By Patrick Tyler

Hailed as ''absorbing'' by means of the New York Times and ''suspense-filled'' by way of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Tyler's A nice Wall grew to become an speedy vintage; a must-read for an individual serious about the complex and combative courting among the world's largest and the world's strongest countries. And nobody may well inform this tale larger than Patrick Tyler, veteran journalist and previous Beijing bureau leader of the New York Times. utilizing terrific unique reporting from his years in China; interviews with presidents, secretaries of kingdom, chinese language officers, and different key leaders; and 15,000 pages of newly declassified files, Tyler illuminates a dating frequently shrouded in secrecy, miscommunication, contention, fascination, and worry. A nice Wall is vital interpreting for a person drawn to China and an individual serious about the transferring dynamics of post-Cold warfare geopolitics.

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Sample text

With accurate ballistic missiles, China could knock out the eight military airfields on Taiwan, cratering the runways and preventing the island's air force from mustering opposition to a suffocating naval blockade. A blockade of Taiwan would threaten the interests of the United States and Japan. Clinton would be at pains not to challenge the closure of the sealanes around Taiwan, just as the United States was compelled to challenge Iran's attempt in 1988 to choke off the international sea-lanes in the Persian Gulf during the so-called Tanker War between Iran and Iraq.

There are indications that China is building fixed launch sites along its southeastern coast for a large missile force that could be brought to bear on Taiwan. Each increment in the military buildup is mirrored across the strait. Taiwan believes that it must maintain a military balance to thwart any surprise attack from the mainland and that it must maintain a strong measure of selfassurance to negotiate an acceptable form of coexistence. Critical to Taiwan's strategy will be the deployment of electronic warfare systems, missile defenses, and a robust air force to destroy China's missiles, warplanes, and air defenses at the outset of any conflict.

Still, the military chiefs, especially Shali, as Shalikashvili was known, wanted no one at the White House to be cavalier about real risk of an accident, surprise, or miscalculation. The general sat quietly, his hair close cut gray and chest covered with battle ribbons arrayed across the army green of his uniform. His open face had drained of its usual good humor as he sat upright, his demeanor speaking volumes about the sober assessment he had brought before the president. The joint chiefs had minced no words.

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