by Dean Cheng
The Heritage Foundation
January 24, 2014
Over the past several months, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has exploited more and more tools to reinforce its claims over much of the East Asian littoral. The intended Chinese message seems clear: Administratively, militarily, diplomatically, and economically, the East Asian littoral is under Chinese dominance. Ironically, despite the much-touted “pivot to Asia,” the Obama Administration has spent far more time on trying to broker Arab–Israeli peace than looking to stabilize East Asia. In light of Beijing’s growing assertiveness, the U.S. needs to make clear to both the PRC and its allies that it will maintain a firm, reliable presence in the region and that this extends beyond mere rhetoric. Moreover, given China’s economic prowess, it is essential that any American response encompass not only military measures but the full array of diplomatic and positive economic levers as well.

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