Key point: America and the Taiwanese people have been practicing for just this scenario.
With President Xi Jinping having consolidated his power at the 19th Party Congress, and the United States increasingly distracted at home, it may seem like a given that China will reestablish its predominance over the Asia-Pacific region. A new study casts doubt on this, however, arguing that Beijing doesn’t have the military power to defeat its neighbors. In fact, it probably can’t even conquer Taiwan.
A study published several years ago by Michael Beckley, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Tufts University, was published in the academic journal International Security. In the article, Beckley argues that China’s neighbors could thwart Chinese military aggression through anti-access/area denial strategies with only minimal U.S. assistance.
“My main finding is that there is a budding balance of military power in East Asia, which the United States can reinforce at moderate risk to U.S. forces,” Beckley writes in the article. “Furthermore, this balance of power will remain stable for years to come, because China cannot afford the power-projection capabilities it would need to overcome the A2/AD forces of its neighbors. The main reasons are that power projection forces are more expensive than A2/AD forces by an order of magnitude.”