Prospects for Extended Deterrence in Space and Cyber: The Case of the PRC

The diverging political context for extended deterrence in the Asia–Pacific, coupled with China’s perspectives on extended deterrence in outer space and cyberspace, has important implications for the United States. American deterrence focuses on dissuasion, seeking to influence opponents to avoid actions that would harm American interests. China sees deterrence as not only dissuasive, but also coercive, as a way to persuade opponents to follow actions that further Chinese objectives. China, given its lack of allies, engages in direct deterrence but also counters extended deterrence, since its coercive actions against Japan, for example, would require that dissuasive action be taken against the United States. For the United States, the issue in the Asia–Pacific is not direct deterrence versus extended deterrence. China will assess all American actions to grasp the essence of American deterrence, employing its diverse forces to signal its resolve and intentions.

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