March 1, 2021
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Regional hegemony
Chinese activities in the Asia-Pacific maritime region China’s rise in the past decades has been extraordinary. It has grown to become an economic powerhouse and a military giant. But, as the country has grown and evolved from the shackles of its past, the manner in which it has gone about its rise has been viewed as aggressive. Naturally, a country on its path of super economic growth requires maintaining a continued and sustained standard of performance, for which it requires resources–monetary, political, diplomatic, geo-strategic, and military. China has demonstrated a steady consolidation of all these aspects. However, commensurate with this is its increasingly imperialistic and aggressive policy of expansion at any cost. Its idea of expansion is not limited to becoming the world’s sole economic power by 2030. It is also linked with expanding geographically. Thus China’s claims in the South China Sea and now the East China Sea, as baffling as they may be, signal an attempt by Beijing to consolidate control over the immensely strategic sea routes and territorial regions ranging from the Indian Ocean all the way to the Western Pacific. If one considers the trajectory of Chinese occupations, claims and attempts to gain territory in the past four decades, it becomes clear that while resources (which are strategically required by an evolving economy to sustain growth) are the highest priority, maintaining sole control over the most
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