US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy Is a Solid Step to Countering China’s Aggression

News Analysis The Biden administration now pledges to intensify U.S. engagement in the Indo-Pacific to counter communist China’s growing aggression in the region. “The future of each of our nations—and indeed the world— depends on a free and open Pacific,” President Joe Biden said in a speech at the first Quad leaders summit on Sept. 24, 2021. The Quad consists of the United States, India, Australia, and Japan. On Feb. 11, the White House released its Indo-Pacific Strategy white paper, which states that regional governments should have the freedom to make their own sovereign choices, free of coercion. This includes maintaining a rules-based approach to the management and shared usage of the maritime domain, including in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. According to the paper, the Trump administration “recognized the Indo-Pacific as the world’s center of gravity.” In reference to the paper, a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters: “Our China strategy is global in scope. It recognizes the Indo-Pacific is a particularly intense region of competition.” The White House is justified in seeing the China threat as not being limited to the Asia-Pacific, but rather as a global issue, shared by all nations. Beijing’s Aggression The Chinese regime is mobilizing its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to extend its reach and dominance across the globe. And in the process, it has bullied other countries. Australia has been threatened and bullied by the regime in retaliation for calling an investigation into the origin of COVID-19. Taiwan was subjected to 961 Chinese military incursions into their sea and airspace last year alone. Over the past three years, China violated India’s territorial integrity, which led to several skirmishes. On a continuing basis, the Chinese Navy harasses civilian and military vessels from Vietnam. Chinese vessels fired water cannons at Philippine ships inside of Philippine territorial waters last year. Japan and China have had a long-running dispute over the Senkaku Islands. In 2021, Malaysia accused China of violating its airspace. Indonesia felt the need to arm its maritime force in order to prevent Chinese vessels from entering the seas around its Natuna Islands. European Union countries as well as the United Kingdom have had repeated diplomatic disputes with China over its human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Beijing targeted Lithuania for supporting Taiwan. US and Allies Counter China’s Threats The Indo-Pacific strategy depends on defense agreements with America’s regional allies, many of whom have had recent or ongoing disputes with China. These include Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. Through existing pacts—such as AUKUS, the Five Eyes, and the Quad—the defense strategy includes Australia, the United Kingdom, India, and New Zealand. The white paper also calls for alignment with the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which have a shared interest in opposing Chinese hegemony. Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group conducts a passing honors ceremony with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force on Sept. 19, 2021. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Haydn N. Smith) The U.S. defense plans for the maintenance of a free Indo-Pacific is predicated on preserving the independence of Taiwan. The Taiwanese submarine fleet would play an integral role, along with the U.S. and Australian fleets, in containing the Chinese Navy within the atolls south of Japan, east of Taiwan and north of Malaysia. This would then allow the U.S. Seventh Fleet to control China’s access to oil, shipped through the Malacca Straits. The white paper states that the United States will “will defend our interests, deter military aggression against our own country and our allies and partners—including across the Taiwan Strait.” The mere mention of the Taiwan Strait suggests an intensifying U.S. commitment to the preservation of Taiwan. Through the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is already committed to providing Taiwan with weapons to defend itself. In January 2022, the Arm Taiwan Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress, which would intensify the United States’ commitment to Taiwan’s defense. The white paper also mentions the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which the Biden administration plans to launch in the coming months. This multilateral partnership will serve as the basis for increased U.S. trade, investment, and diplomatic relations with the region. The economic strategy sets out to ensure freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of information, devoid of manipulation. These goals dovetail with establishing a reliable and secure inter

US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy Is a Solid Step to Countering China’s Aggression

News Analysis

The Biden administration now pledges to intensify U.S. engagement in the Indo-Pacific to counter communist China’s growing aggression in the region.

“The future of each of our nations—and indeed the world— depends on a free and open Pacific,” President Joe Biden said in a speech at the first Quad leaders summit on Sept. 24, 2021. The Quad consists of the United States, India, Australia, and Japan.

On Feb. 11, the White House released its Indo-Pacific Strategy white paper, which states that regional governments should have the freedom to make their own sovereign choices, free of coercion. This includes maintaining a rules-based approach to the management and shared usage of the maritime domain, including in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

According to the paper, the Trump administration “recognized the Indo-Pacific as the world’s center of gravity.”

