The greatest threat to peace and stability in northeast Asia is the U.S. Indo-Pacific military encirclement of China.

By Simone Chun, Truthout

The U.S. military encirclement of China threatens to escalate into an Asia-Pacific war, with the Korean Peninsula at the focal point of this dangerous path. Garrisoned with nearly 30,000 combat-ready U.S. forces manning the astonishing 73 U.S. military bases dotting its tiny landmass, South Korea is the most critical frontline component of U.S. military escalation in northeast Asia.

toy tanks surrounding north Korea capital Pyongyang

Since the Obama administration’s 2012 “pivot to Asia,” Washington has intensified tensions with Beijing, doubling down on a “full-scale multi-pronged new Cold War” through the Indo-Pacific Strategy pursued by both the Trump and Biden administrations. Sixty percent of U.S. naval capacity has been transferred to the Asia-Pacific region, and 400 out of 800 U.S. worldwide military bases and 130,000 troops are now circling China.

This is a reflection of Washington’s Asia-Pacific grand strategy, which views China as the U.S.’s top security challenge and prioritizes the maintenance of U.S. regional hegemony through military force by “defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by the PRC [People’s Republic of China].”

It promotes the vision of an empire with unipolar hegemonic ambitions, expanding the theater of war in northeast Asia and distributing the totality of threats facing China. Its goal is to force China’s hand by triggering and escalating a hybrid war on multiple fronts, including military, technology, economy, information and media.

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