The AtlanticThe Atlantic

China could soon be the dominant military power in Asia

By Michael Schuman

04 May 2023 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

China is on the verge of "matching or even eclipsing" the U.S. military presence in Asia. The consequences for American security and global influence are "immense," reports The Atlantic.

Ever since the defeat of Japan in World War II nearly 80 years ago, the United States has been the preeminent military power in East Asia. Today China is on the verge of matching or even eclipsing the U.S. military’s presence in the region, having marshaled its newly acquired wealth and technological prowess to expand the scale and capabilities of its armed forces.

The military balance between the U.S. and China in Asia is “very delicate and trending in an unfavorable direction in this decade for the U.S. and its allies,” Elbridge Colby, a co-founder of the Marathon Initiative, a policy-research organization, and a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense, told me. “We should regard ourselves in a dead-heat race against an incredibly formidable competitor and take nothing for granted.”

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