The Next China-Taiwan Crisis: 2009-2012

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This analysis was first done at the request of a client. It first appeared in print in Considerations Magazine in the August-October 2005 issue.

Red China has vowed to take back the Republic of China, or Taiwan. In the May 2004 issue of the Boom, Doom, and Gloom Report, Dr. Marc Faber ( points to a report by Wendell Minnick, the Taiwan correspondent for Jane’s Defense Weekly. Mr. Minnick, in "The Year to Fear for Taiwan: 2006", wrote that a mainland invasion is unlikely to be a large-scale operation. Instead, it is more probable to take the following course. Special forces will land days prior to the attack. Assets that are already in place will assist in assassinations of officials and sabotage. The combination of air and missile strikes, rapid deployment forces, and airborne drops would capture key communication centers. The second phase would be the securing of an airport that would be used to ferry in additional elements that would spread out and complete the takeover. Sympathetic Taiwanese would assist the Chinese forces. This decapitation strategy would destroy command and control, likely leading to the loss of Taiwan in as little as 7 days. Taiwan is of strategic importance because the Taiwan Straits there control the flow of oil tankers to South Korea and to Japan. In addition, this is a base for the USA to watch China. The USA would have little time to respond, and if they did so, China could tie up US forces with small attacks on US forces in Japan, or even Hawaii and Alaska. I doubt that the USA would go to war in such an event.

As one man once said, don’t tell me what is going to happen, tell me when. This is the province of astrology. By studying the 4 crisis periods during which Beijing threatened the island nation, we can glean some insight as to the future timing of such an action. The crisis periods were:

1- August 11, 1954 to May 1, 1955: Zhou En-Lai declared that Taiwan must be liberated. On 17 August 1954 the US warned China against action against Taiwan, but on September 3, 1954, the Communists began to bombard Quemoy. In November, Chinese planes bombed the Tachen Islands. On September 12, 1954, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended the possibility of using nuclear weapons against China. On November 23, 1954, China sentenced 13 US airmen shot down over China in the Korean War to jail terms. President Eisenhower refused to bomb mainland China or use American troops to resolve the crisis. The United States signed the Mutual Defense Treaty with the Nationalist government on Taiwan on December 2, 1954. The shelling ended on May 1, and the US airmen were released.

2- August 23, 1958 to January 1, 1959: From 23 August through October of 1958, the Communists resumed an artillery bombardment of Quemoy and Matsu, threatening invasion. Chinese patrol boats blockaded the two islands against Nationalist re-supply efforts. This was accompanied by an aggressive propaganda assault on the United States, threats against American naval ships, and a declaration of intent to "liberate" Taiwan.

3- July 1, 1995 to March 23, 1996: On October 27, 1994, the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk was involved in a three-day running encounter with a Chinese nuclear attack submarine in the Yellow Sea. On June 9-10, 1995, Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui concluded a private trip to a Cornell University reunion. His repeated use of the terminology "Republic of China on Taiwan" was taken by Beijing as a challenge to the "One China" formulation. In response, the PRC conducted tests of missiles from July 21 to 26 in an area near Taiwan's Pengchiayu Island. A series of missile tests and military maneuvers followed. One missile landed only 23 miles from a Taiwanese port. The crisis ended when Beijing said that they would not invade Taiwan but were still committed to one China.

The military exercises were meant to intimidate the people of Taiwan in the run-up to the presidential election. On March 23, 1996, the people of the Republic of China on Taiwan defied Beijing by electing Lee Teng-Hui as their first directly elected President.

4- 1999: The 1999 Taiwan Confrontation began on July 9, 1999, when Lee Teng-Hui, President Republic of China responded to questions by saying "The Republic of China has been a sovereign state since it was founded in 1912. Moreover, in 1991, amendments to the Constitution designated cross-strait relations as a special state-to-state relationship. Consequently, there is no need to declare independence. The resolution of cross-strait issues hinges on the issue of different systems. We cannot look at issues related to the two sides simply from the perspective of unification or independence. The Chinese mainland's promise of a "one country, two systems" formula for Hong Kong and Macau is irrelevant to Taiwan ... the ROC is a sovereign, independent state."

The crisis ended in May 2000, when Taiwan's new president, Chen Shui-Bian, said he will not declare independence nor do anything else that China might consider provocative as long as Beijing does not use force against the island.

