Breakwaters of The “1st Island-Chain” – Structural Similarities in Japan and Taiwan’s Deterrence Strategies
A changing balance of power between Washington and Beijing has dominated discourse on regional and global trends in both academic and policy circles. While ample body of literature deals with the question of deterrence vis-a-vis the US and China, less attention is given to medium powers in the Asia Pacific regarding their policy decisions to adapt to a dynamic balance of power. This paper looks at how two key regional players, Taiwan and Japan have shifted their strategic perceptions from territorial defense to a more active deterrence regarding the PRC. It gives an overview of the state of the theory of deterrence in IR and Security Studies literature, followed by an assessment of changing Chinese military capabilities. It then shows the strategic perceptions and expressed intentions of Japanese and Taiwanese defense reforms that highlight deterrence as a core concept. The two regional actors’ deterrence strategies share core similarities and represent special cases of deterrence thinking that can contribute to theoretical analysis of deterrence strategy in the 21st century.
Keywords - Deterrence, China, Japan, Taiwan