China's economic growth for the last few decades has sparked a debate about the 21st-century politics. For three decades now the annual growth of the Chinese economy has been at an average of 9.2% based on the gross domestic product (GDP). Such a significant increase has seen the lives of the ordinary citizens in the Republic of China improve, where millions have been lifted from poverty and the gap between the rich and the poor has been reduced remarkably ("China, the US, and the Power-Transition Theory," 2007). The economic transformation of China has seen a shift in regional and global power as observed by some organizations such as the United Nations. This research aims at establishing whether the global interdependence of China's economy has any security impact on the greater Chinese geopolitical influence, and how such control presents a security threat to the United States("Political Economy of US-Japan Relations and US-China Relations," 2017). To critically analyze what it means to the United States when China rises to power; the research will examine the military influence of China in the Asian region and other parts of the world through the realist perspective. This study is paramount as it will highlight the crucial challenges presented by China's economic growth and the sophistication and modernization of the Chinese military (Scobell, 2012). The United States needs to determine forehand what it means to its peace and stability when China becomes a major world player in the global politics, by determining the end game of this growth, the united states can decide if China is a friend or a threat to its security and that of its allies.
Political realism theory suggests that power is the end game for the political action, whether in the local or the international stage. The theory further explains that in the domestic arena a politician tries to maximise his or her power by weakening that of their competitors while in the international stage nations are viewed as the primary tools that maximise, or aim at grabbing the power. Based on the definition of realism, one arrives at the question of whether China is about to challenge and overturn the existing world order which is maintained by the United States of America. Throughout the human history, the world's superpower has not been handed over peacefully. Instead, power has been obtained through violence and chaos. Before the First World War, the control of the world security and the preservation of peace was in the hands of the European countries. After the Second World War, this balance of power was handed over to the United States of America and the Soviet Union whereby a cold war ensued till 1990 when the Soviet Union collapsed, and the United States remained as the sole Hegemony (Gustman & Steinmeier, 2008). This has been the case until the recent years whereby many scholars and political experts have foreseen a change due to China's rising in power. In fact, some scholars and analysists have predicted a situation where soon the military might of the Chinese army might surpass that of the United States and thus emerging as the world's new superpower. The growth of China is an obvious security concern to the United States. Based on the school of realism, the United States response towards this emerging threat can be explained using the offensive realism.
Offensive realism suggests that the United States would want to remain as the only world's superpower, this is because nations are incapable of predicting others intentions with certainty. The uncertainty of knowing whether China's growth presents a challenge to the United States security and control in the world's politics compels America to continually explore avenues to increase its power while preventing China from doing the same. For such strategies to be successful, the United States has adopted the buck-passing and balancing of power tactics (Kellner, n.d.,). Buck-passing means that the United States will fuel conflict between China and its neighbouring nations with the aim of drawing China into a fight with its neighbours. By China's engagement in such warfare, the American military can assess the level into which the Chinese army is equipped and also be able to study their battle tactics. Also, by engaging the Chinese soldiers to war, it will cause a substantial adverse impact on the Chinese economy and thus slow their growth (Scobell, 2012). The tactics have already been seen in use through the conflict of the south china seas where the United States has encouraged the Philippines and other neighbouring nations to defend the sovereignty of the islands to no success. Balancing, on the other hand, is the formation of the contra-weight against the Chinese republic, such has been seen in the recent years through the placing of more military in Asia and Australia, and at the same time strengthening its relationship with allied states in the Asian region.
Contrast to the offensive realism theory which perceives china's growth as a direct security risk to the United States; the defensive realism provides a more optimistic approach of that maybe China's rise might not necessarily trouble to the existing hegemon. The theory acknowledges that that international system offers a room for the nation to obtain more power to survive ("China, the US, and the Power-Transition Theory," 2007). This means that China will seek opportunities to shift the balance of power by creating a friendship with the neighbouring countries and the current superpower instead of challenging them and being aggressive. Using the lenses of the defence realism, one can argue that the security competition around China will not be intense and that the country can be able to co-exist with it's the United States and its neighbours (Woodward, 2018). It beats logic why China would want to challenge the existing order of hegemon, bearing in mind that the United States and its powerful allies could form a balancing coalition and dismantle such a plan. The smart move for China would be to play along and instead of trying to dominate the world, make friends with other nation and build strong bridges of friendship. However, the theory cannot be used to completely rule out that China does not want to gain power over Asia, but it suggests that such move will have a limited aim, such as obtaining a say at the world's stage and having a broader market for its goods and commodities (Whyte, 2013. If such are the end goals of China's economic growth, the United States has no reason to worry, instead of viewing China as the threat to its security, it should embrace it as a friend and a competitor. For a powerful China with limited appetite is easy to engage in cooperative endeavours, and more comfortable to contain.
