Jonathan Holslag On world order and disorder

The Limitations of Deterrence: China’s Response to Military Balancing in the Western Pacific

The best way to avoid an armed conflict with another great power is to make any conflict scenario as lethal, costly, prolonged, and unpredictable as possible. That is the essence of deterrence: building up military capabilities to the degree that the price of war nullifies the prizes of aggression. To be effective, however, deterrence must... read more

China’s nuclear deterrence Paradox

For a state with the ambition to re-emerge as a great power, China has invested remarkably little in nuclear weapons, to a degree even that its current minimal deterrence capacity is questioned. Beijing is now trying to make its limited number of arms more survivable. Moreover, China’s holistic view of deterrence is prompting it to... read more

Assessing the Sino-Indian Water Dispute

This paper investigates the prospect of a water conflict between China and India. It argues that Indian suspicion of has been premature. Beijing has not yet given its approval for major water diversion projects in Tibet, it has made some steps in easing the concerns and Chinese experts have taken an interest in developing frameworks... read more

China’s vulnerability trap

Beijing says its aim is to promote a peaceful international environment through its growth. The problem with China’s development model, however, is that the country is trying to build a stable world order around an economic strategy destined to lead to collision. The Chinese state has linked the national interest to a new kind of... read more

Evaluating the Sino-European strategic partnership

Despite a large number of joint interests and an impressive architecture of dialogues, the EU and China have developed their partnership in a strategic vacuum, which is mainly due to Europe’s lack of credibility as an international actor. While being sceptical about the prospects for improvement, this study proposes the European Commission to develop a... read more

China’s roads to influence

This article examines the relevance of Chinese transport infrastructure projects in Asia as a new channel for projecting economic influence. It argues that while the People’s Republic is promoting cross-border networks as a new regional common good, it is driven by both the fear of loosing influence to other powers and the desire to create... read more

China-EU cooperation in regard to climate change

This paper argues that whereas the EU has sought to gain both profit and soft power from increased cooperation with China, not much of this expectation has been materialized. China is not recognizing the European Union as the world’s clean energy champion and it is trying itself to secure a larger part of the international... read more

Embracing China’s global security ambitions

China is gradually paving the way for a more prominent presence as a global military player. The United States combines concern with China’s growing military strike capacity, in case of a confrontation over Taiwan, with the expectation that Beijing could soon assume more responsibility against a wide range of non-traditional threats. Rather than a threat,... read more

The Persistent Security Dilemma between China and India

This paper evaluates to what extent the improving Sino-Indian relations coincide with a mitigation of military threat perceptions. A critical review of the demilitarisation of the border, the military strategies with respect to the Indian Ocean and nuclear arms programmes, reveals that the two countries are still locked in a military security dilemma. Distrust still... read more

China’s future security policy in Africa

This paper contends that China’s economic interests in Africa face a dual security challenge. On the one hand the amount of nontraditional violence in Africa is increasing. On the other, China has to deal with uncertainty about the future strategic intentions of other powers. Despite the fact that China’s interest in Africa is growing, alongside... read more