Paul Huang is a journalist and research fellow with the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation. He is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sample articles:

Taiwan’s Military Has Flashy American Weapons but No Ammo (in Foreign Policy):

Taiwan’s Military Is a Hollow Shell (Foreign Policy):

Steve and Paul discuss: 
0:00 Introduction 
1:44 Paul’s background; the Green Party (DPP) and Blue Party (KMT) in Taiwan
4:40 How the Taiwanese people view themselves vs mainland Chinese
15:02 Taiwan taboos: politics and military preparedness
15:27 Effect of Ukraine conflict on Taiwanese opinion
29:56 Lack of realistic military planning
37:20 Is there a political solution to reunification with China? What influence does the U.S. have?
51:34 The likelihood of peaceful reunification of Taiwan and China
56:45 Honest views on Taiwanese and U.S. military readiness for a
conflict with China

Music used with permission from Blade Runner Blues Livestream improvisation by State Azure.


Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation at MSU and Director of the Institute of Theoretical Science at the University of Oregon. Hsu is a startup founder (, SafeWeb, Genomic Prediction) and advisor to venture capital and other investment firms. He was educated at Caltech and Berkeley, was a Harvard Junior Fellow, and has held faculty positions at Yale, the University of Oregon, and MSU.

Please send any questions or suggestions to or Steve on Twitter @hsu_steve.

Creators & Guests

Stephen Hsu
Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University.

What is Manifold?

Steve Hsu is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Michigan State University. Join him for wide-ranging conversations with leading writers, scientists, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and more.

Steve Hsu: Welcome to Manifold. Today, my guest is Paul Huang. He is a research fellow at the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation. He's also a journalist who covers East Asia and Taiwan. Paul, welcome to the podcast.

Paul Huang: Hello, everyone. Hi, Stephen. Thank you for having me.

Steve Hsu: Thank you, and if I'm not mistaken, you are actually in Tokyo right now, is that correct?

Paul Huang: yes.

Steve Hsu: But you're, you're based in Kaohsiung.

Paul Huang: Taipei. Actually, I'm from Kaohsiung, but I live in Taipei most of the time.

Steve Hsu: Got it. So, maybe you can tell us a little bit about the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation.

Paul Huang: Sure. We are a public opinion polling research organization. We are independent. We don't belong to the government nor any political party, nor are we paid by any political party or politicians. And we are considered one of the several, if not one of the few, independent nonpartisan polling data points, that's coming from Taiwan.

Steve Hsu: Great. That's the main reason I invited you on the podcast, because I really wanted to expose my mostly American and Western listeners to some information about how ordinary Taiwanese feel about the current situation across the Taiwan Strait.

Paul Huang: Right.

Steve Hsu: Let me start though by asking you about your background.

Now, in Taiwan, so for example, my relatives in Taiwan came to the island in 1949 after the Nationalists lost the Civil War. And so for a long time, Taiwanese politics was dominated by those members of the Kuomintang or KMT political party. Do you trace your family history back to the mainland?

Paul Huang: Personally, my family, they are from Kaohsiung, on my father's side, and they're considered the non Mainlanders, which means they were already there before 1949. so we are, we speak, we speak the Fujian, the,The, what they call Taiwanese, which is really the Fujian dialect of the, of the Chinese.

so we are not, we would consider 本省人 to just translate as Taiwanese, but that's not really a good translation.

Steve Hsu: Yes. So for my, listeners, there was a much larger pre existing population of Chinese that had mostly come from Fujian province and had been on the island of Taiwan for many hundreds of years before the Nationalist government moved from China at the end of... the Civil War in 1949 to Taiwan and a lot of the divergence in public opinion about relationship with China, possible reunification in the future, splits along these lines, depending on whether you're, you come from a KMT family or not a KMT family.

Is that fair, Paul?

Paul Huang: Yes, well, that's that's used to be the case. However, the recent year in recent the last decade, we're starting to see that, that, that your, mainlanders or no mainlanders, that as that identity is playing a A lot less rule these days. It's still the case among the older constituents, older people, especially those above 65 something. But among the younger people, it's no longer, it's, it's less of a factor now.

Steve Hsu: Good. Now, let me try to tease out in some detail maybe the worldview of a typical green party voter and the worldview of a typical blue or KMT party voter. And in fact, now I guess for this coming election, there are going to be three parties involved, but we'll get into that later. For my listeners, the Green Party, has been typically characterized as pro-independence and has a bit more of a base in the Taiwanese that may have a longer history on the island.

Would you say a typical Green Party voter really sees Taiwan as a kind of separate entity from the People's Republic of China and finds it very alien to any possible reunification in the future? Is that fair or am I sort of distorting the typical worldview?

Paul Huang: Both the Pan-Green, Pan-Greens camp, the supporters or the Pan-Green camp, which means the DPP and the other few smaller parties. And also the pan group Blue camp, the KMT.

I would say the vast majority of Taiwanese, blue or green, really don't see themselves as the same as the Chinese on the mainland. It's just an identity thing. Now they are waiting on Taiwan's future political arrangements and also national identity, right? And there might be different answers, but in general, there is just a sense of uniqueness, a sense of difference, being different Among Taiwanese compared to China. So they don't, they don't really see themselves as the same, the Chinese on the mainland. In fact, if I were to describe it, I would say they feel they're superior to the other side. And that suppose among them, the green, green and the blue.

Steve Hsu: That's interesting. So, is superiority based on more advanced economic development or more advanced cultural development? Why do they see themselves as superior to the mainlanders?

Paul Huang: Oh, yeah. Well, they, because historically in the eighties and nineties, China was poor. Right. When, when the Taiwanese, they went, they, they, they went there to do, to start business, to do investments. They, they, they saw China everywhere, basically at a time, it's like just poor, just undeveloped.

And they see the mainlanders as, much poorer, much less, sophisticated than, than they were. And this has, this impression, this idea, this is where they, I think is where their superiority came from. And still the case today, even so the underlying fundamentals have changed. The Chinese on the mainland, a lot of, there's a lot of wells, a lot of, even more developed places in Taiwan, China these days, but there's, but In Taiwan, this superiority, sense of superiority has stayed the same. And that, that, that is, I think is partially propelling the partisan narrative, these days, especially on the pro, the pan green, the DPP supporters, side.

Steve Hsu: What fraction of adult Taiwanese, do you think, have either traveled in China themselves or at least have a realistic view of what life is like in mainland China?

