China: March 5, 2000


China issued a blunt warning that if Taiwan does not start serious talks on reunification, it will face an invasion. This is, however, a political statement designed to influence the 18 March elections in Taiwan and not a real threat of military invasion. China has only enough troop lift to deposit 10,000 troops on Taiwan (assuming no intervention by the US Navy), and Taiwan has 400,000 troops. There is little doubt, however, that China would go to war with Taiwan if it declared independence, and Chinese military plans are focused on gaining air superiority over Taiwan in a conflict 5-10 years from now.--Stephen V Cole


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