Taiwan-China crisis. - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15316505
Skynet wrote:@JohnRawls
This will determine if autoritarianism or liberal democracy will be the ruling force on the planet.

Absolutely not.

This will further prove the end of the US empire. No less, no more.

There are both authoritarian as well as democratic countries among the BRICS.


Rancid wrote:I say war happens.

China gets its way.

I agree on both items.
#15316547
Rancid wrote:I don't think Xi cares about that. He's a man of history. Taking the island itself is all he needs to cement himself in history. The island could be complete rubble, doesn't matter. In his eyes, it would be a win.

I agree, though I think the chip infrastructure just raises the stakes that are already there, for both China and the US/West and others.
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By Rancid
#15316568
Unthinking Majority wrote:I agree, though I think the chip infrastructure just raises the stakes that are already there, for both China and the US/West and others.


True, but in this sense, it's appears beneficial to both the US and EU if China takes Taiwan. Forces the chip supply chain into more secure areas of the world from the western perspective. This war would take out a top player in the free market for mid-tier chips basically.

It's basically in the interest of America to throw Taiwan under the bus. At the same time though, it doesn't because of other key allies in the region (Korea, Japan, Australia even).... I guess

That said, I'm sure I don't have the full understanding of the geopolitics. The chip stuff may not be as high on that list as we might think. :?:
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By JohnRawls
#15316575
Rancid wrote:True, but in this sense, it's appears beneficial to both the US and EU if China takes Taiwan. Forces the chip supply chain into more secure areas of the world from the western perspective. This war would take out a top player in the free market for mid-tier chips basically.

It's basically in the interest of America to throw Taiwan under the bus. At the same time though, it doesn't because of other key allies in the region (Korea, Japan, Australia even).... I guess

That said, I'm sure I don't have the full understanding of the geopolitics. The chip stuff may not be as high on that list as we might think. :?:


Its pretty high up there. Modern weapons do not function without modern chips especially when we start talking about more complicated and complicated weapons. You can compare it to oil that military equipment also doesn't function without oil.
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By Rancid
#15316578
JohnRawls wrote:
Its pretty high up there. Modern weapons do not function without modern chips especially when we start talking about more complicated and complicated weapons. You can compare it to oil that military equipment also doesn't function without oil.


Yes. That said, much like how Europe started to adapt to not using Russian gas. The world can adapt to not using chips from Taiwan. New fabs are being built in the US as we speak for example, so there is already a head start on this transition.
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By JohnRawls
#15316582
Rancid wrote:Yes. That said, much like how Europe started to adapt to not using Russian gas. The world can adapt to not using chips from Taiwan. New fabs are being built in the US as we speak for example, so there is already a head start on this transition.


Sure but gas is more or less a natural resource while chips need to be manufactured. You can't simply dig them up out of the ground. The investment cycle and ramp up is years long if not decades compared to gas. While obviously we can do more with less by optimising things there is still a limit.

Then again, how much compute do you really need for most of the things that we use. Mostly we will be fine.
#15316595
JohnRawls wrote:Its pretty high up there. Modern weapons do not function without modern chips especially when we start talking about more complicated and complicated weapons. You can compare it to oil that military equipment also doesn't function without oil.

Thats only true for US and european weapons because there the goal is to maximize profits, thus the price of the individual item is maximized, and thus only the latest and greatest is used in weapons.

While the MIC of Russia will happily use old chips if they are sufficient for the job.

I know literally nothing about how China organizes their military. For example I dont know if their military production is state owned. But I would be surprised if they too will use a "we can only use the most newest and expensive stuff" approach there like the west. For starters they of course by a lot of their stuff from Russia, and/or produce the russian designs themselves in license.

The goal of rational military production, a production that focused on actually winning wars, is simply having equipment en masse that is cheap and reliable and sufficient for the job in question. But this kind of production doesnt maximize profits and thats why we dont have it in the west.

And this is nothing new at all. This is literally how Nazi Germany lost the war with the soviet union. Germany had enormously powerful tanks but they didnt have many and they couldnt produce many, because these tanks have been overengineered. While the russians build en masse what worked.

Its funny how even 80 years later the west still does the exact same errors then back then. The mentality simply hasnt changed.

Here in the west we have the strange myth that the market will provide what the consumer demands. But thats not true. For example good luck getting affordable public transport from the car industry. The car industry in fact has sabotaged existing public transport in many places instead.

