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China’s rise has upset the global balance of power, and the first place to feel the strain is Beijing’s back yard: the South China Sea. For decades tensions have smoldered in the region, but today the threat of a direct confrontation among superpowers grows ever more likely. This important book is the first to make clear sense of the South Sea disputes. Bill Hayton, a journalist with extensive experience in the region, examines the high stakes involved for rival nations that include Vietnam, India, Taiwan, the Philippines, and China, as well as the United States, Russia, and others. Hayton also lays out the daunting obstacles that stand in the way of peaceful resolution. Through lively stories of individuals who have shaped current conflicts—businessmen, scientists, shippers, archaeologists, soldiers, diplomats, and more—Hayton makes understandable the complex history and contemporary reality of the South China Sea. He underscores its crucial importance as the passageway for half the world’s merchant shipping and one-third of its oil and gas. Whoever controls these waters controls the access between Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Pacific. The author critiques various claims and positions (that China has historic claim to the Sea, for example), overturns conventional wisdoms (such as America’s overblown fears of China’s nationalism and military resurgence), and outlines what the future may hold for this clamorous region of international rivalry.
This Palgrave Pivot uses a simple model from game theory to explain the behavior of countries disputing ownership of resources and of small islands in the South China Sea. It argues that the rapid transformation of the region's economy - the rise of Factory Asia – is not being acknowledged, leading countries to take chances beyond what a rational picture of costs and benefits would suggest. Regional economic cooperation may be a viable alternative to the present conflicts. However, the varied experience of regional initiatives in Southeast Asia provides a cautionary note that, while there is the potential for peaceful development of the South China Sea, there are significant challenges to structuring successful programs.
Traditionally, the South China Sea (SCS) issue was not on the negotiation table between the United States and China. However, the tensions between the United States and China over the SCS have gradually simmered up to a strategic level. Why and how did the SCS become a flashpoint between the United States and China? Will the United States and China really go to war over the SCS? Why did China adopt an "assertive" policy towards the South China Sea in the 2000s? What will regional actors do in the face of this "new normal" of competition between China and the United States? Will multilateral institutions in the Asia Pacific alleviate the potential conflicts over the SCS disputes? How will US-Chinese competition in the SCS shape the dynamics of Asian security? This edited book addresses these questions systematically and theoretically, with contributions from leading scholars in the field of US-China relations and Asian security from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. It elevates the analysis of the SCS disputes from maritime and legal issues to the strategic level between the United States and China.
This book offers an assessment of China’s assertive foreign policy behavior with a special focus on Chinese policies in the South China Sea (SCS). By providing a detailed account of the events in the SCS and by analyzing power dynamics in the region, it identifies the driving forces behind China’s assertive foreign policy. Considering China’s power on a domestic as well as an international level, it examines a number of different sources of hard and soft power, including military, economics, geopolitics, and domestic legitimacy. The author demonstrates that Chinese assertiveness in the SCS can be explained not only by increases in China’s power, but also by effective reactions to other actors’ foreign policy changes. The book will appeal to scholars in international relations, especially those interested in a better understanding of South China Sea developments, China’s political power and foreign policy, and East Asian international affairs.
This study provides political and economic analyses of current controversies in the South China Sea. It examines enduring territorial disputes, competing maritime claims, and the historical roots of regional mistrust. It also analyzes how such antagonisms affect the regional security structure and offers solutions to resolve the conflicts.
The first book to comprehensively break down the politics and tensions among the countries of the western Pacific, by a foreign correspondent who has witnessed it firsthand In the sphere of future global politics, no region will be as hotly contested as the Asia-Pacific, where great power interests collide amid the mistrust of unresolved conflicts and disputed territory. This is where authoritarian China is trying to rewrite international law and challenge the democratic values of the United States and its allies. The lightning rods of conflict are remote reefs and islands from which China has created military bases in the 1.5-million-square-mile expanse of the South China Sea, a crucial world trading route that this rising world power now claims as its own. No other Asian country can take on China alone. They look for protection from the United States, although it, too, may be ill-equipped for the job at hand. If China does get away with seizing and militarizing waters here, what will it do elsewhere in the world, and who will be able to stop it? In Asian Waters, award-winning foreign correspondent Humphrey Hawksley breaks down the politics—and tensions—that he has followed through this region for years. Reporting on decades of political developments, he has witnessed China's rise to become one of the world's most wealthy and militarized countries, and delivers in Asian Waters the compelling narrative of this most volatile region. Can the United States and China handle the changing balance of power peacefully? Do Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan share enough common purpose to create a NATO-esque multilateral alliance? Does China think it can even become a superpower while making an enemy of America? If so, how does it plan to achieve it? Asian Waters delves into these topics and more as Hawksley presents the most comprehensive and accessible analysis ever of this region.

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