In a rare action the Trump administration declassified documents containing the strategy to defeat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in its claims to dominate the important western Pacific region, with the goal of achieving “a free and open Indo-Pacific,” they said from Washington.
The basic objectives of the strategy are to deter the CCP from attacking the United States and its allies, and to provide the resources to counter and defeat it “across the spectrum of the conflict,” according to Air Force Magazine on Jan. 13.
The documents drafted in 2017 should be kept secret for 30 years, but a statement by National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien said the United States aims to achieve “a free and open Indo-Pacific” and to protect the region’s sovereignty.
Three aspects stand out in the strategy that contemplates first denying China “sustained air and sea dominance within the ‘first chain of islands’ in a conflict.”
This group is made up of the islands that extend from the Kurils, the main Japanese islands and the Ryukyus to Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia, explained the Japan Times.
The second aspect is to defend the nations of the first island chain, and third aspect is to dominate “all domains outside the first island chain.”
Japan is concerned that the CCP will continue to conduct frequent military operations across the first island chain, sending planes and warships near Taiwan and Japanese territory.
In 2020, Chinese warplanes crossed the Taiwan Strait midline repeatedly.
In addition, Chinese ships made some 300 incursions into the Japanese-administered areas of the Senkaku Islands.
Also, the CCP claims the small islands in the East China Sea as its own.
In practice, the navies of India, the United States, Australia, and Japan, which form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, carry out military activities in the area to counteract the abuses of the CCP in the area.
Central to the strategy is the close U.S. relationship with the Quad countries and smaller countries in the region, including Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Bangladesh.
In the documents the United States recognizes the “grave threat” posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and therefore contemplates ways to deter their production and use.
The overall strategy -is to keep to governments, businesses, universities, Chinese students abroad, the media and the public informed “about China’s coercive behavior and influence operations around the world,” according to Air Force Magazine.