Monday, May 27, 2024

The SINO-US Security Competition in Asian Pacific Region and Future of Regional Peace Prospects

Asia-pacific region become center of world politics due to strong economic growth and large population. The region contains large number of natural resources and has important maritime routes and many strategically important choke points.

After the second world war US has maintained it primacy in the region and Since the end of cold war, United States remain the leading player in constructing the regional security order but now the emergence of China as an economic giant has alter the regional security environment.

Both powers had divergent world views and want to establish their own security order in the region which pursued their interests. Differences in their opinion has heightened tensions between both countries and since 2018 they are engaged in economic war against each other.

US want to maintain it superiority and they have deployed 60% of it naval forces in the region to ensure the legitimacy of US led security order. Beside they have made QUAD alliance India, Japan and Australia in order to contain China.

On the other side China is continuously enhancing it military capabilities to maintain the sustainable economic growth, also they have deployed their naval forces in the Chinese periphery to overcome the American role and to take responsibilities to deal with the challenges arise with the emergence of china.

The US rebalance strategy to Asia and Chinese military modernization program indicate about the intense security competition between two big power. China disputes with small littoral states are the potential flash points for military confrontations between both countries.

This scenario made regional security environment more complicated and fuel arm race which increase the chances of war between both countries.
Asia-pacific region got the attention of the world due to large population and strong economic growth.

The region includes east Asia, south Asia, southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania. It contains large number of natural resource and important maritime routes. The enormous potential in the region has triggered the conflict between great powers.

The unsettled maritime disputes had further heighten the tensions between different states. After the end of second world war the United States has played leading role in the regional security environment of Asia pacific region and maintained peace and stability in the region.

After the end of cold war US became dominant in the whole region and have taken the responsibility of security supplier to the whole region. According to Jhon Mearsheimer The United States, in other words, has acted as a pacifier in this part of the world.(1) However The primacy of United states in the region has now been challenged by the emergence of china.

China has made an unprecedented growth in the past few years which compel china to change the security landscape of region. Although china has claim it development peaceful but china assertive behavior in recent years has increased the concern of United States regarding their primacy and vital interest in the region.


There is a strong perception that the future of 21st century will be reshaped by Asia-pacific region and those who ruled the Asia-pacific will rule the world. In her article former secretary of state Hillary Clinton stated The future of geopolitics will be decided in Asia, not in Afghanistan or Iraq, and United States should be right it the center of the action.

It indicates that the region will be center of geopolitical rivalry in future. The current scenario of region is that china and united states is involved in an intense security competition against each other. United states want to maintain status-quo in the region and they are working with their allies to ensure American global leadership.

They want to continue the legacy and they have deployed 60 percent of it naval forces in the Asia-pacific region to maintain the US led security order. The presence of US in the region create many hurdles for China which increase Chinese concerns with the passage of time.

Chinese claim is that US is hurting it core interests in the region therefore expanding its military presence in the region to overcome American role. China is working to build world class military till 2050 and to bring great power status to china and to push the US out of the region.


China is involved in many disputes with US and it allies and the rhetoric, policy statement from both side increased the tensions among the states in the recent time. China feel threaten due to strategic shift in US foreign policy toward Asia pacific. America has renewed it interest under “The Pivot” policy in the Asia pacific and trying to exercise it power as a global leader.

US is denying China territorial claim over south and east china sea and making sure the rights of freedom of navigation in south china sea. Similarly, they have made “QUAD” alliance with India, japan and Australia to contain China. China also has increased the movement of naval forces in south and east china sea to secure the Chinese interest in the region.

There is no consensus between these two powers on the security of the whole region. The presence of naval forces of states show that both states consider each other as a security threat. Any action against each other is very dangerous for regional peace and stability.


United States has a long history of security supplier in the Asia Pacific region. After the end of Cold war US emerge as a sole superpower and got privilege from regional state to construct their own security order in the region.

The supreme position of US in the region has been enjoyed by many states. Japan and South Korea provide host nation support to the US and share a large burden of the allied defense. US maintain peace and stability in the region for many years however their presence remain challenge for many countries especially China.

United States even did not recognized China for almost 30 years and placed China out of the US-led international order. At that time China was struggling for their survival under the Maoist regime. Deng Xiaoping reforms put China for the first time on the track toward economic development and today china is the 2nd largest economy after the US.

It is expected that till 2030 China will be the largest economy in the world. The rise of China is the key factor which heighten the concern of United states in the region. Other factors such as Taiwan contingency, south and east china sea disputes and the rights over the FON in SCS are the most contested issues between China and US.


The emerging of China as the power house of global economy change dynamics of the region. China emergence bring many challenges to the US monopoly and it has already shaken the US position in the region. China rise has Recall Napoleon’s remarks that when China awakens, it will shake the world.

China is working to enhance its military capabilities to take charge of security in its surroundings and There is a strong perception that china will push US out of the region in future.

Although China military capability is limited against US but the way china is growing and expanding its military presence in the region will eventually push US out of the region. The problem with China is that it is directly involved in many disputes with US allies and China feel threaten due to strong commitment of US to its allies in crises situation.


In the anarchic international system when there is no world government to govern the states, each state must take care of its own security. State increase its security to ensure their survival. If states take some extra ordinary steps for its security such as weapons procurement and the development of new military technologies.

it automatically decreased the security of other states and they follow the same pattern because they cannot know about the intentions of the arming state. They increase their security in order to reestablish the balance of power in the region.

The current SINO-US security competition in the Asia-Pacific aims to become dominant and attain regional hegemony for which they are struggling to construct their own security order in the region.


SINO-US security competition in the Asia-pacific is for regional dominance which had militarized the whole region. The huge potential in Chinese economy has expanded its interests across the whole region Therefore China is influencing regional states to accept China role as security provider of the whole region.

American presence in the region has brought serious consequences for China therefore enhancing military capabilities to push America out of the region. In response America has strengthen its alliances in the region and deployed 60 percent of its naval forces to maintain status quo and reduce the Chinese influence. the QUAD alliance indicate that U.S could react militarily against China.

ANALYSIS - China-India border clashes and US strategy in Indo-Pacific

the movement of U.S warships in China EEZ is consistently provoking China. This scenario has increased tensions between these two giants and any miscalculation can create serious crises in the region.


The disputes of China with its surrounding states has further reduce the prospect of peace in the region. These disputes are the potential flashpoints where China and Unites States can confront each other. The Chinese assertive behavior in the recent years has push regional states to strengthen its ties with US.

China also made it clear that it will not reconsider its core interest while U.S is consistently advocating for defending its strategic partners in the region. If both states continue the same aggressive approach and policies toward each other it can further escalate them towards war.

About Blogger:

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Zeshan Nisar is recently completed the MSC in International Relation. He looks closely at international affairs and political situation of world.. Social issues are his favorite subject.Contact him : [email protected]

Note: The Turkplays Web does not necessarily agree with the author and the comments below.

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