Uniqueness – US military presence growing now as a reaction to increasing Chinese military presence in East Asia
Southfront Solutions, military and foreign policy consulting group, http://southfront.org/foreign-policy-diary-the-us-china-standoff-in-the-indo-asia-pacific-region/
The US sea services have released a new maritime strategy, a plan that describes how the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard will design, organize, and employ naval forces in support its global dominance. The new strategy titled, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower” highlighted “forward,” “engaged,” and “ready” as key words and kept the original theme of “ensuring our capability to intervene overseas.” It calls for increasing the Navy’s forward presence to 120 ships by 2020, up from about 97 ships today. This includes forward-basing four ballistic-missile-defense destroyers in Spain and stationing another attack submarine in Guam by the end of 2015. The Navy is scheduled to increase presence in Middle East from 30 ships today to 40 by 2020. The strategy reinforces the continued need to strengthen partnerships and alliances by stressing the importance of operating in NATO maritime groups and participating in international training exercises. The US strategy emphasizes operating forward and making proxies across the globe, especially in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Thus, the hard anti-Russian rhetoric of the Washington is a side of the global stand-off. Very same time, the United States is preparing to go deeper in deal with China. The US strategists are concerned about rise of Chinese naval forces and its expansion to the Pacific Ocean. Particularly, they aimed to prevent a situation when China will be able to defend particular zones of sea communications from foreign intervention. This is Chinese DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile purpose. In 2008 the U.S. Department of Defense estimated that China had 60-80 missiles and 60 launchers. The risk of establishing area denied operational environment, for instance in South China Sea, worries architects of the strategy. Since the American ‘pivot’ toward Asia, a tolerant term for the US deterrence policy against China, in 2011 United States Navy has deployed 60 percent of all it powers in Asia-Pacific region. Indeed, the US Navy is ready to deploy more in order to establish own control in China’s zone of interest.
Link – Strategic reversal. Chinese policymakers will perceive the aff advocacy as US weakness and increase its military aggressiveness. Obama’s first term proves the reaction cycle.
Gompert and Saunders 11
David C., Distinguished Research Fellow in the Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies, at the National Defense University (NDU), a Professor for National Security Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy, and an Adjunct Fellow of the RAND Corporation; Phillip C., Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of Studies in the Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies, at the National Defense University (NDU). He also serves as Director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs
The Paradox of Power: Sino-American Strategic Restraint in an Age of Vulnerability, 2011, ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Documents/Books/paradox-of-power.pdf, pp. 44-45
The net result is a complex, multifaceted, and ambiguous relationship where substantial and expanding areas of cooperation coexist with ongoing strategic tensions and suspicions. China’s sense of its room for maneuver (and potential strategic vulnerability) with respect to the United States rests on the global balance of power, the relative military balance, China’s domestic political vulnerabilities at any given moment, and the “balance of need” in terms of which country needs the other more. During the Obama administration’s first 2 years in office, these factors have produced a negative dynamic in bilateral relations. Chinese analysts saw broad trends toward multipolarity and the diffusion of power reducing U.S. international dominance; many concluded that the financial crisis and U.S. commitments in the Middle East were accelerating the U.S. decline. At the same time, many Chinese believed that China’s rising economic, political, and military power allowed it to be less deferential to the concerns of the United States and other Asia-Pacific states and to push its own agenda by calling for reductions in U.S. arms sales and political support for Taiwan and by taking a tougher line on maritime sovereignty disputes. These perceptions were reinforced by expressions of nationalist sentiment in the Chinese media (including a number of articles by retired PLA officers) that criticized any signs of compromise by Chinese leaders and called on the government to punish the United States for actions such as arms sales to Taiwan.3 These perceptions coincided with Obama administration efforts to expand the areas of U.S.-China cooperation and encourage China to take on more responsibility in addressing global challenges such as climate change, nonproliferation, and the stability of the international economic system. Chinese leaders likely concluded that these proposals—intended to increase China’s stake and role in sustaining the current international system—were a reflection of American weakness and indicative of a shift in the “balance of need” in China’s favor. Improved cross-strait relations, which reduced China’s need for U.S. support in reining in possible Taiwan moves toward independence, were another factor in this assessment. China’s temporary shift away from its “charm diplomacy” and military restraint toward a more assertive posture in 2009–2010 alarmed its neighbors and revived concerns about a threat to regional stability. A more assertive China and a series of provocative North Korean actions (including a second nuclear test, the sinking of the Republic of Korea Navy corvette Cheonan, and shelling of Yeonpyeong Island) have reinvigorated U.S. security alliances with Japan and South Korea. They have also produced a broader demand in Asia for an enhanced U.S. political and security role in the region.
