29 August 2012

The State of the U.S.-China Competition

James R. Holmes, “The State of the U.S.-China Competition,” in Thomas Mahnken, ed., Competitive Strategies for the 21st Century: Theory, History, and Practice (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012), 131-46.

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The U.S.-China strategic competition is a curious one in that it only one party, China, has competed in earnest since the contest’s inception in the mid-1990s. China has stolen an intellectual march on the United States while rapidly acquiring the means—primarily the maritime means—to execute a strategy that turns Chinese strengths to advantage while playing on American vulnerabilities. Energy and imagination, it seems, reside more with challengers to an established status quo than with its defenders. It behooves the United States to summon up some competitive energy of its own. …

For sources cited here, see:

Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s Evolving Anti-Access Approach: ‘Where’s the Nearest (U.S.) Carrier?’” Jamestown Foundation China Brief, 10.18 (10 September 2010): 5-8.

陆儒德 [Lu Rude], “美海上新战略浮出水面” [The New U.S. Maritime Strategy Surfaces], 人民海军 [People’s Navy], 27 November 2007, p. 3. Translated by Andrew Erickson, in “Assessing the New U.S. Maritime Strategy: A Window into Chinese Thinking,” Naval War College Review 61.4 (Autumn 2008): 35-71.

Andrew S. Erickson, Lyle J. Goldstein, and Carnes Lord, eds., China Goes to Sea: Maritime Transformation in Comparative Historical Perspective (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, July 2009).