Key U.S. Military, Diplomatic Strategies Are Necessary to Balance China's Growing Regional Strength
Sep 2, 2014
Looking to the 2030-2040 time frame, U.S. policy and military strategy will need to strike a balance among maintaining a cooperative relationship with China, deterring Chinese aggression in regional disputes, and preparing for the possibility that China could become more assertive. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in preparing for these developments and for protecting and furthering U.S. interests in the region.
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For the next 20 or more years, the U.S. relationship with China will be the fulcrum on which the East Asian security order balances. As a result, U.S. policy should seek to prevent the emergence of an overtly hostile U.S.-China relationship while hedging against the possibility that one could nonetheless emerge. Such a strategy must balance between protecting U.S. interests in East Asia, where clashes with China's preferences are most likely, and cooperating with Beijing globally where the two sides have common objectives. Crafting and sustaining such a strategy will be a major challenge. It must have clear and realistic goals flowing from larger U.S. interests and strategy in the region, take into account the need for U.S.-China cooperation on a host of global security and economic matters, be flexible and responsive to Chinese moves, seek to channel Chinese conduct in favorable directions, and reflect the new realities of Asia resulting from China's increased military and economic power. The U.S. Army will have an important role to play in supporting U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific, primarily by providing training and support to allies and partners; helping to defend key facilities from enemy ground, air, and missile attack; providing key enabling support to the joint force; projecting expeditionary combat forces into the theater; contributing to new conventional deterrent options; and helping to encourage China's participation in cooperative military-to-military engagements.
The Evolving Strategic Environment
Chinese Interests and Strategy
U.S. Interests and Policies
U.S. Military Strategy and Posture
The U.S. Army in Asia
Differentiating Between a "Systemic Continuity" and a "Hegemonic" China
This research was sponsored by the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-8, Army Quadrennial Defense Review Office and conducted within the Strategy and Resources Program of the RAND Arroyo Center.
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