Murphy's Law: The Chinese Dilemma

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December 6, 2007: China recently held military exercises off its southeast coast. They included naval, air and ground forces. Despite the fearsome appearance of all this, China isn't looking for a fight . But they do have armed neighbors who might want one (Vietnam, a reunited Korea, Japan, even Russia), and there's always Taiwan, which is really the only point of dispute with the U.S. China knows it's the biggest nation in the region, with lots of dormant disputes with powerful neighbors. And for most of the last two centuries, China has been unable to defend itself effectively. Even their nuclear weapons are more of a bargaining chip than an effective defense. Until quite recently, the basic Chinese military defense was a massive guerilla war, which would cede large portions of the country to any invader. From China's point of view, their military buildup is long overdue, and way behind schedule. Most Chinese are perplexed at foreign anxiety over growing Chinese military power.

 


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