First Prize: After the Pivot to the Asia-Pacific: Now what?

Shaohan Lin


The combination of military drawdown in the Middle-East and China’s increasingly assertive behaviour in the Asia-Pacific has prompted a shift in American foreign policy in the region. The resulting pivot was conceived as a hedging strategy that allowed the US to militarily prepare for worst-case contingencies without squandering the economic benefits that it enjoys with China. The pivot has failed to significantly shape China’s behaviour to American preferences; in some respect, the pivot has merely served to inflame Sino-US relations. Nevertheless, this paper contends that, despite its mixed record of effectiveness, the pivot is worth maintaining on the basis that it is potentially advantageous to both the US and China.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.