China could overwhelm US military in Asia in hours, Australian report says

The study by the United States Study Center, at the University of Sydney, in Australia, warned that America’s defense strategy in the Indo-Pacific region “is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis” and could struggle to defend its allies against China.

Continue reading “China could overwhelm US military in Asia in hours, Australian report says”

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Challenging the Pacific Powers: China’s Strategic Inroads in Context

This post is reprinted from Michael Green’s foreword to the newly released report from CSIS, China’s Maritime Silk Road: Strategic and Economic Implications for the Indo-Pacific Region.

December 20, 2018
December 20, 2018  |  AMTI BRIEF

Challenging the Pacific Powers: China’s Strategic Inroads in Context

 
The Pacific Islands are emerging as yet another arena of competition between China, the United States, and other powers. Beijing’s influence in the region has surged over the last decade alongside its rapidly growing aid and infrastructure investments. On the sidelines of the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea, President Xi Jinping held a high-level meeting with Pacific Island leaders, announcing new partnerships and signing many of them up as official participants in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. While China’s financial assistance has been mostly welcomed by Pacific nations, some recipient countries along with outside parties have begun to express concerns. Many of China’s larger infrastructure projects in the region have provoked the same anxieties as those seen in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, and elsewhere. These include concerns about unsustainable debt levels, political strings attached to Chinese aid, and, in some cases, the potential for China to use port and airport projects as a means of gaining military access to the region. Continue reading “Challenging the Pacific Powers: China’s Strategic Inroads in Context”

HOW SOUTHEAST ASIANS REALLY PERCEIVE THE QUADRILATERAL SECURITY DIALOGUE

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between India, the United States, Japan, and Australia (the Quad, sometimes referred to as the QSD) was created over a decade ago, but it has been given a new lease on life by more compelling strategic circumstances in the Indo-Pacific. Xi Jinping’s China actively challenges the existing order, while Donald Trump’s United States sends mixed signals on whether it even wants to maintain its de facto global leadership. More active participation by other major powers in Asia, joined with the United States, sounds like an uncontroversially good idea. But the debate about the revived Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad 2.0, has been centered on the negatives: the harm it could cause, rather than what it can really contribute. Those assumptions are based on perceptions (or more correctly, misperceptions), whereby the Quad is seen as too confrontational towards China, and challenging or sidelining the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discussions of security in the Indo-Pacific. These misperceptions have been so strong, that more ink has been spilled explaining what the Quad is not and what it does not intend, rather than on what it is and what objectives it has. Continue reading “HOW SOUTHEAST ASIANS REALLY PERCEIVE THE QUADRILATERAL SECURITY DIALOGUE”