And about chips, the newest and greatest chips may come out of Taiwan. But China is at least right behind in this regard. Even if all taiwanese production ceases that doesnt mean that China or Russia have a hard time finding good chips.
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By JohnRawls
#15316604
Negotiator wrote:Thats only true for US and european weapons because there the goal is to maximize profits, thus the price of the individual item is maximized, and thus only the latest and greatest is used in weapons.

While the MIC of Russia will happily use old chips if they are sufficient for the job.

I know literally nothing about how China organizes their military. For example I dont know if their military production is state owned. But I would be surprised if they too will use a "we can only use the most newest and expensive stuff" approach there like the west. For starters they of course by a lot of their stuff from Russia, and/or produce the russian designs themselves in license.

The goal of rational military production, a production that focused on actually winning wars, is simply having equipment en masse that is cheap and reliable and sufficient for the job in question. But this kind of production doesnt maximize profits and thats why we dont have it in the west.

And this is nothing new at all. This is literally how Nazi Germany lost the war with the soviet union. Germany had enormously powerful tanks but they didnt have many and they couldnt produce many, because these tanks have been overengineered. While the russians build en masse what worked.

Its funny how even 80 years later the west still does the exact same errors then back then. The mentality simply hasnt changed.

Here in the west we have the strange myth that the market will provide what the consumer demands. But thats not true. For example good luck getting affordable public transport from the car industry. The car industry in fact has sabotaged existing public transport in many places instead.

And about chips, the newest and greatest chips may come out of Taiwan. But China is at least right behind in this regard. Even if all taiwanese production ceases that doesnt mean that China or Russia have a hard time finding good chips.


Russian steals chips from the West through China or Turkey and using substandard components makes Russian rockets shit. Ukraine is an example of that and how "good" Russian weapons are. And it doesn't apply to rockets only but to recognisance for better sattelites or planes etc etc etc. The long story short, comparing Western militaries to Russia is sub standard and useless argument. By the looks of it 1 NATO soldier is worth 10-15 Russian soldiers right now and if NATO goes to a conventional war then Russia wouldn't fare any better than Iraq. That is reality of things for Russia right now since they couldn't defeat Ukraine in 3 days.
#15316620
Rancid wrote:True, but in this sense, it's appears beneficial to both the US and EU if China takes Taiwan. Forces the chip supply chain into more secure areas of the world from the western perspective. This war would take out a top player in the free market for mid-tier chips basically.

It's basically in the interest of America to throw Taiwan under the bus. At the same time though, it doesn't because of other key allies in the region (Korea, Japan, Australia even).... I guess

That said, I'm sure I don't have the full understanding of the geopolitics. The chip stuff may not be as high on that list as we might think. :?:

But the US first needs the knowledge and infrastructure to produce the most advanced chips and chip software domestically, which they've just started to domesticate.

"Taiwan produces over 60% of the world’s semiconductors and over 90% of the most advanced ones. Most are manufactured by a single company, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC). Until now, the most advanced have been made only in Taiwan."
https://www.economist.com/special-repor ... -important

If the future of war and national security is AI and cyberwarfare, you need the most advanced chips, for defence and offence. And, like oil, if you can choke your enemy's supply of chips then much of their economy and military becomes greatly at risk. The effect isn't as immediate as oil though, since oil needs a stable non-stop supply or prices skyrocket overnight and consumption is constant in every aspect of the economy and military.

We're in an AI and IT cold war arms race right now with China. Trump blocked China's access to Taiwan's TSMC chips so Hauwai couldn't get their hands on them. Apparently China has fallen behind on domestic ability to produce chips, it's a complex and extremely specialized global supply chain apparently.
#15316623
Unthinking Majority wrote:But the US first needs the knowledge and infrastructure to produce the most advanced chips and chip software domestically, which they've just started to domesticate.

"Taiwan produces over 60% of the world’s semiconductors and over 90% of the most advanced ones. Most are manufactured by a single company, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC). Until now, the most advanced have been made only in Taiwan."
https://www.economist.com/special-repor ... -important

If the future of war and national security is AI and cyberwarfare, you need the most advanced chips, for defence and offence. And, like oil, if you can choke your enemy's supply of chips then much of their economy and military becomes greatly at risk. The effect isn't as immediate as oil though, since oil needs a stable non-stop supply or prices skyrocket overnight and consumption is constant in every aspect of the economy and military.

We're in an AI and IT cold war arms race right now with China. Trump blocked China's access to Taiwan's TSMC chips so Hauwai couldn't get their hands on them. Apparently China has fallen behind on domestic ability to produce chips, it's a complex and extremely specialized global supply chain apparently.


