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The "Kinmen Method" for conquering the Taiwan Strait and the island. China's military power in the Indo-Pacific grows rapidly while the United States appears in great difficulty


DIn May this year, the frequency of Chinese Coast Guard law enforcement patrols in waters near Kinmen show a significant upward trend. The Chinese law enforcement inspections fall under the so-called "prohibited and restricted waters" under the jurisdiction of the island of Taiwan. A Chinese military expert also said that "in the future this "Kinmen model of Chinese law enforcement inspections simultaneously protecting people in mainland China and Taiwan may also be applied in Matsu, Penghu and even the entire Taiwan Strait. Once the illegal forces violate the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese fishermen, the Chinese Coast Guard can refer to the "Kinmen Model" and re-establish an orderly situation of Chinese law enforcement with inspection power." Obviously, the "Kinmen Model" is a method of illegally appropriating Taiwan's territorial and maritime sovereignty. The Chinese Coast Guard has more than 20 warships, type 056 frigates. It recently came under the control of the Central Military Commission, directly chaired by President Xi Jinping. The Coast Guard and PLA-N (Chinese Navy) are also assisted by the Chinese civilian maritime militia. If Chinese military power in the Indo-Pacific is growing rapidly, the United States appears to be in great difficulty.U.S. military bases in the region severely lack reinforced air protection, making these bases vulnerable to devastating air strikes in a potential conflict with China. Recent war exercises show that the United States would lose 90 percent of its aircraft on the ground, rather than in air combat, due to insufficient base protection. "Attacks on U.S. bases could immobilize vital air assets, disrupt logistics chains, and significantly weaken our ability to respond in a conflict." According to recent research, China has reportedly built more than 400 reinforced aircraft shelters in the past decade and the United States has built only 22 at bases in Japan and South Korea. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has provided Congress with a list of $11 billion in priorities that are unfunded under the White House's 2025 defense budget request, including $3.3 billion in military construction. The Pentagon will spend about 2 percent of its current construction budget on projects at bases in the region, less than what was spent in 2023. Chinese investment in defense has increased in recent years, as has its fleet of military and merchant ships. China's growing dominance at sea prompted four lawmakers this week to release congressional guidelines for a national maritime strategy. The report notes that China currently has 230 times more shipbuilding capacity than the United States. Underinvestment has reduced the U.S.-flagged fleet to fewer than 200 ships, while China boasts more than 7,000 ships. "The competition between the U.S. and communist China will define the 21st century," said Senator Marco Rubio.


by Nicola and Gabriele Iuvinale


Kinmen, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands governed as a county by the Republic of China Taiwan (ROK); it is located in the Taiwan Strait just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east of the city of Xiamen in Fujian, on the southeastern coast of the People's Republic of China and is 187 kilometers (116 miles) west of the nearest coast of Taiwan Island.

Kinmen (金門) means "gate of gold." The name was first recorded in 1387 by Emperor Hongwu, founder of the Ming Dynasty.

Kinmen's strategic location in the Taiwan Strait has caused numerous clashes, making it a visible embodiment of political change in cross-strait relations. In August 1958, Kinmen was heavily shelled by the People's Liberation Army during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis. The People's Republic of China (PRC, China) claims Kinmen as part of its Fujian Province, just as it claims Taiwan Island and the entire maritime jurisdiction over the related strait.


Since May this year, the frequency of Chinese Coast Guard law enforcement patrols in waters near Kinmen show a significant upward trend.

Chinese sources report that in April the Chinese Coast Guard conducted a total of four inspections in the waters near Kinmen.

In less than two weeks in May, the number of law enforcement inspections conducted by the Chinese Coast Guard reached five.

This is a schematic diagram of law enforcement inspections released by the China Coast Guard on May 3, 2024.


It is noted that the scope of Chinese law enforcement inspections fall within the so-called "prohibited and restricted waters" under the jurisdiction of the island of Taiwan.

On May 3, during a law enforcement inspection, the Chinese Coast Guard fleet passed Dadan Island and Erdan Island, where Taiwan authorities' military personnel are stationed.

On May 7, the Chinese Coast Guard's patrol routes changed again. This time, the Coast Guard fleet passing by Wuyu, Liaoluotou, Liaoluowan and Tai Moshan photographed Beiding Island, which is located in the eastern part of Kinmen Island and is also occupied by Taiwanese military personnel.


From the routes of these two operations, it can be seen that the Chinese Coast Guard law enforcement patrols have basically achieved total coverage of the waters leading from Kinmen Islands to Dadan and Erdan Islands and from Kinmen Islands southward into the Taiwan Strait.

A Chinese military expert pointed out that "the waters near Kinmen have always been China's territorial waters. China has indisputable sovereignty, jurisdiction and law enforcement rights over this area."

On May 9, under the leadership of the Fujian Maritime Security Administration, the Coast Guard, Maritime Surveillance, Fisheries Administration, Rescue and other Chinese departments jointly conducted the "Anhai 2024" exercise in Kinmen waters with the participation of 12 ships.

