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W. Wang and Youngmi Choi. (2015) The Rise of China and Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Comparing Approaches. Korea and Japan Military Culture Studies 19. 131-154
Since 2000, China has expanded its sea power surpassing its past ability limited to the land. Along the China’s efforts to expand its leadership in East Asia, the ongoing crisis sparked by the maritime territorial disputes where China has involved appears to deepen. In general, there are three approaches to explain the reasons for the crisis intensification: a) China’s efforts to break a siege by the U.S. and Japan, b) China’s expanded benefits related to the debatable lands, and c) China’s intention to divert the nation’s attention on internal troubles to international conflict.
This study finds the Diaoyudao conflict with Japan is better explained with China’s efforts to break a siege by the U.S. and Japan while the Spratly Islands dispute with five Southeast Asian countries is well discussed with China’s expanded benefits in the South China Sea. However, both disputes is less likely to be explained by the China’s diversionary intention.
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