Handbook of US–China Relations
Show Less

Handbook of US–China Relations

Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

This Handbook addresses the key questions surrounding US–China relations: what are the historical and contemporary contexts that underpin this complex relationship? How has the strategic rivalry between the two evolved? What are the key flashpoints in their relationship? What are the key security issues between the two powers? The international contributors explore the historical, political, economic, military, and international and regional spheres of the US–China relationship. The topics they discuss include human rights, Chinese public perception of the United States, US–China strategic rivalry, China’s defence build-up and cyber war.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 19: Facing the dragon: debating the US military response to China

Benjamin Schreer


Preparing for the possibility of a military conflict with China has become of increasing concern for US strategic policy-makers and defence officials. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has emerged as a significant challenge for US military preponderance in the Western Pacific. In response, as part of the Obama administration’s ‘strategic rebalance’ to Asia, its military has shifted more assets into the region. However, the task confronting US strategic decision-makers and military planners of how to develop a credible military response to China’s evolving military challenge remains largely unresolved. The key question is how the US military could effectively fight and ‘win’ a military conflict with the PLA at acceptable political costs. Against this background, this chapter analyses the scholarly debate about the ‘best’ US military strategy with regard to China. It also explores the evolution of official US military strategy and doctrine. It finds that while the academic debate about US military options against the China challenge is far from conclusive, the Pentagon proceeds with a strategy that seeks to retain full spectrum dominance against the PLA, including through deep strikes against conventional targets on the Mainland. As a consequence, the United States is likely to retain its forward presence in the Asia-Pacific in order to push back against the possibility of a more assertive Chinese strategic posture in the Western Pacific.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.