While the American military is consumed with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, global terrorism, and the threat of nuclear proliferation in North Korea and Iran, China is presenting a new and strategically different security concern to America in the western Pacific, as well as to Japan and Taiwan, Pentagon and military officials say.
China, these officials say, has smartly analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the American military and focused its growing defense spending on weapons systems that could exploit the perceived weaknesses in case the United States ever needs to respond to fighting in Taiwan.
This rapid military modernization is the major reason President George W. Bush has warned the European Union not to lift its arms embargo against China.
A decade ago, U.S. military planners dismissed the threat of a Chinese attack against Taiwan as a 160-kilometer infantry swim. Now, the Pentagon believes that China has purchased or built enough amphibious assault ships, submarines, fighter jets and short-range missiles to pose an immediate threat to Taiwan and to any American force that might come to Taiwan's aid.
Read the whole thing.