Davidson: China Could Try to Take Control of Taiwan In 'Next Six Years' - USNI News

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  flynavy1  •  one month ago  •  51 comments

By:   Mallory Shelbourne (USNI News)

Davidson: China Could Try to Take Control of Taiwan In 'Next Six Years' - USNI News
China could attempt to take control of Taiwan by the end of the decade, the admiral leading U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said today. Testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Phil Davidson said China's aggression in the region leads him to believe its goal of seizing Taiwan is a more imminent issue. "I …

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By: Mallory Shelbourne March 9, 2021 6:48 PM

Soldiers from a M110A2 self-propelled artillery squad from the Republic of China (Taiwan) Army. CNA Photo

China could attempt to take control of Taiwan by the end of the decade, the admiral leading U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said today.

Testifying in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Phil Davidson said China's aggression in the region leads him to believe its goal of seizing Taiwan is a more imminent issue.

"I think our concerns are manifest here during this decade, not only on the development - the numbers of you know, ships, aircraft, rockets, etc. that they've put in the field - but the way they're advancing those capabilities as well in combination with everything that you just cited: Hong Kong . . . and Tibet, and a line of actual control in the South China Sea and the East China Sea," Davidson told the panel of lawmakers.

"I worry that they're accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order, which they've long said that they want to do that by 2050. I'm worried about them moving that target closer," he continued. "Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before then. And I think the threat is manifest during this decade, in fact in the next six years."

With the hearing largely focused on the threat from China and how the U.S. military can counter China in the region, several lawmakers questioned Davidson about Taiwan.

Davidson told the committee that while the United States' "strategic ambiguity" policy toward Taiwan has likely helped the island nation remain independent from mainland China, policies like it ought to go through a reassessment.

"I would submit that we've got more than 40 years of the strategic ambiguity has helped keep Taiwan in its current status," he said. "But you know, these things should be reconsidered routinely. I'd look forward to the conversation."

China earlier this year expressed its objections to talks between Taiwan and the United States, USNI News previously reported. At the time, the State Department and Taiwan were going to partake in virtual discussions, which China's Ministry of National Defense said breached the United States' long-established one-China policy.

The combatant commander argued for "consistent and persistent arms sales" as a way for the U.S. to help Taiwan bolster its defense capability and said the U.S. could also assist Taipei in "professional development."

"I think there's an opportunity to help in professional development when it comes to Taiwan," Davidson said in response to a question from Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). "We think that they have some specific issues that could help provide for their defense - you know, better reserve corps for example, better response."

Davidson also noted that INDOPACOM helps Taiwan each year with its annual Han Kuang military drill.

"We help provide some observers to help understand how Taiwan thinks about their defense, what their exercises exercise, what that exercise contribution is to the advancement in their doctrine within Taiwan, and then to deepen our relationships as well," Davidson told the committee.

Davidson's testimony comes after he sent Congress INDOPACOM's investment priorities for Fiscal Year 2022 and FY 2023 through FY 2027. The admiral is seeking $4.68 billion in FY 2022 for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which Congress created last year to counter China in the region. The document projects INDOPACOM needing $22.69 billion from FY 2023 through FY 2027 to accomplish the initiative's goals.

Davidson has repeatedly said that his top priority is getting a homeland missile defense system to protect Guam from Chinese missiles. Last week, in advocating for the system, Davidson said building an Aegis Ashore facility on Guam would relieve three guided-missile destroyers from missile defense work so they could be available for Navy tasking.

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dennis smith
Senior Silent
1  dennis smith    one month ago

Could be earlier if the President does not address/confront them.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
2  Tacos!    one month ago

Would anyone bother trying to stop them?

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
2.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Tacos! @2    one month ago

And that is the real question, what price are we willing to pay to protect Taiwan?

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
2.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Thrawn 31 @2.1    one month ago

They don't produce oil, so they might be fucked.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2.1.2  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Tacos! @2.1.1    one month ago

That and China has the rare earth magnets we need for our economy....

 
 
 
expatingb
Freshman Quiet
2.1.3  expatingb  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2.1.2    one month ago
That and China has the rare earth magnets we need for our economy....

Have no fear....   do you seriously believe alternatives are not being developed?   Here's some reading material you might find interesting.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2.1.4  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  expatingb @2.1.3    one month ago

Good read.... Thanks

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
2.1.5  Drakkonis  replied to  Thrawn 31 @2.1    one month ago

If there is no profit in defending them, they're screwed. The only reason the CCP is still relevant is the profit motive. 

