Beijing's Sovereignty Gamble

By Ernie Bower

Ernie Bower is the Founder, President & CEO of BowerGroupAsia, a US based business advisory company focused on supporting the world's best companies working in Asia. Ernie led the effort to create first chair for Southeast Asian Studies at Center for Strategic and International Studies and helped found and lead the US-ASEAN Business Council. Ernie earned a bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

China’s neighbors are gravely concerned about what they see as a clear and determined strategy being implemented by Xi Jinping, the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and now Commander in Chief of the People’s Liberation Army.  They believe Xi is committed to leveraging China’s indisputable economic power to force some of them to give up sovereign claims to territory, both land and sea.  In their eyes,  China is seeking to dominate and control not only the South China Sea but the entire region, extending well into the Pacific to what is known as the second island chain.

These concerns are not limited to the five other countries that are claimants to the South China Sea’s disputed areas, but indeed affect all capitals of countries within the IndoPacific region, including India, most of South Asia (except Pakistan), the Pacific and Northeast Asia (except North Korea).

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