As China emerges as an international economic and military power, the world waits to see how the nation will assert itself globally. Yet, as M. Taylor Fravel shows in Strong Borders, Secure Nation, concerns that China might be prone to violent conflict over territory are overstated. The first comprehensive study of China's territorial disputes, Strong Borders, Secure Nation contends that China over the past sixty years has been more likely to compromise in these conflicts with its Asian neighbors and less likely to use force than many scholars or analysts might expect. By developing theories of cooperation and escalation in territorial disputes, Fravel explains China's willingness to either compromise or use force. When faced with internal threats to regime security, especially ethnic rebellion, China has been willing to offer concessions in exchange for assistance that strengthens the state's control over its territory and people. By contrast, China has used force to halt or reverse decline in its bargaining power in disputes with its militarily most powerful neighbors or in disputes where it has controlled none of the land being contested. Drawing on a rich array of previously unexamined Chinese language sources, Strong Borders, Secure Nation offers a compelling account of China's foreign policy on one of the most volatile issues in international relations.
What changes in China’s modern defense policy reveal about military organizations and strategy Active Defense offers the first systematic look at China’s military strategy from the mid-twentieth century to today. Exploring the range and intensity of threats that China has faced, M. Taylor Fravel illuminates the nation’s past and present military goals, and offers a rich set of cases for deepening the study of how and why states alter their defense policies.
This book provides an explanation of Chinese policy towards the South China Sea, and argues that this has been sculpted by the changing dynamics of the law of the sea in conjunction with regional geopolitical flux. The past few decades have witnessed a bifurcated trend in China’s management of territorial disputes. Over the years, while China gradually calmed and settled most land-border disputes with its neighbors, disputes on the ocean frontier continued to simmer in a seething cauldron. China's Policy towards the South China Sea attributes the distinctive path of China’s approach to maritime disputes to a unique factor – the law of the sea (LOS) as the "rules of the road" in the ocean. By deconstructing the concept of "sovereignty" and treating the LOS as an evolving regime, the book examines how the changing dynamics of the LOS regime have complicated and reshaped the nature and content of sovereign disputes in the ocean regime as well as the options of settlement. Applying the findings to the South China Sea case, the author traces the learning curve on which China has embarked to comprehend the complexity of the dispute accordingly and finds that it is the dynamic interaction of the law of the sea regime and the geopolitical conditions that has driven the evolution of China’s South China Sea policy. This book will be of great interest to students of Chinese and Asian politics, international law, international relations and security studies.
Emboldened by economic strength and growing military power, China is emerging as a challenger to US dominance in the Pacific. But its promised peaceful rise has done little to convince regional powers that it will not use force to press longstanding territorial claims or attempt sea-denial operations in Asia's lucrative trade routes. Uncertainty about Beijing's intentions could thus beget a new, unpredictable arms race as states scramble to protect their interests. For the short term, however, governments are weighing up the question of how far their interests may be served by cooperating with China and trying to usher it into the role of a responsible global power, while hedging their bets with traditional alliances and military modernisation. This issue analyses China's inexorable rise from peasant society to economic powerhouse. In charting the line that Beijing has walked in building up its forces alongside its network of trading links to Asia and the US, it reveals the challenge that lies ahead for policymakers: namely, to follow China's development ever more closely, to determine whether it could come to see the costs of military conflict as outweighing the benefits of peaceful trade and economic growth.