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
2.2  MAGA  replied to  Tacos! @2    one month ago

I hope so.  Democracies all over the world are worth defending from tyranny imposed by a neighboring power. I think that both Japan and the USA would and should help them defend themselves.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     one month ago

China has been sending the message for decades that Taiwan is part of China and IMO they will eventually make the move on Taiwan. Are we prepared to go to war with China over Taiwan? It may be a battle we cannot win against the Chinese.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
3.1  zuksam  replied to  Kavika @3    one month ago

Given Taiwan's location it would be nearly impossible to protect them. I think the whole world needs to make it clear that China needs to leave Taiwan alone or face isolation. China thinks every place that China ever conquered in the past is still Chinese territory, that's why they occupy Tibet. Can you imagine if Greece went around claiming rights to every place Alexander the Great every conquered or if Italy insisted the Roman Empire was still theirs. China is showing the same kind of military buildup and excuses for territorial expansion as pre-WW2 Germany and they've been testing the waters for years. Anyone who believes China only wants Taiwan and control of the South China Sea is delusional, give them an inch and they'll take a mile. Give them Taiwan and they'll blitzkrieg South east Asia and Mongolia while unleashing their dog N Korea on S Korea.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.1.1  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  zuksam @3.1    one month ago

The big difference in your comparison Z is that China understands beating your enemies through business competition is a much less expensive proposition.    

And you're right.  If China want's Taiwan, the world is going to be hard pressed to keep Beijing from doing so.  China needs Taiwan intact, so an amphibious based occupation force is the only way to take control while keeping the country in one piece.  It is this thinking that keeps a number of US, British, and Australian subs in close proximity to Taiwan.  China will eventually be successful, but will pay a heavy price in the number of troop ships sent to the bottom for their aggression in this matter.

 Also always remember..... It's like a magician and don't watch the obvious.  Keep your eye on what China doesn't want you to look at.  

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
3.1.2  Thrawn 31  replied to  zuksam @3.1    one month ago

I doubt they would go that far. They would have a very difficult time in SE Asia given that none of those countries like them and they are covered in dense ass jungle, not to mention India won’t just sit by while China threatens them from the east as well as the north. And taking action like that would most likely bring NATO into the conflict. For all their bluster and intimidation tactics they really don’t have the ability to expand as much as you may think.

Their biggest weakness by far is that they cannot feed themselves without substantial imports, western China is already under what amounts to a military occupation, and such a war will have potentially destabilizing economic consequences for the Chinese government. If the Chinese govt doesn’t keep up it’s end of the bargain and maintain strong economic growth, I think you will quickly start to see their position at home become much more tenuous.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
3.1.3  zuksam  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.1.1    one month ago
Also always remember..... It's like a magician and don't watch the obvious.  Keep your eye on what China doesn't want you to look at.

The Idea that the love of money will win over the CCP's love of Power is the Illusion. Conquest is the only way they can solve their reliance on others for food and energy. Just like N Korea China's ruling class will always be rich and comfortable no matter what and history shows how little they care about the average Chinese citizen. China's biggest strengths are it's control of information within China and their willingness to accept high casualties while lying to the Chinese population about those loses.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
3.1.4  Tacos!  replied to  zuksam @3.1    one month ago
I think the whole world needs to make it clear that China needs to leave Taiwan alone or face isolation.

The thing is, most of the world doesn't hardly recognize Taiwan as its own country. (Of course it doesn't help that it calls itself the Republic of China) It would be very easy for the world to look the other way and tell itself China is merely recovering their own property.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
3.1.5  zuksam  replied to  Tacos! @3.1.4    one month ago
It would be very easy for the world to look the other way and tell itself China is merely recovering their own property.

I agree completely but feeding the beast is the worst thing that could be allowed to happen.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.1.6  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  zuksam @3.1.3    one month ago

Ever read The Bear and the Dragon...?  A good Clancy yarn.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
3.1.7  zuksam  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.1.6    one month ago

No never read it but I like Clancy.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.1.8  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  zuksam @3.1.7    one month ago

Might be a touch dated now, but still a good techno-thriller.  Worth your time.   (BTW.... The good guys win.)