The Chinese military expert also said that "in the future, this "Kinmen Model of Chinese law enforcement inspections protecting people in mainland China and Taiwan at the same time can also be applied to Matsu, Penghu and even the entire Taiwan Strait. Once illegal forces violate the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese fishermen, the Chinese Coast Guard can refer to the "Kinmen Model" and re-establish an orderly situation of Chinese law enforcement with inspection power."
Obviously, the "Kinmen Model" is a method of illegally appropriating Taiwan's territorial and maritime sovereignty.

The Chinese Coast Guard has more than 20 warships, type 056 frigates. It recently came under the control of the Central Military Commission, directly chaired by President Xi Jinping.

The Coast Guard and PLA-N (Chinese Navy) are also assisted by the Chinese civilian maritime militia.

China has long denied using maritime militia forces to assert its maritime and territorial claims in the South China Sea, often describing Chinese ships clustered around disputed reefs and islets as mere fishing boats.

But the paper trail left by the Chinese bureaucracy tells a different story.

Tender documents, business records and other official data were analyzed in an attempt to shed new light on the maritime militia belonging to Sansha City, a municipality in Hainan Province that administers China's claims in the South China Sea from its headquarters on Woody Island in the Paracelses.

The state-owned fishing company responsible for Sansha City's maritime militia fleet was found to have been running projects involving classified national security information, a strong indicator that the company's vessels are engaged in more than just fishing.

In addition to monitoring the fleet owned by this company, evidence has been gathered that one of its ships was used to test an experimental command and communication system built with foreign technology, which likely turned the ship into a mobile communication and surveillance platform capable of transmitting information to authorities ashore.

Qiongsanshayu 00310 participates in a joint exercise with Sansha City forces in July 2016. Credit: Xinhua News

Chinese military power in the Indo-Pacific is growing rapidly and the United States appears to be in trouble.

U.S. military bases in the Indo-Pacific region are severely lacking in reinforced aircraft shelters, making them vulnerable to devastating air strikes in a potential conflict with China.

Recent war exercises show that the U.S. would lose 90 percent of its aircraft on the ground, rather than in air combat, due to insufficient base protection, a group of Republican lawmakers wrote in a letter to the secretaries of the Air Force and Navy.

"Unclassified analyses suggest that China has sufficient weapons to overwhelm our air and missile defenses protecting those bases," they wrote.

"Attacks on U.S. bases could immobilize vital air assets, disrupt logistics chains, and significantly weaken our ability to respond in a conflict."

Congressman John Moolenaar of Michigan, the chairman of the House Select Committee of the Communist Party of China, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and 11 other lawmakers are urging Pentagon leaders to act.

They are calling for the construction of more reinforced aircraft shelters, or reinforced hangars used to protect military aircraft, as well as underground bunkers and other "passive" defenses.

According to recent research, China has reportedly built more than 400 reinforced aircraft shelters in the past decade, and the United States has built only 22 at bases in Japan and South Korea.

No such shelters exist in the Northern Mariana Islands or Guam, an island commonly referred to as the "spearhead" of U.S. power projection in the Indo-Pacific. Shelters do not provide complete protection from missile attacks, but they would force China to use more force to destroy each aircraft and increase the survivability of U.S. air assets, the lawmakers argued. They acknowledged that it may not be feasible or sensible to build shelters at all U.S. bases in the Indo-Pacific, but described the slow pace of work as "deeply troubling."

"Limited investment in reinforced aircraft shelters is a symptom of a larger problem within the [Department of Defense]: we are spending almost no money on military construction to improve base resilience in the Indo-Pacific," the lawmakers wrote. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command provided Congress with a list of $11 billion in priorities that are unfunded under the White House's 2025 defense budget request, including $3.3 billion in military construction. According to the letter, the Pentagon will spend about 2 percent of its current construction budget on projects at bases in the region, less than what was spent in 2023.

"If our bases in the Indo-Pacific do not have the resilience to survive attacks and continue to operate, our ability to deter China and respond quickly in the Taiwan Strait will be greatly reduced," the lawmakers wrote.

The United States considers China its biggest competitor and threat and believes Beijing is preparing for an invasion of Taiwan, an island that China considers its legitimate territory.

Chinese investment in defense has increased in recent years, as has its fleet of naval and merchant ships. China's growing dominance at sea prompted four lawmakers this week to issue congressional guidelines for a national maritime strategy.

The report notes that China has 230 times more shipbuilding capacity than the United States.

"We must act now, before it is too late, and make a unique investment in the future of America's maritime power," said Congressman Mike Waltz, R-Fla.

According to the report, underinvestment has reduced the U.S.-flagged fleet to fewer than 200 ships, while China boasts more than 7,000 ships.

The U.S. maritime industry brings American goods to market but also supports the U.S. military during wartime. Lawmakers recommend that the U.S. invest funds in domestic shipbuilding, fully fund and reinvigorate the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies, prepare for resource competition in the Indo-Pacific with allies, and provide the necessary resources to ensure that naval forces can defend freedom of the seas.

"The competition between the United States and communist China will define the 21st century," Rubio said.

582024-letter-to-air-force-and-navy
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congressional-guidance-for-a-national-maritime-strategy
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Source - Stars and Stripes




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