Paul Huang: Well, we know at any point of time that there are like half a million to one million, or even more Taiwanese, on the mainland right now. Now they're doing business, they're working there, they are studying, or just living there as retirees. Many of them retire there. So, but the, my observation is the Taiwanese that have these exposure to China, they have been there, they have seen things there, they have, observed in first, first hand what development, what situation is like over there, right?When they come back to Taiwan, they can't say this out loud because it's not considered politically correct to say, well, China is maybe more wealthy, more developed than we are now. This is just not a thing that you, you, you hear politicians saying in Taiwan. This is not considered politically correct.

People don't like it if you say that in Taiwan.

Steve Hsu: Yeah, I'm a little bit curious about that because I've spent time both in, in both places and, you know, it's funny. I never had a Taiwanese person get mad at me for saying this. And maybe I was mostly talking to expats or ABCs or kind of very sophisticated people. But it seemed to me as somebody who had been traveling to Taipei for 10 or 15 years easily, that Taipei, the development sort of slowed down. My suspicion was it was because a lot of the entrepreneurial energy was in China. A lot of Taiwanese entrepreneurs were working in China, not so much, you know, investing their energy in Taiwan proper.

And so, it seemed to me that the first tier cities in China had surpassed Taipei a long time ago. And, I would often remark this to people who are familiar both with, say, Shanghai, or Beijing, or Shenzhen, and Taipei.

And nobody ever contradicted me, but I could, I could guess that if you just said this to a regular Taiwanese person, they might be offended.

Paul Huang: Some, some, yes. there in general, of course, if, if you run for politics in Taiwan, it's kind of like in the U.S.right? You say things that people wanted to hear, like over the TSMC is the greatest company in the world that everyone else needs our chip to survive. The world needs our chip to keep going.

And so we are indispensable and therefore there's nothing that can stop us and there's nothing that can harm us. Right. This is the kind of thing that you heard from Taiwan politicians, especially on the DPP side. This, this pride, this, the sense of superiority, right. And then this is used to mask real policy deficiencies and issues in the country.

And I'm sorry to say, but this is, this is a problem in Taiwan now, that people are stuck in the past glory and they, they, they kind of focus on the issues that we have.

Steve Hsu: So, in the United States, you know, politicians will often say things that, you know, at least half of the U. S. population, you know, completely disagree with. I wonder how many, I mean, that, this is why I asked the question about how many Taiwanese, just ordinary Taiwanese, are familiar with the situation on the mainland or the level of development of the mainland.

Because I understand the politicians have to say these things, but the question is how many people actually believe them when they say these things.

Paul Huang: Well, I think that, quite, a percentage, or at least, at least more than half, right? They really just haven't been following up the development, the situation in China. And I say this as, from a defense and security perspective, and that most Taiwanese, they don't, they're not aware of the rapid changes and they, they build up the modernizations that China's is military, its intelligence gathering, its technological advances have been. And this is not just on the DPP side, but on the KMT side as well. And this is becoming a problem. This is, there is a perception gap between what people think, the reality is and versus what it actually is.

Steve Hsu: Yes, I want to come back to the military, you know, a realistic assessment of the military situation in just a minute. But if you don't mind, let's stick for a moment just with the perceptions of the people on other matters. So let me ask you the following. From the American perspective, if you listen to the U.S. , the sort of standard narrative in the U.S. , the idea is that China is a kind of totalitarian dictatorship, or at least, you know, the most polite thing that an American would say is that it's an authoritarian state. And I think most Americans think that the difference between, say, living in Hong Kong 10 years ago and living in China, or living in Taiwan currently and living in China, that there are enormous differences in the amount of personal freedom you have, or just the, just the kind of feeling that people have living in the two different political situations.

Now, my feeling is because there's so many Taiwanese living in China and just happily doing business in China and vice versa, that from a day to day perspective, the difference is not felt very strongly. I'm curious what you think is the actual perception of the average Taiwanese person about this.

Paul Huang: Oh, yeah, definitely. They're proud of Taiwan's political system. They're giving them freedom of speech, freedom of association, and also that where they can elect their political leaders, their politicians. This is what, this is considered like across the political lines, consensus that Taiwan's system is what we want to do.

We wanted it to be. That's what we wanted to keep. I think this is a majority opinion. Of course, the question is that they are just serious security defenses, challenges that Taiwan faces and the politicians that la don't, they, they, they can't seem to find good solutions to the issues that we have.

Steve Hsu: Does any, in the public discourse, does anybody talk about what it would be like if somehow Taiwan someday, maybe decades in the future, were to be reunified with China. Is it something people even speculate about how that would work?

Paul Huang: Among the major parties and politicians, they don't talk about this because it's not popular. It's not going to get your vote, of course. Among the media, of course, this is not something that people talk about because it's considered, it's one of those politically incorrect topics. Well, China takes over and then what next, right? People assume that that wouldn't happen.

Steve Hsu: So, you know, I find it I mean I agree with your perception based on the time I've spent in Taiwan that it's just this topic is just generally not discussed, which I find kind of amazing because, for example, I think if you lived in Ukraine or something a few years ago, you would probably think a lot about what it would be like if your Oblasts were taken over by Russians or not taken over by Russians. People would think a lot about the differences. Like what the practical differences of the two situations would be since it's a real possibility.

Paul Huang: Right. And, since last year's Ukraine war, Taiwan's media and politicians have talked a lot about Ukraine because they saw the relative success that Ukraine had in resisting Russia's invasion. And then, that's all the story now. It's like, oh, Ukraine did this, right? Ukraine beat, they, they, they, they, they beat a lot, a much larger, more resourceful Russia. Therefore, what is it to fear about China's military, right? You see all these false equivalents, these quite delusional, thinking. Not just in the media, not just in public opinion, but in Taiwan's government, in its military. They're saying that, oh, the Ukraine did that, so we can do this.


Steve Hsu: Is there any sort of realistic voice pointing out that, you know, the economy of Ukraine is totally destroyed and a huge fraction of the people have fled the country.

And are probably not coming,

Paul Huang: That, that's also not mentioned within Taiwan's, within these in this wishful thinking. Right, they're just like talking about the glory that Ukraine had. Oh, this, how many tanks? How many, how many Russians did they kill? Okay. How many Ukrainians have fled the country? What percentage of Ukraine has been rendered rubbles and wasteland? If you don't talk about that, then how can you compare yourself to Ukraine?

Steve Hsu: But, so it sounds like this is the party line and maybe even the corporate media narrative, but do ordinary people appreciate how much hardship the ordinary Ukrainian has been put through in the last year?

