What are China’s perception and concerns regarding the US alliance system as a whole and regarding specific bilateral military alliances of the US?
What is the China’s place in the US worldview after cold war ?
What are the view of US allies regarding China?
What are the changes in the perception of China regarding the future alliance development in after math of post 9/11 incident ?
The China factor in US alliances in East Asia and the Asia Pacific 1
Review of the article
The China factor in US alliances in East Asia
and the Asia Pacific 1
Allen San Pablo-Baviera
Slides prepared by: Shree Krishna Silwal
Main theme of Article
1. What are China’s perception and concerns
regarding the US alliance system as a whole and
regarding specific bilateral military alliances of
2. What is the China’s place in the US worldview
after cold war ?
3. What are the view of US allies regarding China?
4. What are the changes in the perception of China
regarding the future alliance development in
after math of post 9/11 incident ?
• Main arguments
• Critical views.
What is Alliance?
• A union or association formed for mutual
benefit, especially between countries or
• A relationship based on similarity of interests,
nature, or qualities.
China’s view of US alliances.
• China’s attitude towards the US alliance
system had always been pragmatic.
• Though there was a close strategic and
security cooperation between them during
the cold war period, the Sino-US relation has
deteriorated after the end of cold war.
• China’s human right situation, military
modernization, weapons sale to countries
perceive as hostile to the US, provision of
missile technology to some developing
countries, irredentist claim over Taiwan and
the South China sea are the issues for which
China has been highly criticized by the US and
• China also regards some of the activities of
Washington as a challenge. The policy of
George W. Bush in 2001 to take any measures
to defend Taiwan and military sales to Taiwan
is taken as a violation of the one China policy.
Similarly, on Tibet issue, China regards the
involvement of the US as interference in its
What is the China’s place in the US
worldview after cold war ?
• It seems that the US has not taken decision
whether to consider China as a ‘strategic
partner’ or ‘a strategic competitor’.
• It may be due to the clashes of ideologies
between them regarding the liberal values,
market economy and democracy.
• China has been put forward as a new threat to
peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region at
least prior to 9/11 as it has emerged as a rising
and dissatisfied power and huge critic of US
foreign policy on the issues of intervention
What are the view of US allies
• The allies of US view China differently but most of
them consider China as a possible threat to the
smaller and weaker neighbors and there is a self-
fulfilling prophecy called ‘China Threat Theory’
which is growing stronger.
• Among Washington allies, the most committed
one who has agreed to defend Taiwan against the
use of force by China and who is much more
concerned about the growing military potential is
• The attitude of Japan towards China has long
been dominated by historical and cultural factors.
The territorial law passed by China which
included the Senkakus and conductive nuclear
weapons test has alarmed Japan and she regards
China as her threat.
• For Philippines, the occupation of Mischief Reef
and the increased presence of Chinese naval
vessels in its claimed waters posed a threat.
• Regarding the South East Asia’s the major
concern about China is the territorial and
maritime disputes in the South China sea and the
power projection in the maritime arena.
• But all claimants do not wish to drag the US to
resolve the issue. South-East Asian nations like
Malaysia, Indonesia agrees to find solution
through bilateral means.
• Even Vietnam who have waged war against China
do not openly support US involvement and has
preferred to focus on bilateral negotiations.
• The neutrality of the ASEAN nations can be seen during
the Chinese use of force against Taiwan, in which they
even do not support for the US action of sending in its
• The assistance packages provided by China during
financial and economic crisis of 1997 to Indonesia and
Thailand helped to change the image of China as a
potential economic threat to a potential benefactor.
• Although US allies see China as a possible threat but
‘new security concept’ of China has emerged and
paved a way to mitigate conflicts through peaceful
consultations and cooperative security.
The 9/11 after math
• Prior to 9/11, China was taken as a serious rising threat
but post 9/11 has altered the situation and that also
implies to relation between US and China .
• One school of thought view this incident have helped
China as it draws away the attention of the US and its
allies and the international community as a whole from
the ‘China threat’.
• And the detention facilities in Guantanamo for
suspected terrorist has brought the US under criticism
and this has put less pressure to China from the West.
• However, the legitimization of the US global
leadership and strengthening the hegemonic
position of US has created a possibility of
encirclement of China with the Asia.
Critical views- China factor won’t make
it next super power
1. ’China threat’ among the US allies is due to the
greater number of military force but it is untested
one and hasn't fought a major campaign since a
disastrous war with Vietnam in 1979.
2. China’s role in alliance formation with countries
of Asia eg.Russia, Japan, its role as an observer in
SAARC, ASEAN +3 and BRICS is limited in economy
dimension rather than other dimensions.
3. China has not been able to influence its
neighboring countries through the use of soft
power (culture, language, values) and hence
weakening its impact on the global arena.
4. The ‘new seurity concept’ put forward by
China to avoid the security dilemma and the
CPC’s focus on China’s national rejuvenation
following a realist notion seems contradictory .
5. The China factor is still evolving. Though the
ideology and political culture is unique in itself it
has not been a favored one by the East Asian
and South-East Asian nations leaving some
• 6. Though the emergence of the String of
Pearls (the network of Chinese military and
commercial facilities and relationships along its sea lines
of communication ) is an indication of China’s
growing geopolitical influence, but the
encirclement of China by US allies is still
prevalent and difficult to penetrate through.
• The China Factor is definitely came into play after 9/11 and
grows even more after the financial crisis of 2008 . Though it
might surpass the US in economy in near future, it would be
too soon to make a conclusion that China is next super power.
• A truly strategic partnership between countries of Asia is
• A cooperative method It will have to be followed toward
removing the bases for strategic mistrust.
• Beyond that an inclusive and effective provisions for regional
security needed to reinforce for building peace and security.