The global system is based on anarchy and the anarchist ideology of the international system does not support any authority beyond the states. States are the only actors who maintain the world order. It is the system that boosts the competition among states and encourages them to gain unlimited power. International politics is primarily based on coercion rather than cooperation, whether military or economic. Every state has to gain power as much as possible in order to survive in the global system. States must first gain regional supremacy and ensure that there is no peer competitor in their respective regions. A state with a clear path in the region and having no rivals in the backyard can roam freely in the rest of the world and can serve its interests. They can go everywhere to intervene, without concern about the security of their own country. And the states that maintain dominance in their region can easily achieve the status of the sole power in the world. Regional superiority ensures global Hegemony.
The United States can be seen in this context. The United States was able to achieve global supremacy because of its geographical and regional position. The United States is surrounded by weak states and seas that pose no threat to the United States. The United States is the only power in the Western Hemisphere having no equal rival in the region. Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and many other countries around the United States do not have even a quarter of America’s power. It can roam around the world without facing any disruption in the region. The United States, which adheres to Monroe’s ideology, has always opposed the external intervention in the region, and any attempt by a European power to oppress or control any nation in the Western Hemisphere would be seen as a hostile action against the United States. America’s competitors need to take proactive measures in the western hemisphere to destabilize America’s global hegemony. If America is threatened in its own region, its morality will be damaged. That’s the reason Russia, China, and Iran are working to intensify their efforts around the world, especially in the Western Hemisphere, to harm US strategic interests and gain a position of significant influence in the world. Global operations by Russia, China, and Iran to accelerate the decline of the United States are now in full swing in the Latin American country of Venezuela in United States’ backyard. Venezuela, therefore, represents the fluid, ideal political-economic-military competition between competing nations around the world. Venezuela is appearing as one of the biggest threats to America’s regional superiority. For America’s national security calculations, Venezuela is about the intentions of our adversaries and rivals in the Western Hemisphere, including harming American strategic interests. Russia, China, and Iran are engaged in deep-seating power in the United States hemisphere with a laser-focused policy to accelerate the decline of the United States politically, economically, and militarily. The United States must maintain its lead in the Western Hemisphere. Venezuela presents a challenge that could tell the world how the United States will protect its interests in the future. Despite this fact, the United States still has no equal and dangerous enemy in the region, so it can easily snatch its nose in other regions as it had been doing. When it comes to China, there are many concerns in the region. According to the theory of offensive realism, it is natural for a great power like China to seek regional hegemony, a position that the United States currently holds in the Western Hemisphere. But China has always been under threat from all sides, be it India, Japan, Taiwan, or the South China Sea. The three main disputes China has are with Japan in the East China Sea, and with the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea. Sino-Japanese relations have been the most bitter and contentious for various historical reasons. As early as 2004, China was officially listed as a security threat by the Japanese government. This is an example of the fact that China is not yet strong enough to become a dominant power in East Asia. In the South China Sea, though, against a very weak Philippines and non-aligned Vietnam, China has been willing to push the perspective of its own self-proclaimed historical primacy in the region. China can’t be said a regional Hegemon because of its involvement in conflicts from all sides. China can’t become a major power in the world until it could gain hegemony in the region.
Another and the most effective hurdle for China in its way of becoming a regional Hegemon is the USA and its containment policy in the region. The reason behind America’s containment policy towards China in the Indo-Pacific region is the fear that China’s growing influence in the region can easily pose threat to America’s interests in the region and it’s hegemony worldwide. The US foreign policy to contain China in Asia through Japan, Taiwan, India, and other Asia Pacific countries is a concrete approach to keep states engaged in regional conflicts. The United States realizes that China’s emergence as a regional power will pose a threat to its global supremacy, so it is better to keep China in the region. Containment does not mean war, although war is a possibility in the enmity of any major power and one must be properly prepared for it. The naval power of the US, its Asian allies especially Japan and India, and the geography of the East Asian coastal region make conservation possible. What is needed from the United States is an unambiguous policy that the Chinese leadership will not be misunderstood. Containment is passive and reactive, not militant, but it requires American willpower and perseverance. The United States, which sees the containment policy as a defensive measure, is offensive to China. It happens in realism. China is demonstrating that the USA’s balancing coalition around them is trying to encircle them. it would be a dangerous security situation in the region between China on the one hand and the United States with China’s neighbors on the other. If the United States maintains its current level of engagement with the leadership of the Indian Ocean, Beijing will fail to establish Chinese dominance in the region, although growing China will succeed in curtailing American freedom of action. And even if the United States decides to give up its military bases and alliances, China will probably not be able to impose its will on the region through military force. China’s ability to dominate the region is limited by a combination of both domestic and international factors
Mithu G Parmar
Dept of International Relations
Sindh University Jamshoro