Paul Huang: Uh, no, they don't. That's something that you don't see in the media. That's something you don't see. The common people, they wouldn't, they wouldn't rattle her, like, how many Ukrainians have fled, how many cities, how many places have been destroyed. Right? That's just not talked about. And I don't think people in Taiwan understood just how much, how bloody, how heavy a price that Ukraine has paid.

Steve Hsu: So if, if you as a journalist wanted to write an article, about the kind of realistic military situation Uh, in Taiwan and also realistic, realistic take on what had actually happened in the last year in Ukraine. Could you find experts in Taiwan that are willing to speak about these things realistically on the record?

Paul Huang: Yeah, of course.Within the defense and security, and analysis circle that we know, of course, there are several, there are quite a several people, Taiwanese, that voices and observers that are willing to look at things from an objective perspective, just saying it for what it is. But of course, that's within our circle of security defense watchers. And I don't think the people, this is not a popular nor, visible, visible discussion in the public sphere.

Steve Hsu: I see. So there are people who are aware of these things and think, think these thoughts, but they're not broadcast to the general population.

Paul Huang: Yes. So, so the, this is what we call the endgame scenario. End of war scenario, right? Uh,in, in Chinese we call the means that what, what will happen after a war? What are we going to do after the war? Meaning that, well, if the war doesn't go the way, it doesn't go the way that we want it, right? If China destroys our Air Force and Navy, and our missile forces, well, what are we gonna do? You just keep fighting. With nothing, you have no, you have no air force, no, no navy, your, your command controls, destroyed, right? And the next, if you don't surrender, the next thing is the PLA is going to land on Taiwan, and it's going to be a bloody ground battle, or, and turn Taiwan into rubble.

And so, this, this idea of the end of war discussion, right, to what extent Taiwan should fight to resist until you surrender, right. This is not being discussed within, outside of very small, very, security defense analysts and commentators. Outside of this, this is considered a taboo, right?

Because you can't just say, what if we lose, right? You can't, you can't say that if, like mainstream politicians or media, if they, if they say this, they will be accused of, you are defeatists. You are, you're a Chinese spy. You're a Chinese agent. You're not allowed to talk about this. To what extent should we, to what extent is below, like, like after which we should surrender. This is not talked about.

Steve Hsu: It's interesting. I mean, you know, even if you don't lose, say you put up a good fight and then, you know, the conflict takes place over a long period of time, the outcome could still be really terrible. I mean, the economy could be destroyed and, you know, fuel blockade and no energy in Taiwan. And you may not even have enough food in Taiwan.

So, I think, even if you don't assume that you're going to lose, I think just having to fight that war would be really terrible for most of the population.

Paul Huang: Yes. If you look at the history, no, no country, no nation ever actually fought till the last man or woman. It just never happened. Usually you surrender, you capitulate at a threshold of say, something like 20 to 30%. After you lose 20 to 30% of your population, you're going to surrender.

This is just what's going to happen, right? There's like, no matter how brave, how, how ferociously you, you, you, you think you are, that's, you're just going to, your country, your nation, your, your tribe, it's not going to fight till the very last person, right? And you look at the history, like, it's like Imperial Japan in World War II, right?

All their major cities were burned to the ground. Millions of civilians died in the firebombing and the atomic bombing. And they surrendered. That's Japan. That's, that's like, we're talking about a militarist society at that point. They surrendered. As well as any other cases in history, but this is not something that Taiwan in Taiwan's defense that people talk about.

Okay. At what threshold, at what level should we continue fighting? Should we continue resisting? No, there's no discussion. You're not allowed to talk about that.

Steve Hsu: Right.

Paul Huang: But as a military analyst, I will say this, that I, that, even so I don't, I'm not allowed to talk about, right, as they, at what level of destruction or military defeat should Taiwan surrender?

What I can say is, at what percentage, at what level that the political leadership of Taiwan will likely capitulate. I mean, this is just objective analysis, and this is what's, what my, the basis of a lot of my takes on Taiwan's military, that I think that threshold, that, that level of capitulation is actually much easier to achieve, you know, from Chinese perspective, than what people realize.

Steve Hsu: So, okay, let's get into that in just a moment, but before we leave this topic, I just want to understand. So, there is a taboo. People don't want to talk realistically about what a conflict would be like. They don't want to talk realistically about what is actually happening in Ukraine.

Paul Huang: Yes.

Steve Hsu: I think you suggested that even you would not be able to point out certain things, so would you actually face direct censorship, or how would that actually be directed against you if you, if you wanted to talk more realistically?

Paul Huang: Yeah. Well, if I write an article saying, in Chinese, published in Taiwan, if I say, If we lose all our fighter jets, if we lose all our Navy, right. If we lose, say, 20% of our army, and that is like, that is like three, 30, 000, 40, 000 people, soldiers get killed. And I say, well, at that point, we should stop fighting, right?

If I write that article, right, there will be all the fingers pointing at me, you're a traitor, you're Chinese, propagandist, you are. Right. So I'm not allowed to talk about that. And honestly, I don't need to. Right? I can just say, as an analyst, at that point, this is what the leadership in Taipei, whoever this, whoever that's in government at that point, she or she will likely see, sue for peace, which means unconditional surrender.

Steve Hsu: Yes. Okay. So, uh,you answered my question. Basically, the way that they keep you from saying these things is that if you say them, they call you a Chinese propagandist or some kind of traitor. That's the way it's enforced. It's a little bit like in the U. SUntil recently, I thought the dam was breaking over time, but for a long time, if you pointed out deficiencies in the U.S. policy toward Ukraine, then they would call you a Russian spy or something like that. You know, even if you're, you're Tucker Carlson or Donald Trump, they would call you a Russian spy if you point out, you know, that the U.S. is maybe not doing the smart thing in Ukraine.

Okay. So, I think that maybe gives some idea of the general landscape of opinion and public discourse in Taiwan.

Let me just switch now and ask the following question. So imagine that you're in a, maybe you're at a panel discussion at a university or some think tank in Taiwan. And you're there on the panel and then there's some other experts, maybe some military analysts, some actual military people. Could you then have a realistic discussion about how a war might go with China?

Paul Huang: A lot of these, the military, right, the, They're never going to, if they speak in public, they're never going to be honest about things, just because it's their job on the line. They're going to stick to the party line and say, well, we will fight to the last man. We will, I don't know, like we will not lose, right?

