Dec. 12, 2016
Chapter 9 | Asia Pacific
This chapter examines the strategic challenges the United States confronts in the Asia-Pacific region and argues that the United States should work with allies, partners, and multilateral organizations to build a rules-based regional order that includes China and advances U.S. national interests. This requires sustaining the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific and intensifying cooperation with other regional actors to shape China’s choices. The chapter begins by reviewing the history of U.S. engagement with Asia and describing the range of important U.S. national interests located in the Asia-Pacific region or strongly influenced by developments there. It then reviews major trends shaping the region (including economic dynamism, China’s rise, and the U.S. rebalance to Asia) and considers specific security challenges in Northeast Asia, the Korean Peninsula, the China-Taiwan relationship, and in the South China Sea. The authors argue that the United States needs to devote high-level attention to its alliances in Asia, to cooperation with new regional security partners, and to shaping the Asia-Pacific strategic and economic order in favorable directions. These actions will place the United States in a better position to shape China’s strategic choices and integrate China within a rules-based regional and global order.