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China's Naval Buildup and its Implications for the Asia-Pacific Region

, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010

China's remarkable weathering of the global recession has accelerated the expansion of its power relative to that of the West. American observers of China have already noted an increasingly assertive approach by Beijing, and attribute this shift in behavior to an expectation among China's leaders of a greater degree of deference and influence in international affairs.

Nowhere is this dynamic more apparent than in regional maritime issues, where Beijing's interests in maintaining access to foreign resources and enforcing its claims of sovereignty mix with foreign perceptions of Chinese intentions and external reactions to China's decades-long military modernization program. Fueled by an unprecedented period of rapid economic growth, China's leaders are investing hundreds of billions of dollars into a rapid expansion and modernization of China's military, the People's Liberation Army (PLA). ...

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