Maritime disputes in the South China Sea present an array of potential flashpoints between countries. China in particular has actively employed its coast guard and other maritime law enforcement agencies to project power and assert sovereignty throughout the region.
Although both China and Taiwan maintain separate militaries and governments, China continues to assert sovereignty claims over Taiwan. Beijing officially seeks peaceful reunification, but has not ruled out using force to counter efforts to create an independent Taiwan.
A superpower is distinguished by its power projection abilities. Spurred by economic growth and expanding regional security interests, China has embarked on a large-scale modernization of its military, but it remains unclear if China is yet a global superpower.
China has been steadily developing ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) to complement its nuclear deterrence strategy and safeguard its national security. Despite considerable progress, China still faces a number of hurdles in fielding a credible SSBN force.