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Militarisation in East Asia. Considerations from the Works of Thucydides and Alfred Thayer Mahan

  • Couverture cartonnée
  • 72 Nombre de pages
"I believe China seeks hegemony in East Asia. Simple as that." Such were the words Admiral Harry Harris Commander U.S. Pacific Com... Lire la suite
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"I believe China seeks hegemony in East Asia. Simple as that." Such were the words Admiral Harry Harris Commander U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) used to describe Chinese actions in East Asia. After two decades of effort towards modernization, it seems that the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is in a position to challenge US primacy in East Asia. The PLAN has developed both in terms of capability and strategy through its emphasis on Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) and blue-water forces, embracing Alfred Thayer Mahan's ideas on access and sea control. What we are witnessing in China is a shift in thinking: from a continental viewpoint to a maritime one. After a decade of wars in the Middle East, the US has been taken by surprise. Today it looks at China's naval build-up as threatening. The US has taken steps to refocus its attention on East Asia and meet the challenge of a contested sea. The dynamics of the Sino-American relation will also be examined through the lens of Thucydides and his ideas of great power. This study discusses Mahan's and Thucydides' influence on Chinese and American ways of thinking and whether it will impact the future trajectory of the Sino-American relationship. The main developments in capability and strategy on both sides will also be examined.

Échantillon de lecture
Text Sample: Chapter 3 A New US Strategy: This chapter will focus on the ways that the US is seeking to maintain its advantage in East Asia. Much of what the US has been doing is reacting to Chinese actions by both covering specific weaknesses and maintaining a technological and quantitative edge. This chapter will also briefly examine the likelihood of war between China and the US. 3.1. Between Engagement and Containment: When it comes to China, the US tries to strike a balance between engagement and containment. It either collaborates with China on various issues that are of mutual interest (engagement) or recognises China as a rival power, taking steps to contain its influence. According to Mearsheimer (2014), as China's economy grows, it is only natural that it attempts to dominate Asia the way the US dominates the Western Hemisphere (Mearsheimer does not believe in China's 'peaceful rise'). The US thus has no other option but to start viewing China as a peer competitor, something it has not had since 1989 (Mearsheimer, 2014 360-361). Mearsheimer speculates that a more powerful China will enact its own version of the Monroe Doctrine in Asia (Ibid. 371). Likewise, China's neighbours also view its rise with suspicion resulting in a region becoming increasingly divided into blocs; the Chinese bloc, the US bloc and, to a lesser extent, a neutral bloc. The US, Mearsheimer speculates, is building a coalition against China as a precaution (Ibid. 384). One can easily see the Thucydides Trap in action here, where even a confrontation between China and one of its neighbours might draw the US into conflict. Would the US stand by idly if China openly took aggressive action against Taiwan or the Philippines? Furthermore, the situation is made even more difficult due to the fact that, as a region, East Asia has many potential flashpoints ranging from North Korea, Taiwan, the South China Sea and the Senkaku Islands, not to mention the important shipping routes that pass through the region. The potential for skirmishes is certainly present and has happened in the past (in 1974 and 1988 between China and Vietnam). The fact that any potential conflict will be fought at sea (North Korea being the only exception) also makes nuclear escalation less likely but conventional skirmishes more probable (Ibid. 397). In this case, what the US is doing is trying to stop Chinese salami slicing, trying to contain China and prevent its expansion into the Pacific and Indian Oceans through friendly ties with its neighbours and a ring of bases [...]. Mearsheimer and China watchers also recognise that there are factors that make war less likely; the interdependence that China and the US share is one of them. However, these must not be overemphasised. Economic interdependency, the argument goes, will never lead to war, thus China and the US will not follow this path. Historically, this has not always been the case, with World War I being the most cited example to discredit economic interdependence (Gartzke and Lupu, 2014). Economic reasons can push for war; if China believes it is in a position of sufficient strength to take over the South China Sea to exploit its large underwater resources, war might look worthwhile. War also does not stop enemies from trading with each other (Mearsheimer, 2014: 410). Other arguments regarding China's peaceful rise include the idea that China has had a largely peaceful history of coexisting with its neighbours. This might take into account the short-term history of the last 200 years when China was relatively weak, but throughout its history China was no less ruthless than any other imperial power (Cohen, 2007: 683-684). Whilst the Chinese are likely to speak about the century of humiliation, they are less keen to speak about their previous conquests and brutality. The problem with containment is the fact that this might in itself lead to war; a small incident might provide a spark. While engaging with China has not y

Détails sur le produit

Titre: Militarisation in East Asia. Considerations from the Works of Thucydides and Alfred Thayer Mahan
Auteur:
Code EAN: 9783960671213
ISBN: 978-3-96067-121-3
Format: Couverture cartonnée
Genre: Médias et communication
nombre de pages: 72
Poids: 131g
Taille: H4mm x B220mm x T155mm
Année: 2017