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The Ambiguous “China Threat”

SINGAPORE – For more than a decade, China’s geopolitical ambitions, backed by the People’s Liberation Army’s ongoing modernization, have fueled a debate about whether regional security dilemmas and competition – particularly with the United States – will escalate. While most policy analysts agree that China’s expanding role in global economic and security affairs will shape the Asia-Pacific region’s strategic environment, no clear consensus has emerged on the form that this influence will take.

A closer look at the debate reveals why. Interpretations of the “China threat” reflect diverse perspectives and opposing viewpoints in Europe, the US, and Asian. As a result, the potential consequences of China’s rise remain ambiguous.