China Project

Russia and China Look at the Future of War

Russia and China share a common modernization objective: achieving dominance in decision-making in future wars. Both states are struggling to improve their military personnel quality and integrate the lessons from the wars of the past two decades. Russia is attempting to innovate within a narrower band of military doctrine and operations while addressing the early failures of its Ukraine invasion. China aims to use new doctrine, technology, and integration of civilian expertise with the People Liberation Army (PLA) to leapfrog over US military superiority. The United States must assess the threat from China’s and Russia’s modernization efforts and seek to exploit their respective blind spots and weaknesses.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, August 31, 2023

Key Takeaways

Foxconn founder Guo Taiming (Terry Gou) announced his campaign for president of the Republic of China (ROC) as an independent candidate. His entrance will likely further divide non-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) voters, thereby increasing the chance of the DPP candidate Lai Ching-te (William Lai) winning the race.

The Central American Parliament expelled the ROC as an observer. This advances a CCP coercion campaign to politically control Taiwan.

The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) began employing new flight patterns on August 24 in the Republic of China (Taiwan) air defense identification zone (ADIZ) likely to complicate and reduce Taiwan’s decision response timeline.

People’s Republic of China Used Lai’s US Transit to Advance Unification Campaigns

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) conducted a multifaceted informational, military, and economic pressure campaign in response to the transit of the Republic of China (ROC) Vice President Lai Ching-te through the United States in August. This indicates that the CCP aims to use ROC leadership transits as part of a larger coercive campaign to gain political control of Taiwan. The CCP’s threatening messaging, economic coercion, and military coercion in response to Lai’s transit will advance the party’s coercion and compellence campaigns to secure political control of Taiwan.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, August 24, 2023

The Kuomintang (KMT) is facing several internal disputes as the party falls further behind in the presidential election polls.

The flagship CCP journal Qiushi republished a February article by Xi Jinping on August 15 that emphasized “Chinese-style modernization.” This content of the publication and its reprinting indicates that the party aims to buttress support for spreading its political and economic governance models in formerly colonized countries.

The CCP outlet Red Flag Manuscript published an article on August 14 about the necessity of recapturing the spirit of “revolutionary patriotism” embodied by the Chinese military during the Korean War. The content of the article indicates that creating ideological alignment amongst PLA leadership is becoming increasingly necessary in order to prepare for future wars.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, August 18, 2023

Republic of China (ROC) Vice President and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te gave an interview with Bloomberg in Taiwan on July 27, which Bloomberg released on August 14. The publication of Lai’s statements in a leading English-language magazine helps him project his message to a wider American audience compared to attacks from the CCP and KMT that aimed to undermine Lai’s legitimacy.

KMT presidential candidate Hou Yu-ih emphasized nuclear energy policy during a press conference to burnish his national security credentials. Hou focused on his energy policy to portray the KMT as a responsible party on national security without having to address his cross-strait policy.

Typhoon Doksuri made landfall in China on July 28. A CCP directive implement in November 2022 slowed the PRC’s emergency response to the typhoon, which drew criticism from CCP-affiliated media.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, August 10, 2023

The Kuomintang (KMT) has echoed the People’s Republic of China (PRC) attacks on Lai Ching-te’s association with “Taiwan independence” in the lead up to his mid-August US transit. High-profile KMT parroting of PRC talking points indicates the success of the PRC's efforts to influence discourse in Taiwan and could advance its goal of broadening support for peaceful unification.

The Republic of China (ROC) arrested active-duty Republic of China Army (ROCA) personnel for allegedly passing on national security secrets to China. The pattern of ROC military personnel spying for China in conjunction with light espionage punishments indicates the ineffectiveness of current ROC laws in deterring potential spies.

People’s Republic of China Framing Lai’s US Transit as a Crisis

Republic of China (Taiwan) Vice President and presidential candidate Lai Ching-te will transit through the United States on August 12 and 16. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is framing Lai’s transit as a provocative crisis, which is messaging intended to justify greater People’s Liberation Army (PLA) naval and aerial activity around Taiwan. The normalization of such military activity around Taiwan in response to the ROC’s leadership transits through the United States would support a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) coercion campaign to induce unification on the PRC’s terms.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, August 3, 2023

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning’s condemnation of imperial era Japanese military aggression indicates that the CPP aims to portray itself as a pan-Asian leader to legitimize its military buildup.

The purge of People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) leadership indicates that Xi Jinping needs to reestablish confidence in portions of the military leadership.

The Ministry of State Security (MSS) called for the masses to participate in counter-espionage work, which may lead to the new expansion of the CCP’s online security apparatus.

China-Taiwan Weekly Update, July 27, 2023

The KMT called for coordinating with the TPP during the 2024 Legislative Yuan elections, which indicates that the KMT aims to expand its ability to win legislative seats even if it loses the presidency.

The CCP’s United Front apparatus coordinated attacks on DPP presidential candidate Lai Ching-te’s July 4 The Wall Street Journal op-ed “My Plan to Preserve Peace in the Taiwan Strait” to reduce support for his candidacy by framing him as pro-war.

The CCP announced the creation of the National Data Bureau (NDB) in March to manage the PRC’s public and private data. The organization may serve as a coordination vehicle between the CCP’s economic and national security organs.

Higher-ranking Chinese officials decided to meet with Henry Kissinger rather than United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry during their recent visits to China. That higher-ranking CCP officials met with Kissinger indicates that the party will use access to CCP policy-makers as leverage to induce American policy-makers to enact the party’s preferred policy outcomes.