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China's military buildup shows its ambitions go well beyond Taiwan

No one should believe that Beijing would be sated with the takeover of the island

| China
The Shandong, China's first fully homebuilt aircraft carrier, in Sanya in 2019: Large carriers are a quintessential element of a blue-water navy. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal at The Marathon Initiative, a strategic think tank based in Washington. He previously served as U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development and is the author of "The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict."

There is a great deal of focus these days on whether the U.S. and key allies such as Japan and Australia should commit to defending Taiwan if China attacks it. Many are wondering whether it would not be easier, and safer, just to cut off Taiwan. It is, after all, a small island that sits close to China and far from America.

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