A Grand Strategy of Encirclement: Strategic Competition and the Rise of China

  • Lieutenant Colonel Paul Larson

This paper explores the dynamics of an emerging grand strategic competition between the United States and China over the future of the norms and institutions underpinning the liberal world order as we know it. By comparing China’s behavior in the South China Sea and Africa, we can begin to see the elements of a political-military “encirclement” strategy, designed to gradually advance China’s aims without resorting to direct armed conflict. It concludes with policy recommendations for the United States to begin countering China’s encirclement strategy.