BLUF

The Chinese Government is currently deciding its future global strategy; this article discusses the three possible strategic options available to China.

Summary

China is geographically confined by the first island chain, and the Chinese government must act if it wants to dominate the Indo-Pacific. China has three options:
  1. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This is the economic cornerstone of Xi’s tenure in office. However, the BRI is not living up to expectations. 
  2. The southern route (Strait of Malacca). This is the least viable option for China due to the strait being controlled by strong US allies.
  3. The northern route (Strait of Taiwan). Conquering Taiwan would also enable China to corner the semiconductor chips market. Banking on the US losing a pitched battle with China, this option may be Beijing’s preferred strategy.
Regardless, as political analyst John C. Hulsman puts it:
 ‘Seeing China’s options from Xi’s point of view leads us to no other conclusion. We must prepare as best we can for what is to come.’