However, it is without a doubt that the existing hostility between the Chinese people and their neighbour's, Japan, should be a cause for concern, given the ever-expanding capabilities of the Chinese army. This growth means that if a conflict between China and Japan were to break out, the Japanese people would have limited abilities to defend themselves against the Chinese aggression (Woodward, 2018). To the United States, an attack on the Japan soil would prompt a direct involvement in the conflict since Japan is a close ally to the United States. Such war would be fatal as both countries have nuclear capabilities and might be forced to use them on a devastating scale. The possibility of a future conflict between China and the United States have presented a security threat where the USA has viewed the current economic growth of China as an impending crisis which will come to haunt them and thus jeopardise the peace of the world. An example of an open hostility which could lead to war has been seen through Japan's direct involvement Taiwan's conflict and its military alliance with the American forces which China has termed as a direct provocation to the peace and stability of the region (Heng, n.d.,). The absence of a framework to resolve territorial disputes between China and Japan has presented a security dilemma to the United States where the military fears of an attack by any of these countries.
The communism ideologies of China makes the United States perceive its growth and political influence as threat security. According to Samuel Huntington, the difference in the American socialism ideologies and that of Chinese would present a crisis if China was to obtain the same military capabilities and might as that possessed by the United States. China would try to assert its dominance and change the existing world's order which would face resistance from the current hegemon. Therefore, the existence of different ideologies automatically presents a headache to the American security and preservation of the world's peace (Xia, 2006). This threat would have been of less magnitude if China and Americans share the same ideological believes and ways of life. If China were to become a superpower, it would pursue a Chinese-led global order and try to influence other nations into obeying the new law at the same time aim at sinking the western liberalism ideologies. On numerous of the occasion, the communist ideology which has been primarily embraced by the Chinese government has been termed as offensive, subverts the rights of the citizens, and promotes poverty to the none-working class. Even though liberalism ideologies which are embraced by the western powers and the United States encourages the values of democratic governance, respect of human rights, civil rights, equity, and freedom. The liberalism has in the recent times experienced a decline especially in the countries of the east. The fall has been as a result of inadequate government response to a crisis such as the 2008 financial crisis. Such inadequate response has made the people yearn for changes and embrace new ideas, while at the same time abandon old ideologies which do not seem to favour them (Whyte, 2013. Therefore, if such a notion continues and a communist superpower takes control of the world, the results would be a direct conflict between the liberal and the communist. In this case, the United States would have to defend its ideals and beliefs against the Chinese ideologies.
It has been proposed that a nation can only advance its interest against the interest of other countries. Therefore china's growth is always and will always be viewed as a threat to the United States security. By becoming the central political player in the Asian continent, China has already proved to the world that for critical resolutions and trade deals which regard the Asian continent to be made; it must be invited at the discussion table as a serious determinant of what goes on within the continent. Already, such limitations continue to annoy the United States which sees the Chinese republic as a hindrance to its agenda and thus any further economic growth further puts China at an advantage against the United States when it comes to controlling the Asian continent and the world at large (Scobell, 2012). When China has similar or more dominance as the United States on the global stage, it can persuade other nations from siding with the United States when it comes to voting on the matters concerning the global security and other issues touching the warfare of humanity (Gustman & Steinmeier, 2008).
Based on the power transitional theory, China is a constant threat to the United States and is in the process of dethroning the current superpower. The basic definition of the power transition states that, a big nation which was previously classified as underdeveloped starts to rise to power. For the theory to be valid, the country must challenge the existing systems and powerful na...
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