In reference to the paper, a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters: “Our China strategy is global in scope. It recognizes the Indo-Pacific is a particularly intense region of competition.”

The White House is justified in seeing the China threat as not being limited to the Asia-Pacific, but rather as a global issue, shared by all nations.

Beijing’s Aggression

The Chinese regime is mobilizing its economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to extend its reach and dominance across the globe. And in the process, it has bullied other countries.

  • Australia has been threatened and bullied by the regime in retaliation for calling an investigation into the origin of COVID-19.
  • Taiwan was subjected to 961 Chinese military incursions into their sea and airspace last year alone.
  • Over the past three years, China violated India’s territorial integrity, which led to several skirmishes.
  • On a continuing basis, the Chinese Navy harasses civilian and military vessels from Vietnam.
  • Chinese vessels fired water cannons at Philippine ships inside of Philippine territorial waters last year.
  • Japan and China have had a long-running dispute over the Senkaku Islands.
  • In 2021, Malaysia accused China of violating its airspace.
  • Indonesia felt the need to arm its maritime force in order to prevent Chinese vessels from entering the seas around its Natuna Islands.
  • European Union countries as well as the United Kingdom have had repeated diplomatic disputes with China over its human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
  • Beijing targeted Lithuania for supporting Taiwan.

US and Allies Counter China’s Threats

The Indo-Pacific strategy depends on defense agreements with America’s regional allies, many of whom have had recent or ongoing disputes with China. These include Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. Through existing pacts—such as AUKUS, the Five Eyes, and the Quad—the defense strategy includes Australia, the United Kingdom, India, and New Zealand. The white paper also calls for alignment with the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which have a shared interest in opposing Chinese hegemony.

Epoch Times Photo
Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group conducts a passing honors ceremony with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force on Sept. 19, 2021. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Haydn N. Smith)

The U.S. defense plans for the maintenance of a free Indo-Pacific is predicated on preserving the independence of Taiwan. The Taiwanese submarine fleet would play an integral role, along with the U.S. and Australian fleets, in containing the Chinese Navy within the atolls south of Japan, east of Taiwan and north of Malaysia. This would then allow the U.S. Seventh Fleet to control China’s access to oil, shipped through the Malacca Straits.

The white paper states that the United States will “will defend our interests, deter military aggression against our own country and our allies and partners—including across the Taiwan Strait.”

The mere mention of the Taiwan Strait suggests an intensifying U.S. commitment to the preservation of Taiwan. Through the Taiwan Relations Act, the United States is already committed to providing Taiwan with weapons to defend itself. In January 2022, the Arm Taiwan Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress, which would intensify the United States’ commitment to Taiwan’s defense.

The white paper also mentions the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which the Biden administration plans to launch in the coming months. This multilateral partnership will serve as the basis for increased U.S. trade, investment, and diplomatic relations with the region. The economic strategy sets out to ensure freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of information, devoid of manipulation. These goals dovetail with establishing a reliable and secure internet, trustworthy global telecommunications and 5G, as well as Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) technology.

Improving the quality of democracy in the region is another goal, which includes supporting democratic institutions, the rule of law, transparency, and government accountability. This, along with increased trade and investment from the United States, should put countries in a better position to stand up to Beijing’s economic coercion.

In order to improve the standard of living in the region, the United States plans to target its economic engagement toward developing innovation and strengthening economic competitiveness, which will lead to the creation of good-paying jobs.

Building and securing regional supply chain networks is another priority. To this end, the paper stresses the importance of coordinating with ASEAN partners as well strengthening trade and investment ties with those nations.

Ultimately, the Indo-Pacific Strategy white paper calls for a coordinated effort between the United States and its allies. In short, the White House is calling on more than one-third of the world’s population to present a united front against the Chinese regime.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Antonio Graceffo, Ph.D., has spent more than 20 years in Asia. He is a graduate of the Shanghai University of Sport and holds a China-MBA from Shanghai Jiaotong University. Graceffo works as an economics professor and China economic analyst, writing for various international media. Some of his books on China include "Beyond the Belt and Road: China’s Global Economic Expansion" and "A Short Course on the Chinese Economy."