While Hu Jintao served as its national leader, China’s economic growth and national defense expenditure increased by multiple folds. This allowed China’s national defense to get strengthened. And its achievement was reflected in 2011, when China jumped over Japan to become the world’s second largest economy. As for its navy strength, China’s vessel tonnage also surpassed Japan’s and become the region’s marine power. China was ever more confident to flex its muscles on the world stage. As a result, China’s navy frequently conducts military exercise on the Second Island Chain and dispatches its fleets on a regular basis to the Indian Ocean and even to the Persian Gulf on escort mission. Moreover, it held a marine parade named “Harmonious Ocean” in 2009 and created its first aircraft carrier “Liaoning”. Under China’s strategic planning, China is advancing toward a blue-water navy strategic goal.
Ever since the Soviet Union fell apart and the United States trapped in its anti-terrorism, Asia has been in a state of power vacuum. China has been grasping this window of opportunity by marching toward wealth and power. This is sending a shock wave throughout Asia. In this global age, countries are connected to each other economically, politically, and even militarily. No country can insulate itself from the world stage and do what it likes. If China desires to become an economic and military power, it is obligated to observe rules set by the other powers. As far as international situation development is concerned, a global conflict is unlikely. But local conflicts are inevitable. In particular, China’s commitment to its blue-sea strategy is unsettling America and surrounding countries.
America deploys its forces at each strategic location around the world to maintain regional stability. Only regional stability and freedom of navigation correspond to America’s core interest and maintain its hegemonic base. Therefore, it is consequential that no regional hegemony is allowed. Any country who challenges the America-led security system will damage its interest. President Obama declared a “Rebalance to Asia” policy. In addition to reinforcing its force size in Japan and South Korea and drawing other countries to its side, America is strengthening its military deployment and exercise. When China is expanding its blue sea strategy, the pressure arising from its territory dispute is also gradually increasing. This is making surrounding countries nervous, who are undertaking their arms expansion or forming alliances against China.