Nikolaus Scholik


Today the assessment of the strategic developments of superpowers is marked by exceptional complexity and will require permanent “re-adjustment”, if one wants or has to consider technological progress, the current political situation and the prevailing complete economic general set-up correctly. In the maritime sphere, which has definitely developed into a key for a position in global power politics, both current superpowers, the USA and China - though both in different ranking - have significant decisions coming up. In addition to that, according to general opinion, because of the political developments in the Near and Middle East and, at the same time, in the North-West Pacific, the Pacific region cannot be separated from the Indian Ocean any longer. Thus a new area emerges, which is growing together in a geopolitical and geostrategic sense. This must be taken into account in all maritime-strategic considerations. The presentation of the real maritime instruments as well as the extremely different maritime-strategic goals as parts of the relevant national general strategy of CHINAAMERICA now permit to draw appropriate conclusions concerning the general or particular position of both partners/opponents. The conditions to be expected play an important part in the strategic analyses of the future Sino-American relationship. One such interesting point is whether a Chinese-American alliance is possible on a maritime level. Although the cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy, which was signed under the administration under G. W. Bush and has existed for years since, has given rise to considerations on the matter, so far this cooperation has not made any progress in this direction. Definitely directed against China’s ambitions in the Indian Ocean, it would still change the present state of imbalance between China and the United States of America to China’s further disadvantage. So both partners/opponents have defined their strategic alignments in the framework of their general strategies. From a maritime point of view, de facto the United States will remain out of reach for at least another decade. Mindful of all possibilities, the present and foreseeable power and technological superiority of the US Navy still continues to be a fact. The idea of a CHINAAMERIKA is an idealistic ambition. The only global power provided with the capability of projection are the USA. Establishing such a capability of projection as well is represented by China’s resolute aiming at obtaining a global maritime position. This reflects reality.