The Big Story: Security Review Commission’s Hearing on China’s Military
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission conducted a hearing on ‘Assessing China’s Global Military Ambitions,’ on June 20th, 2019. Serving officers, researchers and scholars working on the PLA, were deputed as a panel before the commission. The purpose of the hearing was to assess China’s rising military might and its impact on the US, US’s allies and regional partners. The panel came up with several recommendations on how to deal with the rising military power of China.
China plans to dominate the Indo-Pacific region. This region is the starting point for China to become a global power. The Indo-Pacific is significant for China because it is the world’s most economically important region. Economic productivity and scale lie at the root of all forms of state power. If China can control this region, then it will have a commanding power over the world. However, China’s control in this region would be hegemonic, rather than imperial. China is creating an order where states would have to get approvals from the hegemon to ratify their own strategic decisions. For establishing this, China needs a world class military.
“China’s military plays an absolutely central role because many states have a very great and deep interest in checking China’s bid for hegemony. To emphasize, this interest is very strong; any state that wants to prevent Chinese hegemony…has a most powerful incentive to promote the efficacy of such (anti-China) a coalition,” the panel noted.
The panel noted that China might strong-arm smaller states using its military instrument, from joining such a coalition. The military instrument would be helpful for China to divide the coalition, weaken it, and establish its own hegemony.
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