. DT was ONCE an excellent BLOG of cutting edge military related information, but has become a landfill site of crap.
Please keep it mean and lean.
Noah would not have stood for this!
Shame on you!!!


ajay August 31, 2007 at 8:53 am

Hmm. Satellite-based EMP weapons? Don’t worry about that. There are only two up there, and they’re one-shot weapons. General Ouroumov used the first one to destroy the control centre in Russia (escaping in a hijacked Eurocopter Tiger gunship), leaving only one satellite still avaiable, and I’m reliably informed that the only other usable control dish is in Cuba. Our assets are inserting now to destroy it.
Though I’m still a little worried about reports of the involvement of the rogue double-O agent Alex Trevelyan. Let’s just hope 007 manages to get the job done without too many problems…


C-Low August 31, 2007 at 9:17 am

We learned about EMP weapons back I think late 50′s when the Soviets popped off a Nuke in high atmosphere over Kazakistan.
Since then one of many reasons why our military equipment cost so much more than civilian versions is that our stuff is shielded and built to work through such a hit. And satellites are shielded such EMP in space is rather common except out there they run the alias Solar Flares. So the idea of M-1′s running circles, airplanes falling out of the sky, and naval ships dead in the water BS crapola.
Such a Chicom move would disrupt and maybe cause some equipment needing repairs. However I would wager the Chicoms would lose alot more of their limited capability than ourselves. That first wave of missiles may go off target due to interference but the second, 3rd, 4th, ect… would not.
The worst Kicker of this story is that to produce a powerful enough EMP would require a massive explosion. So to me the whole scenario is defaulted right their because when China pops off one or more nukes in high orbit the response will be China’s loss of their Eastern coast staging areas about 30minutes after.
To me the scenario China could pull off would be combined missile strikes against our Sats and then say a few Chicom weather sats suddenly dissolve on radar into thousands of small ball bearings all of this in a attempt to deny or greatly hamper the orbits over E China and Tiawan.
When we lose those communications are fancy shinny UCAV which are true bandwidth HOGS would be limited greatly.


Christian Lowe August 31, 2007 at 9:28 am

Thomas, tom, Murc and campbell….
You guys are such meanies!
(but thanks for reading anyway…)


Thomas August 31, 2007 at 10:59 am

No problems Christian.
Just telling it how it is and making sure you know where your roots are!


Dave August 31, 2007 at 11:16 am

Well that was a waste of time.
The author lost me at “U.S. Air Force


Solomon September 1, 2007 at 4:44 am

Well I hope that beyond the current, projected and future weapons and weapon systems presented on these pages; we’ll continue to be able to read about the potential application of “near term” weapons and their potential uses in a theoretical wartime scenario-Even if the author hasn’t dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”. After reading some of the comments, I might be alone in that wish.


DX September 1, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Dave, Marines still use the M1A1… don’t think they would drive around in circles, though. Everyone knows their heads pop off like Rock’em Sock’em Robots when hit with an EMP! This, of course, was fixed in the A2.


P White September 1, 2007 at 10:37 pm

This was a really dumb little story and in no way possible. What a waste of space. It got a lot worse after president Chelsea Clinton-LOL


Flea September 2, 2007 at 12:22 am

I know it


AR3 September 2, 2007 at 9:27 am

I suggest they wait until Bush is gone.I think he would be glad to test out the glass table top theory. Its no wonder that the US has not been hit again. Bush is nuts.


Longtimereader September 2, 2007 at 9:43 pm

That article was painfully ignorant fear mongering.
What’s with all the anti-China articles on this board lately? DT used to be a great site. Now there are are fewer objective, technology focussed articles, and it’s become some kind of pro-Iraq War, anti-China neocon bandstand.


Sven Ortmann September 3, 2007 at 5:12 am

Dumb story.
The defense of Taiwan rests by 80% on the shoulders of their army, by 10% on the shoulders of their air force and by 5% on the shoulders of their navy.
All foreign forces account to 5% at most.
The invasion of Crete as historical precedent shows how difficult it is for a strong high seas navy to block a strait against even improvised landing forces.
But Taiwan is rich, it has over a hundred billion USD in reserve and could easily increase its military power by a huge margin if it considered that necessary. So far, Taiwan’s government is the expert about Taiwan’s national security - and they don’t see the need to spend more billions on defense.
Any moves in the U.S. to spend more in preparation for a conflict with China can be considered as fearmongering in my opinion.
Really, there is more than just one army in the free world!
And yes, the Army of Taiwan is so powerful that all U.S: forces wouldn’t suffice to successfully invade Taiwan without use of nukes.
PR China has no better chances.


tictickboom September 4, 2007 at 10:12 am

This story is so full of BS I can smell it through my computer. I think my IQ dropped a few points just from reading it.
Even if Chicom hackers disrupt our IT networks, we can still kick their asses the old fasioned way. Tactically, even if they did develop a non-nuke EMP (highly unlikely), it would do more damage to them than us. They have no idea what quality control is, so even if they tried to harden all their electronics they’d screw it up.
“Quantity has a quality all it’s own” only goes so far. Even if they outnumbered us ten to one, we’s still win. They don’t, and aren’t likely anytime soon, even without adding our allies. In fact, if you figure Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and any European country that might pull it’s head out of it’s ass long enough to send a fleet, it’d be the Chinese who were outnumbered.
Hell, India might join the fray, and then China would truly be screwed. Add in our bases in the ‘Stans, and it’s good night, Beijing


Tbone September 4, 2007 at 11:12 am

Weak article! People forget that one of the main purposes of all this new technology is born out of the “need” to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage. We can still perform business the old fashioned way. Iron sites and Kentucky windage!


WTF April 24, 2008 at 8:06 am

ahahahahaha! that was a funny story. so many flaws it gave me a chuckle.
but in all seriousness, China taking Taiwan without firing a single shot? i don’t think the many thousands of troops are just gonna stand there and watch china take over…last time i checked rifles are 100% EMP resistant :P


Rhyno327/lrsd April 25, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Don’t laugh, its our greatest stregnth-and weakness. Our GPS sattelites are our MVP’s in war. Theres no doubt the Chinese would try thier best to knock that out by EMP blasts. I think this is in the top 3 for our defense. Protecting our computers, our space based programs. They are building up thier military for a reason. Taiwan may be it.


jj April 26, 2008 at 11:25 pm



Dave April 2, 2009 at 1:19 am

Ridiculous. Lets review another scenario:
China simply puts a 100 mile blockade zone around Taiwan. Ships entering the zone will be challenged. Ships heading for Taiwanese ports will be attacked. China’s various missile technologies would make this a real threat.
Insurance on ships serving Taiwan would skyrocket to a point that no company would be willing to transport materials needed for Taiwan to sustain its economy.
A few weeks later, the few Taiwan flagged ships would make a run through the blockade and are sunk.
Taiwan agrees not to declare independence. Blockade is lifted.
No invasion is needed. About 20 silkworm missiles plus 100 decoy missiles should do the trick. Total cost would be less than a container shipment of t-shirts to Walmart.


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