China has worked with Russia to formulate a strategic partnership in the post–Cold War era to counter US containment and make the world order “more reasonable” and “fairer.” China has synchronized its military collaboration with Russia to modernize the once obsolete People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in pursuit of these objectives. The partnership and the modernization of the PLA reveal China’s preparedness for US military intervention in Taiwan and the South China Sea and for the power transition triggered by China’s ascent at the systemic (global) level. This reflects China’s intention to attain two goals: the first, to safeguard its territorial sovereignty particularly over the South China Sea, which has been in escalating disputes since US adoption of the strategies of “pivot to Asia” and “free navigation operations”; and the second, to protect China’s dream of national rejuvenation and reemergence as a great power from being interrupted by foreign intervention.

You do not currently have access to this content.