Arms Sales and U.S. Strategic Deployment in the Asia-Pacific

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.5, 2015


Arms Sales and U.S. Strategic Deployment in the Asia-Pacific



Qi Haixia and Zhou Jianren


In recent years, with the U.S. announcement of its “return to Asia” strategy, China’s regional diplomacy has encountered repeated setbacks. What are America’s specific strategic deployments in relation to different countries in the Asia-Pacific region? A comparison of arms sales in the immediate post-cold war period and in recent years shows that in the immediate post-cold war period, the target customers in the Asia-Pacific region were economic powers and states with high military expenditure. More recently, around the time of the launch of the U.S.Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy, U.S. arms sales have given greater importance to the ideology of target customers and have become more aggressive. Among these customers, Japan is the key state in U.S. strategic arrangements for “returning to the Asia-Pacific.” Overall, the U.S. has grand plans for the Asia-Pacific; it aims not only to contain China, but also to build a new system of regional alignments. In this context, China should emphasize the role of diplomatic strategies and ideas rather than simply competing through economic diplomacy.