Bilge Pumps 011 – A Problem of China, Taiwan, and the Elephant in the Corner

By Alex Clarke

Hoots and hoorays, it’s yet another historically informed maritime current events podcast inbound! Or Bilge Pumps as we three regular naval geeks of easy listening disposition call it. To put it another way, imagine three naval historians having a chat while riding down main street in the Old West whilst watching gangs posture from rival saloons, but it’s done by Skype, recorded, there are no horses, and honestly two of us have enough trouble with temperatures over 30 degrees (Celsius).

So what is episode 11 about? Well, the #Bilgepumps team is being topical. This time it is China, Taiwan, and what could or can be done, should something (the worst thing) happen…

#Bilgepumps is still a new series and new avenue, and although possibly no longer having the new car smell, we are getting the impression that it’s liked. But now we need you. Do you have suggestions for topics? Comments on how we could improve? Or most importantly, ideas for artwork, then please either tweet them to us the Bilgepump crew (with #Bilgepump) at Alex (@AC_NavalHistory), Drach (@Drachinifel), and Jamie (@Armouredcarrier). Or you can comment on our Youtube channels (listed down below).

Download Bilge Pumps 011 – A Problem of China, Taiwan, and the Elephant in the Corner


Alex Clarke is the producer of The Bilge Pumps podcast.

Contact the CIMSEC podcast team at

One thought on “Bilge Pumps 011 – A Problem of China, Taiwan, and the Elephant in the Corner”

  1. I feel like someone needs to point out to you all that China really *Cannot* reasonably take Taiwan through military force. The PLAN’s sealift capacity is at most a reinforced Brigade (assuming ships that aren’t built yet). Taiwan’s army has around 165 000 active duty soldiers and 1.5 MILLION reservists. In no universe will the force that China can *actually deploy* onto the island of Taiwan not be pushed back into the sea unless the PRC liberally deploys nuclear weapons in support. the PRC can blockade Taiwan, they can Bombard Taiwan, they can take the outlying islands in the Taiwanese straight, but they *Cannot* take the island itself, so the political calculus is entirely different, because the second they try to do any of that Taiwan declares independence, the US navy blockades Chinese oil imports at the straight of Hormuz and all the oil pipelines into china are hit by tomahawk missiles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.