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"China's Use of Force, 1950-96, and Taiwan"

"China's Use of Force, 1950-96, and Taiwan"

Journal Article, International Security, volume 26, issue 2, pages 103-131

Fall 2001

Author: Allen S. Whiting

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security; Quarterly Journal: International Security



How likely is China to use force to achieve its political aims? Can we predict Chinese actions against Taiwan based on Beijing's past behavior? To shed light on these questions, Allen Whiting of the University of Arizona examines eight Chinese military engagements from 1950 to 1996 that involved the United States, the Soviet Union, or their proxies. In these conflicts, says Whiting, China was able to balance risk taking and risk management to avoid either defeat or escalation by its opponents. Beijing also "gave priority to political goals of deterrence and coercive diplomacy" in pursuing its objectives. Although a variety of contingency factors makes predictions about Chinese behavior toward Taiwan virtually impossible, Whiting does suggest that China's past willingness to use force could cast "a worrisome shadow over the next decade."


For more information about this publication please contact the IS Editorial Assistant at 617-495-1914.

For Academic Citation:

Whiting, Allen S. "China's Use of Force, 1950-96, and Taiwan." International Security 26, no. 2 (Fall 2001): 103-131.

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