Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oil and Taiwan

Reading two recent posts at the Belmont Club (1 2), I've learned of a card the US and/or Taiwan could play against China that I didn't think about before: if the Chinese try to take Taiwan by force, or even just blockade it, then one response is a "counterblockade" cutting off China's oil supply. This makes Taiwan's hand stronger than I thought. At the very least, I think Taiwan is probably safe until China secures its oil supply lines through naval expansion and/or more pipelines from the former USSR. My key assumption is that the Chinese leadership is very afraid of the domestic unrest that a severe oil shortage might cause.

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