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China’s subtle strategy and the US’ dilemma

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In my last column on September 9, I discussed what the US’ problem was with China, that many of its expectations concerning China were not met; also that China was following an economic development line within the global process but outside the US impact, thus ruining US plans. In this column I will focus on the same subject, commenting on how China both in military and in those other fields regarded as “soft power” would become a problem for the US. While Turkey’s agenda is whirling around domestic politics and while foreign policy has focused on Syria, I think it is important to follow the transformation in global politics.

China’s global strategy

In none of Chinese official statements, in no report and documents it says China wants to replace US; also, Chinese experts and academics avoid even implications of anything that would mean this. Instead, they opt for expressions such as “multipolar world, protection of free trade” as the Chinese official discourse.

China both in speech and action, instead of directly challenging the US hegemonia, is preferring to weaken it from its margins, fill in every spot that the US has somehow left unattended. China prefers to set up its alliances accordingly. As well as military modernization and initiatives such as the “One Belt One Road” project, China is trying to upgrade its profile within international organizations and actively continue such activities as educational, cultural and economic aid. The Chinese administration has defined the 2000s as “strategic opportunity period,” and declared that they have passed on to creating the “Comprehensive National Power” phase.

Rapid Armament

The development that concerned the US the most is of course the increase in China’s defense spending in the past 20 years and especially its prioritization of the strengthening of its naval forces. China has set up a National Security Commission in 2013 and two years later issued its first strategy document. It has increased armament especially in critical fields.

Beside the old and limited capacity Varyag bought from Russia, it also built its own aircraft carrier, totaling the number to two. Even thought this seems very little compared to almost 20 aircraft carriers of the US, China has started building another one. In its air force, on one hand,........

© Duvar English