01 August 2007

Assessing the Threat: The Chinese Military and Taiwan’s Security

Roy D. Kamphausen and Justin Liang, “PLA Power Projection: Current Realities and Emerging Trends,” pp. 111-52, chapter 5 in Michael D. Swaine, Andrew N. D. Yang, and Evan S. Medeiros, with Oriana Skylar Mastro, Assessing the Threat: The Chinese Military and Taiwan’s Security (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1 August 2007).

Since at least the early 1950s, the entire Asia-Pacific region has struggled with the complicated and complex relationship between China and Taiwan—today the Taiwan question is considered a potential flashpoint for a much larger international conflict.

Bringing together experts from the U.S. and Taiwan, Assessing the Threat provides a comprehensive look at the dangers of military escalation in the Taiwan Strait, the latest advances in capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army, and China’s security relationship with the United States and the Asia-Pacific. There is increasing concern that Beijing is steadily shifting the balance of power across the Taiwan Strait in its favor. Recent advances in Chinese air and naval power, along with changes in PLA doctrine, have the potential to weaken deterrence and destabilize the cross-strait military balance. At this critical juncture, there is no question that this issue requires sustained, detailed analysis, and that many measures can and should be taken to reduce the threat of conflict between China, Taiwan, and the United States. Assessing the Threat offers such analysis, as well as concrete suggestions and crisis management practices for government and military leaders in Washington, D.C., Beijing, and Taipei.