Things like that. The United States will come to our defense. That's the usual talk you see from these, from the military and also institutions and voices, paid by the government.

And unfortunately, these, these voices, these, propaganda, they're being featured, they're being quoted by international media all the time. Like just yesterday, I saw a report in the Financial Times, quoting a Taiwan national security official saying that, United States aircraft carrier wouldn't be threatened by China. And that's all propaganda. China is anti-ship. It's a missile that they don't post much of a

Steve Hsu: Isaw that, I saw that FT article as well, and I was kind of astonished because even the, in the U. S. war games, lots of carriers are destroyed it,

Paul Huang: Yeah, I will, I will. Well, I will speak very frankly here. That report. The person who wrote that report is a Taiwanese government propagandist. She cited Taiwan government propaganda as a fact. And if you look at the research, supposedly research that had been done behind it, sorry, I saw that report. I saw the report came. I saw that article that came out months ago. It uses a video game, the same video game I play.

Okay. And the person who did that simulation, he did not know what he's doing. He did not know how this game actually worked. Okay. I can do, I can, I can give you a better scenario. We can make a modern operation scenario right now. Okay. This is just, this is just completely ridiculous. They, they, they, they cited a video game simulation, a poorly executed simulation. And that person is paid by Taiwan's, they call it IMDSR, Institute of National Defense Research, something. That institute is a, is a, is a joke. No one takes it seriously in Taiwan. It's paid by the Ministry of National Defense. And the research, the report came out of it, it's just a complete joke. There's no value, nothing. It's just, it's just, I don't even know where to begin.

Steve Hsu: Okay, well let me modify my scenario a little bit for you. So, maybe the panel happens, and the military people, they, feel they have to kind of toe the line. So they say some things that maybe are not realistic. But then later you go out to dinner with them, and you're having a drink at the restaurant.

Is there a sense then, in private, that they have a realistic idea of how the war would actually proceed?

Paul Huang: No, because, in Taiwan's military, the higher you go, right? The higher ranks you are, the less likely you are going to tell truth about things on the ground. The more detached you are from things on the ground. This is across the military. I'm sorry to say that the system doesn't produce the best people and it's very tough. It's usually the most incompetent, the most, incapable people that are being promoted in Taiwan's military. And it's getting considerably worse in the last several years because of the politics, because of the DPP government. And also, this is not a same Taiwan. So, so the senior generals, they're never going to go on media interview. They're never going to debate with outside observers. This is just not they're saying. They think it is public relations propaganda, they have a pre design setting where they show you, well, this is our new artillery. This is our new tank. This is our new whatever, right? Look at this shiny, big, shiny object, right?

Look at this, whatever program that we're putting out and just write good things about us. This is Taiwan.

Steve Hsu: So, do you think in their internal planning, for example, in figuring out how much of the budget should go to hardening the hangars where their planes are parked? Or, you know dispersing planes throughout the island. I mean all of these things you would think they need at least some realistic sense of the military technologies and how the war would go in order to just even plan their defense correctly. Do you think they're up to that?

Paul Huang: No, because whoever they have been, they have been studying, they have been doing right. It doesn't change the decision making at the very top. That's why President Tsai made a decision to buy a new F-16 in 2019. That's in 2019, like after a decade of like, at the point where we already knew the number of jets don't really matter because they're not going to be able to take off. So you buy new jets, it's completely useless just because the runways are going to get cratered, right? And you're not going to have planes, jets to be able to take off. You're not going to have runways for them to take off, nor land so they can refuel, rearm.

It's just not going to be. But she made a decision in 2019. Why? Because she was very unpopular in early 2019. So she used this arm sale as an opportunity to boost her own popularity. They, they made the whole propaganda about it, and they, the DDP, they issue like, like DDP branded flight jackets, right.

With F six and V and DDP on it, right? As if any of these politicians ever serve, ever, ever serve their military service. Very few of them don't, right? It is just like they, these politicians, these DPP politicians, wear these jackets and then lining up for a photo op. It's just completely ridiculous.

Steve Hsu: So on the U.S.side because among U.S.Hawks, there's a you know quite a lot of thinking about this war and how the U. S. should prepare for this war. There are lots of ideas about how the Taiwanese should buy more anti ship missiles and maybe spend less on their own large ships which will be destroyed at the beginning of the war. Maybe, maybe spend less money on F 16s.

There's a fair amount of creative, strategic and tactical analysis about what Taiwan should do from the U.S.side that I can read. And that is actually fairly realistic. So, those people who write those reports have at least a moderately realistic, I think, view of the capabilities of the Chinese weapon systems.

But it sounds like from what you're saying, that that kind of analysis is maybe being produced by American think tanks, but not by Taiwanese think tanks.

Paul Huang: Oh, yeah, these, I, Iknow who are, I know who, the kind of voices you're talking about, which is in the U.S. , when you talk about Taiwan's defense. Of course, you heard people saying, on the U S side, Taiwan should buy more asymmetric weapons. Taiwan should buy more weapons at platforms that we think are going to be of use compared to what Taiwan is buying right now.

But if you look at what the substance, right there, they're advocating, sea mines or anti ship buying more and harpoon missiles, stingers or javelins, while for number one, Taiwan is already buying a lot of these stuff. And number two, these things alone, they're not going to fix the overall defense picture.

The very, very green defense picture that Taiwan is seeing right now. there's no magic bullet, right? A Harpoon missile is not, it's not a magic bullet. You're not, you're not going to trade one Chinese aircraft carrier with one Harpoon, one Harpoon missile. I'm just so sorry that this is not going to happen. But this, these, a lot of these U.S. experts, they, they make it sound like there's a magical solution to this, which is no. And I can go into very, I can go into every detail why all of these supposedly, fantastic asymmetric weapons or tools, the really not the, not the magic, not, not, not the fixed fixes that you're seeing they are.

In fact, I don't think they're going to change the underlying balance at all. Based on this, I think the issue should be that Taiwan's military needs a fundamental reform in,institutional level that should be done first before we talk about weapons, platform, hardware.

Steve Hsu: Okay. So it sounds like, by the way, I'm not claiming that the U. S. analysts are realistic, but at least some of them, some of the reports I've read, they at least have a reasonably realistic sense of what the Chinese weapon systems can do. They're not pretending that the Chinese weapon systems are not going to work.

So, then they're trying to come up with some strategy by which the asymmetric strategy by which the Taiwanese can at least, you know, maybe not fully defend themselves, but at least make themselves more of a threat, to the Chinese invasion.

