China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific

If you follow military rivalries in East Asia, start by learning the term “first island chain.” That term refers to the Kuril Islands of Russia, the Japanese archipelago, Taiwan, the northern Philippines and Borneo. If strung together on a map from north to south they form a chain past which China was informally blocked from push its military influence eastward into the open U.S.-dominated Pacific Ocean.

Now China is out to change that.  An intelligence aircraft that it flew Saturday near southern outlying islands of Japan came as a recent example. The mission hackles in nearby Taiwan, which had watched a Chinese aircraft carrier encircle it nearly a year ago. In August, Taiwan sighted Chinese planes three times.

China wants its world third-ranked armed forces to vie with No. 1, the United States, for influence in the western Pacific instead of being held in check behind the island chain.

“(The Saturday flight) fits a growing Chinese pattern of operating naval vessels and military aircraft beyond the ‘first island chain,’” says Joshua Pollack, editor of The Nonproliferation Review in Washington. “They want to project power there and ultimately push the U.S. further back, or be seen as able to do so.”

Historic U.S. control

The United States and Japan normally police much of the island chain to keep China, their old Cold War foe and rival in modern diplomacy, from passing through.  Washington has held annual joint exercises with Manila, as well, and it sells advanced weapons to Taiwan.

Comments

Privacy Policy

China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. Our practices are consistent with privacy guidelines established by eTrust.com.

China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific does not require any personal information to obtain access to our website.

China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific does require limited personal information including name and mailing address from individuals wishing to join as members. Additional information such as e-mail address and phone number may also be requested in order that we may contact members in a timely manner on issues related to our mission.

You will only receive e-mail from us if you request to be added to our e-mail list. You may revise or remove your e-mail address from our files at any time.

China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific uses "cookie" technology to obtain non-personal information from our online visitors, such as browser/computer type, number of visitors, and site usage. We do not use cookies to extract personal information.

Our website contains links to other sites, but China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific does not necessarily advocate, support or condone the privacy practices or content of these websites.

China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific makes all information received from our online visitors as secure as possible against unauthorized access and use. All information is protected by state-of-the-art security technology.

China Is Competing With The U.S. For Military Control Over The Western Pacific respects the individual privacy rights and concerns of visitors to our website. We support meaningful self-regulation of the Internet to ensure that responsible organizations maintain the right to use all communications media to interact with the public.