Why does China want to militarily dominate Asia?

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The Politicus
Feb 28, 2022 09:38 PM 0 Answers
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It's taken as an axiom that China wants America out of Asia. No American ships in the Western Pacific, no US military bases in Japan or South Korea, etc. Chinese-friendly governments everywhere.

I can think of one obvious benefit to China - without American influence in Asia, they can take Taiwan.

But are there any other benefits? Specifically, I'd like to know if the average Chinese citizen gets any wealthier in a world where China has achieved complete regional hegemony over Asia.

It seems that the Chinese are able to negotiate favorable trade agreements with other countries due to their economic clout (IE 20 trillion dollar GDP) - I don't see a connection between getting the US military out of Asia, and getting better trade deals. China's Belt and Road initiative will presumably help China export products everywhere, making the average Chinese citizen wealthier - but it's not like the US military is launching airstrikes against every country signing onto the BRI. China benefits from the fact that the US Navy protects sea lanes - why would China want to bear this cost?

And the costs of displacing the US from Asia will be enormous. Hundreds of billions of dollars in increased military spending, and the potential enormous cost of a war with the US (possibly trillions of dollars lost). If China wins a war with the US and the US vows to never have military assets in the Western Pacific, how is China any better off?

Or do the Chinese seriously think that America is going to invade China, a nuclear armed state? It seems that a greater threat to the CCP comes from American influence spread over the internet, rather than from US military assets.

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