So, let me ask you the following question. So, given the maybe unrealistic propagandistic view of things, is there any chance that a Taiwanese politician could declare unilaterally, declare independence from China sometime in the next 10 years. Could that actually happen?

Paul Huang: Now the major part, the major politicians that we have, we have seen, in the next, in the next election, the Lai Ching de, Ke Wen je, Hou You Yi, even Lai Ching de, he's not a Taiwan independence advocate. It's just not. He's, like, whoever told you that, Lai is pro-independence probably doesn't understand what Lai actually is, what his background is, what he's actually, uh. Just not. What, dual independence is just not longer, it's just no longer the same.

In, which is ironic, because that's actually what a lot of Taiwanese wanted. They want to push in the right direction, right? They want to assert, they want to reform, they want to reform, change Taiwan's constitution and even country name, and to push for actual membership in the United Nations and other international organizations.

That has very strong public support, right? All of these. They drew independence agendas, but the DPP, especially under Tsai Ing-wen in the last decade. This is not their thing. They, they, they talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk. They didn't even want to change Taiwan's sports team, the name of Taiwan's sports team, right?

It's called Chinese Taipei, and there have been movements to change petitions to call to change it to Taiwan. But the Tsai government didn't support that. Why? Because they didn't want to actually do the thing. They don't want to actually face the backlash, the internet, the consequences of, of, making any such move.

They're all about talks, domestically.

Steve Hsu: Okay. So for me, for my listeners, Lai is the DPP candidate who would replace Tsai Ing-wen if DPP wins the next presidential election. And you're saying even he would be careful, he, even, even he would not probably cross. Xi Jinping's red lines cause some action on the part of the mainland.

Paul Huang: Well, for me, myself.As a matter of fact, I don't think China has, they see things as like red lines here and there. I think they have a very clear agenda, which is to unify Taiwan in one way or another. This is their goal. They already said it, right? As for what Taiwan is in the meantime, in, in, before, I think they, they really see that as secondary.

So whoever told you that, that the CCP, that the PRC has this red line here or there, or there's just something that Taiwan does or says that, that the POA will attack in the next hour. I don't think that's saying, I don't think that that's really the case. I think China, they have their own timetable, right?

So even if Lai Ching-te gets elected, right? And if, if, if I'm wrong and he sticks to his, he puts his word, he puts the, well, actually he didn't, he never says those things, but let's say that he moved to change the name of the country, didn't like to reform the constitution and stuff. I don't think there will be a catalyst to an invasion.

I think that's just going to be, I think China just, they will stick to their timetable, their whatever plan that they have already made. Right. Just because they don't, they don't want to react to Taiwan's domestic internal politics.

Steve Hsu: I see. Well, that's okay. So that's interesting. So, you don't think there are red lines and you think that they have a very definite plan that they're following, the CPC.

Paul Huang: Right. In fact, I think that the only red line that they actually have is with regard to Taiwan's relation with others, like the United States or Japan or the international community. In fact, you see, you see that during Pelosi's visit last August. Right. So, that's one of the things that they didn't like. So if you, if you cross that and we're going to show you the, we're going to retaliate with certain measures and stuff, but that's true of the United States, that's not true of Taiwan domestic politics.

Steve Hsu: Okay. But I, so what you just clarified through, I think if I understood you, you said there is something the United States could do to trigger a conflict, but not, not internally within Taiwan. Yeah.

Paul Huang: Because China, they, they see the United States as behind, as the driving force behind everything happening in Taiwan, right? Like you can call your conspiratory mind mindset, but this is what they say. They think whatever happened in Taiwan domestically, that's because someone's behind it. That's because the United States is behind it. That's, that's, that's their, their thinking, that's their mentality.

Steve Hsu: And you would say that's not realistic, that really nobody can predict who's going to win this next election. Is that, Is


Paul Huang: course. Yeah, of course. They, they, they, like, you know, within Taiwan, like, people always, like, speculate, you know, the United States favors Lai Ching-te, you know, the United States favors who. Nah, this is just not going to be the case, okay? The Biden administration's policy toward Taiwan is so passive, so reactive, so, like, I don't think they even care.


Steve Hsu: Okay. So, there's no CIA, not going to be any CIA intervention in the election in favor of one candidate over the other.

Paul Huang: Oh, I know that. I know the kind of guy that they send to Taiwan, right? They're not going to, they don't even speak Chinese. How can they influence elections there? I'm

Steve Hsu: Well, okay. Let me ask you a related question. Do you think the color revolution in Hong Kong was at all, even in part, stimulated by U.S. intelligence services?

Paul Huang: No, there's no evidence of that. The U.S. intelligence community, the CIA, that is just never, it's not capable of organizing anything of that sort. See, they're just not, sorry to say.

Steve Hsu: And here you're speaking specifically about Hong Kong and Taiwan. I'm, I don't know, do you have an opinion about whether Maidan in 2014 in Ukraine had anything to do with the U. S. intelligence services?

Paul Huang: I don't, yeah. I think the development is in Ukraine, since, before and after 2014, I think they had something to do with the United States. However, they had the driving forces, the influences didn't come from the intelligence community, so to speak. By the intelligence community, we're talking about those three later agencies, which really didn't. I, at least from my reading, I'm not a Ukraine expert. I think the driving force behind were the Western U. S. influences that supported the pro Western part of Ukraine to, divide, to push back, to... those anti Russian kind of forces and voices within Ukraine, the Western, these Western, policies and Western resources empower them to an extent. And I don't think those were from the intelligence community.

I think a lot of those were just from civil society and also, you see, then. I know if I name names here, it's going to be controversial, but the National Endowment for Democracy, right, and a lot of these organizations, these funding from the U. S., but that's what a lot of people in Ukraine wanted. They wanted these Western influences, and that's what was the driving force behind them.

Steve Hsu: Yeah, Imean, I think my model of this kind of thing is, obviously there is popular local support for these things. And then there may be some resources, you know, that are funneled to them through things like NED. By the way, NED is a three letter U. S. agency and very tightly associated with the CIA. So, in the case of Maidan, many people, you know, would point to specific incidents where there were snipers firing into the crowd at Maidan.

And there, there's a, there's a long discussion about really who were those snipers and, were they actually, you know, perhaps operatives put there by Western intelligence agencies. So there's a long history there, but we don't have to go into that.

Paul Huang: Right. Right. And I'm not, I'm not an expert on Ukraine anyway.

