This Strategic Studies Institute paper provides a timely assessment of the geostrategic significance of Asia-Pacific. The monograph is also a thought-provoking analysis of the U.S. strategic shift toward the region and its implications. The author judiciously offers the following key points. First, Asia-Pacific, which covers China, Northeast Asia, and Southeast Asia, is a region with complex currents. On the one hand, there is an unabated region-wide drive for economic development that has been pushing Asia-Pacific forward for decades. On the other, this region is troubled with, aside from many other conflicts, unsettled maritime disputes that have the potential to trigger wars between and among Asia-Pacific nations.
Second, on top of these mixed currents, China and the United States compete intensely over a wide range of vital interests in this region. For better or for worse, the U.S.-China relationship is becoming a defining factor in the relations among the Asia-Pacific nations. It is complicating the prospects for peace and the risks of conflict in this region, conditioning the calculation of national policies among Asia-Pacific nations and, to a gradual extent, influencing the future of global international relations.
Third, the U.S. strategic shift toward Asia-Pacific is, as President Obama puts it, not a choice but a necessity. Although conflicts elsewhere, especially the ones in the Middle East, continue to draw U.S. attention and consume U.S. foreign policy resources, the United States is turning its attention to China and Asia-Pacific.
Fourth, in the mid-2000s, the United States and China made an unprecedented strategic goodwill exchange and agreed to blaze a new path out of the tragedy that often attends great power transition. It was a giant step in the right direction. However, it did not set U.S.-China relations forever. The two great powers can still encroach upon each other's core interests and overreact to each other's moves. In addition, the United States is also indirectly and deeply involved in many of China's disputes with its neighbors. These conflicts could lead China and the United States into unwanted wars.
In addition to the China paper, this unique collection of American military documents provides a special view of recent Chinese military and policy developments. Contents: China Shaping the Operational Environment - A Disciple on the Path of Deception and Influence * The "People" in the PLA: Recruitment, Training, and Education in China's 80-Year-Old Military * China's Maritime Quest * The PLA At Home and Abroad: Assessing The Operational Capabilities of China's Military * Arms Sales To Taiwan: Enjoy The Business While It Lasts * China's Role In The Stabilization Of Afghanistan * The Coming of Chinese Hawks * Turkey and China: Unlikely Strategic Partners. This ebook also includes the annual U.S. intelligence community worldwide threat assessment in Congressional testimony by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.