Taiwan might first play a pivotal role in China's transformation into an oceanic great power a necessary mutation if China is to pursue its economic rise and access the status of major power. Between China and the Pacific Ocean lies a vast maritime periphery composed by the South Sea, the East Sea and the Yellow Sea, a first island chain composed by the Japanese archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands and the Philippines archipelago, and a second island chain composed by the Bonin Islands, Iwo Jima and the Mariana Islands. Among the military options available China, an invasion of Taiwan would present the distinct advantage of providing a definitive solution to the Taiwan issue. China's main problem in the Taiwan Strait is not so much to deal with Taiwanese reluctance or crush the island's resistance as it is to cope with a probable US intervention should China take a "non-peaceful" initiative.