In 1995, China intended to bring Taiwan's political leadership to heel with a series of naval, air and missile force maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait. Chinese military exercises have broad support among both military and civilian officials, who believe that Taipei is forsaking its adherence to the principle of "one China" and pursuing world recognition as an independent nation. Western military analysts and diplomats fear that events could spiral out of control in the Taiwan Strait, leading to deliberate or accidental military conflict between China and Taiwan. This in turn would create dangerous political and military choices for the United States. Open conflict would also force Japan and South Korea to weigh their own responses since US military units on their soil could become involved in resupplying Taiwan. At risk also is the economic integration between the economies of Taiwan and China, where Taiwanese businessmen have invested $20 milliard in mainland industries, part of a booming trading relationship that would be costly to unhinge.
Continued Chinese military pressure is likely to lead to requests from Taiwan to its allies in the US Congress for major new arms sales, including submarines and ballistic missile defense systems.