Updated: Jan 9
Image Courtesy: Asia Times
C3S Monograph: 01/2021
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With “national rejuvenation” at its core, the contemporary agenda catered to achieve the “Chinese Dream” finds itself in the quest to consolidate its position and maximize China’s security beyond the mainland. China is adamant and poised to secure its frontiers and seek power over all the potential adversaries in its ultimate pursuit to relive the glory days of past. At this juncture, the country strongly feels the need for staging points to exploit the caveats in the global order and present itself as an alternative and this longing is not based on gaining temporary momentum but are a part of a larger strategy to solidify its conception of a “Sino-centric world”.
Since times immemorial, overseas military presence has played a paramount role in establishing and maintaining influence outside the mainland, and Beijing’s revitalized interest in it, only underscores its ambition to project itself as a global power. The staring duality of overseas military bases which can not only facilitate China’s ambitions but also have the capacity to lure in the not so-developed but strategically important host nations in its sphere of influence by implying benefits in the form of security and development.
As of now, China’s military capability to execute out-of-area operations and provide security to international assets and goods falls short of the increasing need to protect its expanding economic, political, and security interests abroad. Undoubtedly, at the present, the United States of America maintains an incomparable and unquestionable lead in terms of overseas military bases but Beijing, time and again, has been revitalizing its quest over the last decade to strengthen its international presence. Albeit, Beijing downplays its ambitions and consequently its approach has been gradual and cautious preventing an alarming situation which could ware the surrounding but the recent adventurism, in the form of border skirmishes and militarization of islands in the South China Sea despite objections from the international quarters is a ringing testimony to its deep-rooted aspirations of Expansionism.
Therefore, it becomes imperative to analyze this distinctively Chinese strategic maneuver and mitigate the fast-approaching flashpoints. The world needs to discern that the threats from China are no longer euphuisms and hyperboles but an ultimatum to the cataclysmic ‘rule-devoid’ world order to come.
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About the Author
(Samanvay Pandey is a Research Intern at Chennai Centre for China Studies. He is an Undergraduate student of Political Science at Hindu College, University of Delhi. His areas of interests include Geopolitics & Strategy, Defence & Security and China’s Foreign Policy. The views expressed in the monograph are personal and does not reflect the views of C3S)