Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices

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Tsai Ing-wen 2016: Taiwan Faces the Future

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Mercy A. Kuo – Page 5 – The Diplomat

Our Day return guarantee still applies. We are not for or against any particular claim; what we oppose is the attempt to resolve these claims by figuratively, and sometimes literally, bulldozing through international law, taking unilateral action, and threatening to resolve claims by force. Even as China became more audacious in projecting its power in the region, some mistaken policy mechanisms in Washington hindered our ability to counter it. I was frustrated as Secretary by our inability to promote freedom of navigation, an essential principle of the Asia-Pacific security network.

Free use of the seas and air fueled the engine of Asian economic growth by enabling trade across the vast distances and through the narrow waterways of the region. FONOPs challenge excessive maritime and airspace claims and reinforce the rights of the United States and any other nation to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows. Such operations are a routine feature of our naval activity; in fiscal , the United States conducted FONOPs challenging unjustified claims by 22 nations, including adversaries such as Iran and close allies such as Japan and South Korea.

But operations involving China were the only ones to make headlines. The NSC approached the question in a lawyerly manner that I thought badly missed the strategic forest for the legal trees. When we did receive approval, the diplomatic and political messaging surrounding operations was timid and ineffective. This failure rested in part on an arcane legal distinction.

Conducting a transit near an island claimed by China as an innocent passage was the least confrontational FONOP we could undertake. For example, in November , the USS Lassen passed within the nautical-mile territorial limit of Subi Reef, a bare spec of sand in the South China Sea, naturally under water at high tide, where China had dredged up enough soil to build an artificial reef large enough for an airstrip and was claiming territorial rights.

Richard K. Betts

The Chinese spun former U. It would have been better to have switched to a less ambiguous FONOP when it became clear that the message of the Subi Reef transit plan would become so garbled. The Internet and rapidly advancing computer power have played a central role in building prosperity worldwide, and no nation has benefitted more than China.

  • Grasshopper Bubblegum.
  • Task Force Biographies.
  • Das blutige Blockhaus (German Edition).
  • Leaving It Behind.
  • Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft und Arbeit - Definitionen, Theorien und wechselseitiger Einfluss (German Edition).
  • Six Lieder, op. 25, no. 6: At Sea (Auf dem Meere).

Yet China has repeatedly taken actions in cyberspace that put short-term security or economic interests ahead of long-term benefit for China and the rest of the world. China threatens to expel U. And this is why, despite my strong desire for closer and more productive ties with China, my time as Secretary of Defense tilted toward confrontation rather than cooperation with the Chinese.

There was a real fear of military confrontation between the mainland and Taiwan. It often served him well. He believed that traditional Washington foreign policy thinkers were prone to reach for confrontation and containment as strategies when a less forceful approach was called for. There were few other voices in the administration advocating a tougher approach. Hillary Clinton had left by the time I was Secretary, replaced at State by John Kerry, who had plenty of acquaintance with the Asia-Pacific region, but whose efforts were focused on the Middle East, especially the Iran nuclear deal and on Syria.

His priorities for Asia were TPP and the climate change agreement, a major success. Economic policy-makers such as Jack Lew at Treasury, like his predecessors going back to the Bush administration, mostly wanted to avoid turbulence in the financial markets. Vice President Biden was closest to my own way of thinking—especially on the economic aspects of our relationship with China.

For a time, the White House, too, adopted the phrase, after the president met with Xi Jinping in Just four months after I was sworn in as Secretary, Gen. I had known Fan for some years. Fan surely expected a conversation among old friends. I was furious. Fan was taken aback. It was likely that his direction from his political leaders was to above all else avoid conflict that might disrupt U.

I told Fan that I would not agree to a new model of military-to-military relations. I told him our model suited the United States and our friends and others just fine and had been in use around the world for decades. China should not have been provoking Taiwan in , and it should not have been dredging up trouble in the South China Sea 20 years later. Yes, I had long and warm relationships with Chinese officials.

Fan went home, doubtless disappointed, but with no ambiguity about the standards we expected the Chinese to uphold. Personally, this was deeply disappointing.


