News | Oct. 1, 2000

China Rising: New Challenges to the U.S. Security Posture

By Jason D. Ellis and Todd M. Koca Strategic Forum 175

The nature, scope, and viability of the strategic relationship between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States have emerged as leading security policy issues. Among the many reasons for this are: China’s evidently growing defense budget and its military modernization campaign; its often threatening rhetoric over Taiwan; its reputed espionage activities; and disputes over collateral security issues, such as China’s continuing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, Beijing’s lack of transparency concerning its strategic capabilities and modernization programs, and the intentions that undergird each, make it difficult to confidently forecast China’s future direction; yet significant strategic decisions undertaken today will have far-reaching and long-term implications. There is a growing sense among defense analysts and specialists that the future disposition of Chinese strategic forces may only modestly resemble that of the past. Looking ahead, U.S. policymakers must address three central questions: (1) the likely extent of China’s strategic modernization; (2) the degree of complementarity of U.S. and PRC regional and strategic interests over time; and (3) the implications of each for U.S. foreign and defense policy. READ MORE >>