The military and economic growth of China is a cause for concern among many policy-makers and military planners in the United States. In particular, it is a regarded a threat to security and geopolitical interests of the country. O
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verall, American political and military leaders should accept the idea that international politics may soon become bipolar or many-polar which means that other countries, including China may acquire a higher degree of influence (Yeisley 2011, 57).
However, bipolar politics should not be treated as a form of rivalry or opposition because this attitude will eventually undermine the security policies of the United States as well as other countries.
First, it should be noted that in the early eighties China was viewed as a country that could counterbalance the Soviet influence in Asia. The United States helped the Chinese government modernize its army and adopt more advanced technologies (Pollack 2007, p. 638).
Yet, at that point the country could not match American military capabilities, and there were no noticeable threats to the interests of the United States. The situation began to change after the end of the Cold War. At that time, many policy-makers believed that the military and geopolitical supremacy of the United States could not be challenged.
The officials of the People’s Liberation Army began to pay attention to such aspects air force, the use of information technologies, missiles, intelligence, and naval strength (Pollack 2007, p. 642). In this regard, one can certainly mention China naval modernization. For example, the country acquired and constructed nuclear power submarines that have very low noise levels (O’Rourke 2012, p. 12).
Moreover, China purchased various types of air-craft carriers, frigates, and fighter jets (Bitzinger 2011, p. 12). Overall, this tendency indicates that China may soon become a state able to oppose the military force of the United States.
Thus, American policy-makers and military planners should develop their future strategies that can protect the interests of the country. Political scientists believe that both states should avoid retreating into self-protective positions (Pollack 2007, p. 649).
In other words, the governments of both countries should not assume that the United States and China will eventually come into military conflict. Such policy will only pose a greater threat to the security of both states as well as neighboring countries. The relations between the United States and China should not be considered as a zero-sum game in which one player can win only if the other one loses (Kaplan 2008, p. 189).
Instead, American politicians should strive for a form of partnership with China so that both countries were obliged to act as responsible stakeholders ensuring the security in Asia and other regions of the world.
For example, both these states want to limit the nuclear capabilities of North Korea (Richardson 2006, p. 129). This example shows that there are common objectives that the United States and China may want to achieve.
There are several reasons why military planners and political leaders should not place too much emphasis on the rivalry between these states. First, these countries are interdependent economic agents. China’s economic growth is largely determined by the presence of American investors and companies act as employers (Chen & Wolf 2001, p. 249).
The countries maintain active trade relations and it is not in the best interests to arouse hostilities. Moreover, one should bear in mind that China is the largest purchaser of U.S. Treasury notes; hence this states enables the deficit spending of the United States (Pollack 2007, p. 636). Thus, there is no economic incentive for these states not to become opponents.
Moreover, one should not forget that China military development can be hindered by several barriers. In comparison with the United States, this country has a lesser number of military bases overseas. Hence, it will be difficult for them to maintain their military strength beyond Chinese borders.
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Additionally, other countries such as Japan, Russia, or South Korea also invest into their military capabilities. Hence, it will be difficult for China to become a military hegemony in Asia (Sciubba 2012, p. 55). These are the main obstacles that slow down the military expansion of China.
Additionally, the United States can expand its military presence in Asia. For instance, one can mention the military base in Guam. This island and military base is important for such activities as surveillance, intelligence, and supporting combatant forces in emergency situations (Cacas 2011, p. 34; Kan 2011, p 1).
So, the United States can limit the military power of China and reduce the risk of possible aggression by increasing its presence in the region.
On the whole, this discussion indicates that international politics may not be always dominated only by the United States. Other countries such as China can also increase their military and economic capabilities. However, this situation should not be regarded as rivalry or opposition because this policy only increases threats to security.
Instead, the United States should identify the goals and objectives that both countries want to pursue, for instance, economic prosperity and security in the region. Secondly, the country should increase its military presence in Asia without declaring hostility toward China. The combination of these strategies will secure the influence of the United States and reduce possible risks of confrontation.
Bitzinger, R 2011, ‘Modernising China’s Military, 1997-2012’, China Perspectives, vol. 4 no. 1, pp. 7-15.
Cacas, M 2011, ‘Small Island Has a Big Role’, Signal, vol. 66 no. 2, pp. 33-35.
Chen, S & Wolf, C 2001, China, the United States, and the Global Economy, Rand Corporation, New York.
Kan, S 2011, ‘Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments’, Congressional Research Service: Report, pp. 1-11.
Kaplan, M 2008, System and Process in International Politics, ECPR Press, New York.
O’Rourke, R 2012. China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, <https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33153.pdf>.
Pollack, J 2007, Chinese Military Power: What Vexes the United States and Why?. Web.
Richardson, S 2006, Perspectives on U.S. Policy Toward North Korea: Stalemate Or Checkmate?, Lexington Books, Chicago.
Sciubba, J 2010, The Future Faces of War: Population and National Security. ABC-CLIO, London.
Yeisley, M 2011, ‘Bipolarity, Proxy Wars, and the Rise of China’, Strategic Studies Quarterly, vol. 5 no. 4, pp. 75-91.