Reinforcing Hub-and-Spoke: Addressing People's Republic of China Influence within U.S. Indo-Pacific Alliances
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The People's Republic of China under the Chinese Communist Party has come to view the United States' system of bilateral alliances in the Indo-Pacific region as a strategic threat to its interests. China has therefore developed a broad strategy of co-opting U.S. allies deeper into China's sphere of influence by pragmatically exploiting friction in the United States' bilateral relationships. Although China has utilized a coercive approach in the past with Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the Philippines, it has subsequently (and suddenly) switched to co-option in all three cases. Each transition coincides with the emergence of structural friction in each country's relationship with the United States, indicating that China is reacting to strategic opportunities to gain leverage. The friction in the United States' relationships with its bilateral alliance partners has emerged as a consequence of policy divergence, concerns over burden sharing, and as a result of the nature of the ﾓHub-and-Spokeﾔ alliance system. U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific lack institutions for security cooperation among themselves, with each instead relying upon its bilateral relationship with the United States. This system is inherently brittle, as it relies upon one nation as the sole linchpin. While a formal, institutionalized, multilateral alliance structure is not currently viable in the Indo-Pacific, the United States and the region can benefit from increased multilateral security cooperation. The development of this architecture among U.S. allies can strengthen the region's ability to resist negative Chinese influence, while also enabling the United States to eventually reduce its resource and manpower commitments
CIVINS (Civilian Institutions) Thesis documentCapstone Project
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