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This book examines the use of Chinese military force abroad as in Korea (1950), Vietnam (1979), and the Taiwan Strait (1995-1996) and domestically, as during the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and in the 1989 military crackdown in Tiananmen square. Scobell warns that a "Cult of Defense" disposes Chinese leaders to rationalize all military deployment as defensive. However, changes in the People's Liberation Army's doctrine and capabilities over the past two decades suggest that China's 21st Century leaders may use military force more readily than their predecessors.

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