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China and the US risk accidental war over Taiwan

Need for both sides to show resolve could lead to a conflict nobody really wants

| China
Taiwanese F-16 fighter jet in foreground flies on the flank of a Chinese H-6 bomber on Feb. 10: Chinese acts of military intimidation will have to seem bigger and more dangerous.   © Taiwan Ministry of National Defense/AP

Minxin Pei is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and a nonresident senior fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

When 18 Chinese warplanes breached Taiwan's air defense identification zone last month, it was a further sign of rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait.

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