Xi sought me out, called President Obama over, and said he would like me to visit China. Frankly, I also knew that key figures in the Obama administration did not support my stance on China. For all these reasons, there was never a time when I thought visiting China would be productive. I saw little chance for positive accomplishments, and significant risk of additional Chinese one-upmanship.

It was a major preoccupation in configuring our forces, investing in new technology, devising new war plans, and working with old allies and new partners. I sounded this theme at my first major opportunity as Secretary in April in my speech to the McCain Institute.

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The United States still outspends China on defense every year by a wide margin. By that measure the United States is vastly superior. Next, in comparison to the PLA, the U. And finally, it is the United States and not China that has the weight of many partners and allies on its side. For all these reasons, it will be a long time before China matches America in comprehensive military power. The stop in Arizona was a preview of my first major speech on Asia-Pacific policy, at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore the following month.

This conclave was named after the hotel in which it was held. The rebalance, first announced in , was born of the realization that, while U. For a decade, development of new weapons systems and technical innovation had focused on the problems of the wars in the Middle East. We had achieved important successes, such as the rapid development and acquisition of MRAP anti-mine vehicles and of new intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance techniques such as use of drones, aerostats, and multispectral sensors to watch for IED placements.

I had worked more than I ever would have wanted to on new approaches to caring for amputees and post-traumatic stress. We had learned important lessons about how to quickly develop and deploy new tools and technologies to defeat emerging threats in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that was vital work. But while the department was focused on those wars, the Asia-Pacific had been neglected. Admiral Bob Willard, who took over at U. Pacific Command in , and Sam Locklear, who succeeded him, were eager for partners in Washington to address those concerns. So when I came to Shangri-La for the first time as Secretary of Defense, I spoke of initiating a second phase of the rebalance, involving the shift of even more U.

S forces to the Asia-Pacific, but above all on investments in high-end capabilities with relevance to the Pacific, with its vast distances and advancing Chinese military capabilities. But the new thrust of phase two was new capabilities in high-tech emerging domains such as electronic warfare, cyber, and space.

For electronic warfare, the aim was to restore a lead in jamming, counter-jamming, and stealth that had slipped in the years of preoccupation with the Middle East. In cyber, new ideas and funding were for both better defense and new offensive weapons. For space, the key was integrating space capabilities into our conventional war plans; these had too long been viewed as peacetime and intelligence-collection capabilities, not instruments of war. We also found ingeniously innovative new uses for a huge stock of our existing weapons systems, some of which I could announce, such as adapting the Tomahawk land-attack missile for maritime use, but others that could only be hinted at.

The Strategic Capabilities Office SCO , which I started as Deputy Secretary in and which remained classified until , was established for this purpose—to reimagine existing technologies and apply them to new roles. I announced that we had adapted the SM-6 surface-to-air missile, built to shoot down airplanes, to attack ships as well. We were exploring electric railgun projectiles for use in missile defense. And all this was just a partial list. These new investments were the heart of the second phase of the rebalance and they responded to the need to boost our capabilities in a relentlessly demanding Pacific environment.

I also pushed for innovation in how we thought about and planned for the Asia-Pacific security environment. A host of smart and thoughtful professionals in the services helped develop new operational and doctrinal concepts that we applied to revised war plans, which were another important part of the rebalance. China was prone to describe the deployments and investments of our rebalance as Cold War thinking aimed at checking its rise.

They were not; the rebalance, like all our Asia policy, was about much more than China, and served many goals.

China’s Response to the Unipolar World: The Strategic Logic of Peaceful Development

But without doubt these investments were necessary to provide future policy makers with the capability to push back against the second, more bullying and unilateral strain in Chinese foreign policy. Special Operations Forces from the U. I got the opportunity in June to do what secretaries of defense are occasionally fortunate enough to do: make history. After my speech at Shangri-La, I traveled to Vietnam. The highlight of my trip, which coincided with the year anniversary of reestablishing diplomatic relations with Vietnam, was a visit to the Vietnamese naval command at Haiphong Harbor—the same harbor whose mining by U.

Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices
Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices
Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices
Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices
Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices
Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices
Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices Strategic Asia 2008–09: Challenges and Choices

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