China was outmatched by the U.S. in the last Taiwan crisis. Not this time.

China’s military has undergone a transformation since the mid-1990s when a crisis erupted over Taiwan’s president visiting the U.S., prompting an angry reaction from Beijing.

“It’s a very different situation now,” said Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration. “It’s a much more contested and much more lethal environment for our forces.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping, unlike his predecessors, now has serious military power at his disposal, including ship-killing missiles, a massive navy and an increasingly capable air force. That new military might is changing the strategic calculus for the U.S. and Taiwan, raising the potential risks of a conflict or miscalculation, former officials and experts say…

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) back then was a low-tech, slow-moving force that was no match for the U.S. military, with a lackluster navy and air force that could not venture too far from China’s coastline, former and current U.S. officials said.

“They realized they were vulnerable, that the Americans could sail aircraft carriers right up in their face, and there was nothing they could do about it,” said Matthew Kroenig, who served as an intelligence and defense official in the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.