Accession Number:

ADA574067

Title:

A Trend Analysis: Rising Threshold for China to Use Force in Territorial Disputes in South and East China Seas

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

105.0

Abstract:

This thesis analyzes the political, economic, energy, and military determinants of Chinas use of military force decisions in the post-Cold war era, and evaluates their effects on PRC behavior in recent disputes regarding the South and East China Seas. The thesis seeks to answer two major questions 1 What factors determine Chinas use of force decisions and 2 Which one of two trajectories, confrontational or conciliatory, has China pursued since the end of the Cold War Considering Chinas international behavior throughout the Cold War years, three possible hypotheses are set forth. The first hypothesis posits that China has not changed its realist international attitude since the end of the Cold War, and that its conciliatory behavior is only exceptional for other reasons. The second hypothesis postulates that China has displayed behavior different from its earlier approaches to regional disputes since the 1990s. The third hypothesis suggests that China has not behaved consistently and that it is not possible to determine any single pattern. Since the end of the Cold War, deepening political and economic integration with its neighbors and increasing investments in alternative energy resources has discouraged Chinese decision-makers from resorting to military force to settle territorial disputes, and has forced Beijing to adopt more cooperative strategies. It is difficult to determine the effects of regional militarization on Chinas behavior. The conclusion of the study is that the threshold for using military force has risen for China. Regional political, economic, energy, and military relations have caused this change.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Geography

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE