The Costs of Conflict: The Impact on China of a Future War

  • October 01, 2001
  • Dr Andrew Scobell
  • Dr Andrew Scobell

It is increasingly important for Americans to think carefully about the vast complexities of the U.S.-China relationship, and the calculations that go into forming courses of action. The key question is: will China s so-called first priority of economic development and its resulting influence on domestic social stability curtail China s continuing reliance on military force as a means of exerting its influence? In addition, will economic development enhance China s comprehensive national power and thus contribute to some of China s more unhealthy goals, such as dominating the South China Seas, seizing Taiwan by force, or grabbing the Senkaku Islands from Japan? Is the China-Taiwan economic dynamic strong enough to offset military adventurism? How this dilemma is managed by the United States, China, and Taiwan will affect the future of Asia, and perhaps the world. We have tried to present in this book factual and analytical essays which stress the need for squarely addressing these questions.