×

China's Unarmed Arms Race

Beijing's Maritime Build-Up Isn't What It Appears

It’s tempting to conclude, on the basis of China’s recent assertiveness in its near seas, that a naval conflict in Asia is inevitable. Indeed, judging from the military procurement programs initiated by some of China’s neighbors in response -- not to mention Washington’s decision to rebalance its military efforts toward Asia as part of its so-called pivot -- that seems to be precisely what the United States and its allies in the region have concluded.

But before blaming Beijing for initiating an arms race, it’s worth taking a closer look at its policies. Anyone who does will discover that China’s assertiveness usually isn’t armed at all.

First, a little context. China is currently undergoing a huge strategic shift to the maritime domain. This should be seen as the natural progression of a developing power as it moves from seeing itself as a land

Loading, please wait...

This article is a part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, please subscribe.

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue