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Heightened Geopolitical Tension between US and China

The US is expanding and rebuilding military bases around China.  George Gao reports on two reasons for the increased US military presence:  First, to neutralize China’s global influence; second, the looming threat of a resource war between Japan and China, over the Japanese Senkaku Islands, which contain significant underwater gas and oil reserves.

One aspect of the US buildup that has received inadequate corporate press coverage is the US “AirSea Battle” plan.  Evolving from a Cold War era initiative to counter Soviet strikes in Europe, the new AirSea Battle aims “to develop networked, integrated forces capable of attack-in-depth to disrupt, destroy and defeat adversary forces,” according to the Department of Defense.

As Gao reports, the US plan is a response to China’s anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) plan. “The U.S. is worried that China’s A2/AD weapons will restrict U.S. ‘freedom of action’, by limiting U.S. access to future ‘theatres of conflict’, as well as U.S. movements within that theatre.”  In response, China has armed US neighbors and struck billion dollar oil deals with Mexico, Canada and Venezuela, among others.

Corporate media coverage of this situation is minimal at best.  One CNN blog article introduces AirSea Battle as a “concept,” which is necessary to counter growing challenges to US freedom of action—essentially repeating the official US position on the program.

 

Source: George Gao “U.S., China Talk Peace but Still Frenemies,” Inter Press Service, August 21, 2013, http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/08/u-s-china-talk-peace-but-still-frenemies/.

Student Researcher: Jennifer Moug (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Elenita Fe (Leny) M Strobel, (Sonoma State University)

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