China’s significant investment in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could indicate that the country is poised to radically change the established order and fight the US over Taiwan. To stop China, the US must quickly ramp up its troops in the Pacific, maintain bilateral agreements in the area to secure access to bases in the event of a confrontation, and expedite the delivery of weapons and equipment bought by Taiwan. The United States considers Taiwan to be of critical geopolitical importance. Its vibrant democracy is one of the world’s most free civilizations. Taiwan is the “cork in the bottle” for Japan, as US Navy Adm. Ernest King put it during WWII. The maritime tie-downs of Japan and the Republic of Korea will be controlled by whoever controls Taiwan. Control of Taiwan by China will give it great power over both Japan and Korea, dramatically altering the geopolitical calculus in East Asia and allowing China to Finlandize both countries, which it has long desired.
The Crossroads of Special Operations