The lie of the land: How geography shapes national destiny

Is a country’s fate determined by its terrain? Three new books examine the links between territory, power and conflict

A view of snow-capped mountains on the Tibetan plateau.PHOTO: ST FILE

(FINANCIAL TIMES) - Admiral John Aquilino, the US naval leader who is scheduled to take charge of America's military forces in the Indo-Pacific, recently issued a stark warning about a possible future Chinese invasion of Taiwan. "This problem is much closer to us than most think," he said during congressional confirmation hearings, implying that China's President Xi Jinping could attempt to retake the East Asian island by force within the next five years.

His words served only to underline rising alarm among Western military thinkers that Taiwan could quickly be where the new cold war turns suddenly hot.

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