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.9  Kavika   replied to  zuksam @3.1    one month ago

I doubt that the whole world will join in isolating China and if it came to a shooting war the chance of the majority of counties joining in a combined war front against the Chinese is not, IMO, going to happen. 

This is not the China of 1996 that bracketed Taiwan with missiles but that was all they could do. Today China is one of a few countries with nuclear sub capability and a very large sub fleet. If the US and other countries attempt to form a blockage around Taiwan to stop the Chinese from invading Taiwan they would run into a number of problems the first being the distance and supply lines to keep the force functioning. The distance from mainland China to Taiwan is 100 miles. China could rain down missiles on Taiwan and any navy supporting them. China can fly sorties 24/7 and the defenders would be flying off AC with limited numbers. 

The first step that China could take is to take the Kinmen islands that are just a few miles from the coast of mainland China. There is little Taiwan the US or any other country could do about it. They are home to appx 150,000 Taiwanese. 

If a shooting war starts no matter if we are trying to break a Chinese blockade of Taiwan or enforcing a blockage of Chinese from invading it would be bloody and there is no way to project a ''winner''...The losses could be catastrophic for all involved.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
3.1.10  zuksam  replied to  Kavika @3.1.9    one month ago

I agree and said it above "Given Taiwan's location it would be nearly impossible to protect them". We don't need the whole world to agree to isolate China We could do that, what we need is for the whole world to back Taiwan now to prevent the need. Once it kicks off we're not going to free Taiwan by Military action but we can't just except it. China needs to face the fact that Taiwan is an independent country, a democracy, and they have the right to self determination, They do not want to be part of or be ruled by the communist state of the Peoples Republic of China.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
3.1.11  Thrawn 31  replied to  Kavika @3.1.9    one month ago

If it came to a shooting war my strategy wouldn’t be to defend Taiwan beyond air support and supplying them. I would focus the majority of naval forces on major shipping lanes. Starve the country of food and energy resources.

Ideally Taiwan could make any invasion a long and bloody affair, but victory would come by depriving the Chinese military of the ability to even use all their fancy new toys. China cannot feed itself, it does not have any significant energy reserves, and does not have the ability to operate very far from home for any significant period of time. That is our advantage.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.12  Kavika   replied to  Thrawn 31 @3.1.11    one month ago

China could do the same to Taiwan. They are very dependent on imports to survive. China is only 100 miles from Taiwan. 

China could close the South China Sea and that is a major shipping lane. How would you blockade China, would you attempt to close all shipping lanes in and out of China? The Chinese own one of the largest container carriers in the world, how would you stop them from moving in shipping lanes throughout the world. If you fired on one of their civilian vessels you would see an attack on all commercial shipping especially the Taiwanese shipping lines, Yang Ming and Evergreen. 

I don't see a shooting war as a winner for any of the combatants. Taiwan, China or the US. The losses to all parties could be catastrophic.

Sadly, I don't see the Chinese backing down over Taiwan.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.13  Kavika   replied to  zuksam @3.1.10    one month ago

For the US to try to isolate China would be a massive undertaking and very costly. Most of the world currently doesn't recognize Taiwan so it would be a change in their current policies. 

I totally understand that Taiwan does not want to be dominated or controlled by China, but IMO China isn't going to back down.  

Again, any shooting war will be catastrophic to all parties. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
3.1.14  Drakkonis  replied to  zuksam @3.1    one month ago
Given Taiwan's location it would be nearly impossible to protect them.

Doesn't matter. China can try to take Taiwan but in doing so, the rest of the world needs to make it too expensive to attempt.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
3.1.15  Drakkonis  replied to  Kavika @3.1.13    one month ago
For the US to try to isolate China would be a massive undertaking and very costly. Most of the world currently doesn't recognize Taiwan so it would be a change in their current policies. 

We don't need to isolate China. We only need to destroy their ability to project power. And we need not do it alone. Unless the rest of the world wishes to subject itself to Chinese hegemony that is the obstacle the Chinese need overcome. That is the reason they haven't invaded Taiwan already.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.16  Kavika   replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.15    one month ago
We don't need to isolate China. We only need to destroy their ability to project power. And we need not do it alone. Unless the rest of the world wishes to subject itself to Chinese hegemony that is the obstacle the Chinese need overcome. That is the reason they haven't invaded Taiwan already.

