Of course it is reasonable to expect that China's neighbours with which disputes exist, will likely improve their own capabilities over time, just as China improves its own capabilities.A) Yes, let's not forget China has plenty of land borders to secure as well as maritime borders. It is reasonable to assume, as has been demonstrated in real life, that China's neighbors will improve their own capabilities as China's improves and at the same time other parties will seek to improve China's neighbors' capabilities as well as foment mistrust and tensions with China.
However, is it reasonable to expect that China's neighbours will improve their capabiilities at the same pace or scale as China improves its own?
I'm not so sure about that one -- I think it is not unreasonable to believe that the sustained growth rate of China's capabilities over time will result in a growing gap between China's own capabilities and that of its neighbours with which it may have poor relations.
I suppose much of our disagreement comes down to how powerful we believe China will aim to become or want to become over time.
In this case I have to disagree with C), because we have no evidence to suggest that China's doctrine towards great power conventional conflicts is minimal deterrence.B) No, due to the constraints of (A) above, (C) and (D) below.
C) Doesn't mean I can't use it to describe China's overall strategy regarding great power conflicts which ultimately but not solely comes down to their nuclear minimal deterrence. As such this is one of the areas where we disagree.
We know that China's recent past nuclear doctrine was one of minimal deterrence, this is well documented.
But I have no idea where you believed that China's conventional capabilities also followed a conventional "minimal deterrence" type strategy. Can you describe your logic behind why you believe China is seeking "conventional minimal deterrence"? Because I see nothing in Chinese govt statements regarding their aspirations for the PLA, nor their weapons procurementsand modernization, to suggest they would be happy with anything in line with "conventional minimal deterrence".
If anything, I would argue China's overall strategy for great power conflict, when divided between nuclear and conventional capability, can be described as "minimal nuclear deterrence + conventional parity (seeking superiority)" -- and even minimal nuclear deterrence is not a given going into the future.
Wait -- so you're saying for China to acquire the capabilities I described -- i.e.: having the ability to fight a high intensity great power conflict in the overall western pacific -- requires China to have basing requirements?(D) What you are saying is not what I said. I said "fulfilling the basing requirements of such expeditionary capabilities is actual colonialism, intervention, or full scale war in the first place, see the cases of Okinawa, Guam, Hawaii, South Korea, Japan, etc." as in that is a requirement to achieving such a degree of expeditionary capabilities.
I don't understand why that would be the case, and I've never suggested that China needs expeditionary bases to be able to fight a high intensity great power conflict in the western pacific. Of course, such bases would certainly be useful, and if the course of a conflict means China was able to acquire bases deeper in the western pacific in the early stages of a war to support a high intensity conflict in the western pacific later in the same war then sure, why not.
But I am talking about having the organic assets and capabilities to fight such a conflict, without acquiring any additional territory beyond what China has today.