The Geostrategic Challenge of the 21st Century: The US-China Relationship
On May 24th, 2016, US president Barack Obama announced that the US would stand with its partners to ensure freedom of navigation and flight in the South China Sea and said that big nations should not bully smaller ones. This bullying implicitly refers to China, which has become increasingly assertive concerning its territorial claims in the South China Sea as its military power is expanding in tandem with its impressive economic growth. In this thesis, I address the changing relationship between the US and China by first looking at different international relations paradigms by prominent international relations scholars. Second, I look at the militarization of the South China Sea by several nations in the region. Third, I look at other facets that alter the US-China relationship, such as the hacking operations and reverse-engineering of sophisticated US technologies. These trends, among other things, show that the liberal international order established after World War II is slowly being jeopardized, prefaced by a an increasingly assertive China that threatens to push US military influence out of the Western Pacific.
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