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.
Chinas rise casts a vast and uncertain shadow over the regional balance of power in the Asia Pacific, and nowhere is this clearer than in the South China Sea. The significance of the fraught territorial disputes in this potentially resource-rich sea extends far beyond the small groupings of islands that are at their heart, and into the world of great-power politics. As the struggle for hegemony between the US and China intersects with the overlapping aspirations of emerging, smaller nations, the risk of escalation to regional conflict is real. Christian Le Mi and Sarah Raine cut through the complexities of these disputes with a clear-sighted, and much-needed, analysis of the assorted strategies deployed in support of the multiple and competing claims in the SCS. They make a compelling case that the course of these disputes will determine whether the regional order in Southeast Asia is one of cooperation, or one of competition and even conflict.
This balanced, comprehensive guide to Southeast Asian politics offers a sensible but nondogmatic realist approach to the region's international relations. Donald E. Weatherbee lucidly explains the dynamics of the Southeast Asian subsystem as a struggle for autonomy in pursuit of national interests. He explores three important questions, the answers to which will shape the future Southeast Asia. Will democratic regimes transform international relations in Southeast Asia? Will national leaders succeed in reinventing ASEAN as a more effective collaborative mechanism? Finally, how will the evolving Chinese position, balancing and perhaps displacing the United States as Asia's great power, affect Southeast Asia's struggle for autonomy?
The Struggle Over the South China Sea and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion
Author: Humphrey Hawksley
Category: Political Science
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.
“Sober and well-informed. . . . A careful and compelling examination of the U.S.-Chinese relationship from a number of angles.”—Financial Times There may be no denying China's growing economic strength, but its impact on the global balance of power remains hotly contested. Political scientist Aaron L. Friedberg argues that our nation's leaders are failing to act expeditiously enough to counter China's growing strength. He explains how the United States and China define their goals and reveals the strategies each is now employing to achieve its ends. Friedberg demonstrates in this provocative book that the ultimate aim of Chinese policymakers is to "win without fighting," displacing the United States as the leading power in Asia while avoiding direct confrontation. The United States, on the other hand, sends misleading signals about our commitments and resolve, putting us at risk for a war that might otherwise have been avoided. A much-needed wake-up call to U.S. leaders and policymakers, A Contest for Supremacy is a compelling interpretation of a rivalry that will go far to determine the shape of the twenty-first century.
Elihu Root, the Monroe Doctrine, and International Law in the Americas
Author: Christopher R. Rossi
Christopher Rossi’s Whiggish International Law refreshes English School and Cambridge contextualist concerns for historical abridgment as jurists and scholars revive complexities and discussions of international law’s turbulent history in the Americas.
This title will explore China’s strategic interests in the South China Sea, with a specific emphasis on power projection and resource security. China’s regional actions and reactions are reshaping the power dynamics in East and South-East Asia, while economic and geopolitical futures depend on the variegated outcomes of these complex relationships with neighbours and the West. An introductory section will be complemented by four case studies (Japan, Vietnam, the USA and the Philippines) and the concluding chapter will discuss the importance of the South China Sea to China as its new leadership deals with growing economic and military might.
How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power
Author: Howard W. French
Category: Political Science
From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of China's Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China's ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy. For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China's present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to forecast just what kind of global power China stands to become--and to interact wisely with a future peer. Steeped in deeply researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best. From the Hardcover edition.
Tracing the history of the Mekong River, this book shows how its conceptualization and utilization have been transformed in modern times, and particularly during the Vietnam war when the Mekong River and Mekong Project became political pawns. Nguyen concludes by examining the continuation of some of the Project's schemes by the independent Southeast Asian countries and regional powers.
The Power Clash Between the U.S. and China in the Pacific
Author: Michael Fabey
Category: Political Science
This chilling account of the “warm war” over control of the South China Sea—one that is threatening to flare into full-scale conflict—presents a “telling picture of the operational challenges the US Navy faces in the western Pacific” (Wall Street Journal) from an award-winning journalist with unprecedented access to the highest naval officers in America and China. Out in the Pacific Ocean, there is a war taking place. It is a “warm war,” a shoving match between the United States, the uncontested ruler of the seas since WWII, and China, which now possesses the world’s largest navy. The Chinese regard the Pacific, and especially the South China Sea, as their ocean, and they’re ready to defend it. Each day the heat between the two countries increases as the Chinese try to claim the South China Sea for their own, and the United States insists on asserting freedom of navigation. Throughout Southern Asia, countries are responding with outrage and growing fear as China turns coral reefs into manmade islands capable of supporting airstrips and then attempts to enforce twelve-mile-radius, shoot-down zones. The immediate danger is that the five trillion dollars in international trade that passes through the area will grind to a standstill. The ultimate danger is that the US and China will be drawn into all-out war. Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Michael Fabey has had unprecedented access to the Navy’s most exotic aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, aircraft, and submarines, as well as those who command them. In his “well-informed, readable treatment” (Library Journal, starred review), Fabey offers “good…reporting from both sides of the conflict. He gives his Chinese sources a thorough workout, the little emperors and true believers alike, and he has a sharp eye for what faces the American fleet if push comes to shove” (Kirkus Reviews). Fabey predicts the next great struggle between military superpowers will play out in the Pacific, and Crashback, more than any other book, is an accurate preview of how that conflict might unfold.