China’s plan is to attack either Taiwan or Vietnam first. While they have said that they will attack Taiwan first, deception is a big part of Chicom military thinking.

Looking at the coastline of China opposite Taiwan, the Chicoms have hardly laid a cubic metre of concrete to make their attack on Taiwan any easier – not even concrete pads to aid the helicopter assault across the strait.

They have plenty of concrete for an attack on Vietnam including a four-lane highway sweeping up the border, a giant base just 10 km north of the border, SAM sites and artillery pads right on the border.

Base built for attacking Vietnam 10 km north of the border.

China has been attacking Vietnam since 116 BC. Their last attack was in 1979 and shelling of Vietnamese territory continued up to 1991. For China there are other reasons why Vietnam would be the first country to attack.

Firstly, Vietnam has 30 bases on islands and shoals in the South China Sea which makes a mockery of China’s claim to the whole area.

China would invade on the same routes that it used in 1979 and then not withdraw until Vietnam gave up its bases in the South China Sea.

The other attraction is that Vietnam doesn’t have treaties with any other countries because its constitution forbids that.

So, China could get practice in running a war without the rest of the world ganging up on it.

Whether it’s Taiwan or Vietnam first, our response has to be the same. China has to be defeated or otherwise its aggression will crank up and it will attack Japan, India and otherwise take chunks out of every other country it has a border with.

In his recent meeting with Putin in Moscow, Xi asked Russia to hand Vladivostok back to China.

Despite its size, a great chunk of the Chinese economy is building empty apartments and another big chunk is planting rice by hand.

China winning its first war will also mean that the US has reneged on its treaties in the Pacific region and that the US nuclear umbrella is down.

China has threatened Japan that if Japan joins in the defence of Taiwan, China will nuke one Japanese city per day until Japan unconditionally surrenders, after which China and Russia would jointly rule Japan.

Japan and South Korea are now talking about acquiring their own nuclear weapons. Which is wise because the Obama faction of the Democratic Party is still trying to wreck the United States as fast as they can. Stabbing Japan and South Korea in the back would speed up that process.

The drumbeat of war in Asia: Monthly Chinese incursions of Japanese territorial waters in the Senkaku Islands. The big jump up in 2012 was due to Xi Jinping’s ascension to the throne in 2012.

We have named the enemy so how do we defeat them? The first thing to do is to not over-estimate China. The country has a lot of frailties.

Firstly, their population of 1.4 billion doesn’t mean they have a lot of cannon fodder. They plant about half their agricultural production by hand which means they are structurally poor.

Their terraced rice paddies can’t be mechanised, so they have the choice of keeping those peasants poor in perpetuity or having their food production plummet by a third.

 Structural poverty is inbuilt in the Chinese economy – if they didn’t plant rice by hand, their domestic grain production would fall 26%.

On top of that they import 40% of the plant protein input to their food production system, mostly as soybeans and corn from the United States and Brazil which feed pigs and chickens as well as people.

Once that supply stops China becomes a nation of 1.4 billion involuntary vegetarians.

Column on the left is amount of plant-based food consumed in millions of tonnes (with protein component as a percentage). The right-hand column is the percentage of plant-based protein derived from each food as a percentage of the total. Foods above the dotted blue line are imported. Due to the high protein content in soybeans, these make up more than 40% of total plant protein consumed in China.

So, we won’t be fighting the full 1.4 billion of them. We will only be fighting the three hundred million in a few coastal provinces that make stuff for the export market.

Back in the 1960s, three million Israelis held off three hundred million Arabs who wanted to kill them all, so it is possible to prevail against seemingly overwhelming odds. And the evolution of electronics since the 1960s has aided the defence.

The South China Sea kill box. The first thing to do in any war with China is to attack and seize these island bases because China will waste a lot of effort in trying to defend them and this will divert resources from attacking Taiwan.

China also has a geography problem. Attacking Taiwan means that their ships are exposed for the entirety of the 100 km crossing and the Taiwanese could start plinking them even before they have left port.

Northern Vietnam is also a difficult place to attack. It is a rugged country that is perfect for Anti-Tank-Guided-Missile teams to ambush armoured columns.

A rational actor wouldn’t bother under the circumstances but Xi will start his war because of personal factors.

He is turning 70 this year and if he is to write history in other people’s blood and assume the mantle of a great Chinese emperor, he can’t wait too long.

The Defence Strategic Review Part One: The Good, The Bad and the Less Attractive