Trevor wrote:The Philippines don't have a very strong military, so they'd be able to succeed if we didn't do anything about it. What will make things more difficult than they think it would is their inexperience in external wars.
The United States Navy can not be everywhere at once.
There is little doubt China could time an invasion to land enough ground troops on Taiwan or the Philippines to Occupy the main cities.
The question is what happens when they attempt to resupply and reinforce those troops.
There is a lot more ocean to cross for the Chinese navy to support and resupply a Philippines occupation force than a Taiwan occupation force. The U.S. navy and the U.S. Air force are very, very good at sinking ships on the open sea.
Almost every other country in the region would look at a Chinese attack on an independent country like the Philippines and say I may be next. China has much to lose and little to gain by occupying the Philippines before occupying Taiwan.