A couple of weeks ago there was a very interesting special report in the FT Weekend Magazine. The issue in question surrounds the competing military’s of the US and China; specifically their navies.
The US, since World War Two, has been the prominent force in the Pacific. However now that China are on the rise, and expecting to be the worlds leading economy, they want to challenge this US hegemony. China “wants a return to the leadership position it has enjoyed so often in Asian history” (FT Weekend Magazine, 2014, p.14).
At present the US has the worlds largest military and their spending equates to 39% of the world total share (SIPRI, 2013). In comparison, the Chinese, the second largest spenders on military expenditure equate to only 9% of the world share. However, China’s military spending has risen massively in the last 20 years, “and their navy has been given pride of place” (FT Weekend Magazine, 2014, p. 14). The Chinese are also investing their time and money into technologies designed to keep enemies at bay, essentially, to keep the US as far away as possible. Dennis Blair, a spokesman from the Obama administration even said that “ninety per cent of their time is spent on thinking about new and interesting ways to sink our ships and shoot down our planes” (FT Weekend Magazine, 2014, p. 15).
It can be suggested that China’s aim is to really cement their place in the global system and to challenge US hegemony. China, buy the looks of things, are trying to “reshape the balance of power in Asia” (FT Weekend Magazine, 2014, p. 15). This will most certainly be an issue that shall continue for the coming years, this ‘stand-off’ between the US and China is to be at the forefront of international politics in the 21st century.
FT Weekend Magazine, February 22/23 2014