On the infamous date, September 11, China and Russia have decided to display their military partnership to the world by taking part in a five-day strategic operation entitled Vostok 2018, in Vladivostok, Russia. Inspired by U.S. military strategy In Desert Storm and Desert Shield, China is steadily upgrading its military. It is estimated that China’s marine corps has grown by 20,000. In addition, China has added a nuclear component to its air force.
The Trump administration’s economic strategy with China may be an indirect response to Chinese military coercion in Asia. To the dismay of free-market economists, and iPhone lovers, The Trump administration is posturing for further tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports. China threatens that it will counter with new tariffs on U.S. goods. However, the West may have to keep their eye on the big picture, the expansion of the Chinese military.
The combination of increased military and operational posturing with Russia poses a red flag to foreign companies doing business in China. In addition, China has shown lack of willingness in abiding by international law. China has constructed of militarized islands complete with ports and cities in waters in or near maritime waters belonging to U.S. allies, Japan and the Philippines.
On land and sea, China has successfully encroached on foreign territories, claiming historical jurisdiction. These claims are either false or ancient, with no basis on current treaties. Recently, China has threatened to attack the Vietnamese for continued to development of natural gas drilling in waters near false Chinese claims. In addition, China has attempted to force the Philippines into partnership on gas and oil projects that were ruled to be in Philippine waters. Near the Indian border with Bhutan, China has trespassed, attempting to construct roads, sparking reaction from Bhutan and India. On cybertheft, the Chinese have stolen design components related to U.S. missile navigation systems, antiaircraft, and submarine technology.
As with the U.S., the E.U. believes that China must promote greater access to their markets. However, the E.U. wishes to rely on organizations like the World Trade Organization to reduce steel capacities and subsidies instead of tariffs. Perhaps the E.U. will act with greater urgency if Chinese military expands threat to European alliances and trade routes in Asia, or if China increases its cyber-espionage and intellectual piracy in the E.U.
The State Department has been meeting with partners and allies in East Asia, the Indian Ocean, and the West Pacific to assure and affirm international rules. The Department of Defense realizes that China is among the top military and economic threats going forward.
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