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Special feature: The Modernisation of the People's Liberation Army and its Repercussions

Taiwan’s Paradoxical Perceptions of the Chinese Military

More Capable but Less Threatening?
Arthur S. Ding and Paul A. Huang
p. 43-51


Against the backdrop of China’s thriving economic development since the 1980s, the rapid modernisation of the People’s Liberation Army has always been Taiwan’s top national security concern. This article argues that, despite the military threat posed by the Chinese military to Taiwan, China’s changing policy toward the island, combined with the US determination to remain the leading power in the Asia-Pacific region, and the realisation of the complexity of Taiwan politics by the Chinese leadership, have led Taiwanese analysts to perceive the likelihood of conflict as decreasing. This constitutes a major perceptual contrast between long-term threat and short-term stability in cross- Strait relations.

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Electronic reference

Arthur S. Ding and Paul A. Huang, « Taiwan’s Paradoxical Perceptions of the Chinese Military », China Perspectives [Online], 2012/4 | 2011, Online since 30 December 2014, connection on 23 May 2017. URL :

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About the authors

Arthur S. Ding

Research Fellow and Acting Director, Institute of International Relations (IIR) at National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taipei, Taiwan.

Paul A. Huang

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, IIR, NCCU.

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