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Special feature: The Modernisation of the People's Liberation Army and its Repercussions

US Allies Respond

Japanese, Australian, and South Korean Reactions to China’s Military Modernisation
Bonnie Glaser and David Szerlip
p. 17-29


Japan, Australia, and South Korea, the three closest Asia-Pacific allies of the United States, have all reacted differently to the modernisation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, depending on the immediate security situation that each faces. In Japan, which has been most directly affected by PLA Navy operations and other military capabilities, the response has been the most direct: increased investment in maritime and surveillance capabilities while also enhancing cooperation with the US and other like-minded partners in the region. For Canberra, the Chinese threat is still distant, but even down under, the reach and actions of the PLA are raising concerns, leading to plans for augmentation of military forces and a welcoming of permanently deployed US troops. Finally, in South Korea, the DPRK remains the primary threat, though China’s recent unflinching support for Pyongyang has led to discussions about whether or not that decades-old security calculus should be re-evaluated.

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Bibliographical reference

Bonnie Glaser and David Szerlip, « US Allies Respond », China Perspectives, 2011/4 | 2011, 17-29.

Electronic reference

Bonnie Glaser and David Szerlip, « US Allies Respond », China Perspectives [Online], 2011/4 | 2011, Online since 30 December 2014, connection on 19 July 2019. URL :

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About the authors

Bonnie Glaser

Senior fellow in the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC and a senior associate at Pacific Forum, CSIS.

David Szerlip

Consultant for the US government on issues related to Chinese military modernisation and a former researcher for the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS.

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