Open mike 23/10/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 23rd, 2022 - 43 comments
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43 comments on “Open mike 23/10/2022 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    A major geopolitical risk for those of us in the South Pacific is the high likelihood that China will attempt to annex Taiwan by force in the very near future, even as early as by the end of this year.

    Such action by China would have huge consequences for New Zealand, as we may be forced to choose a side, and may potentially be required to support a sanctions regime against China. Given the fact that our exports to China far outshine our exports to any other country, for instance more than double what we export to our nearest trading partner, Australia, this would have huge consequences for our economy.

    Key to the rationale for an invasion of Taiwan is access to the strategically significant semi-conductor industry. The US has just introduced sweeping bans on sales of advanced semi-conductors and related equipment to China. China has lagged in the capability to manufacture its own advanced semi-conductors and is unlikely to close the gap any time soon. Undoubtably part of the motivation from the US is to slow the growth and development of the Chinese military which is becoming a near peer to the US in its capability.

    In some ways, this action could make an invasion of Taiwan in the near future even more likely. That is because Taiwan is home to a semi-conductor giant, TSMC. TSMC is the world's most valuable semi-conductor company. And China may see that control of TSMC is critical due to the US ban.

    The US is so concerned about the possibility that China could gain control of TSMC that the US is considering relocating TSMC employees or even destroying TSMC facilities if China were to invade Taiwan.

    Interesting times.

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      We won't have to "pick a side". China attacking Taiwan would make the decision for us. Even under Albanese the Australians will without question defend Taiwan alongside the United States and Japan. In those circumstance we'd have no choice – we'd fight with our traditional allies.

      • tsmithfield 1.1.1

        Yes, that is my assessment as well. The choice would be made for us. And, as I point out below, we may be put under a lot of pressure to stop exporting food supplies to China because sanctioning food imports would put huge pressure on the Chinese population at the moment given their drought issues.

    • Barfly 1.2

      Well I certainly hope that it doesn't happen. I would think that Chinese military have well observed how much trouble Russia has had trying to cross any stretch of water larger than a puddle and are well aware that Taiwan is about 180km from the mainland. Further they would note well that Russia – with the second largest Airforce in the world has not been able to gain air superiority in Ukraine due to the proliferation of SAM systems. I don't know details of Taiwan's anti ship and anti air capabilities but I did see

      Supplying 800 of those little monsters is indicative of significant capacity I would hate to be in a landing craft with those things overhead.

      • tsmithfield 1.2.1

        Yes, I read about the Taiwanese drones awhile ago. I am not sure if Ukraine has received these yet. And, Taiwan must have some fairly nasty stuff if they can afford to give away this sort of gear.

        But, I think it is just a question of numbers. From what I have seen, war game scenarios suggest that the Chinese do eventually get ashore in Taiwan.

        Unfortuntately, these totalitarian type regimes seem to have little concern for loss of life, so long as they achieve their objectives.

    • SPC 1.3

      The company strategy appears to be to build new plant offshore to supply the European/North American/Japan market – thus allowing continuance post invasion/destruction of its Taiwan plant.

      The concern would be an invasion prior to this transition of production capability – would the plant then be destroyed?

      Which is why some governments are developing new/their own capability (it is a growing demand after all) as a form of national economic reserve.

      • tsmithfield 1.3.1

        From what I have read, I don't think the off-shore plants yet produce to the same degree of technology as the Taiwan plant. I understand the Taiwan plant is producing semi-conductors down to 3 nano-metres, which is substantially better than other plants, including their offshore ones.

        For me the big question is whether the US semiconductor ban will promote war or diplomacy.

        War, because China is motivated to gain control over Taiwanese semi-conductor production.

        Diplomacy because China realises that there is no win in doing so because the technology will evaporate before they get a chance to control it. And China ends up back in the semi-conductor stone-age with that course of action.

        I am hoping for the latter.

        • SPC

          Sure, the offshore plants proposed/and being built are not producing yet – thus the western dependence on this supply

          If China wants Taiwan alone, then it waits for this to end.

          If China wants the tech then it moves while the West is reluctant to destroy it. And then leverages continuance of supply to the West for tech support.