Semi-conductor production requires inputs from literally dozens of countries. Its impossible to make semi-conductors right now without global cooperation.(Most advanced) US is the closest one to have all of the components to do it and all of it is literally concentrated in the West. The problem is that the whole chain is split between dozens of countries when it comes to all the services/design/architecture/manufacturing/equipment production. Physically the chips are produced in fabs on mass in Taiwan right now. But there are so many bottlenecks and specialised knowledge needed that its probably not possible for one country to do it.

Example is ASML from Netherlands and Karl Zeiss that makes the lenses. ASML machines are decades ahead of anybody else and Zeiss produces optics that are also decades ahead of anybody else. Both companies are tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in value and both have decades of experience and engineers who has been doing it. Zeiss is basically the de factro lense maker of the world, when you need a precision lenses for anything really then you go to Zeiss apparently be it teliscopes or to shrink down length of lazers of lithography equipment that is precise down to the micron.
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By Rancid
#15316638
@Unthinking Majority, @JohnRawls,

Still, Xi just doesn't give a shit about any of that.

I also think the west can adapt and innovate around any issues if Taiwan disappears in the chip supply chain.
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By JohnRawls
#15316663
Rancid wrote:@Unthinking Majority, @JohnRawls,

Still, Xi just doesn't give a shit about any of that.

I also think the west can adapt and innovate around any issues if Taiwan disappears in the chip supply chain.


You are probably right on Xi. It just depends how far he has gone and if there any checks and balances on him. If you take Putin as an example of being far gone and moving just past his corruption and power hungryness then Xi probably is not fully there yet although him being able to crush all of his opposition is a pretty close step. Putin managed to basically destroy all internal opposition at around 2017-2018 and fully finished them off physically or send in to exile in 2019-2022 which took around 8-10 years of work since they didn't really start fully until like 2011-2012 before that opposition was oppressed but there were greater limits.

Now Xi and China in general was way more repressive in the first place to opposition so it was just the in-party opposition that he needed to worry about. Are they all purged by now and is he fully secure? Well large chunk of it is because he broke the Mao rules for sure. But he probably got some more because of his Covid issues and the current economic slowdown/downturn. But if that opposition is not there then he is already basically Putin who got all his corruption and power and now its time to write his name in to history to solidify his forever rule.
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By Fasces
#15316665
JohnRawls wrote: Well large chunk of it is because he broke the Mao rules for sure.


What Mao rules are you talking about?

JohNRawls wrote:But he probably got some more because of his Covid issues and the current economic slowdown/downturn.


Got some more what?

JohnRawls wrote:But if that opposition is not there then he is already basically Putin who got all his corruption and power and now its time to write his name in to history to solidify his forever rule.


Xi is famously not corrupt by the CIA's own admission. You can't really compare him with Putin's kleptocracy. This sounds like Bush-level 'Axis of Evil' trying to insinuate a broad alliance of Saddam, Iran, and North Korea just because they're all 'opposed to the US'. It's needlessly reductive to put Xi in a Putin box.

Xi has a strong ideological and political hold over the party apparatus, but this doesn't translate into a totalitarian grip on power. China is highly decentralized in practice, with city, provincial, and other leaders holding a broad amount of autonomy within its structure. Xi is a true believer and likely wants to unify with Taiwan by force if necessary - but this doesn't mean that all the stakeholders agree with him. The KMT regularly does meet and greets with provincial level and business leaders across China; there is a huge amount of movement of labor and capital across the Strait; and while his anti-corruption purges have reduced visible corruption, it still exists - the recent rocketry scandals alone probably would prevent Xi from pushing ahead the timeline, even without the warning of Ukraine.
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By JohnRawls
#15316668
Fasces wrote:What Mao rules are you talking about?



Got some more what?



Xi is famously not corrupt by the CIA's own admission. You can't really compare him with Putin's kleptocracy. This sounds like Bush-level 'Axis of Evil' trying to insinuate a broad alliance of Saddam, Iran, and North Korea just because they're all 'opposed to the US'. It's needlessly reductive to put Xi in a Putin box.

Xi has a strong ideological and political hold over the party apparatus, but this doesn't translate into a totalitarian grip on power. China is highly decentralized in practice, with city, provincial, and other leaders holding a broad amount of autonomy within its structure. Xi is a true believer and likely wants to unify with Taiwan by force if necessary - but this doesn't mean that all the stakeholders agree with him. The KMT regularly does meet and greets with provincial level and business leaders across China; there is a huge amount of movement of labor and capital across the Strait; and while his anti-corruption purges have reduced visible corruption, it still exists - the recent rocketry scandals alone probably would prevent Xi from pushing ahead the timeline, even without the warning of Ukraine.


