This article was written by IWP doctoral candidate Saba Sattar and published by The National Interest.
Washington must reassert formidable leadership by upholding the example it sets forth on multilateral platforms.
China began its rapid naval expansion in the mid-1980s, initially prioritizing the immediate vicinities of East Asia and the Taiwan Strait. Today, its power projection capabilities have expanded beyond those of a regional force—it seeks hegemony on the high seas.
Beijing expanded its aspirations in the Indian Ocean in 2008, taking a larger role in responding to the piracy crisis in the Gulf of Aden to protect its overseas economic investments. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has made additional deployments ever since, and the first overseas Chinese military base was established in Djibouti in 2017.