How do you suggest that the US destroy's China ability to project power with or without other countries ' help?

I don't believe that other countries will be rushing to attack/blockade China. China is now the number one recipient of foreign investment surpassing the US. Billions are being invested in China by other countries including the US. 

Not many countries are going to risk those types of investments to attack or blockage China. 

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
3.1.17  Ender  replied to  Kavika @3.1.16    one month ago

China has tentacles all over the world.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.18  Kavika   replied to  Ender @3.1.17    one month ago

China operates the ports at both ends of the Panama Canal and the one in the center of the passage. They also have a huge port in Sri Lanka and extensive operations throughout the South Pacific.

They are very strong in South America and Africa.

There are also pipelines for oil and gas running from Russia to China. 

As I stated earlier an all-out confrontation (shooting) would be a disaster.

 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
3.1.19  Drakkonis  replied to  Kavika @3.1.16    one month ago
China is now the number one recipient of foreign investment surpassing the US. Billions are being invested in China by other countries including the US. 

That's more or less the point. What the CCP is doing is obviously wrong but it doesn't matter to those who are only interested in profit. The CCP is empowered by financial entities. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1.20  Kavika   replied to  Drakkonis @3.1.19    one month ago
That's more or less the point. What the CCP is doing is obviously wrong but it doesn't matter to those who are only interested in profit. The CCP is empowered by financial entities. 

Of course, they are, it's nothing new and US corporations are right at the front of the investments in China. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4  Thrawn 31    one month ago

We either need to officially recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and commit to their defense, or let the pieces fall where they may. 

As asked above, are we willing to go to war with China over Taiwan? We will be at a serious disadvantage considering the Chinese have been modernizing, will be fighting right on their doorstep, and have been building their military specifically for conflicts within their sphere of influence (see their focus on land based anti-ship missiles). Frankly we aren’t really in a position for that type of a war, especially not if we cannot enlist the assistance of other nations in the region (Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, India...).

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
4.1  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4    one month ago

Japan, India and the Aussies are integrated into a plan to counter China, but that's about it.  Vietnam has nothing, and the Philippines will go whichever way the wind blows.

China has been working hard to remove the energy knife at it's throat.  Their economy needs lots of Middle East oil that is very vulnerable through natural nautical choke points that tankers have to pass through.  One or two well placed submarines or even a couple of destroyers can starve Chine of that oil.  In cooperation with Russia they are working on pipelines from Siberia to quench their energy thirst.  Those too are quite vulnerable even if they do reside within Russia.

War is expensive, dirty and nasty.  It's why it should be avoided at all costs.  China knows this as well as anyone.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4.1.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @4.1    one month ago

Indeed, as I pointed out in the above conversation, China is extremely vulnerable to import disruption. I mentioned food imports, but you are right, energy imports are just as (if not more immediately) important. China would have to win the war fast, if it starts moving from months to years their chances for victory become increasingly dim. 

That is our biggest advantage, energy and food resources at home, and the ability to project power around the globe.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
4.1.2  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4.1.1    one month ago

Morning Thrawn......

The growth of interdependency in trade is what has kept big wars like that of WWII from happening.  China needs oil, and food.  The rest of the world needs rare earth magnets that China has I think 95% of the worlds supply.   In short, the world needs everyone to cooperate.  

Can we accidentally fall into a shooting war with China like we did with Japan?  I sure as hell hope not.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4.1.3  Thrawn 31  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @4.1.2    one month ago

Morning, 

And I suppose it really all comes down to how serious each side is about any lines they draw. I too think we are way too interconnected at this point for a war to make any sense for either country, but I am not going to say that we won’t find ourselves in a WW1 style scenario where everyone has a chance to put the brakes on a conflict, but for whatever reason no one does. Regardless all would suffer if such a conflict takes place.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
4.2  zuksam  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4    one month ago
We either need to officially recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and commit to their defense

The UN should have done that long ago. As it stands we won't go to war to free Taiwan once China takes over. The Big Question is will We and the World let China get away with it or will We label them a rouge nation and isolate them. Unfortunately Modern China is very much a veneer, the Government is still Totalitarian and aside from the economy not much different than it was under Mao. If they take Taiwan the only hope is complete economic sanctions and military blockade that isolates them until they withdraw from Taiwan no matter how long it takes. We need to make this clear to China to avoid the problem because placating them has just emboldened them. We can't allow another Tibet, Tibet will never be free because there are more Chinese in Tibet now than Tibetans (6m Tibetans Vs. 7.5m Chinese). 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
4.3  Tacos!  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4    one month ago
We either need to officially recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and commit to their defense, or let the pieces fall where they may. 

