China: August 9, 2002

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The most recent round of threats between China and Taiwan over Taiwan's independence raises the issue of how far the US would go in defending Taiwan if China did attack. China has said outright, and often, that it would attack Taiwan if Taiwan made to much of being independent. The US has sent warships into the waters between Taiwan and China many times. But in the 1990s, China began to threaten attacks on US warships, and the US has kept it's aircraft carriers out of the area since then. The new warplanes and warships China is buying from Russia were originally designed to attack US navy task forces. These weapons have never been put to the test, but the threats have been made. If US warships move too close to the Chinese coast, the Chinese may feel compelled to put up or shut up.

 

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