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.
The eyes of the West have recently been trained on China and India, but Vietnam is rising fast among its Asian peers. A breathtaking period of social change has seen foreign investment bringing capitalism flooding into its nominally communist society, booming cities swallowing up smaller villages, and the lure of modern living tugging at the traditional networks of family and community. Yet beneath these sweeping developments lurks an authoritarian political system that complicates the nation’s apparent renaissance. In this engaging work, experienced journalist Bill Hayton looks at the costs of change in Vietnam and questions whether this rising Asian power is really heading toward capitalism and democracy. Based on vivid eyewitness accounts and pertinent case studies, Hayton’s book addresses a broad variety of issues in today’s Vietnam, including important shifts in international relations, the growth of civil society, economic developments and challenges, and the nation’s nascent democracy movement as well as its notorious internal security. His analysis of Vietnam’s “police state,” and its systematic mechanisms of social control, coercion, and surveillance, is fresh and particularly imperative when viewed alongside his portraits of urban and street life, cultural legacies, religion, the media, and the arts. With a firm sense of historical and cultural context, Hayton examines how these issues have emerged and where they will lead Vietnam in the next stage of its development.
This book focuses on grand strategic approaches to the South China Sea dispute by major powers in the region -- those capable of projecting force to the South China Sea and abroad. It explores international dimensions of the South China Sea dispute, and how military, diplomatic, and economic strategies of global actors have both contributed to solutions and exacerbated conflict. Key international organizations and major powers have their own chapters, including China, the United States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union (EU), Japan, India, Australia, and Russia. The book is unique in the existing literature in that it provides an all-encompassing, interconnected, and theoretical explanation of major powers involved in the South China Sea conflict. Grand strategy -- which includes not only military, but economic, political, and diplomatic strategies, is addressed in the volume as a whole. Authors seek to put the grand strategies of the major powers into analytic juxtaposition to determine likely outcomes of, and optimal major power strategies for, the South China Sea conflict over time. The volume focuses on the deeper aspects of grand strategy and history, not customarily in the daily news coverage of incidents-at-sea and negotiations. The South China Sea Conflict has been ongoing since at least 1909, when the Qing sent a German-guided ship on a two-day voyage to the Paracels to fire cannon and claim the area. The two major adversaries -- China and the U.S. (plus allies), are in a long-term stalemate with incremental changes and frequent outbursts of brinkmanship. Occupation and economic activities in foreign exclusive economic zones (EEZs) increased substantially in the 1980s, and are the basis of a conflict that will likely persist for the next 10-20 years. Country-specific specialists are in discussion with one another between the covers of this book, in order to better understand the strategies of major players and their likely outcomes. One cannot understand the South China Sea dispute without understanding the interaction of grand strategies, and that requires consideration of military, diplomatic, and economic aspects of the conflict across all major powers. This book provides that comparative strategic analysis of the dispute that is required to make progress towards its solution.
The world knows there are troubled waters in the South China Sea. This vital sea has long been regarded as a major source of tension and instability in Asia. The tense geopolitical standoff between China and Vietnam continues to create confusion for many observers since both nations invoke both history and international law to justify their respective claims of sovereignty. The complex and deeply rooted relationship of these two nations and their prominently argued issues over atolls, oil rigs, exclusive economic zones (EEZs), freedom of navigation, military surveillance, security interests, unexplored vast oil and gas reserves, and fisheries has only succeeded in forging a closer tie between two former enemies: the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
China?s 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.
On 22 January 2013, the Republic of the Philippines instituted arbitral proceedings against the People's Republic of China (PRC) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) with regard to disputes between the two countries in the South China Sea (South China Sea Arbitration). On 19 February 2013, the PRC formally expressed its opposition to the institution of proceedings, making it clear from the outset that it will not have any part in these arbitral proceedings and that this position will not change. It is thus to be expected that over the next year and a half, the Tribunal will receive written memorials and hear oral submissions from the Philippines only. The Chinese position will go unheard. However, the Tribunal is under an obligation, before making its award, to satisfy itself not only that it has jurisdiction over the dispute, but also that the claims brought by the Philippines are well founded in fact and law (UNCLOS Annex VII, Article 9).This book aims to offer a (not the) Chinese perspective on some of the issues to be decided by the Tribunal and thus to assist the Tribunal in meeting its obligations under the Convention. The book does not set out the official position of the Chinese government, but is rather to serve as a kind of amicus curiae brief advancing possible legal arguments on behalf of the absent respondent. The book does not deal with the merits of the disputes between the Philippines and the PRC, but focuses on the questions of jurisdiction, admissibility and other objections which the tribunal will have to decide as a preliminary matter. The book will show that there are insurmountable preliminary objections to the Tribunal deciding the case on the merits and that the Tribunal would be well advised to refer the dispute back to the parties in order for them to reach a negotiated settlement.The book brings together scholars of public international law from mainland China, Taiwan and Europe united by a common interest in the law of the sea and disputes in the South China Sea.
The USA, China and the Struggle for the Western Pacific
Author: Richard Javad Heydarian
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd.
Category: Political Science
This compact, insightful book offers an up-to-the-minute guide to understanding the evolution of maritime territorial disputes in East Asia, exploring their legal, political-security and economic dimensions against the backdrop of a brewing Sino-American rivalry for hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region. It traces the decades-long evolution of Sino-American relations in Asia, and how this pivotal relationship has been central to prosperity and stability in one of the most dynamics regions of the world. It also looks at how middle powers – from Japan and Australia to India and South Korea – have joined the fray, trying to shape the trajectory of the territorial disputes in the Western Pacific, which can, in turn, alter the future of Asia – and ignite an international war that could re-configure the global order. The book examines how the maritime disputes have become a litmus test of China’s rise, whether it has and will be peaceful or not, and how smaller powers such as Vietnam and the Philippines have been resisting Beijing’s territorial ambitions. Drawing on extensive discussions and interviews with experts and policy-makers across the Asia-Pacific region, the book highlights the growing geopolitical significance of the East and South China Sea disputes to the future of Asia – providing insights into how the so-called Pacific century will shape up.
