Japan’s Armament and China’s Rise

Michael Auslin in his piece Japan Awakens in Foreign Policy captures well the strategic predicament of modern China.  Japan is increasing its military capability, with an eye toward deterring Chinese moves in the East China Sea and elsewhere.  A cursory glance at the map of East Asia will reveal that China, a continental power, is surrounded all along its maritime periphery by islands or other territories under the control of states that are not friendly to it.  The sea lanes around China are intensely vulnerable to disruption.  The Chinese navy, without significant overseas bases, is effectively boxed in by its prospective opponents, just as Imperial Germany’s High Seas Fleet was cornered by the Royal Navy before and during the First World War.

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