Recently, China has been increasing its military development with the aim of protecting its core interest, which include national security, economic development, and stability, as well as to actively participate in protecting Sea Lines of Communication in the Indo-Pacific region. However, some countries consider this military development has other goals such as to exert regional control by military power projection overseas. This article argues that Chinese military development has a dual use component which can be applied to the protection of projects in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that connects China, Central Asia, Russia, Europe, and the Indo-Pacific Region, but also can be used for power projection as part of what scholars define as the Chinese String of Pearls. We conclude arguing that although Chinese military development in the Indo-Pacific region focuses on protecting Chinese BRI projects, however, its dual use component may pose a threat to countries in the region if China does not show real commitment to cooperate in freedom of navigation and determination to peaceful managing maritime disputes with other countries in the region.
Keywords: Chinese military development, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), String of Pearls, Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD), Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs).
Author: José Luis Plata Díaz
José Luis Plata Díaz is PhD candidate at Complutense University of Madrid. He obtained the Master in Diplomacy from the Spanish Diplomatic School, and the Master in International Studies from National Taiwan University. He has a degree in Translation and interpreting, and has taken Asian studies courses in universities in England, Japan, and Taiwan.
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