Tuesday, 05 March 2013

New Publication: Security-policy implications of the maritime military build-up in the Asia-Pacific Region

The (renewed) rise of China brings along a number of far-reaching regional and global consequences. As most research reports focus on China, BICC Occasional Paper VIII goes beyond that and analyzes the security policies and strategic concepts of Japan, Australia, Vietnam and South Korea and views their arms procurement in this context. With this, the authors Jan Grebe and Christoph Schwarz intend to sharpen the perception of regional dynamics for the naval build-up.

The Chinese rise and the accompanying modernization and rearmament of Peking’s naval forces are important motives for the arms procurements of the respective countries. Even though Australia and Japan are strongly opposed to Chinese rearmament due to the possible geostrategic consequences, they do not accompany their own armaments policies with robust or even threatening rhetoric which could lead to fears of an immediate armed escalation of the numerous territorial conflicts. 

Still, in view of the numerous unresolved territorial conflicts, an increasingly self-confident Chinese foreign and security policy combined with growing military capabilities of all states concerned, there is the general risk of armed incidents or even conflicts. A number of measures seem to be in order and necessary to reduce the danger of escalation to a minimum and to free the way for a relationship of trust and cooperation amongst the actors involved. In the long-term, regional disarmament could be the most rewarding alternative to the currently dominating arms race.

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