China containment policy

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The First and Second island chains in America's Island Chain Strategy, studied by Chinese military strategists to avoid encirclement

The China containment policy is a political term referring to a claimed goal of U.S. foreign policy to diminish the economic and political growth of the People’s Republic of China. The term harkens back to the U.S. containment policy against communist countries during the Cold War.

The theory asserts that the United States needs a weak, divided China to continue its hegemony in Asia. This is accomplished by the United States establishing military, economic, and diplomatic ties with countries adjacent to China's borders, frustrating China's own attempts at alliance-building and economic partnership. The presence of American military in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan;[1] recently strengthened ties with South Korea[2] and Japan;[3] efforts to improve relations with India[4] and Vietnam;[2] and the Obama administration's 2012 Pivot to Asia Strategy for increased American involvement in the Pacific have been pointed to as evidence of a containment policy. The United States has officially claimed they have no China containment policy and that they "want China to succeed and prosper."[5]

Justification[edit]

The US 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report states that China has "the greatest potential of any nation to militarily compete with the US and field disruptive military technologies that over time offset traditional US advantages."[6] The document continues by stating that China must be more open in reporting its military expenditures and refrain from "locking up" energy supplies by continuing to obtain energy contracts with disreputable regimes in Africa and Central Asia.[7] The policy assumes that measures should be taken against China to prevent it from seeking hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and/or worldwide.[8]

Supporters of Chinese containment or increased American involvement in East Asia have cited the United States as a counterbalance to the excesses of Chinese expansion. Countries in territorial disputes with China, such as in the South China Sea and the Senkaku Islands, have complained about harassment in the disputed areas.[9][10][11][12] Some experts have suggested that China may leverage their economic strength in such disputes, one example being the sudden restriction on Chinese imports of Filipino bananas during tensions over the Scarborough Shoal.[13]

Strategic alliances[edit]

US–India[edit]

It is assumed that it was established or reconfirmed during Bush’s visit to India in March 2006. The media speculated about India–United States relations having the US India to contain China. Indian officials publicly denied the claims.[14][15]

US–Japan–Australia[edit]

Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Australia in March 2006 for the "trilateral security forum" with the Japanese foreign minister Taro Aso and his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer.[16][17] (See Japan–United States relations and Australia–United States relations) Labeled by the Asian media[quantify] as a "little NATO against China" or the new "triple alliance", or "the axis of democracy" by the Economist.[18]

Japan–Australia[edit]

See (Australia–Japan relations) On March 15, 2007, both nations signed a strategic military partnership agreement,[19] which analysts[quantify] believe is aimed at alienating China.[20]

US–Japan–Australia–India[edit]

In May 2007, the four nations signed a strategic military partnership agreement, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

US–Japan–India[edit]

The three nations held their first trilateral meeting in Dec 2011.[21]

Japan–Australia–India[edit]

The three nations held their first trilateral meeting in June 2015.[22]

Challenges[edit]

Australia[edit]

Australia has a growing dependency on China’s market. Its mining industry is booming owing to Chinese demand.[23] During the second Bush Administration, ahead of the visit by Condoleezza Rice and her warning about China becoming a "negative force"[24] the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, warned that Australia does not agree with a policy of containment of China.[25] Rice clarified that the U.S. is not advocating a containment policy.

India[edit]

China is India's largest trading partner.[26] George W. Bush’s visit to India was seen in part as an attempt to boost bilateral trade and to expand US influence, by offering India important nuclear technology. China is the US's fifth-largest trading partner in terms of exports, but India ranks only twenty-fourth.[27]

Japan[edit]

China has overtaken the US as Japan’s largest trading partner.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lam, Willy (22 April 2002). "China opposes U.S. presence in Central Asia". China Daily. CNN. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Carpenter, Ted (30 November 2011). "Washington's Clumsy China Containment Policy". The National Interest. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Jinan, Wu (25 January 2013). "Containment of China Is Abe's Top Target". China-United States Exchange Foundation. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Will India join strategic containment of China?". People's Daily. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Daozu, Bao (11 November 2010). "US denies China 'containment'". China Daily. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Hawkins, William R (June 2, 2007). The dangers in talking to China. Asia Times Online.
  7. ^ Bush, George (March 2006). The National Security Strategy of the United States of America. The White House.
  8. ^ Feng, Huiyun (2007). Chinese strategic culture and foreign policy decision-making: Confucianism, leadership and war. Routledge. p.81. ISBN 978-0-415-41815-7.
  9. ^ Blumenthal, Daniel (15 April 2011). "Riding a tiger: China's resurging foreign policy aggression". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Japan protest over China ship's radar action". BBC News. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "China and Vietnam in row over detention of fishermen". BBC News. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Page, Jeremy (3 December 2012). "Vietnam Accuses Chinese Ships". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Higgins, Andrew (10 June 2012). "In Philippines, banana growers feel effect of South China Sea dispute". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Nuclear deal no threat to China, Pak: Narayanan Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.. March 2006. Online News.
  15. ^ Gilani, Iftikhar (March 18, 2006). "US-India N-deal should not threaten Pakistan, China". Daily Times.
  16. ^ Jain, Purnendra (March 18, 2006). "A 'little NATO' against China". Asia Times Online.
  17. ^ Weisman, Steven (March 17, 2006). "Rice and Australian Counterpart Differ About China". The New York Times.
  18. ^ Australia and Japan cosy up. The Economist. March 16, 2007.
  19. ^ Graeme Dobell (March 18, 2007). Japan, Australia declare strategic partnership. ABC News Online Australia.
  20. ^ Walters, Patrick; Callick, Rowan (March 16, 2007). India's inclusion in security pact risks alienating China. The Australian.
  21. ^ http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/12/23/inside_the_first_ever_us_japan_india_trilateral_meeting
  22. ^ https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australia%C2%AD%C2%AD-india-japan-trilateral-converging-interests-converging-perceptions/
  23. ^ Sackur, Stephen (12 April 2011). "Australia leases out mineral-rich land as China's hunger for resources grows". The Guardian. London. 
  24. ^ http://news.oneindia.in/2006/03/11/rice-says-china-must-not-become-a-negative-force-1142062463.html
  25. ^ http://www.china.org.cn/english/2006/Mar/162192.htm
  26. ^ India - CIA - The World Factbook.
  27. ^ Thakurta, Paranjoy Guha (March 15, 2006). "China could overtake US's India trade". Asia Times Online.
  28. ^ Japan - CIA - The World Factbook.

External links[edit]