MAO rule is that Chinese leadership changed every 10 years or so. But Xi went for another 10. As anyone who talked on the subject said that the West was always curious how that worked since it happened but then we got our answer that only memory of Mao basically kept the rule alive. So Xi had less problems going for his 20 years in power.

Go some more discontent and opposition because of Covid problems. Nobody liked the lockdown even the softcore ones in the West for less time compared to China. China did more rough lockdowns and more in time. This causes all sorts of problems for the people, for the economy and so on.

That is a good question what power Xi actually wields over the whole party. I really am not a specialist on the Chinese Communist Party inner goings and you definitely need a specialist for it. But the long story short is that corruption builds up and through that corruption autocrats or dictators create a grip on power. And if there are rebelious elements then they use that correction to jail those elements using the same corruption. Sort of like blackmail. The corruptness of the leader is an almost irrelevant subject actually since corruption is talked here in the whole system context and not just Xi. Its a tool of control. Sort of like a feature inbuilt in to the system to reward and enforce loyalty. There are other more straight forward ways ofcourse like outright violence. But nowadays autocrats/dictators like to pretend that they are not dictators/autocrats so instead of outright executing somebody on the main square they put them in to jail for corruption or something like that where they might mysteriously suffer bad health and then die off and then say "Well, people die in US jails also. It is a scary place". So the main question is to what extent can he enforce his will on the party and is it absolute. If its absolute then dictators move on to making history and killing people since they don't have anything else apparently to do in some cases. Making people lives better and growing the economy is just boring or impossible when the system itself is bottlencked by the same corruption and autocracy.
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By Fasces
#15316684
JohnRawls wrote: Go some more discontent and opposition because of Covid problems. Nobody liked the lockdown even the softcore ones in the West for less time compared to China. China did more rough lockdowns and more in time. This causes all sorts of problems for the people, for the economy and so on.


This isn't true, and get backs to what I mean about Chinese decentralization. I personally was in China during covid so I can attest to that.

Beijing told cities: "we are setting a target for you on covid transmission" but outside of rules for international travel, did not control covid policy beyond that.

Certain cities did have very bad covid responses and egregious lockdowns at times - Shanghai's city government was notably and famously over reactive.

For us in Shandong, our covid lockdowns lasted two months, were over by April 2020, and life returned to normal - bars and gyms and theaters were back open by mid April, and we switched to a system of case tracking using QR codes and individual isolation, a system which proved so popular it became the pilot for almost all Covid lockdowns in mainland China by 2021.

I could go in more detail, and did at the time - but the point is talking shout a "China covid policy" falls back to a way of thinking that isn't reflective of how China actually operates. There wasn't a "China covid policy". There were hundreds of city, province, or regional policies.

JohnRawls wrote: That is a good question what power Xi actually wields over the whole party.


Xi holds power over the makeup of the Politburo and the Standing Committee. This gives him a lot of latitude in deciding the direction of Chinese policy but this doesn't translate to authority or influence in how it's implemented. We can talk about the Mao system of governance and norms, but this is one norm Xi hasn't broken.

Beyond that, you seem to be using "corruption" as synonymous with "patronage" which I think could be clearer. Nonetheless, Xi's hold is largely limited to national offices, not lower level party organization. My wife's father hates Xi but is nonetheless a party member and former municipal party leader - in any society, what the national party is doing is often very far removed from how local party politics plays out, and China is no different.
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By JohnRawls
#15316686
Fasces wrote:This isn't true, and get backs to what I mean about Chinese decentralization. I personally was in China during covid so I can attest to that.

Beijing told cities: "we are setting a target for you on covid transmission" but outside of rules for international travel, did not control covid policy beyond that.

Certain cities did have very bad covid responses and egregious lockdowns at times - Shanghai's city government was notably and famously over reactive.

For us in Shandong, our covid lockdowns lasted two months, were over by April 2020, and life returned to normal - bars and gyms and theaters were back open by mid April, and we switched to a system of case tracking using QR codes and individual isolation, a system which proved so popular it became the pilot for almost all Covid lockdowns in mainland China by 2021.

I could go in more detail, and did at the time - but the point is talking shout a "China covid policy" falls back to a way of thinking that isn't reflective of how China actually operates. There wasn't a "China covid policy". There were hundreds of city, province, or regional policies.



