In the past two years, Washington has elevated to the leader level the “Quad” security partnership with Australia, Japan and India, widely seen as a counterweight to Beijing. It has also enhanced its alliance with Japan — which is buying U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles and developing its own counterstrike capability — and brought South Korea into a trilateral security relationship among the three countries. The Biden administration has expanded access to military bases in the Philippines, including several in the north close to Taiwan, and sealed a deal with Australia and Britain to provide Australia with nuclear-powered submarines.
“What you’re seeing with all of these activities is a serial game of chicken,” said Stacie Pettyjohn, director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security. “This is pure intimidation on the part of China. They are trying to raise the risk and cost of conducting operations over territory in the vicinity of what they consider to be their area of influence.”
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