Steve Hsu: right. But you, you think that Taiwan elections are not something that the U.S. is going to have any particular influence on?

Paul Huang: The United States could play a role if they, if the administration desires so, right? But I just don't think, I just don't think it's going to happen. I just don't see that. And by judging by the current lineup of candidates, right? I don't think the U. S. has a preference one way or another.

Steve Hsu: Okay. If the KMT candidate wins, do you think that the situation will cool down significantly across the strait?

Paul Huang: Well, on the one hand, if, on the military, on the fundamental side, things are going to keep, are just going to go along the current trajectory, the China is, they're still going to modernize, continue modernizing, expanding, improving the POA and preparing for the capabilities to overwhelm Taiwan. That's just going to happen.

So the military imbalance is just going to continue growing, no matter who's elected president in Taiwan.

So even, even KMT, even if you look at the history, during Ma Ying jeou, previous president Ma Ying-jeou's term, the previous KMT president, the number of ballistic missiles that China deployed across the strait aiming at Taiwan, increased by a significant number.

From 2008 to 2016, during Ma Ying-jeon's term, the term at a time when people saw cross relation was gray, was, was at its best. Right? Ma Ying-jeou was very, very friendly to the mainland and everything. They, they, the POA, they just go do things that they wanted to do.

Steve Hsu: Yeah, no, I, I Agree with you completely. The buildup is not going to depend at all on who is the president of Taiwan or which party is in power. Some explicit manifestations of, you know, intimidation may decrease, right? If it's, if it's, you know, a more conciliatory KMT president, right? That's all I meant by that.

But the basic power dynamics are not going to change at all.

Paul Huang: I think even, even those behaviors that, those, flights and naval activities around Taiwan, again, this is a speculation, but I think the POA is going to continue doing those.

Steve Hsu: Yeah, I think it's like a ratchet. They don't, they don't. Once they turn it up, they don't turn it back down. But, possibly with a KMT president, they won't keep, maybe they'll turn it up at a lower rate in terms of just pro actual provocations.

Paul Huang: Well, it's very hard to define what a provocation is in terms of these activities. There is in the international media and in the international discussion, you kept hearing this word about Taiwan's air defense identification zone. You see all these reports about China flying so many jets into Taiwan's air defense ADIZ.

Well, I'm sorry to tell you this, the ADIZ doesn't have a standing in international law. That's what Taiwan says. It's it's it's it's only ADIZ. That's what you claim. It is not international. It has no legal basis in international law.

Steve Hsu: Yeah, no, Iunderstand this point. And for the listeners, I think

Paul Huang: right.

Steve Hsu: The ADIZ even extends over China. So, yeah, some, so just some routine operations of Chinese military planes could be said to violate Taiwan's self defined ADIZ. So that these particular things are just maybe just propaganda. But, firing a missile over Taiwan is maybe not propaganda, right?

That's pretty aggressive.

Paul Huang: Right, right. That they missed our test last year. Last August. That was definitely, definitely new. Definitely very, very, very provocative. However, the air and naval activities, most of the air and naval activities that we have been seeing now, right? I think they're going to continue. Number one, China's military has grown to such an extent they feel they are powerful, which they actually are. They're just flexing their muscles, right? That's what you You, you, when you, when you, when you've been working out for months, for years, right? You build out your muscle and you try to show it off.

That's just what it is.

Steve Hsu: Right. So, maybe we can actually just get to the main issue and just talk about how you project things to develop in the next, say, five years. So, do you think that there's any hope of a peaceful, politically negotiated reunification? I mean, maybe at gunpoint, but still peaceful. Is that possible?

Paul Huang: Judging by the current Taiwan politics, the trajectory, I think that's going to be hard. Because without a decisive military defeat, Taiwan's politics, Taiwan's public opinion, they're never going to concede to China. And they don't want to, people don't want to. People want to keep their independence, they want to keep theirs, they have their own, they feel they are superior, they feel they are special, they feel they're different.

So they want their government to themselves, to, say no to China. I mean, that's fine. That's, that's, that's what Taiwan's people wanted. But on policy, on actual policy areas, defense and security, their politicians just don't deliver. Not preparing for, for, because you need to prepare for war.

If that's, if that's what you, if you want to keep that, you want to keep China from getting what it wants.

Steve Hsu: Right. So you, you don't see any plausible scenario in the next five years where there's any kind of negotiated, peaceful reunification.

No, unless there is a military conflict. There is basically a war. And can you, do you have any opinion about the timetable that Xi Jinping has? Is there any kind of deadline for him to actually push things forward?

Paul Huang: Right. That I don't know, because I don't, I'm not Xi Jinping. I'm not, I'm not a political, political member. Anyone who tells you otherwise, say there is a timetable, there's a timeline, there's a deadline, there's a deadline, 2027 or 2030, 20... whoever tells you that, It's just making it up.

Because Xi Jinping. They are not Xi Jinping. They're not members of the Central Military Commission. They're not members of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party. Who are you? Who are they to tell you this? They're just, they're just nobody. Right? However, you can look at the military balance. You can look at the fundamentals, the technological, the economical, competitions and everything. And you can say, well, it's now 2023. China has this much capability. Taiwan and the U.S.are at this level, so they have some percentage of some level of probability of success here, right? Versus if you wait, if we wait another three years or five years. China is good. This gap is just going to grow larger between Taiwan and China. And they're just going to get more and more stuff, more warships, more planes, more stealth fighter jets, more satellites in space. They are going to have an even higher chance of success against Taiwan and the U.S., right?

So time is on their side. That's, that's from Xi Jinping from China's perspective. And I think that is why they're in no rush. Because, because time is on their side. They are seeing great progress in all, in most of the domains of competition. So why should they rush things, rush to a war now? They don't need to. Now that being said, yeah, that being said, I think at some level when, when the imbalance reached such an extent, and when there is like an international,when circumstances, when events, when we have certain events that compel the PRC, the Beijing to make a decision, to make a move, this imbalance of power,will motivate them to go on the war.

Steve Hsu: Yeah, I agree with your analysis. I mean, to me, it seems very likely, barring some really radical change in both U.S.and Taiwanese politics, the advantage will just continue to accrue to the PLA. And so they're in no hurry to act.

And so I, it doesn't seem likely that anything's going to happen in the near term.

Paul Huang: Well, the, well, if there are some international developments, circumstances, events unfolding, then they could be compelled to make such a move.

Steve Hsu: Right.

Paul Huang: I don't know.

