(From Washington Post)
China will have so many aircraft carriers by 2030 that the South China Sea will be “virtually a Chinese lake,” a new U.S. study has warns, arguing that the balance of power in Asia Pacific region was shifting away from the United States.
Meanwhile, President Obama’s strategic “rebalance” to Asia has neither been clearly enough explained nor sufficiently resourced to cope with rising threats from China and North Korea, the report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found.
It said the United States should sustain and expand its military presence in the Asia Pacific, and also accelerate efforts to strengthen the capabilities of its allies and partners.
The CSIS study was carried out after Congress required the Pentagon to commission an independent assessment of U.S. strategy in the Asia Pacific.
It concluded that Obama’s rebalance needed more attention and resources, especially as China has accelerated the pace of “coercive activities” and island-building in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.
“Chinese and North Korean actions are routinely challenging the credibility of U.S. security commitments, and at the current rate of U.S. capability, the balance of military power in the region is shifting against the United States,” it said. Read more