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2022.08.10 佩洛西的访问与其说是挑衅,不如说是借口

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发表于 2022-8-12 04:03:14 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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By Invitation | Taiwan
China’s huge exercises around Taiwan were a rehearsal, not a signal, says Oriana Skylar Mastro
The military expert believes Nancy Pelosi’s visit was more pretext than provocation

Aug 10th 2022

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In the afternoon of August 4th, the People’s Liberation Army (pla) kicked off the largest and most sophisticated military exercises it has ever conducted. Over the course of a week, the Chinese launched dozens of missiles and conducted drills near Taiwan with 100 aircraft, ten destroyers and support vessels. Submarines and aircraft-carriers also played a role. The display has made the third Taiwan Strait crisis, which occurred between 1995-96, when China conducted four rounds of tests over the course of several months, with barrages of no more than six missiles, look like child’s play.

Part of the rationale for the latest exercise was to signal Beijing’s anger over Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Ms Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, was the highest-ranking American government official to visit the island since 1997. Back then Newt Gingrich, who was also the House speaker, made the trip. China warned that if Ms Pelosi added Taipei to her itinerary, there would be hell to pay.

The exercise is also a bit of a “coming-out party” for Beijing. In 1996 the third crisis ended when America sent two aircraft-carrier strike groups within 200 miles (322km) of Taiwan. America saw this as a great strategic success, and Chinese leaders were unhappy with its interference in what China considers a domestic affair. The resentment helped to drive China to build the pla into one of the greatest armed forces in the world.

Compared with 1996, China’s forces today are barely recognisable. Back then it had a large army, with roughly 4m people, but that was a sign of its backwardness more than anything else. With obsolete equipment and poor training, China barely had what could be considered an air force and a navy. Its pilots could not fly over water, at night or in rough weather. In 1999 less than 2% of its fighters were fourth generation, just 4% of its attack submarines were classed as modern (nuclear powered, for example) and none of its surface ships was. Its navy was a glorified coastguard with ships that, lacking air-defence systems, had to hug the coastline on any patrol. Its nuclear weapons, solid-fuelled and housed mainly in fixed silos, could have been taken out in one fell swoop by America.

Now China’s armed forces are comparable to America’s in quality and quantity. Most of its platforms are modern (of the latest technology for the relevant domain) and it boasts the largest navy in the world. In some areas Chinese military capabilities already surpass America’s—in shipbuilding, land-based conventional ballistic and cruise missiles, and integrated air-defence systems. China possesses the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world, one that is currently undergoing major modernisation.

But even with all these improvements it is unclear whether China could take Taiwan by force. China has not fought a war since 1979, when it made heavy weather of a “punitive” invasion of Vietnam. An amphibious attack, and to a lesser degree a blockade of the type the exercises off Taiwan were simulating, would demand complex joint operations (involving army, air force and navy), which in turn require impeccable logistics and command and control. Xi Jinping, China’s leader, launched a massive organisational reform to improve in these areas, and the pla undoubtedly has. But the war in Ukraine may have given him heightened anxiety, given that the Russians struggled precisely with logistics and command.

For this reason we should see the massive exercises off Taiwan less as a signal, and more as a rehearsal for combat. Mr Xi wants progress on the Taiwan issue, and domestically talk in the press is shifting from peaceful reunification to armed reunification. Chinese leaders knew the pla had to conduct a series of large, realistic exercises to identify issues and hone their capabilities. If China had done so out of the blue, instead of using Ms Pelosi’s visit as a pretext, international opprobrium would have been stronger.

China will seize the opportunity to practise as much as possible. It has announced already that this round of exercises will continue and that another round in the Bohai Gulf/Yellow Sea is next. And it won’t just be large-scale exercises. It is unlikely that Beijing will return to its previous level of operations. Instead China might attempt to normalise greater Chinese activity around Taiwan. That makes war more probable. Through a series of exercises the pla, and the party leadership, might gain confidence that China’s forces are ready to take Taiwan sooner than they would otherwise have thought.

Of course, this all depends on how the exercises and operations go. From the outside, this is hard to assess. The missiles landed where they should have in recent days, and there were no accidents. But we don’t know how much and how well different groups are communicating with each other. To prepare for joint operations, air-force units need to operate in close proximity and co-ordinate with ground troops and amphibious elements. The pla needs to practise providing supplies, such as prepositioned fuel stocks, and bringing munitions and medical supplies to forward locations such as Fujian, the province directly across the Taiwan Strait.

This is where the real trouble lies. If activities in the vicinity of Taiwan become more routine, not only does this heighten anxiety in Taipei (and probably other regional capitals as well) but it helps to disguise any preparations for a real military campaign. China needs an element of surprise to be able to take Taiwan before America has time to mobilise adequate forces in the region to defend the island. If China’s forces are simulating formations, blockades, attacks and amphibious landings, it will be harder to decipher when they are preparing for the real thing. Ms Pelosi’s visit has allowed Beijing to move to a new level of military activity unchallenged, which will make it harder for America to defend Taiwan. No signal of America’s commitment to the island can fix that. ■

Oriana Skylar Mastro is a fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University and a non-resident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a think-tank.


