US risks ‘Suez moment’ in a Taiwan war

MANILA – In The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, the historian Paul Kennedy argued that “there is [often] a noticeable ‘lag time’ between the trajectory of a state’s relative economic strength and the trajectory of its military/territorial influence.”

Yet China has been a gigantic outlier to the theory, having rapidly modernized the world’s largest armed forces amid decades of sustained economic growth. If anything, Beijing is enhancing both its asymmetric and conventional military capabilities at once.

Over the past three decades, the million-strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has expanded its fleet of fifth-generation fighter jets, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines while consolidating its overall Command Control Communication Computer and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, or C4ISR.

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