Andrew S. Erickson, “A Coming Confrontation With the U.S. Over Taiwan?,” review of John Wilson Lewis and Xue Litai, Imagined Enemies: China Prepares for Uncertain War (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006), Naval War College Review, 60.4 (Autumn 2007): 139-40.
This sophisticated Chinese-language research, based on numerous original sources and interviews, completes Lewis and Xue’s authoritative series on China’s military development. Other books in the series, all published by Stanford University Press, are China’s Strategic Seapower: The Politics of Force Modernization in the Nuclear Age (1994), Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War (1993), and China Builds the Bomb (1988). In this fourth and final volume, the authors (both scholars affiliated with Stanford) begin by surveying Chinese military culture and history. Part Two elucidates China’s military decision making. The third part examines China’s recent efforts to modernize its strategic rocket forces and air force. Finally, the authors assess the degree to which China’s military has met the strategic imperatives of its ancient strategists and modern leaders.