Xi holds power over the makeup of the Politburo and the Standing Committee. This gives him a lot of latitude in deciding the direction of Chinese policy but this doesn't translate to authority or influence in how it's implemented. We can talk about the Mao system of governance and norms, but this is one norm Xi hasn't broken.

Beyond that, you seem to be using "corruption" as synonymous with "patronage" which I think could be clearer. Nonetheless, Xi's hold is largely limited to national offices, not lower level party organization. My wife's father hates Xi but is nonetheless a party member and former municipal party leader - in any society, what the national party is doing is often very far removed from how local party politics plays out, and China is no different.


I am not saying that all of China was under strict lockdown that people couldn't breathe. Obviously that wasn't the case with how rough some of the Chinese lockdowns were. But I just don't see your argument here because even if it happened in relatively few places then it still created discontent in those places for people and probably even leaders/ccp elite. Overall I just can't view how CCP overall would be happy with the handling of Covid by Xi both with the lying, lockdowns and the length of how long it lasted compared to lets say the West.

Perhaps patronage is a better word but its done through corruption. And corruption causes the problems more than the patronage that enables it. So I still think that patronage/blackmail system is secondary to corruption. Its not good but corruption is even worse but both together, well you can see what Russia turned in to. Actually even USSR before Russia. Another problem that this patronage/blackmail system creates is that life is all good for the aparatchiks which USSR had a severe case off. It also detaches the ruling class from the people a lot.
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By Fasces
#15316688
JohnRawls wrote:I am not saying that all of China was under strict lockdown that people couldn't breathe. Obviously that wasn't the case with how rough some of the Chinese lockdowns were. But I just don't see your argument here because even if it happened in relatively few places then it still created discontent in those places for people and probably even leaders/ccp elite. Overall I just can't view how CCP overall would be happy with the handling of Covid by Xi both with the lying, lockdowns and the length of how long it lasted compared to lets say the West.


They don't blame Xi for bad lockdowns - they blame local leaders and local party decisions.

And broadly speaking, the lockdowns were quite popular. The longest-lasting and most direct permanent effect of the lockdown were not felt by most citizens (30 day quarantine on entering or leaving the country) - things like the slowdown on exports and economic productivity being rightfully seen as an indirect effect of world-wide lockdowns that would have happened regardless.

At the end of the day, China had remarkably few cases (I did not know anyone who caught Covid within China prior to 2023, when the country opened up and got hit by the mild omicron variant) and the lockdowns were very soft within the country (you could still travel, go to events, go to restaurants, go to work, etc). You can't generalize two famously bad lockdowns in Shanghai, and outrage toward the city government of Shanghai (which was later replaced), to a general outrage toward Xi or the CPC.
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By JohnRawls
#15316719
Fasces wrote:They don't blame Xi for bad lockdowns - they blame local leaders and local party decisions.

And broadly speaking, the lockdowns were quite popular. The longest-lasting and most direct permanent effect of the lockdown were not felt by most citizens (30 day quarantine on entering or leaving the country) - things like the slowdown on exports and economic productivity being rightfully seen as an indirect effect of world-wide lockdowns that would have happened regardless.

At the end of the day, China had remarkably few cases (I did not know anyone who caught Covid within China prior to 2023, when the country opened up and got hit by the mild omicron variant) and the lockdowns were very soft within the country (you could still travel, go to events, go to restaurants, go to work, etc). You can't generalize two famously bad lockdowns in Shanghai, and outrage toward the city government of Shanghai (which was later replaced), to a general outrage toward Xi or the CPC.


You don't, others do. The rhetoric that good leader bad nobles changes fast to shit lord shit nobles. Actually its a common "tactic" of authoritarian states to blame local governments or some minister XXX instead of the "Leader". Putin does it also all the time even more so now.
#15316728
JohnRawls wrote:Russian steals chips from the West through China or Turkey and using substandard components makes Russian rockets shit. Ukraine is an example of that and how "good" Russian weapons are. And it doesn't apply to rockets only but to recognisance for better sattelites or planes etc etc etc. The long story short, comparing Western militaries to Russia is sub standard and useless argument. By the looks of it 1 NATO soldier is worth 10-15 Russian soldiers right now and if NATO goes to a conventional war then Russia wouldn't fare any better than Iraq. That is reality of things for Russia right now since they couldn't defeat Ukraine in 3 days.


Why are you unaware that China (a) is Russias best friend and thus doesnt sanction them and (b) produces plenty of computer chips ?!? :?:

Neither is a secret.

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