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The final chapter draws out the book’s key findings, themes, and contribution to the existing literature. It begins with a brief review of the overarching arguments made by each of the case studies. Firmly grounded in the experience of the case studies, this chapter returns to the empirical and theoretical gaps in the literature, described in Chap. 2, and underscores the book’s contribution to the scholarly understanding of United States–China security relations. As a corollary, it affirms the continued relevance of the security dilemma concept to elucidate the deterioration of United States–China military and defense relations during the Obama presidency. Next, the chapter reflects on possible future directions for United States–China relations in the military realm under the stewardship of the new Trump administration. Early indications do not bode well for the trajectory of this crucial security dyad, or for strategic stability in the increasingly volatile, militarized, and crisis-prone Asia-Pacific. Finally, it highlights several implications that follow from the findings of this research, and suggests viable directions future research might take from where this book leaves off.
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Jervis, R. (1976). Perception and misperception international politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 62.
Biddle, S. (2005). Military power: Explaining victory and defeat in modern war. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press.
Jervis, R. (1978). Cooperation under the security dilemma. World Politics, 30(2), 167–214; Lynn-Jones, S.M. (1995). Offense-defense theory and its critics. Security Studies, 4(4), 660–691.
‘Dual-use’ features are also associated with several other related Chinese technologically advanced military capabilities analyzed in this book including cyberspace; EW; missile defense, ASATs; and long-range precision-guided cruise and ballistic missiles.
The Chinese concept of ‘strategic deterrence’ describes a broader and multifaceted version of deterrence that includes nuclear and conventional, as well as cyber, space, and EW domains. See Chase S.M., & Chan, A. (2016). China’s evolving approach to ‘integrated strategic deterrence’. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.
These warhead and targeting ambiguities could equally apply to other medium- and long-range ballistic and cruise missile systems fielded by China.
As Chap. 6 noted, to date no clear evidence has emerged to corroborate reports that China has deployed (or mated) tactical nuclear warheads with delivery vehicles.
Neoliberal IR scholars argue that the existence of democratic political structures can sustain peace between states precisely because they are able to alleviate the security dilemma. See Weinberger, S. (2003). Institutional signaling and the origins of the cold war. Security Studies, 12(4), 80–115.
However, signaling (resolve or benign strategic intentions) is more credible between democratic states; by contrast, nondemocratic states (such as China) tend to have less transparent decision-making processes, and this opacity is more likely to worsen the security dilemma. See Kydd, A. (1997). Sheep in sheep’s clothing: Why security seekers do not fight each other. Security Studies, 7(1), 114–155.
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Sebenius, A. (2017, June 28). Writing the rules of cyber-war. The Atlantic, 28 June 2017. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/cyberattack-russia-ukraine-hack/531957/ (Accessed: 28 June 2017).
Hayden, M. (2017). Cutting cyber command’s umbilical cord to the NSA. The Cipher Brief. Available at: https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/tech/cutting-cyber-commands-umbilical-cord-nsa-1092 (Accessed: 20 June 2017).
For example, an Israeli war game conducted in 2013 demonstrated how the use and threat of cyberattacks might very quickly escalate a crisis, in this case bringing the United States and Russia to the brink of conflict in a possible Middle East war. Opals-Rome, B. (2013, November 14). Israeli cyber game drags U.S., Russia to brink of mid-east war. Defense News, 14 November 2013. Available at: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131115/C4ISRNET07/311150020/Israeli-Cyber-Game-Drags-US-Russia-Brink-Mideast-War (Accessed: 10 June 2017).
Chinese analysts seldom distinguish between peacetime and wartime uses of ‘cyber weapons’ or ‘cyber warfare’—others have advocated a ‘state of perpetual mobilization’. See Zheng, Y. (2013). Lectures on the science of information operations (in Chinese), Beijing: Military Science Press, 53. Lieber, K.A., & Press, D.G. (2017). The new era of counterforce: Technological change and the future of nuclear deterrence. International Security, 41(4), 9–49.
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Cai, J. (2016). The impact of disruptive technologies in great power competition, and on the future battlefield. PLA Daily, 7 May 2016. Available at: http://www.81.cn/jwgz/2016-05/07/content_7036499.htm (Accessed: 10 June 2017).
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Prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, the last major FONOP was authorized by the Obama administration in October 2016. Storey, I. (2017). Choppier waters ahead in the South China Sea? China-US Focus, 12 June 2017. Available at: http://www.chinausfocus.com/peace-security/choppier-waters-ahead-in-the-south-china-sea (Accessed: 1 June 2017).
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U.S. Department of Defense, Press Office. (2017). Remarks by secretary Mattis at Shangri-La dialogue: Secretary of defense Jim Mattis; John Chipman, IISS director-general and chief executive. 3 June 2017. Available at: https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1201780/remarks-by-secretary-mattis-at-shangri-la-dialogue/ (Accessed: 10 June 2017).
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Recent evidence suggests that the relentless modernization of China’s military forces has prompted Japan and South Korea to develop an offensive strike (or ‘counterstrike’) capability. See Lyon, R. (2017). The growth of offensive strike capabilities in Northeast Asia. The Strategist—Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 24 July 2017. Available at: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/growth-offensive-strike-capabilities-northeast-asia/ (Accessed: 25 July 2017).
Chong, K.P. (2017). Progress on maritime code for South China Sea. The Straits Times, 23 May 2017. Available at: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/progress-on-maritime-code (Accessed: 10 June 2017).
In July 2017, for example, Indonesia renamed a resource-rich section of the North Natuna Islands, which overlaps with China’s ‘nine-dash line’ in the South China Seas. Additionally, Malaysia took on a more hawkish line against maritime encroachments in the South China Seas, particularly vis-à-vis China, despite its active engagement with Beijing on the ‘one belt, one road’ initiative. Parameswaran, P. (2017). Beware of the illusion of South China Sea calm. The Diplomat, 21 July 2017. Available at: http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/beware-the-illusion-of-south-china-sea-calm/ (Accessed: 24 July 2017).
The IISS Shangri-La Dialogue (2017). Key Note Address: Malcolm Turnbull, prime minister of Australia. IISS—The Asia Security Summit, 2 June 2017. Available at: https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri-la-dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2017-4f77/opening-remarks-and-keynote-address-fc1a/keynote-address---malcolm-turnbull-4bbe (Accessed: 10 July 2017).
- Concluding Remarks
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