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A comparison of the number of major weapons systems developed between after the ending of the Cold War and provides an indication of the ongoing military expansion see Table 3.

RISING POWERS QUARTERLY

However, these figures merely provide an approximate and inaccurate guide when compared with a more in-depth qualitative analysis. This is because in some states the number of weapons systems in certain categories have actually decreased, although this has been more than made up for by the increase in the quality of armaments. Table 3. China increased its armoured forces between and , including the introduction of new Type 98 and Type 99 main battle tanks.

Current and Historical -- Military Actions and Organizations -- Bibliography

It has acquired its first conventional aircraft carrier, and has expanded the number and increased the quality of its principal surface combat fleet. China has also developed nuclear submarines and has expanded and improved its amphibious landing capabilities. In sum, China has vastly increased its defensive and offensive military capabilities in all major areas. While the number of principal surface combat vessels fell from 68 to 47, the acquisition of six Aegis destroyers has improved its military quality and capabilities. Japan has also recently decided to acquire the new stealth F JSFs.

It also improved its existing capabilities, such as introducing the locally developed K1 main battle tank and substantially expanding its fleet of submarines. Its adversary, North Korea, impressively has maintained large conventional forces but its weapons systems are obsolete and North Korea does not possess sophisticated military technology. However, it does have asymmetric and anti-access capabilities in the form of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and a large force of submarines.

Finally, Taiwan appears, on paper at least, to have only slightly reduced its air and naval capabilities while improving its land capabilities during this period. In reality, in Taiwan fielded increasingly obsolete weapons systems. For instance, its combat aircraft represent the technology of the s, while its navy boasts just two former US Guppy-class submarines of Second World War vintage, and two Zwaardvis-class submarines procured from Holland in the late s. Overall, however, the picture is clear: significant interstate antagonisms exist, there is evidence of a competitive action-reaction dynamic at work, and finally, there has been a rapid increase in both the quantity and quality of armaments.

In short, there is evidence of an arms race in East Asia. This results in misperceptions, conflict spirals, heightened tensions and ultimately open conflict, thereby destroying the very security that arms are supposed to guarantee Jervis However, this is a false premise as significant historical antagonisms have remained. In addition, the divisions between North Korea and South Korea are as strong and intractable as ever, leading to an arms race on the Korean peninsula. The situation is compounded by the weakness or absence of regional institutions, regimes and laws that could regulate interstate relations, build trust and confidence, and otherwise put a stop to the arms race.

None of the distinctive confidence- and security-building measures which were in place in Europe during the Cold War and helped to calm tensions as well as contain the arms race exist in Asia. The arms race in East Asia is dangerous owing to the increased risk of miscalculation as a result of misperception. Chinese policymakers appear to be convinced that Japan is dominated by right-wing conservatives bent on reviving militarism Glosserman At the same time, there is also a perception within China that given its growing strength, it should now aggressively assert what it perceives to be its legitimate claims in the East and South China Seas.

The consequences of conflict between China and Japan, on the Korean peninsula or over Taiwan, however, will not stay regional. The problem is that any conflict in East Asia is not likely to remain conventional for long. In fact, it is likely that it would rapidly escalate into a nuclear war because three of the key players, namely China, North Korea and the USA, possess nuclear weapons. The international relations Preventing the next war in The prospects for conflict We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site.

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Routledge Security in Asia Series

Search History. Search history from this session 0. Metrics Views Abstract Since the end of the Vietnam War in , Asia has engaged in a steady process of arms modernization and expansion. An arms race in East Asia Since the end of the Vietnam War in , Asia has engaged in a steady process of arms modernization and expansion. Inter-state antagonisms The first criterion, namely the presence of two or more parties who are conscious of their antagonism, is easily met in East Asia.

Competitive action-reaction dynamic The second criterion for an arms race is that the parties involved must structure their armed forces according to the probable effectiveness of their forces in combat with, or as a deterrent to, each other. Kux, Dennis. Lal, Rollie. Lannon, Gregory P. Lavoy, Peter R. Leong, Adam Kok Wey. Liebl, Vernie. Limaye, Satu. Lock-Pullan, Richard. Lodhi, Maleeha, ed.

Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State. New Delhi: Rupa Publications, Looney, Robert, and Robert McNab. Lou, Chunhao. Policy in Afghanistan. Maass, Richard W. Mahbubani, Kishore. New York: Publish Affairs, Mahnken, Thomas G. Malhotra, Aditi, and Rammohan Viswesh. Malhotra, Aditi, and Sitakanta Mishra. Malik, Anas. Malik, Priyanjali. Malone, D. Malone, David M. Does the Elephant Dance?


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