“One China” and the Military Balance on the Taiwan Strait

  • Richard D. FisherJr.


Considerations of the military balance across the Taiwan Strait remains critical to the consideration of the issue of “One China,” as force of arms remains a key tool for Beijing to achieve its goal of unification under its terms. During this decade, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could achieve comfortable superiority in almost all military indices versus Taiwan. The PLA may even for the first time be able to mount a credible invasion threat although at the same time able to deter US intervention. Although the issue of Taiwan’s future relationship with China is one that most residents on Taiwan would prefer be settled peacefully, China’s military buildup against the island is creating pressures, limiting Taiwan’s ultimate room for strategic maneuver, and raising the stakes for Washington. In Taiwan, the fact of the PLA’s continuous buildup exposes the insufficiency of Taiwan’s defensive preparations, as it also exposes weaknesses in the Pan-Blue arguments that it can ensure Taiwan’s security and “enshrine” the status quo with China. Finally, the PLA’s buildup challenges assumptions that the United States can always successfully save Taiwan from Chinese attack, an assumption that is critical for defense decisions in Taiwan, and for Washington to exert leverage in Taipei.


Democratic Progressive Party Ballistic Missile Defense Spending Aircraft Carrier Information Warfare 
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Copyright information

© Peter C. Y. Chow 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard D. FisherJr.

There are no affiliations available

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