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Crossover Point: How China’s Naval Modernization Could Reverse the United States’ Strategic Advantage

Shane C. Tayloe

Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, 2017, vol. 4, issue 1, 1-25

Abstract: Nearly every important measure of the US–China competition demonstrates broad-based US primacy but trend lines that favour China. The military aspects of the intensifying competition for hegemony will be borne chiefly by navies operating in the increasingly crowded Indo-Pacific—the great artery of global trade. Primacy will belong to the power that controls the sea. China’s Navy, which is in the late stages of a significant modernization effort, poses an acute challenge to the US. Without vigorous engagement and investment in deterrent capability, the US may lose its regional predominance, presenting grave strategic consequences. This article explains the strategy animating Chinese actions and makes the case for why continued American leadership is benign and beneficial. The hyperbolic assertions regarding the defence balance, familiar to China watchers, are tempered by often overlooked, but important, indicators including comparative order of battle, military logistics capabilities, global basing infrastructure, alliance military power, personnel quality (including per-soldier spending, outfitting and education), stocks of modern military equipment and perhaps most importantly projectable military force.

Keywords: China; Peoples Liberation Army Navy; Pacific security; Asia; naval modernization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1177/2347797016689217

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