The last time there was a Taiwan crisis, China’s military was outmatched by U.S. forces. Not now.
Since the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait crisis, China’s military has become formidable, raising the risk in any confrontation between Beijing, Washington and Taipei.
The last time tensions soared between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan, the U.S. Navy sent warships through the Taiwan Strait and there was nothing China could do about it.
Those days are gone.
China’s military has undergone a transformation since the mid-1990s when a crisis erupted over Taiwan’s president visiting the U.S., prompting an angry reaction from Beijing.
China halts cooperation with US in military dialog, climate talksAug. 5, 202200:27“It’s a very different situation now,” said Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration. “It’s a much more contested and much more lethal environment for our forces.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping, unlike his predecessors, now has serious military power at his disposal, including ship-killing missiles, a massive navy and an increasingly capable air force. That new military might is changing the strategic calculus for the U.S. and Taiwan, raising the potential risks of a conflict or miscalculation, former officials and experts say.