  2. X Socialist 2

    Yes, it would seem Xi Jinping is getting his ducks in a row. Once a war commences he won't want to be looking over his shoulder. I wonder if he's considered the citizens who hate his guts? Maybe New Zealand should start advertising the benefits of being preppers?

  3. tsmithfield 3

    This video I linked to above is well worth a watch.

    As the video points out, part of the problem for China, is that, even if they were to capture Taiwan, and capture TSMC intact, it doesn't suddenly solve their semi-conductor issues.

    I did see that article you linked to btw. Surely very curious as to why that would have happened, but not inconsistent with Xi’s totalitarian behaviour.

    Firstly, TSMC depends on complex global supply chains. These chains would likely be sanctioned in the event that China assumed control of TSMC. Secondly, TSMC is primarily a chip production facility, and that much of the chip design takes place in the US. Thirdly, TSMC is diversifying, with a manufacturing plant due to open in Oregon in 2024, and a plant to be built in Japan.

    So, the consequence of China taking Taiwan and controlling TSMC would be unlikely to be a technology gain for China, but would rather cause major global disruption in chip supply given the dominance of TSMC in world chip supply.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      China can't just attack Taiwan with the knowledge they'd win eventually. They have to over-run the island in three days or less to present a fait accompli. if the Taiwanese can hold out for longer than 72 hours then the Americans and Japanese will arrive, and China would have to decide if it really wants a full on war or withdraws.

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        And whether a military response is necessarily the best answer.

        War game scenarios suggest that the US and its allies eventually win. But at a huge cost. In those scenarios, the US could lose several carriers, perhaps 900 aircraft, and 10s of thousands of troops.

        Perhaps strong international sanctions would be the best option. For a start, for instance, a blockade of the Malacca Strait would cripple China as it relies on a lot of imports.

        Also, given that China is facing huge issues with drought and water supply at the moment such action would likely result in mass starvation and political instability in China.

        One of the issues for China is that we are now past the point of peak China with the population of China declining by as much as 800 million by 2100. Therefore, the slide in demographics may mean that if Xi is ever going to fulfill is ambitions, then it might have to be sooner rather than later. Because if he leaves it as long as his stated goal of by 2049, then it may be too late.

        • SPC

          Personally I would favour diplomacy.

          1. if China abides by the Law of the Sea Arbitration Tribunal decision (returns the atolls to their natural state) then

          2. the American guarantee to Taiwan ends in 2049 and it

          3. advises Taiwan to negotiate their inclusion within the one China from 2049.

          • tsmithfield

            I think diplomacy is the optimal solution. However, sometimes diplomacy needs the helping hand and teeth that sanctions provide.

            • Belladonna

              Also the situation in Hong Kong is unlikely to incline any belief in Taiwan that China will abide by any local guarantees to protect local rights and freedoms.

              Diplomacy is unlikely to be effective when one of the major players can't be trusted to keep their word.

              Who would believe any guarantee from Putin, for example!

          • arkie

            So does Xi; the full statement regarding Taiwan:

            BEIJING/TAIPEI, Oct 16 (Reuters) – It is up to the Chinese people to resolve the Taiwan issue and China will never renounce the right to use force but will strive for a peaceful resolution, President Xi Jinping said on Sunday at the opening of a major party meeting.


            We must be aware of those who think that war is inevitable, they can make it so.

            • X Socialist

              What on earth makes you believe China wants a diplomatic solution to the Taiwanese problem?

              ''You Will Know Them by Their Fruits.''

              • tsmithfield

                I think China would much prefer Taiwan to cave. But Taiwan has shown they are absolutely against that option, so China sees the military option as the only one left to get what they want.

              • arkie

                China hasn't gone to war with any country since 1979

  4. SPC 4

    IVF the next "morality" issue in the culture wars of the USA.

