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Table Top Exercise 2020: Security in Northeast Asia

Jun Isomura, Seth Cropsey & Stephen Bryen

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Introduction

The tabletop exercise (TTX) was held using WEBEX on November 20, 2020, and was a follow up to the TTX 2019. The main topic for all the delegations was how each of the countries would deal with an aggressive Chinese move against Taiwan and/or Taiwanese territories. There was also commentary about the risk that an attack by China could spill over to Japan or to Japan’s islands in the Ryukyu chain (which is a major chokepoint at the Miyako strait’s Bashi channel, also known as the Kerama Gap) and discussion of whether, in the case of an attack by China aimed at Taiwan (including US bases in Japan, Okinawa, and elsewhere), China would persuade North Korea to launch a “diversionary” attack on South Korea in order to tie down the transfer of US assets (air forces, ground troops). The global meeting included teams from the United States, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, with a Red team playing the part of China. In all, there were 22 participants. The TTX took place over a 2.5-hour period. On the whole, the electronic connections and quality were very good.

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