On November 5, Foreign Policy published a biweekly column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and New American Engagement Initiative senior fellow Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.

In the column, they discuss climate progress and pitfalls at COP26, including discrepancies between China’s climate commitments and actions. Later, they assess capabilities and intentions in a new Defense Department report on China’s military buildup.

The report asserts that China is trying to displace the United States from Asia and sees US alliances as incompatible with its own preferred regional order. China sees the United States as trying to constrain or contain its rise… [this] suggests a strong potential for misunderstandings and miscommunications that could lead to conflict.

Emma Ashford

The problem is not misunderstanding – Washington and Beijing understand each other quite well. China wants to dominate the region, and the United States and its allies and partners don’t want to be dominated. The question then becomes one of strength. Can Washington and its allies build a military strategy and capabilities that will deter Chinese aggression?

Matthew Kroenig

Related Experts: Matthew Kroenig and Emma Ashford