Implications of China's growing military diplomatic clout for the United States: cooperation, competition or conflict?
Li, Steven X.
Miller, Alice L.
Twomey, Christopher P.
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China's military capabilities are growing and so is Beijing's ability to employ its military in diplomatic capacities. Since the Chinese military's power projection capabilities still remain limited, the preponderance of its activities still fall within Asia. This thesis uses a three-step process (comparing, analyzing and extracting implications) to assess if increased levels of Chinese military diplomacy will shift the Sino-U.S. military relationship towards competition, cooperation, or conflict. This research effort finds that differences in U.S. and Chinese capabilities and political interests lead disparities in military diplomacy activity level, selection of strategic partners, and preferred diplomacy tools. However, despite these differences, the potential for increased Sino-U.S. military cooperation remains high. In order to capitalize on such potentials, policymakers should endorse a contingent-based cooperative approach to building military-to-military relations between the United States and China. This type of an approach encourages China to become more of a "responsible stakeholder" and exert positive influence in Asia through its military interactions.
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