Steve Hsu: Well, if, if NATO starts fighting Russia in Europe, they might take advantage of that, right, and just go, because even though, even though they're not, the ratio of forces, could he get even better in the future for them, that circumstance where U. S. would be distracted, NATO would be distracted, obviously that would, might be attractive to them. But, barring some special event like that, it seems like it would be smarter for them to just let their advantage continue to accrue.

Paul Huang: Well, Ukraine is already, even, even without actually getting into a war. This whole Ukraine war already exposed just how unprepared, how under capacity the United States is in,in an actual war, in an actual military confrontation.

You see all these reporters, the, all the reports out there already, how the munitions, the missiles, they just don't deliver, the U.S. They don't have the capacity. They burn through their whole stockpile of javelins or stinger in, five year, ten year stockpile in a matter of a few months. And they can't replace them. And that, that's the underlying problem of the U. S. defense industry, right? Even in the have only seen scattering reports about this. That is, it's not a big public discussion.

Steve Hsu: Yes, so, so you know and I know, because we're following this. The U. S. industrial base and military industrial base is very hollowed out now, and they, it's implausible that they could fight an extended war in the Pacific, given the current infrastructure base. But as you say, this whole thing is suppressed in the United States too. It's not really discussed very much in the United States. Do you think in the top levels of Taiwanese leadership that they're not following this? They don't realize their big ally, which they want to come to their aid, actually doesn't have a lot of, you know, military equipment stored away, ready to help?

Paul Huang: The politicians, both KMT and DPP and even Co Cohen Joe, I think they fundamentally do not understand the weaknesses, the weaknesses in position, the weaknesses in power, the United States is currently experiencing. They are still seeing the United States as the great, as the superpower of the late 20th century. They're stuck in the 1990s. Okay.

They have not seen how much, how much the industries, how much, the thing hollows out in the U.S. , how many structural fundamental problems the United States has. Okay. The lack of labor, the lack of skilled people, how overpriced everything, all the military equipment are. And not seeing any of that.

The Taiwanese politicians, for them, the United States are like God. If God is on our side, we are fine. We are, we are going to be okay. That, that, that this is the reality of Taiwan, right? Both KMT, DPP.This is their world view, right? As long as I have, as the United States favors us, Taiwan is going to be okay. As long as the United States comes to our defense.

Well, I'm sorry, but the United States is, it's, it can barely keep out, it can barely stand on its own.

Steve Hsu: So you're, you're not detecting any change in that perception, even among, say, younger politicians. There's not a realistic understanding of the current balance of power.

Paul Huang: Right. And, well, I can go into some detail of the, of the perception and the reality, the gap between perception and reality. I mentioned Ukraine, about the Harpoon missiles. In the U. S. community, the think tanks and the company analysts, they think things like the Harpoon missile is the magic weapon that Taiwan needs.

So if we, if we sell more Harpoon missiles to Taiwan, right, it's an asymmetric weapon and Taiwan can keep POA at bay. Well, I have bad news for you. The Harpoon missile that Taiwan buys from the U. S., they are of the non extended range version of the Harpoon missile. Their range is like 140 kilometers.

Whereas the Chinese anti ship missiles, these days, the YJ 18 or YJ 12, they go for like 300, 400, even 500 kilometers. The Harpoon missile, I'm sorry to say, is an outdated piece of technology that has not been updated, that has not been able to keep up. The development that, internationally, for the last several decades. And guess how much Harpoon, the United States is selling Taiwan, these Harpoon missiles? The latest price, I say, is the arm sale that was announced a few months ago. If you divide it by the number of missiles, it was like 4. 5 or 5 million per Harpoon.

Well, so Taiwan is buying a Harpoon missile for something like 5 million. Now guess what? The comparable missile, so that's not even compared to the better ones that China has, the YJ-18, the YJ-12, that's compared to the older one that China has, right? It's the one that's called a C-802.

Right. That has been in service since the 80s or 90s, right? Similar to the Harpoon. It has a similar speed, similar range. It's basically a copy of Harpoon. Well, China sold C-802 to Venezuela, I think that was in 2017, for a missile price of like $300,000 U.S. dollars. So Taiwan is buying the same, is buying a similar performance missile from the United States at 10 times the price.

What is China building? How is this sustainable? And how, how is this, how is this asymmetric? I ask, I ask these U.S. analysts. I ask these Think Tank people. I say, you think that the Harpoon missile is the magic weapon for Taiwan that you can offer to Taiwan. But at what price? $5 million per missile.

Right? And then the response that you will get is usually along the line. Well, one Harpoon missile can sink one Chinese destroyer or aircraft carrier. That's worse.

I mean, come on. Let's, let's, let's just stop being childish. You are not going to trade one Chinese destroyer, Type 55 destroyer, Type 52 destroyer, or even an aircraft carrier with one Harpoon, okay?

Those ships are never going to get into the range of your Harpoon missile. They have air cover. They have a carrier base, they carry aircraft. They have like those destroyers, they have VOS, they have hundreds of anti air missiles, right? They have a closing weapon system, they have trolling warfare. You're one harpoon is never going to get through those defenses. You need probably not one, but like 30, 50 or 100 to saturate their defenses.

Right, and at that point, you're asking, you're, you're, you're, you're doing the math, right? Does this, does this mathematically make sense? You spend two, two, and it doesn't have the range, right? It's not going to strengthen those big, big, service warships. They can stay away, far away from Taiwan.

But this is just one thing that, you see this in Taiwan, discussion about Taiwan defense all the time. People like to focus on the United States. You can sell Taiwan this, so it can fix Taiwan's problem. Let me just say this. This is not, this is a wrong, wrong angle to look at things.

You can't fix an institutional problem by injecting more hardware, more stuff.

The problem is with Taiwan's military itself. The institution, the organization, the training, the leadership, they're just not on this, they're just not on a good basis, on a good, fundamental basis. Everything just needs reform.

Steve Hsu: Well, I mean, from, for the U. S. military industrial complex, Taiwan is a huge profit center, right? So they can sell overpriced weapons to Taiwan, and U.S. think tanks tend to be funded, heavily funded by the military industrial complex, so you can kind of understand how this works.

I guess the one argument I could understand for why the harpoons maybe are still valuable is that, yes, they may be outraged by Chinese anti ship missiles now, but within the strait to stop amphibious landing craft or an invasion force, obviously they do have the range to hit things more or less all the way across the strait, right?

So maybe that's the scenario where these would actually come in handy.

