July 11, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10074

Chinese Analyst Zengming: 'Mainland China Must Not Take Taiwan's Asymmetrical Combat Power Lightly... We Cannot Sit On A 'Powder Keg' Sipping Tea'

July 11, 2022
China | Special Dispatch No. 10074

In an article published June 25, 2022 in the Chinese media outlet Reference News Network, titled "China Cannot Develop Itself, While Holding A Powder Keg," on Taiwan's "asymmetrical combat power," Chinese analyst Chen Zengming wrote that China must not take Taiwan's "asymmetrical combat power" lightly.

Noting that "the more Taiwan and the United States advocate 'asymmetrical combat power,' the more vigilant China should be," Chen went on to state: " In the history of China, there are countless examples of the small conquering the big and the weak defeating the strong... "We cannot sit on a 'powder keg' sipping tea and reciting poetry, and we cannot engage in economic development next to a 'powder keg.'"

Below is Chen's article:[1]


'Taiwan Authorities' Are Attempting To 'Defeat The Strong With The Weak'

"[…] On June 8, before the Monterrey talks, the Biden administration announced a new round of arms sales to Taiwan, including 120 million U.S. dollars’ worth of naval ship spare parts and related technical support. This is also the fourth arms sale to Taiwan since Biden took office and the third this year…

"The three previous arms sales to Taiwan by the Biden administration were:

"On April 5, 2022, the U.S. State Department again approved the military sales contracts to the Taiwan area of China, including Patriot Contractor Technical Assistance for the Patriot Air Defense System, consisting of related equipment and logistics training, planning, deployment, operation, maintenance, and sustainment, with an estimated total project cost of $95 million…

"On February 7, 2022, the U.S. State Department announced the approval of the military sale of a five-year International Engineering Services Program to Taiwan for an estimated cost of $100 million, designed to sustain, maintain, and improve its Patriot Air Defense System, claiming that 'the proposed sale will help to sustain the recipient’s missile density and ensure readiness for air operations.' The recipient [can] use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen homeland defense.

"The Biden administration approved the sale of weapons to Taiwan in April 2021, including 40 new M109 self-propelled howitzers M992A2 series field artillery ammunition supply vehicles, a set of advanced field artillery tactical data system (AFATDS), etc., with a total amount of about 750 million dollars.

"In just one year, the Biden administration has sold more and more advanced weapons and technologies to Taiwan, including $1.065 billion in equipment and technical services, ranging from infantry artillery to long-range attack missiles, naval ship accessories and related technologies.

"Taiwan's strengthening of the construction of its 'asymmetric warfare power' and the sale of 'asymmetric' weapons by the United States to Taiwan became more urgent after the outbreak of Russia-Ukraine War, which not only reflects the United States and Taiwan's clear understanding of the disparity in military strength between Russia and Ukraine on the Ukrainian battlefield, but also reflects the U.S. and Taiwan's fear of the huge gap in military capacity between the Mainland and Taiwan.

"This is a new adjustment of the DPP's 'pro-U.S. and anti-China' strategy and the U.S.'s 'support for Taiwan to counter China' strategy. In essence, it is the Taiwan authorities' attempt to 'challenge the big with the small' and to 'defeat the strong with the weak' by virtue of advanced weapons and equipment, so as to seek independence and resist the reunification by force.

The Taiwan Strait Is One Of The 'Most Intense Areas In The World' In Terms Of 'Military Confrontation And Military Conflict'

"A naming ceremony for China's third aircraft carrier was held in the morning of June 17 at the Jiangnan Shipyard of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited. China's third aircraft carrier has been named 'Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Ship Fujian' and given the hull number '18,' according to the Central Military Commission of the CCP. The Fujian is the first catapult-type aircraft carrier fully independently designed and built by China, which adopts a flat, straight flight deck, equipped with electromagnetic catapult and arresting devices, and has a full-load displacement of more than 80,000 tons.

"While the Taiwan authorities purchased a large number of American weapons and equipment, mainland China did not stop the R&D and production of advanced weapons and equipment for a moment. In fact, the Taiwan Strait has become one of the most sensitive, hottest and most intense areas in the world in terms of arms competition, military confrontation and military conflict. Both sides of the strait have devoted a lot of precious funds and resources into research and development, production, and purchase of a large number of weapon systems. The accumulation of various weapons and equipment has in fact turned the Taiwan Strait into a huge 'powder keg' or 'arsenal.'

"Shanghai, Fujian, Zhejiang and other coastal areas in the Mainland near Taiwan have achieved the most fruitful results in China's reform and opening up over the past 40 years. They are the essence of China's economic, cultural and social development, and the most prosperous areas in China. However, we have to face the fact that China's most advanced and developed regions, areas with the greatest growth potential and vitality have long been at the side of a huge 'powder keg,' so that we have to be cautious about solving the Taiwan question, and it has been difficult for us to exert our strength for a long time.