应邀参加 | 台湾
奥里亚纳-斯凯勒-马斯特罗说,中国在台湾周边的大规模演习是一种排练,而不是一种信号
这位军事专家认为南希-佩洛西的访问与其说是挑衅,不如说是借口。

2022年8月10日



8月4日下午,中国人民解放军(pla)拉开了其有史以来规模最大、最复杂的军事演习。在一周的时间里,中国发射了几十枚导弹,并在台湾附近进行了100架飞机、10艘驱逐舰和支援舰的演习。潜艇和航空母舰也发挥了作用。这次演习使1995-96年间发生的第三次台湾海峡危机看起来像一场儿童游戏,当时中国在几个月内进行了四轮试验,发射了不超过六枚导弹。

最近一次演习的部分理由是为了表明北京对南希-佩洛西访问台湾的愤怒。众议院议长佩洛西女士是1997年以来访问该岛的最高级别的美国政府官员。当时,同为众议院议长的纽特-金里奇进行了这次访问。中国警告说,如果佩洛西女士在其行程中增加台北,将会有麻烦。

这次演习对北京来说也有点像 "出场派对"。1996年,当美国将两个航空母舰攻击群派到距离台湾200英里(322公里)的范围内时,第三次危机结束了。美国认为这是一个巨大的战略成功,而中国领导人对美国干涉中国认为是国内事务的行为感到不满。这种怨恨有助于推动中国将匾额建设成世界上最伟大的武装部队之一。

与1996年相比,今天中国的军队几乎无法辨认。那时,中国有一支庞大的军队,大约有400万人,但这更多是其落后的标志。由于设备陈旧,训练不足,中国几乎没有可以被认为是空军和海军的力量。它的飞行员不能在水上、夜间或恶劣天气下飞行。1999年,中国只有不到2%的战斗机是第四代战斗机,只有4%的攻击型潜艇被列为现代潜艇(例如核动力),没有一艘水面舰艇被列为现代潜艇。它的海军是一个光荣的海岸警卫队,其舰艇由于缺乏防空系统,在任何巡逻中都必须紧贴海岸线。它的核武器是固体燃料的,主要存放在固定的发射井里,可以被美国一举拿下。

现在,中国的武装力量在质量和数量上与美国相当。它的大多数平台都是现代化的(相关领域的最新技术),它拥有世界上最大的海军。在某些领域,中国的军事能力已经超过了美国,包括造船、陆基常规弹道导弹和巡航导弹,以及综合防空系统。中国拥有世界上第三大核武库,目前正在进行重大的现代化改造。

但是,即使有了所有这些改进,也不清楚中国是否能够通过武力夺取台湾。自1979年以来,中国没有打过仗,当时它对越南的 "惩罚性 "入侵造成了严重影响。两栖攻击,以及在较小程度上模拟台湾附近演习的那种封锁,将需要复杂的联合行动(涉及陆军、空军和海军),这反过来又需要无可挑剔的后勤和指挥与控制。中国领导人习近平发起了一场大规模的组织改革,以改善这些领域的情况,而中国无疑已经做到了。但乌克兰的战争可能让他更加焦虑,因为俄罗斯人正是在后勤和指挥方面挣扎。

出于这个原因,我们应该把台湾附近的大规模演习看成是一种信号,而更多地是一种战斗演练。习近平先生希望在台湾问题上取得进展,而在国内,新闻界的谈话正从和平统一转向武装统一。中国领导人知道牌坊必须进行一系列大型、现实的演习,以确定问题和磨练能力。如果中国突然这样做,而不是以佩洛西女士的访问为借口,国际上的反对声会更强烈。

中国将抓住机会,尽可能多地进行实践。它已经宣布,这一轮演习将继续进行,下一轮将在渤海湾/黄海进行。而且这将不仅仅是大规模的演习。北京不太可能恢复到以前的行动水平。相反,中国可能会试图使台湾周围更多的中国活动正常化。这使得战争更有可能发生。通过一系列的演习,党的领导层可能会获得信心,认为中国的军队已经准备好了,可以比他们想象的更快地攻占台湾。

当然,这一切都取决于演习和行动如何进行。从外面看,这很难评估。最近几天,导弹落在了它们应该落的地方,而且没有发生事故。但我们不知道不同小组之间的沟通有多少,有多好。为了准备联合行动,空军部队需要在近距离内行动并与地面部队和两栖部队协调。空军需要练习提供补给,如预先部署的燃料库存,并将弹药和医疗用品带到前沿地点,如台湾海峡正对面的福建。

这就是真正的麻烦所在。如果在台湾附近的活动变得更加日常化,这不仅会加剧台北(可能还有其他地区的首都)的焦虑,而且有助于掩盖任何真正的军事行动的准备工作。中国需要一个出其不意的因素,以便能够在美国有时间在该地区调动足够的力量来保卫台湾之前拿下台湾。如果中国的部队正在模拟编队、封锁、攻击和两栖登陆,那么就很难辨别他们何时在为真正的事情做准备。佩洛西女士的访问使北京的军事活动不受质疑地进入一个新的水平,这将使美国更难保卫台湾。美国对该岛的承诺的任何信号都不能解决这个问题。■

Oriana Skylar Mastro是斯坦福大学弗里曼-斯波格利国际研究所的研究员,也是智囊团美国企业研究所的非常驻高级研究员。
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