Chinese Perceptions of and Responses to US Conventional Military Power

Published in: Asian Security, Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 136–154 (2018). doi: 10.1080/14799855.2017.1301931

Posted on RAND.org on May 14, 2021

by Michael S. Chase, Cristina L. Garafola, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga

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Chinese analysts view the US military not only as a model for emulation but also as a serious threat given its strengths in high tech weapons and equipment, power projection, and unparalleled ability to conduct information-intensive joint combat operations. Yet they also see many of the capabilities the US military relies upon to execute these operations—most notably forward bases, space capabilities, and computer networks and information technology systems—as potentially vulnerable to disruption. Accordingly, China has developed capabilities designed to deter or counter US military intervention in areas close to China. This poses two interrelated challenges for the United States: maintaining its military advantage in an era of rapid technological change and preserving deterrence against growing Chinese ambitions in Asia.

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