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.
On the one hand, China’s economic-growth trajectory has strengthened regional cooperation through increased trade, better economic incentives, and closer commercial ties. On the other hand, China’s geopolitical and strategic assertiveness, coupled with its military modernization, is creating new security dilemmas and exacerbating existing problems.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one? Log in