Here’s How and Why China May Invade Taiwan

In a new 30-minute-long explainer video YouTuber RealLifeLore explores how and why China could invade Taiwan, drawing a parallel to “Putin’s invasion” of neighboring Ukraine.

YouTuber RealLifeLore has come out with another in-depth explainer video on a major geopolitical topic following his previous ones on “Putin’s invasion” of Ukraine and the possible establishment of a “no-fly” zone in the region. In this new video RealLifeLore, a self-described answerer of “questions that you’ve never asked,” explores how and why China may invade its neighboring island of Taiwan; noting “the situation is, in many ways, highly similar to Ukraine.”

Both Ukraine and Taiwan are “smaller defacto independent states directly next door to a culturally similar, but larger and much more powerful country that once historically ruled over their territory,” RealLifeLore says in the video (above). The YouTuber notes after a decades-long civil war that ended in 1949, Mao Zedong and the People’s Republic of China (or PRC) emerged victorious, forcing Chiang Kai-shek and the Republic of China (ROC) to retreat to Taiwan. In turn, RealLifeLore says, Taiwan is seen by the PRC “merely [as a] renegade province of their China, currently in a state of rebellion,” adding that “if diplomatic efforts fail to reunify the one China peacefully, Beijing has legally reserved itself the right to use force.”

The YouTuber adds that Xi Jinping, the President of the PRC, has made it no secret that this position has only “further solidified under his administration.”

“Since Beijing has never renounced the right to employ force against Taiwan, the world has been left wondering: Could Taiwan actually become the target of the world’s next biggest invasion?” RealLifeLore asks rhetorically. He notes that if China did invade Taiwan, it would require “the largest amphibious assault in human history.” Based on standard military tactics, the YouTuber claims China would have to commit at least 400,000 troops—or, more realistically, 600,000—in order to successfully invade Taiwan, a country of 23.5 million people. (For reference, RealLifeLore notes that there were 156,000 Allied troops involved in D-Day.)

Not only would China have to commit approximately one-third of its military to the invasion of Taiwan—crossing the Taiwan Straight, which is roughly as wide as the distance between that of Florida and Cuba—but it would also potentially have to contend with Taiwan’s allies, including the U.S., Japan, and the U.K.

Indeed, despite the fact Taiwan is not a member of NATO, the U.S. still considers it a major non-NATO ally (MNNA), “which confers a variety of military and financial advantages that otherwise are not obtainable by non-NATO countries.” I.e. the U.S. still supplies the country with jets, helicopters, missiles, and submarines. American naval vessels even patrol the Taiwan Straight, with an average frequency of once a month according to the YouTuber.

The island chain to either side of Taiwan—including Sumatra, Borneo, the Philippines, et al.—as well as its in-between “choke points,” are also “allied to, or under the influence of” the U.S. In the image above RealLifeLore shows how the “American Navy and friends” could easily blockade China’s shipping ports thanks to this island chain-occupation and “strangle the Chinese economy into submission.”

Why, exactly, would China want to invade Taiwan? Because the Taiwanese people “absolutely dominate the entire advanced semiconductor and chip industry that powers nearly every advanced civilian and military technology around the world.”

RealLifeLore notes 92% of the world’s advanced computer chips are manufactured in Taiwan; within only a handful of enormously expensive and complicated specialized fabrication plants. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited (or TSMC) is the Taiwanese company—and “institution”—responsible for producing the chips, and is the tenth largest corporation in the world with a market cap of approximately $540 billion.

Incredibly, alternate options for advanced computer chip manufacturing facilities outside of Taiwan—including a TSMC fabrication plant in Arizona—won’t be viable until 2024. And even then RealLifeLore notes the chips they’ll be producing will no longer be state-of-the-art compared to Taiwan’s contemporaneously produced chips.

As for outcomes if China did decide to invade Taiwan, RealLifeLore says a defeat by the tiny island country (alongside its much bigger allies) would “cause epic embarrassment.” And if it succeeded? It’d serve as a “crippling blow to the U.S.” and its Western allies; forcing them to rely on China-controlled Taiwan for computer chips and opening up other countries in the region to fall under strict Chinese control as well.

Speculating based on historical events RealLifeLore guesses that if China did attempt to invade Taiwan, the U.S. and its allies would indeed get involved. The YouTuber uses Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 as a precedent; noting that when Iraq invaded Kuwait, America and its allies responded with “overwhelming force,” driving out the Iraqi army in a matter of weeks.

RealLifeLore concludes that America would get involved in Taiwan for the same reason it got involved in Kuwait: The country must respond to the disruption in the flow of strategic resources that are vital for modern civilization. In this instance, however, instead of oil, the strategic resource is computer chips.

Feature image: RealLifeLore

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