Is US preeminence threatened by China in the Pacific?

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The report is alarmist. According to a report from the US Center for Studies on the United States of Sydney University published Monday, August 19, the United States would no longer have military pre-eminence in the Pacific. They may even have difficulty defending their regional allies against China, whose influence is becoming stronger.

US increases pressure on the Pacific

This assessment describes the US military as a "Force being atrophied" whose abilities are "Dangerously out of date" and "Poorly prepared" for a confrontation with China. This finding, if correct, would have far-reaching implications for many US allies, be it Australia, Taiwan, or Japan that rely heavily on US security assurances.

Donald Trump, since his arrival at the White House in January 2017, with his creed "America first," has continued to worry its allies in the Far East, fearing a disengagement of the United States, which would be less inclined to defend them than in the past in the event of a Chinese military aggression.

China accelerates its military programs

The authors of this report even mention a "Strategic insolvency" Washington, arguing that decades of war in the Middle East and underinvestment in the Pacific have resulted in Asia-Pacific allies being exposed. "China, on the other hand, indicates this report, is increasingly able to challenge the regional order through its large-scale investments in advanced military systems. Especially in its precision ballistic missile systems or counter-intervention systems. "

Xi Jinping again threatens to reunify Taiwan through war

Australian researchers hit the nail, claiming that "almost all US bases, allies, airstrips, ports, military installations in the Western Pacific" lacked strengthened infrastructure and are under threat. These weaknesses would make it possible for China to seize territories like Taiwan, islands administered by Japan (Senkaku Islands) or areas of the South China Sea even before US forces have time to intervene. To counter the rise of China, these experts advocate the deployment of US land-based missiles and a reassessment of regional defense strategies involving Japan and Australia.

The United States remains very engaged in the region

"This alarmist report is part of a very intense debate in Australia on Chinese influence, Antoine Bondaz, researcher at the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS), especially since China is officially considered by Australia as a military threat. " But for him, "To say that the US is declining is false".

Certainly, the rise in Chinese military power is dazzling in recent years, but only from a quantitative point of view and on a field of action very close to home. The United States, they have projection capabilities in several theaters of operations in the world. "The question is rather how the United States is doing to maintain its lead against a China that is progressing very quickly," adds Antoine Bondaz.

For Valérie Niquet, a specialist in China at the FRS, the balance of power is still largely to the advantage of the United States, there is no doubt. "China can boast of building several aircraft carriers, but the war of the future will be technological, She recalls. In case of conflict, very unlikely, against the United States, China is not the weight. " A scenario of invasion of Taiwan seems just as difficult to imagine in the current state of things.

If China has hundreds of missiles pointed at Taiwan, a ground invasion seems impossible. "The biggest danger in reality is to make believe to the Chinese that the United States can no longer afford to defend the region, this speech is dangerous," adds Valérie Niquet. "Many top Chinese officials would be able to believe it and start a war lost in advance. "

(tagsToTranslate) Asia (t) Australia (t) China Sea (t) United States (t) China (t) Oceania (t) pre-eminence (t) US (t) Pacific (t) threatened

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