Paul Huang: Yeah, but that goes into another question. How are you going to find Chinese warships, Chinese ships, Chinese and even smaller Chinese amphibious, amphibious vehicles, amphibious craft, amphibious ships. You need sensors. You need surface search radars. And you need data links, you need command and control to feed data to command firing of these missiles, anti ship missiles.

Okay. In Taiwan, guess where, guess, guess what's going to happen to those radars, to those sensors, to those command and control data links, to those, headquarters, those, they're going to get bombed, they're going to get, they're going to get destroyed by the Chinese, their ballistic missiles and long range rockets or anti radiation missiles.

That's their first priority to knock out Taiwan's, C we call it C4ISR, right? Command control. Those are the infrastructure they're gonna target. So Yeah.if you lose those, you, you lose your sensor, whatever number of missiles you have become irrelevant. And that is where you, you don't see discussion about.

Steve Hsu: Yeah, I agree with what you just said. It's the kind of thing that makes me really worried that there isn't some realistic planning going on on the Taiwan side of what day one would look like and then what happens after that. So, that would be very tragic if the military were not competent enough to at least try to do that planning.

Paul Huang: Well, they, the Taiwan, geographically, Taiwan is so small that China is, their intelligence gathering, right? And they, especially given their huge presence in space.

Steve Hsu: Mm

Paul Huang: They launch like hundreds of satellites every year, remote sensing satellites, right? Measurement satellites, signal, signal intelligence satellites, imagery satellites, everything. Everything you name it. Like, they have so many assets from the air, from the space.

They know exactly what's going on in this small geographical area, right? Using a Harpoon missile launcher. You put on a truck, right? You can move around while it is safe. No, it's not. They probably, they, they probably have satellite like tracking. They have like a team tracking all these different units, 24 hours and they're the satellite.

So we, in China, I don't know the English word for that, but in China, let's go. And, any given spot on earth, let's say Taiwan, right? How long will it be before the next, so a satellite comes, a Chinese satellite comes across, it takes a picture, so it sees where it is on the ground right now, it sees a Taiwan missile launcher. How long is it going to be before the next Chinese, remote sensing imagery satellite comes, comes on the same spot again to update the information, update the position.

Well, guess, guess, guess how long? It's something like 10 to 20 minutes,

Steve Hsu: Mm hmm. Yes.

Paul Huang: Right? Years ago, that would be an hour, two hours, and a decade ago, they didn't even have that. They probably didn't even have that capability. These days, it's like in minutes. They have updated images, updated the location of Taiwan, where Taiwan's things are. They can track that. They can do what you think is safe. They're no longer safe. What you think is, mobile is asymmetric. It's no longer the case because the, because just, just how far events, how things have changed on China side. Right? And, but this is, this is not talked about right.

Steve Hsu: Yes. I think increasingly on the American side, so, you know, if you go back five or ten years, the Americans didn't want to admit that the DF 21 actually worked or DF 26, but, but now that's changed. So the Americans have a more, I think, realistic, or at least they're being more careful about potentially what they would face in the Western Pacific.

But it's disheartening to learn that in Taiwan, they're, they're still not, realistic about their situation.

Paul Huang: Yeah, well, I think it's, if, if they face the music, they have to, then naturally the logical conclusion is whatever we have been doing, it's just not working. So we need to change everything.

Taiwan's military, the institution, they never allow that, right? They're never going to say, oh, well, our, our whole air force is useless. So let's change something. No, they're like, you have, like, hundreds of generals in the Air Force, they want to keep their job. They want to keep their position. They want to get their promotion next year.

Steve Hsu: Mm hmm.

Paul Huang: So they're, they're, they're, all of them, they're going to, they're going to lie. They're going to make up things that, oh no, no, we can do, we can, this is not true. We can. Or the Navy for that matter, or the Army. That's just the institution, the institution itself. It's not facing, it's not confronting reality.

And the politicians behind them are even worse. Right, like President Tsai, because she wanted to, like, in 2019, she wanted to win another term, so she ordered a new F 16. Or whoever the next president will be, right. They will see defense policy as a political tool, a partisan political tool.

No one ever took defense military part in a serious term. Wait a minute. Let's think about this. This is us. This is our safety, our security state. Maybe we need to do things that, that, that, that help us survive this war, if a war happened. No, that's not how Taiwan's politicians think. At least not President Tsai.

She, she, she never showed any commitment, any willingness to take things seriously, everything is politics. Everything is partisan. Everything that's associated with defense and security is for the DPP's electoral benefit. At least that's the things I have seen over the last several years.

Steve Hsu: Well, for Americans who can't believe that things could be so bad, I'll just remind them that, when we left Afghanistan, the official estimates from the military and the intelligence services were that the U. S. backed government could survive there easily for a year after we left, when in fact it turned out to be more like a month or something, right?


Paul Huang: Right?

Steve Hsu: This is, the idea that the military and intelligence analysts can deform their analysis for political purposes is true in almost every country.

Paul Huang: Yeah. Yeah. I'm sorry to say that, that, that, that I don't see, I don't think things will change on this because I think the United States is... What's been happening because of the arms sale, because everything has been going on, seeing they're not pushing things in the right direction. In fact, what I have been tracking is keywords, such as reform, military reform, changes in, in organizations, in doctrines, in strategy, right? Those are not things I'm seeing coming from the United States, right?

You see, you, you see some vaguely worded statements. I, to push Taiwan to,help Taiwan develop as symmetric capabilities. What do they even mean? The Taiwan one soldiers, they, the army, they don't even train soldiers as competent rifle men. You don't talk about that, but you want to talk, you want to talk about asymmetricity. Well, what do they even entail, right?

The basic competency is not even there. But the United States, the AIT, right, the Pentagon, the U. S. State Department, they don't want to call, they don't want to call out Taiwan for, for these, for, on, on, on this, right? Then they're not going to, they're not going to take it seriously.

Taiwan's public, they're just going to sing well, everything is fine. Everything is, the United States pushing us to the right direction. We just need to buy weapons. Right. And then, and then the United States has our back. It will come to our defense. I mean, I mean, this, this is just it's time to wake up.

Steve Hsu: Yes. Well, Paul, I've taken up a lot of your time. I feel like my listeners will have a much more realistic understanding of the situation in Taiwan after all of your comments. So I Thank you very much. And, I wish you a good morning in Tokyo.

Paul Huang: Well, thank you for having me.

Steve Hsu: Yes, it's been a pleasure.

Thank you very much.

Paul Huang: Thank you