CHINA AND TAIWAN:
China is still continuing their missile build-up
against Taiwan that began in the mid-1990'a. This to me says several things. First, China does not have any serious plan to invade and conquer Taiwan in the near future regardless of how Chinese Communist Party leaders or PLA generals periodicaly bluster whenever some prominent Taiwanese politician gets a tourist visa to the U.S. If they had such an intent their investment would be far better spent in acquiring some kind of airlift and sealift capacity. The Chinese have not done so because their boats and planes would get shot to pieces by the more technologically advanced Taiwanese air force. Secondly, it indicates that while China does not intend to conquer Taiwan, war remains a serious card to play because the missiles could inflict devastating losses on Taiwan's economy and civilian infrastructure without Taiwan being able to retaliate in-kind on a similar scale. Third, it may be China's attempt to acquire the ability to destroy any nuclear facilities should Taiwan resume the quest to build nuclear weapons, a program abandoned under U.S. pressure back in the days of the Nationalist dictatorship.
This is a backburner issue but one where the Bush administration may have to review upgrading arms sales to Taiwan with all the complications that would arise from such an action.