September 07, 2017

Wanted: A U.S. Strategic Response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative

By Daniel Kliman

China is engaging in a nearly trillion dollar play for the future of Afro-Eurasia—called the Belt and Road Initiative—and has so far caught the United States flat-footed. Unless the United States works with key allies and partners to craft a forward-leaning response, it risks replicating the strategic failure that occurred in the South China Sea. The result could be a China-centric economic and security order extending across Eurasia and along the Indian Ocean rim.

Observing Beijing’s approach to the South China Sea in late 2013, American leaders experienced a failure of imagination. They did not anticipate the ambitious scope of China’s land reclamation. At over 3,200 acres, China has reclaimed an area equivalent to more than 20 percent of the island of Manhattan. Additionally, American leaders did not envision the cascading military and diplomatic consequences of a slow-moving U.S. response, which gave China the opportunity to project power more than five hundred miles from its mainland and undermine U.S. credibility by demonstrating to the region that China could unilaterally change the facts on the ground without paying a significant price.

Read the full op-ed in The National Interest.

  • Video
    • June 24, 2020
    The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas

    On June 17, 2020, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted its premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security. Sixteen applicants made t...

    By Richard Fontaine, Michèle Flournoy, Michael J. Zak, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Shai Korman, Carrie Cordero, Kristine Lee, David Zikusoka & Cole Stevens

  • Podcast
    • June 24, 2020
    Richard Fontaine appears on Utrikespodden med Axel och Zebulon

    A bonus episode of the pod, all in English! Axel talks to Richard Fontaine, who is the CEO of Washington-based think Center for A New American Security (CNAS) and a former for...

    By Richard Fontaine

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • June 18, 2020
    How to Prevent a War in Asia

    Amid all the uncertainty about the world that will follow the pandemic, one thing is almost sure to be true: tensions between the United States and China will be even sharper ...

    By Michèle Flournoy

  • Transcript
    • June 17, 2020
    Transcript from America and the Post-Pandemic World

    At the launch of the CNAS 2020 National Security Conference on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine and Axios China Reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian discussed ...

    By Richard Fontaine & Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia