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Awakening a sleeping lion: The US-China Cold War is upon us

20 6 21
29.11.2018

“China is leveraging military modernization, influence operations, and predatory economics to coerce neighboring countries to reorder the Indo-Pacific region to their advantage,” a recent summary of the 2018 US National Defense Strategy states.

“As China continues its economic and military ascendance, asserting power through an all-of-nation long-term strategy, it will continue to pursue a military modernization program that seeks Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near-term and displacement of the United States to achieve global preeminence in the future. The most far-reaching objective of this defense strategy is to set the military relationship between our two countries on a path of transparency and non-aggression.”

Interestingly enough, the Pacific region is a key location in which the US and China may eventually collide in an inevitable showdown, though the media appears to rarely focus on the topic. According to the National Defense Strategy, the Indo-Pacific region is number one in a three-region list of key areas the US will focus on competing in to “deter aggression.”

Just how much of a threat does China pose to Washington and its allies?

Well, if recent commentary is anything to go by, China is considered so much of a threat to the US and its allies in the Pacific region that Australia is lamenting its AUD$195 billion (US$143 billion) defense spending plan as being insufficient to combat China’s growing influence.

Australia and its regional allies became alarmed earlier this year when reports began emerging that China was seeking a strategic military base in Vanuatu. Both China and Vanuatu heavily disputed the claim, and the issue appeared to fall off the media radar relatively quickly when the story could not be further substantiated.

READ MORE: Military base rumors stoke Western allies’ fear of losing the Pacific to China

Then again, the Australian just recently reported that China has begun negotiating to fund the redevelopment of a coral-choked port in Samoa, a move which has only irked Australia even further due to its potential economic and strategic implications for both Canberra and Washington in the region.

According to the Australian:

“China’s involvement has raised red flags with military analyst­s, who warned that the port could lead to a ‘salient right........

© RT.com