The statements made by the President during crisis 4 are important. He regarded Taiwan’s government as having begun with the Chinese Republic (ROC) on January 1, 1912. The communist People’s Republic of China (PRC) began on October 1, 1949. Note that the Suns in these 2 charts are square, from Capricorn to Libra, an indication of their basic ideological conflict. The determination of an exact time for Taiwan is tough because the Nationalists fled the mainland over a period of time. On July 16, 1949, the Nationalists organized a council under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek and prepared a withdrawal to Taiwan (then called Formosa), a move that was completed by December 8. This July 16 horoscope is relevant because it did acknowledge the fall of the mainland government and the establishment of an island government and is thus a modifier while the 1912 chart is a base chart. Both this chart (Sun in Cancer) and the 1912 (Sun in Cap) chart have planets in Cancer-Capricorn.


During the first crisis period, we saw eclipses in cardinal signs, Cancer-Capricorn, and Pluto afflictions. The ROC chart had the eclipses conjunct and opposite the Sun. Pluto was in hard aspect to the natal and progressed Suns, Mars, and the MC. In the PRC chart, the eclipses squared the natal Sun. Progressed Mars was conjunct Pluto. The eclipse that occurred later in the crisis hit Uranus-Pluto, as the USA threatened use of the a-bomb.

During crisis 2 in 1958, there were again eclipses in cardinal signs. Pluto was parallel the natal ROC Mars and Neptune. There were also Pluto and Uranus afflictions to the 1949 chart. In the aggressor PRC horoscope, we see Uranus transiting the natal Mars-Pluto conjunction while progressed Mars was 45 degrees to progressed Uranus. Pluto squared the MC. The crisis again ended with the USA threatening force as Uranus sailed over the PRC natal Pluto, an indication of potential destruction.

The 3rd crisis in 1995-1996 began with the 1994-1995 early Scorpio-Taurus eclipses and ended as the eclipses slipped back into cardinal signs. The Taurus eclipse series was a repeat of the 1948-1949 eclipse series when the Republican armies were driven off of the mainland. Thus, the earlier eclipses were re-ignited as were the issues that they caused in ’49. Note that the crisis was caused by a statement of the desire for independence as the ROC had its Uranus return. The desire for freedom usually does grow strong at such a return. In the PRC chart, we find that Pluto is afflicting Mars, Neptune, and is moving over the MC.

Crisis 4 in 1999 occurred when ROC had a Saturn return. A solar eclipse squared the natal Mars, and another squared progressed Saturn. The Sun had progressed to square its own natal place and oppose the PRC natal Sun. One eclipse squared the PRC Midheaven while the other was on natal Pluto. Red China’s ambitions were further fueled by natal Pluto going retrograde in March of 1999, making it very powerful. Uranus opposed the PRC’s natal Mars-Pluto conjunction.

This eclipse series did not occur in cardinal signs, but Pluto was strong again. However, this was the mildest of the crises.

The crises were marked by solar eclipses in cardinal signs and strong Pluto influences. In 2009, the eclipses will return to the Cancer-Capricorn axis, and Pluto will cross into Capricorn. In 2011, an eclipse opposes the ROC Sun, and Pluto begins to move over the Sun in 2012. Regarding the PRC, Pluto begins to oppose Uranus, and the eclipse opposition to Pluto squares the communist Sun in the next year. In the following years, Pluto will oppose the USA Sun. The eclipse of January 2011 opposes the USA Sun, likely drawing America into the conflict.

On August 5, 1949, the USA ended aid to Taiwan. America pledged to defend Taiwan on February 9, 1955, but the Taiwan Relations Act of April 10, 1979 dropped recognition of USA’s age-old ally, as subsequent American leaders acceded to Beijing’s desire of one China. Both the 1955 and the 1979 charts have Mars in Aries as well as a general cardinal flavor. Thus, cardinal activity will also activate these charts.

Horoscopes set for the beginning of diplomatic relations or first treaties are also useful. Below we see the July 3, 1844 Treaty of Wanghsia between the USA and China. Note again that the Sun and 4 planets are in a cardinal signs. The planetary activity that will be energizing the prior charts will also energize this one, suggesting a USA-China crisis as it did during the Korean War and the Tibetan invasion. A series of eclipses in cardinal signs again dominated the heavens when Zhou En Lai called for a drive to take Taiwan on August 13, 1954.

The conclusion is that 2009-2012 will precipitate the next China-Taiwan crisis. I doubt that Beijing would risk doing so prior to the 2008 Olympic Games.


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