I think it's hard to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation when they keep calling themselves "China." That has always been the core sticking point with the UN. Only one country gets to be "China."

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4.3.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  Tacos! @4.3    one month ago

I think “Big China” and “Little China” is a fair compromise.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
4.3.2  zuksam  replied to  Thrawn 31 @4.3.1    one month ago
I think “Big China” and “Little China” is a fair compromise.

We have a North and South Korea so why not. 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
4.3.3  Thrawn 31  replied to  zuksam @4.3.2    one month ago

And North and South Dakota. 

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
5  Ender    one month ago

I read that the country was next. Hong Kong is basically done. The only difference I read was Taiwan has it's own government already in place.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
5.1  zuksam  replied to  Ender @5    one month ago

Taiwan and China split in 1949 when Mao Zedong's Chinese Communist Party won the war against the Chinese Nationalist Party/Kuomintang (KMT) and Mao created the People's Republic of China on the mainland while the Chinese Nationalist Party/Kuomintang remained in Taiwan as The Republic of China. Actually it was The Peoples Republic of China that was the upstart because the Kuomintang (KMT) had existed since 1905 and supported the Xinhia revolution in 1911 and the founding of The Republic of China in 1912. They were the dominant ruling party between 1928 -1949 in the Republic of China which included the Mainland and Taiwan.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6  Buzz of the Orient    one month ago

Since I'm neither an American nor am I Chinese or a Chinese citizen, I really don't give a damn what happens to Taiwan, one way or the other, but since America thinks it has to rule the world I just want to post a couple of REMINDERS for Americans.  I do think, however, that sleeping dogs were remaining undisturbed until Trump's administration started to interfere with the status quo, which is what provoked Beijing.

1.  How did America feel about the Soviet Union planting missiles in Cuba?  Do you remember The Cuban Missile Crisis?

2.

  5fd959c1a31024adbda87026.jpeg

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Participates
6.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6    one month ago
I really don't give a damn what happens to Taiwan, one way or the other

[deleted]

but since America thinks it has to rule the worl

Somehow a discussion about China invading a country and subjugating it's people turns into a "blame America."

[deleted, taunting]

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Participates
6.1.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  Sean Treacy @6.1    one month ago

IT's now a COC violation to provide information about sources (at least when the source is
"effectively controlled by the  Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party:")

So in the name of truth, here's the information that will quickly be  censored because the CCP is protected here. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sean Treacy @6.1.2    one month ago

Why would comment 6.1.2 be flagged or censored?  It didn't contain a personal accusation or insult which would have been a CoC violation.  Were the Presidents' quoted words just conjecture no matter the source?

 
 
 
MAGA
Senior Guide
6.1.4  MAGA  replied to  Sean Treacy @6.1.2    one month ago

Sad but true.  Long live the Republic of China!  

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2  Tacos!  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
6.3  zuksam  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @6    one month ago
I really don't give a damn what happens to Taiwan, one way or the other, but since America thinks it has to rule the world I just want to post a couple of REMINDERS for Americans.

I look at it a different way. I don't care what past presidents of the USA said or implied 40 or more years ago and I don't care what the Chinese Communist Party wants, thinks, or demands. All I care about as it pertains to Taiwan is that they get what they want and what they want at this point in time is to remain a independent democracy. If there every came a day when the Taiwan people wanted to reunify with mainland China I may or may not think it's a good idea but I would agree it was their choice as it is their country. The point is nether the CCP or the USA has the right to dictate Taiwan's future. As it stands Taiwan wants our help and has asked for it because of China's "One China Principle" which is a direct threat to Taiwan's sovereignty and freedom and the USA is supporting Taiwan because for all our flaws we do try to support and defend Freedom and Democracy around the World. Maybe someday China will embrace Freedom and Democracy and then Taiwan won't feel threatened anymore.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  zuksam @6.3    one month ago

I would like you to know that I appreciate your thoughtful, mature, sincere and intelligent reply that did not require slander, demonizing and CoC violations to make your point. 

 
 
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