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August 19, 2004

China Expands Strategic Bomber Fleet « China/Taiwan »

I'm not sure I believe it, but Global Security's website is reporting that China has formalized plans to acquire Russian Tu-22M Backfire bombers.

The acquisition would significantly increase stand-off ranges against the US Navy in the event of a conflict over/invasion of Taiwan.

Please understand (if you don't already), China has no plans to attack or get involved in an extended war with the United States. The United States' policy toward China and Taiwan is somewhat schizophrenic, agreeing that Taiwan is part of China on hand but promising to defend Taiwan from an invasion by China on the other. China apparently plans on exploiting that ambiguity by presenting a strong enough defense to make defending Taiwan costly in terms of US military lives. China seems to hope that they can capture and consolidate Taiwan before the United States could summon up enough political will to get involved, and present the world with a fait accompli.

They could do that without these aircraft, and the addition of the aircraft themselves doesn't make this scenario appreciably more likely...but if true, it is simply one more indication of the plans China has for the future.

Posted by Nathan at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)
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