Impact – South China Sea war goes nuclear
Goldstein 13 (Avery Goldstein, professor University of Pennsylvania department of Political Science, China's Real and Present Danger. Foreign Affairs [serial online]. September 2013;92(5):136-144. Available from: Military & Government Collection, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 30, 2015 LC)
Uncertainty about what could lead either Beijing or Washington to risk war makes a crisis far more likely, since neither side knows when, where, or just how hard it can push without the other side pushing back. This situation bears some resemblance to that of the early Cold War, when it took a number of serious crises for the two sides to feel each other out and learn the rules of the road. But today's environment might be even more dangerous.¶ The balance of nuclear and conventional military power between China and the United States, for example, is much more lopsided than the one that existed between the Soviet Union and the United States. Should Beijing and Washington find themselves in a conflict, the huge U.S. advantage in conventional forces would increase the temptation for Washington to threaten to or actually use force. Recognizing the temptation facing Washington, Beijing might in turn feel pressure to use its conventional forces before they are destroyed. Although China could not reverse the military imbalance, it might believe that quickly imposing high costs on the United States would be the best way to get it to back off.¶ The fact that both sides have nuclear arsenals would help keep the situation in check, because both sides would want to avoid actions that would invite nuclear retaliation. Indeed, if only nuclear considerations mattered, U.S.-Chinese crises would be very stable and not worth worrying about too much. But the two sides' conventional forces complicate matters and undermine the stability provided by nuclear deterrence. During a crisis, either side might believe that using its conventional forces would confer bargaining leverage, manipulating the other side's fear of escalation through what the economist Thomas¶ Schelling calls a "competition in risk-taking." In a crisis, China or the United States might believe that it valued what was at stake more than the other and would therefore be willing to tolerate a higher level of risk. But because using conventional forces would be only the first step in an unpredictable process subject to misperception, missteps, and miscalculation, there is no guarantee that brinkmanship would end before it led to an unanticipated nuclear catastrophe.¶ China, moreover, apparently believes that nuclear deterrence opens the door to the safe use of conventional force. Since both countries would fear a potential nuclear exchange, the Chinese seem to think that neither they nor the Americans would allow a military conflict to escalate too far. Soviet leaders, by contrast, indicated that they would use whatever military means were necessary if war came--which is one reason why war never came. In addition, China's official "no first use" nuclear policy, which guides the Chinese military's preparation and training for conflict, might reinforce Beijing's confidence that limited war with the United States would not mean courting nuclear escalation. As a result of its beliefs, Beijing might be less cautious about taking steps that would risk triggering a crisis. And if a crisis ensued, China might also be less cautious about firing the first shot.¶ Such beliefs are particularly worrisome given recent developments in technology that have dramatically improved the precision and effectiveness of conventional military capabilities. Their lethality might confer a dramatic advantage to the side that attacks first, something that was generally not true of conventional military operations in the main European theater of U.S.-Soviet confrontation. Moreover, because the sophisticated computer and satellite systems that guide contemporary weapons are highly vulnerable to conventional military strikes or cyberattacks, today's more precise weapons might be effective only if they are used before an adversary has struck or adopted counter-measures. If peacetime restraint were to give way to a search for advantage in a crisis, neither China nor the United States could be confident about the durability of the systems managing its advanced conventional weapons.¶ Under such circumstances, both Beijing and Washington would have incentives to initiate an attack. China would feel particularly strong pressure, since its advanced conventional weapons are more fully dependent on vulnerable computer networks, fixed radar sites, and satellites. The effectiveness of U.S. advanced forces is less dependent on these most vulnerable systems. The advantage held by the United States, however, might increase its temptation to strike first, especially against China's satellites, since it would be able to cope with Chinese retaliation in kind.
World War III
George, international financier and philanthropist, as quoted by Shen Hua, “Will South China Sea Dispute Lead to World War?” Voice of America News, http://www.voanews.com/content/will-south-china-sea-dispute-lead-to-world-war/2806950.html
Well-known American investor George Soros also expressed concerns about the Chinese aggression in the South China Sea in recent months. He said at a recent World Bank forum that if China suffers economically, it is likely to initiate a third world war in order to achieve national solidarity and to get itself out of the economic difficulties. Even if China and the U.S. do not engage in a war directly, Soros said, there is a high possibility of military conflicts between China and one of the U.S. security partners, Japan. World War III could follow as a result, Soros said.
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