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 South China Sea has long been a source of conflict and represents a core contemporary security issue in the Asia-Pacific region. This book offers an empirical analysis of the global ocean's most contested maritime territory, the South China Sea and its agents of contest.
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.
The situation in the South China Sea with regard to territorial disputes remains unsettled despite The Hagues Permanent Court of Arbitration unanimous ruling in favor of the Philippines and against Chinas historic rights to the South China Sea. This collection of academic essays examines many interpretations of international law on the legal status of the contested islands and rocks. Whats clear to all is that the failure to uphold international law and norms harms all claimants interests in the contested sea.
The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific
Author: Robert D. Kaplan
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
oEurope is a landscape; East Asia is a seascape.o Thus begins the first chapter of Asia's Cauldronand thus does renowned travel writer and foreign policy expert Robert D. Kaplan draw the line between European conflicts and the geopolitical struggles of the future. Kaplan explains Chinese dominance over the body of water that multiple countries claim and exposes the underreported military buildup in the region. As he describes the conflicting interests that are heating up in East Asia, Kaplan interprets America's interests and responsibilities to Asian allegiances in the context of a more dominant China. Asia's Cauldronis sure to become required reading for Asia watchers and general readers alike.
The main theme of Fire on the Water is that conventional measures of military balance, employed by both the general public and many policy experts, underestimate the threat that China’s military modernization poses to the U.S. position in the Asia-Pacific region. Within a decade, China’s leaders will have the military power to hold at risk U.S. interest in East Asia. The U.S. needs to fashion a new and competitive strategy, one that better matches the strengths of the U.S. and its allies against China’s vulnerabilities, in order to maintain a balance of power in the region and convince China’s leaders to pursue a cooperative course. It is not obvious to many observers why a conflict in the region is plausible, or why the U.S. should bear the responsibility for maintaining a forward military presence in the region. China has rapidly emerged as a great power and by doing so, has acquired many vital interests around the world. Following the pattern set by other such episodes in history, China is also acquiring the military means to protect its new interests, a development that puts at risk the interests of China’s neighbors and the United States. The U.S. forward military presence in the region is an increasingly difficult burden to sustain. But in the long run, this approach will be less costly and less risky than encouraging China’s neighbors to balance China by themselves, an alternative that will very likely result in an unstable arms race and a conflict that will damage America’s interests. While it will be in America’s interest to maintain its position in the Asia-Pacific region, China’s military modernization is making it much more difficult for the U.S. to do so. China’s military strategy, centered on its rapidly-expanding land-based and anti-ship missile forces, is exploiting weaknesses in long-standing U.S. force structure and doctrine. Due to a variety of institutional barriers, the U.S. has been slow to adapt to China’s military modernization. Current efforts to respond are impractical, in that they expend U.S. resources against China’s strengths rather than its vulnerabilities. The U.S. needs a new and competitive strategy that will strengthen its alliances in the region and convince China’s leaders that cooperation, rather than military expansion and an attempt at regional hegemony, will be China’s best course. Fire on the Water proposes reforms to U.S. diplomacy, military programs, and strategy that will offer a better chance at preserving stability. The goal of these reforms is to thwart China’s well-designed military modernization plan, bolster the confidence and credibility of U.S. alliances in the region, and thus persuade China’s leaders that China’s best course is cooperation rather than conflict, the outcome that has usually occurred in history when a new great power has rapidly emerged.
Maritime Transformation in Comparative Historical Perspective
Author: Andew Erickson,Lyle Goldstein
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
China's turn toward the sea is evident in its stunning rise in global shipbuilding markets, its expanding merchant marine, its wide reach of offshore energy exploration, its growing fishing fleet, and its increasingly modern navy. This comprehensive assessment of China's potential as a genuine maritime power is both unbiased and apolitical. Unlike other works that view China in isolation, it places China in a larger world historical context. The authors, all authorities on their historical eras, examine cases of attempted maritime transformation through the ages, from the Persian Empire to the Soviet Union, and determine the reasons for success or failure.
China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century
Author: Richard McGregor
China, red or green -- Countering Japan -- Five ragged islands -- The golden years -- Japan says no -- Asian values -- Apologies and their discontents -- Yasukuni respects -- History's cauldron -- The Ampo mafia -- The rise and retreat of great powers -- China lays down the law -- Nationalization -- Creation myths -- Freezing point -- Afterword
SHORT-LISTED FOR THE 2018 LIONEL GELBER PRIZE A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: FINANCIAL TIMES * THE TIMES (LONDON) * AMAZON “Allison is one of the keenest observers of international affairs around.”— JOE BIDEN, former vice president of the United States China and the United States are heading toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap: when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling one, violence is the likeliest result. Over the past five hundred years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times; war broke out in twelve. Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America, and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries “great again,” the seventeenth case looks grim. A trade conflict, cyberattack, Korean crisis, or accident at sea could easily spark a major war. In Destined for War, eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison masterfully blends history and current events to explain the timeless machinery of Thucydides’s Trap—and to explore the painful steps that might prevent disaster today. “[A] must-read book in both Washington and Beijing.”— NIALL FERGUSON, BOSTON GLOBE “[Allison is] a first-class academic with the instincts of a first-rate politician.”— BLOOMBERG NEWS “[Full of] wide-ranging, erudite case studies that span human history . . . [A] fine book.”— NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW