China’s ability to sustain military power at a distance, at present, remains limited but, as noted in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report, it “has the greatest potential to compete militarily with the United States and fi eld disruptive military technologies that could over time offset traditional U.S. military advantages.”
At the core of China’s overall strategy rests the desire to maintain the continuous rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A deep-rooted
fear of losing political power shapes the leadership’s strategic outlook and drives many of its choices. As a substitute for the failure of communist ideology,
the CCP has based its legitimacy on the twin pillars of economic performance and nationalism. As a consequence, domestic economic and social diffi culties may lead China to attempt to bolster support by stimulating nationalist sentiment which
could result in more aggressive behavior in foreign and security affairs than we might otherwise expect.
Beijing’s defi nition of an attack against its sovereignty or territory is vague, however. The history of modern Chinese warfare is replete with cases in which China’s leaders have claimed military preemption as a strategically defensive
act. For example, China refers to its intervention in the Korean War (1950-1953) as the War to Resist the United States and Aid Korea. Similarly, authoritative texts refer to border conflicts against India (1962), the Soviet Union (1969), and Vietnam
(1979) as “Self-Defense Counter Attacks.” This logic suggests the potential for China to engage in military preemption, perhaps far from its borders, if
the use of force protects or advances core interests, including territorial claims (e.g., Taiwan and unresolved border or maritime claims).
Once hostilities have begun, according to the PLA text, Science of Campaigns (Zhanyixue) (2000), “the essence of [active defense] is to take the initiative and to annihilate the enemy . . . .
HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, April 13) – The U.S. government "should give serious consideration" to shifting the balance of its naval forces from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and beef up its military muscle on Guam as part of the shift, according to a think-tank's report, released Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
"Improvements to U.S. military facilities on Guam should continue, not only to relieve some of the burden on Okinawa, but also to upgrade the overall capabilities of U.S. Pacific forces," according to the report.
And to be ready in the event China becomes militarily aggressive, the report states the U.S. naval forces' focus should shift from the Atlantic.PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT
So after all is John Mearsheimer correct?