China, the United States, and 21st-Century Sea Power

Defining a Maritime Security Partnership

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Overview

China’s reaction to the United States’ new maritime strategy will significantly impact its success, according to three Naval War College professors. Based on the premise that preventing wars is as important as winning wars, this new U.S. strategy, they explain, embodies a historic reassessment of the international system and how the United States can best pursue its interests in cooperation with other nations. The authors contend that despite recent turbulence in U.S.-China military relations, substantial shared interests could enable extensive U.S.-China maritime security cooperation, as they attempt to reach an understanding of “competitive coexistence.” But for professionals to structure cooperation, they warn, Washington and Beijing must create sufficient political and institutional space.

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