The emerging global power of China and its challenge to U.S. military strength in East Asia pose fundamental questions about the nature and goals of Chinese policy for the long term, and how the United States should craft a strategy both in its best interests and in those of its friends and allies, not just in the region, but worldwide. The United States may easily slip into a position of action and reaction with regard to increased Chinese military capabilities and operations seemingly intent on challenging the United States. China is overtly demonstrating what Chinese official writings convey—namely, that the American East Asian presence will be challenged and that China sees itself as the preeminent Asian power, with an intent to create a hegemony that will in due course extend to the outer island chains of the Western Pacific.
A Strategy in East Asia That Can Endure
The key to checking Chinese attempts at Asian maritime muscle-flexing lies with the sea—and a U.S. approach based on regional partnerships.
By Anthony Wells