In this photo taken on Dec. 5, 2012, a fishing vessel passes docked navy ships in the naval base harbor in Suao, Taiwan. This base and Taiwan in general are critical elements in what mi

 

              In this photo taken on Dec. 5, 2012, a fishing vessel passes docked navy ships in the naval base harbor in Suao, Taiwan. This base and Taiwan in general are critical elements in what mi
In this photo taken on Dec. 5, 2012, a fishing vessel passes docked navy ships in the naval base harbor in Suao, Taiwan. This base and Taiwan in general are critical elements in what military strategists call the "first island chain," a string of territory extending from the Korean peninsula to the southern Philippines that also includes the disputed islets - known in China as the Diaoyutai and in Japan as Senkaku. While most explanations for the territorial rows focus on nationalistic pride and access to rich fishing grounds or potentially large reserves of oil and gas, the first island chain once figured prominently in strategic calculations - and some say still has strategic relevance today. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)