  5. SPC 5

    The consultation document from the NHS (England and Wales) is very post Tavistock era

    • Shanreagh 5.1

      The consultation document from the NHS (England and Wales) is very post Tavistock era


    • Molly 5.2

      In line with that, The Association of Clinical Psychologists UK released a statement a couple of days ago:

      "Research and evidence-based practice

      • There is little evidence which allows clinicians reliably to predict whether a child who presents with gender dysphoria will continue to experience gender incongruence in adulthood, whether their incongruence will desist, and/or whether they will come to identify in another way. In short, there is as yet no reliable way to predict whether transitioning will alleviate any young person’s distress or further contribute to it.
      • There is a lack of robust, high-quality evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of using puberty blockers and cross sex hormones to treat gender dysphoria in adolescents[17]. The long-term consequences of such treatment are also unknown[18]. Our view is that high-quality, longitudinal data is required to help determine when a medical intervention is or is not indicated, and to identify which groups it is appropriate for."
  6. Anker 6

    NZ needs to follow the UK in terms of the Cass report and U turn on social and medical transition.

    unfortunately many of our Institutions have been captured by gender ideology in NZ. For example NZPS (NZ Psychological Society and NZAC (NZ Association of Counsellors). Both promote gender ideology and purport that the affirmation model must be the approached used. People who have challenged this on NZAC face book page have had their posts cancelled and been accused of hate speech. The petition against the CATA ( a conference that questioned affirmation only and proposed a more holistic approach to gender dysphoria) was promoted on their FB page.

    I note the absence of reporting in the NZ media of the unfolding scandal at Mermaids on the UK and the mere trace of coverage of The Tavistock GIDS

    • Molly 6.1

      "NZ needs to follow the UK in terms of the Cass report and U turn on social and medical transition."

      Or – indeed – any country or state that reviewed clinical evidence instead of blindly following the guidelines of WPATH.

      For the interested:

      Detrans subreddit at 14 June 2022: 33.6K members

      Last update on 17 June 2022: 34.2K members

      Last update on 11 October 2022: 40.2K members

      As at 23 October 2022: 40.8K members

  7. Anker 7

    God the detransitiong stats are so sad.

    • weka 7.1

      are you referring to the reddit numbers? Not really any easy way to know how many of those are detrans.

      • Molly 7.1.1

        r/detrans Rules on the reddit show they make reasonable effort to limit to detransitioners, when new member join and through both moderators and users scrutiny of content.

        Not infallible, I agree.

        • weka

          the bit about the flair? Anyone can add what they like to their user name right? That does mean it will limit members for sure, but I wonder if there are plenty with second accounts and an appropriate flair simply to make following conversations easier to follow. I don't have a reddit account, but most social media gets easier once one is in.

          • weka

            but even if half aren't detrans, that's still a shocking number.

            • Molly

              They've also recently posted an update to clarify the focus is solely on the experience of detransitioners and their needs – and not any wider critique:


              Hi there everyone, we've been getting some concerning complaints regarding the nature of the space and how politically occupied it is. Though I do think it's healthy to let out frustration and vent anger toward what hurt us in the first place, need I remind everyone this is NOT a gender critical or gender critical adjacent subreddit. This is first and foremost a detransitioner support community that allows people to vent and otherwise voice unpopular or even controversial views but that latter is being stretched very thin that I'd rather not risk Reddit admins knocking at our door or worse, just hitting us with a hammer again.

              So going forward things are changing a bit, the rules aren't changing but we are going to be enforcing things a little stricter on rule 3:Posts should be of interest in some way to detransitioners and those questioning. Members must follow post flair request or will be confronted have their post deleted and warned. Detrans folk may discuss controversial issues, but this isn't a debate space for persons without personal experience in detransition. Outsiders will be banned if seen giving advice or suggestions.

              This means that any social media posts, tabloids, or articles about transgender people that do not involve the theme of detransition or topic will be removed on the spot.

              Thanks for understanding, and no worries because we are listening to your complaints and concerns.

              Edit: Just so we're clear, I said trans children in the OP but I meant trans people in general. Thanks.

      • Anker 7.1.2

        Stella O'Mally seemed to think they make an effort to limit people on the Reddit site to de-transitioners.

  8. joe90 8

    And he's been directing the war from a CIA bunker in Virginia.

  9. Peter 9

    Jonathan Pie comments on Truss & Johnson. Actually 'Truss & Johnson' sort of sounds like it could be a company that cleans dog crap out of carpets rather than deposit it there.

    • mikesh 9.1

      I get the impression J Pie doesn't think Liz Truss was much of a Prime Minister. Does anyone else get that impression.

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        I wish he'd stopped beating around the bush and just given it to us straight.

        • alwyn

          No, that wouldn't be good for you.

          As Jack Nicholson put it in the film A Few Good Men.

          "You can't handle the truth"

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