29 March 2014

Keeping the Near Seas Peaceful: American and Allied Mission, Asia-Pacific Interest

Andrew S. Erickson, “Keeping the Near Seas Peaceful: American and Allied Mission, Asia-Pacific Interest,” in Richard Pearson, ed., East China Sea Tensions, Perspectives and Implications (Washington, DC: Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, 2014), 23-30.

By any measure, China’s economy and defense budget are second in size only to those of the United States. China is already a world-class military power—albeit with a regional, not global, focus.

China is achieving rapid but uneven military maritime and aerospace development, pursuing proximate military-technological priorities with disproportionate success. Particularly since the 1995-96 Taiwan Strait crisis and 1999 Belgrade embassy bombing, China has progressed rapidly in aerospace and maritime development, greatly facilitating its military modernization. The weapons and systems that China is developing and deploying mirror its geostrategic priorities. Here, distance matters greatly: after domestic stability and border control, Beijing worries most about its immediate periphery, where its unresolved disputes with neighbors and outstanding claims lie primarily in the maritime direction.

Accordingly, while it would vastly prefer pressuring concessions to waging war, China is already capable of threatening potential opponents’ military forces should they intervene in crises concerning island and maritime …

New Book Released: “East China Sea Tensions, Perspectives and Implications”

March 26, 2014

In conjunction with the Foundation’s March 25, 2014 Tokyo symposium on maritime disputes in the East China Sea, the Mansfield Foundation has released “East China Sea Tensions, Perspectives and Implications.” This publication includes ten essays on issues related to maritime and territorial disputes by experts including participants in the Foundation’s first “Symposium on East China Sea Tensions,” held in Washington, D.C., February 12, 2014.