"But the United States has long taken advantage of conflicts across the Taiwan Strait, played its 'One-China policy' with the Chinese mainland, manipulated strategic ambiguity, and vigorously assisted and supported the Taiwan authorities. It has used various means to create conflicts, tensions, and crises across the Taiwan Strait from time to time, leaving the two sides stuck in tension and confrontation and struggling to cope with these situations, which have become bleeding points on both sides. The United States, on the other hand, has been able to reap the benefits of a long reign on both sides of the Strait.

"By taking advantage of the conflicts and manipulating the situation across the Taiwan Strait, the United States has objectively designed a 'Taiwan Strait Trap' for China, which has become a major trouble for China to realize its great national rejuvenation and a huge obstacle to Sino-U.S. relations.

"After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the United States began to vigorously promote the Indo-Pacific strategy, eager to push the two sides of the Strait into a war so as to reap the benefits of both sides. However, the Russian-Ukrainian war has also made China further see the nature of the United States, and inspired China that it must break out of the 'Taiwan Strait Trap' and find a new way to deal with the Taiwan issue. Only by daring to fight against the United States can China win the initiative on the Taiwan Strait issue. Therefore, China must take the initiative to resolve the Taiwan Strait issue and realize the reunification with Taiwan as soon as possible.

'If A 7-Year-Old Boy Is Given A Small Pistol… Will A 7-Foot-Tall Man With His Bare Hands Dare To Fight The Boy?'

"On June 20, Taiwanese media outlet published an article by Chao-ping Chen. The article raised a very interesting question. The author asked and answered himself: what is 'asymmetric combat power'? A 7-year-old kid versus a 7-foot man is 'asymmetric combat power'! No matter how many weapons you sell a kid (that fit into the 'asymmetric combat power' category), can the kid beat the big guy?

"The article took the Russian-Ukrainian war as an example: isn't Ukraine vs. Russia a living example of 'asymmetric combat power'? No matter how many weapons, ammunition and systems the United States and Western allies send, Ukraine is unlikely to win the war. Even if Russia will withdraw its troops later, what is the point of peace after a big war, with Ukraine lying in ruins and dead bodies? No wonder Ukraine's comedian-turned-president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has urged Taiwan to put diplomacy first in resolving the Cross-Strait conflicts. Therefore, Taiwan should strengthen its 'asymmetric combat power' that has nothing to do with military force to outwit peace across the Strait.

"The article warned the Taiwan authorities that the change of arms sales priorities by the U.S. under the pretext of 'asymmetric combat power' reflects a change in political lobbying and marketing tactics by U.S. arms dealers. What has not changed is that, after Ukraine, America will be eager to push both sides into the flames of war, thereby reaping the benefits.

"It should be said that as a Taiwanese, the author is pragmatic, sees the reality clearly, and speaks the truth, which shows that there are sober people in Taiwan. His words objectively touched the heart of the Mainland, and many Chinese mainlanders liked and appreciated them very much.

"But his words are neither objective reality nor absolute truth, only one side of the story. We must not take his words seriously, still less take them as standard, or as a guide for our actions or the basis for our decisions. Otherwise, it will lead to a big mistake, cast a catastrophe.

"If a 7-year-old boy is given a small pistol, or given a miniature submachine gun, and instructed to shoot by an instructor, in six months, will a 7-foot-tall man with his bare hands dare to fight the boy? I suppose, even before the big guy gets to the little kid, as soon as the little kid pulls the trigger of the gun, the big guy will be shot and fall to the ground, right? Modern weapon systems are so advanced that if the boy is equipped with a reconnaissance/attack drone, he could sit in a room, eating ice cream while killing the big guy at the push of a button.

"Therefore, mainland China must not take Taiwan's 'asymmetrical combat power' lightly! The more Taiwan and the United States advocate 'asymmetrical combat power,' the more vigilant China should be. In the history of China, there are countless examples of the small conquering the big and the weak defeating the strong. Historically, wasn't the Ming army bigger than the Qing army? But who beat whom in the end? If Ukraine had not abandoned its nuclear weapons in the early years, would Russia dare to attack Ukraine unscrupulously today? Therefore, the ultimate goal of Taiwan's 'asymmetrical combat power' today is to possess and use nuclear weapons, which is a historical trend and determined by the internal logic of history.

"Therefore, we cannot sit on a 'powder keg' sipping tea and reciting poetry, and we cannot engage in economic development next to a 'powder keg.'"


[1], June 25, 2022.

Share this Report: