"Collision is imminent. To advance China's expanding maritime interests, the Chinese Navy is altering its strategic direction from ground-support missions to open-water operations. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is maintaining a steady course to strongly affirm the U.S. continuing commitment in the region. Thus, on the 'offshore' waters of the Western Pacific, the strategies of these two navies will inevitably collide. East Asia remains vital to America's economic renewal. It has the world's fastest-growing economies. It is also the U.S. biggest export market. Therefore, America's continued economic growth is tied to the region's enduring prosperity and security. But, all is not well in East Asia. There are a number of 'hot spots' that threaten regional stability. More importantly, behind almost every flash point in the area, China's shadow looms large in the distance. China is an emerging maritime power with towering aspirations. Clearly, the Chinese Navy will play a crucial role in promoting those ambitions. However, as the Chinese fleet prepares to sail away from its familiar shores, it is quickly discovering that the U.S. Navy's shadow looms even larger in the not too distant horizon."