The DEFCON Warning System™

Ongoing GeoIntel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.  DEFCON Level assessment issued for public notification.  Established 1984.

America Cannot Dismiss China’s 10-Dash Map

Last week, China released a new map called the 10-Dash map as a successor to Dash-9. This map represents an escalation by Beijing to further extend its unilateral redrawing of international boundaries. It is an extraordinarily provocative move. It also violates the International Law of the Sea. 

With the 9-dash line, China brazenly claims waters which are thousands of miles away from its territory, but along the coast of smaller nations. The latest map further solidifies those claims and expands upon them with the addition of one more “dash” around Taiwan. The United States must not stand idly by as China tries to redraw the world map.

Beijing’s intent is to, first, acquire more territory and resources as some of these areas are rich in hydrocarbons; second, increase pressure on Taiwan by edging closer to its boundaries; and third, flex its muscles with its neighbors while testing U.S. reaction and resolve. 

The publication of the 10-Dash map indicates that China is getting bolder in pursuing its strategic objective to change the regional balance of power and pursue regional hegemony.

The countries of Southeast Asia, who are directly threatened by this Chinese action, are furious and have responded strongly, with some stating that they will take measures necessary to defend their territory. But it is not clear what those measures will be, and their collective failure to respond effectively to 9-Dash has clearly emboldened China to push ahead. 

The latest Chinese action has serious implications for the United States, and it would be a mistake to just dismiss this as bluster. We have treaty commitments to some of the countries threatened, including the Philippines. Our supply chain for several strategic items depends on unfettered access to the region. We simply cannot allow the arbitrary expansion of Chinese power to stand.

Countries in the region are watching for a U.S. response and are more open than previously to the prospect of greater security and military cooperation with the United States. Chinese hegemony in the region will change the global balance of power and directly threaten our vital national interests.

What should we do? Having just returned from a trip to Southeast Asia, I recommend the following measures be taken:

Read more at National Interest

Ongoing Geointel and Analysis in the theater of nuclear war.


© 2024 The DEFCON Warning System. Established 1984.

The DEFCON Warning System is a private intelligence organization which has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.