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China is already emerging as an economic powerhouse and fears of its becoming an expansionist military power have grown in recent years as China has rapidly built up its armed forces since 1989. It has also adopted a more assertive stance in several territorial disputes with its neighbors, arousing new security concerns for Asia as a whole.
When China tried to intimidate Taiwan's voters by firing missiles and conducting large-scale military exercises off its coasts in the period preceding the 1996 election, the U.S. dispatched two aircraft carrier battle groups to Taiwan. The prestige of all sides was fully engaged as powerful domestic interests demanded an assertive posture. Eventually, China adopted a more cautious stance and the crisis passed. But it marked the first instance of Chinese nuclear coercion of the U.S. and gave the "China threat" new credence in the U.S. and elsewhere in Asia.
|1||The Significance of the 1996 Crisis||3|
|2||Taiwan's "Drifting Away"||13|
|3||Taiwan's "Pragmatic Diplomacy"||27|
|4||Beijing's Objections to U.S. Policy||35|
|5||The Taiwan Issue in Chinese Domestic Politics||47|
|6||The U.S. Visa Decision and Beijing's Reaction||67|
|7||Beijing's Probing of U.S. Intentions||74|
|8||The December Legislative Yuan Elections||89|
|10||Were China's Leaders Surprised by U.S. Intervention?||111|
|12||Nuclear Coercion with Chinese Characteristics||127|
|13||The International Effect of the Crisis||134|
|14||Appraising the Gains and Costs of Beijing's Coercive Exercises||148|