Balancing China in the Indo-Pacific

Leading strategic analysts, C. Raja Mohan and Renato Cruz De Castro, discuss China’s increasingly aggressive posture in the Indo-Pacific as well as the emergence of balancing coalitions to prevent Beijing from dominating the region.

Beijing has been betting on the fact that it is much easier to disrupt and break up coalitions than to build and sustain them. But to date, its efforts to bully, coerce and intimidate members into distancing themselves from Washington have largely backfired with Canberra, Delhi, Manila and others all drawing closer to America.

Will Beijing double down on these efforts as Sino-American security competition intensifies? Can Washington maintain a unity of purpose both at home and abroad amongst diverse coalition members? Has the balance of power already tilted in China’s favour? Or has Beijing miscalculated and overplayed its hand?