Purpose: This article examines China s military rise in the Asia Pacific region and the US-led response, based on its global strategy. This paper suggests that China s military rise is based on defensive realism as opposed to offensive realism. The basic assumption of this paper is that the US strategy has the goal of counterbalancing China s expansionism. The US response to China s expansionism is to check China s military rise as a superpower by strengthening its network of alliances in the Indo-Pacific region and Northeast Asia. In the Indo-Pacific re-gion, the US has attempted to check China using the QUAD-Plus(Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with Japan, India, and Australia + Newzealand, South Korea, and Vietnam) which is a sea-based form of security coopera-tion. Method: In this effort, the article uses a framework of international politics based on the theory of realism, which stresses the salience of survival, the maximization of national interest, and self-help. A realist s per-spective of the world rests on the following assumptions: the pursuit of survival, maximization of interests, and self-help. Defensive realists try to preserve power, rather than increasing it as the main goal of states. China s self-assertion in the South China Sea has been galvanized by the survival mindset against the US containment policy toward China. Results: China s self-assertion in the South China Sea has been galvanized by the survival mindset against the US containment policy toward China. China s survival can be better secured by the occupation of the South Chi-na Sea to protect its sea lines of communication. China s militarization of the South China Sea and its military build-up can be illustrated as a self-help project for the maximization of its security interest in the Indo-Pacific region. Conclusion: In this article, I have reached the following conclusions. China s military rise is based on defensive realism, not offensive realism. The basic assumption of this paper is that the US strategy is aiming at the coun-terbalance of China s expansionism. First, The US response to China s expansionism is to check China s military rise as a superpower with the network of alliance-making in the Indo-Pacific region and Northeast Asia. Second, China tries to build a military facility in the South China Sea to maximize its interest in terms of energy, fish, and security. Third, China s military build-up can be illustrated as self-help to meet the balance with the US formida-ble military might. In the Indo-Pacific region, the US tries to check China through the QUAD-PLUS.
2. China s Assertiveness Based on Offensive Capability
3. China s Military Build-Up for Self-Help
4. The Response of the US and Its Allies