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‘Fight of Our Lifetime’: Grant Newsham on the Global Impact If China Declares War on Taiwan

In this special episode, we sat down with two guests: Grant Newsham, senior fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies; and Rick Fisher, senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Newsham talked about China’s recent aggressive air incursions into Taiwan as well as how neighbors like Japan might react, while Fischer touched on the recent airshow in China and how the United Sttattes and allies compare.

About Beijing’s record number of fighter jets entering Taiwan airspace, Newsham said: “What the Chinese communists have managed to do is to wake up Japan. You now have a Japanese government that recognizes the threat that it faces as a result of Chinese pressure on Taiwan. And this is even discounting Chinese aggression against Japanese territory in the southern islands, particularly around the Senkaku. Japan realizes, and as much as it didn’t want to admit it, but it knows that if Taiwan comes under Chinese control at that point, Japan is in very, very serious problems. So now you finally have Japanese politicians and officials very clearly stating that there is real concern about a Taiwan scenario. And the Japanese are now thinking about what they need to do in response to that, either unilaterally or with the Americans. But the Chinese have woken up Japan finally. And it’s about time.”

And as to the impact of China declaring an actual war, Newsham said: “When people talk about a war with China, hopefully they all realize that this will not be a sort of ‘starts on Friday and ends on Monday’ sort of affair. But this is something that will be felt worldwide. And if you want to see a stock market crash 25,000 points in an afternoon, well, wait for that war to start. Additionally, global trade and the economy will be just ravaged by this. So this is something that we want to prevent. But as I said, the way to prevent it is to be willing to fight. And you have to fight … you have to have friends with you. It’s not a situation where one country can go it alone. So fortunately, the Japanese and the Americans and some others that they’re waking up, have they waited too long to wake up? I’m not sure. But this is certainly that the fight of our lifetime, as near as I can tell.”

And Beijing recently flexed its military might at the Zhuhai airshow, showing off the latest technology—including laser trucks

Fisher offered insight into what this means.

He said, “This show of force, show of power, absent using it, is a very important Chinese coercive military strategy that goes back hundreds and thousands of years.”

Among the weapons featured were laser trucks.

Fisher said: “Energy weapons are the weapons of the future. A weapon like a laser can have an unlimited magazine, if you will, an unlimited number of rounds to fire. If you just plug it into an energy source, it can just keep on firing. And when you develop more powerful lasers, such as in the megawatt class, you can shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile, an intermediate-range ballistic missile; shoot down an aircraft at very long range; damage satellites in space very easily. So there is a race right now in the development of laser weapons. Russia has them. The United States is rapidly developing laser weapons for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, and Air Force. And of course, China has long been developing laser weapons. Now at the Zhuhai show, China revealed two mobile laser weapons: one developed by the Norinco Corporation, and the other developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, or CASIC. Now, that China would have two lasers for sale—both of them mobile, both of them on trucks—is a big deal because the United States is not going to start testing a mobile laser system like this until sometime next year. And that means we’re not going to be able to deploy them for a number of years into the future. That China is already selling mobile laser weapon trucks means that they’re ahead of the United States in this technology.”

Watch the full episode on EpochTV.

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