China's furtive, incremental encroachments into neighboring countries' borderlands — propelled by its relative power advantage — have emerged as a key destabilizing element in the Asian security landscape. While China's navy and a part of its air force focus on asserting revanchist territorial and maritime claims in the South and East China seas, its army has been active in the mountainous borderlands with India, trying to alter the line of control bit by bit.

Beijing's favored frontier strategy to change the territorial and maritime status quo is apparently anchored in "salami slicing." This centers on a steady progression of small actions, none of which serves as a casus belli by itself, yet which over time lead cumulatively to a strategic transformation in China's favor.

By relying on quiet salami slicing rather than on overt aggression, China's strategy aims to seriously limit the options of the targeted countries by confounding their deterrence plans and making it difficult for them to devise proportionate or effective counteractions.