[I]n Taiwan.. a rare species of large cat, the Formosan clouded leopard, has just been spotted in the wilderness by a number of people across the archipelagoâ€™s southeast region. The leopard has been spotted walking around in the countryside near Taitung Countyâ€™s Daren Township, where the areaâ€™s Paiwan tribal authorities had formed indigenous ranger groups to patrol the region and guard the sensitive areas.
This is actually great news because this particular species of Leopard hasn’t been officially sighted since 1983, more than 35 years ago, and 6 years ago, in 2013, it was officially decades as extinct. This gives hope to many other animals that were once thought to be extinct. Maybe they are still out there somewhere. It was first spotted by a group of rangers when it suddenly climbed up a tree and then scrambled up a cliff side to go and hunt for goats. Another group also spotted it when it darted in front of their scooter before quickly claiming another tree and disappearing from sight for good. Even though the group didn’t manage to see it again, at least they know it exists and was able to report back about it.
In February 2019, Taiwan News reported two unconfirmed sightings by two different groups of rangers in Taitung County, both made in the summer of 2018. One report was of an individual climbing a tree and climbing a cliff in order to hunt goats, while another was of an individual darting past a scooter on a road before climbing into a tree.
Ian Easton says China hasn’t got the ability to do it right now, but the long-term ambition is there.
A Chinese diplomat in Washington recently threatened that China would invade Taiwan if the U.S. Navy sent a ship to visit the democratic island, something that Congress has called upon the Pentagon to do in 2018. Is this just empty rhetoric? Or does it reflect Beijing’s actual intentions? It’s actually a bit of both. …
China’s rapid military buildup is focused on acquiring the capabilities needed to annex, or conquer, Taiwan. Chinese publications euphemistically call this “achieving national unification.” The war plan for fighting a Taiwan invasion campaign is tattooed onto the PLA’s corporate memory. It is something that has been indoctrinated and encoded into the minds of all top-level officers. For them, the interests of the regime, not the people of China, are paramount, and their “main strategic direction” (supreme objective) is to end Taiwan’s life as a de facto independent country.
The good news is that the Chinese military almost certainly could not prosecute a full-scale invasion of Taiwan today and succeed. Even if a few hawkish generals were prepared to roll the dice, the costs and risks entailed by the war would be enormous and potentially fatal for the regime. PLA strategists know they still have a long way to go before they will be able to achieve their objective. The bad news is that China’s leaders recognize the roadblocks in their path and will continue to invest heavily in strategic deception, intelligence collection, psychological warfare, joint training and advanced weapons. Barring countervailing efforts, their investments could result in a world-shaking conflict and an immense human tragedy.
In the old days, Triad wars featured more traditional weapons.
Recently the police in Taiwan captured a more modern, but equally unusual, example of Triadic weaponry. EDNDO Gun Blog:
(bad Google translation from Chinese, edited by me)
Police said 19-year-old gang member So and So was apprehended for violation of weapon-carry laws resulting in the search and seizure of an arsenal housed on the 7th Floor of Linsen North Road, Suite A. A revolver and 6 rounds of canister-style shotgun ammunition, as well as four pistols, one a standard Beretta, the other three improvised firearms, along with 15 bullets and 19 blank cartridges.
This is the very large shotgun revolver, can be loaded with 6 rounds. The frame is of steel construction. With a short barrel, it weighs more than 3 kilograms (6 lbs, 10 oz.). There is no rifling, but there is a base intended for a sight. There is no guard on the exposed trigger, and so safety, so when fully loaded, if the trigger were to pulled intentionally or by mistake, the weapon will fire, which is very dangerous.
The incongruous home-made Beretta logo and the “Made in USA” must both be decorative efforts to add logos to make the piece look more like a factory manufactured weapon.
I suppose Triad members in Taiwan must have importing issues, but nearly 7 pounds worth of revolver is a lot to carry, and the recoil from a 12 gauge revolver must be awfully unpleasant. Taurus actually produces a series of revolvers chambered for both .45 Long Colt/.410 Shotshell representing a considerably more practical application of the same idea.
Andrei Chang, editor of the Kanwa Defense Review Monthly, thinks that China lacks the capability of conquering Taiwan if an extended military operation is required.
By calculating the amount of fuel oil required by the Chinese navy and air force in a large-scale attack across the Taiwan Strait under high-tech conditions, it becomes apparent that such an assault could not be sustained for an extended period. …
..should high-intensity warfare break out across the Taiwan Strait, the daily fuel consumption of the PLA Air Force would be a minimum of 10,794 tons, taking into consideration only the third-generation fighters and H-6 bombers, JH-7A fighter-bombers and attackers. Actual consumption would be far greater if the large number of J-7E and J-8F serial fighters and Q-5 attackers currently in service are figured in.
The three major fleets of the PLA Navy would have a daily fuel consumption of 1,200 tons. As a result, the navy and air force would consume a total of 11,994 tons of fuel each day on average.
An initial large-scale landing operation against Taiwan would likely involve 20 divisions or brigades of amphibious, light and heavy mechanized troops. If each mechanized division or brigade needed fuel reserves for 500 kilometers, and one division or brigade consumed an average of 200 tons of fuel each day, the daily total of the 20 divisions and brigades would be 4,000 tons. Here, helicopters deployed by the ever-growing Army Aviation Forces have not been included.
The combined fuel needs of all combat forces engaged in an assault on Taiwan would amount to a minimum of 15,994 tons each day, not including the Second Artillery Forces and logistic support troops. These calculations alone indicate that the PLA forces would need a total of 240,000 tons of fuel to sustain 15 days of assault operations against Taiwan.
What is the total annual fuel consumption of the Chinese armed forces? A report published by the PLA General Logistics Department in 2007 says that the PLA forces saved 55,000 tons of oil in 2006, approximately 5.1 percent of their total consumption. Based on this figure, the total would be over 1 million tons, about 2,954 tons on average per day. It can be concluded that fuel consumption in a 15-day large-scale assault operation would surpass 20 percent of the annual total consumption of the Chinese military.
The hard fact is that China has only 7 million tons of oil reserves available for a period of conflict. The country has set its 30-day oil reserves at 10 million tons for civilian consumption, an average of 330,000 tons per day. During a 15-day assault, the country would require 4.96 million tons. The conclusion is that China’s current oil reserves could sustain a high-intensity assault operation against Taiwan for no more than 15 days.