Publisher(s): China Academic Journals (CD Edition) Electronic Publishing House Co., Ltd.
First Published: 2021.01.19
Discipline(s): Politics/ Military Affairs/ Law
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Research on the South China Sea Issue: Perspectives on Strategy Selection series provide a rich collection of 63 papers in total published in journals such as Foreign Affairs Review, Southeast Asian Studies, and Northeast Asia Forum. The authors include Wu Shicun, President of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Zhu Feng, Executive Director of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies of Nanjing University, and other established professionals. The number of Chinese characters totals around 860,000 and that of English words totals roughly 600,000. This Chinese-English bilingual e-book series are composed of two volumes. This volume shares academic achievements on the South China Sea issue from three angles, embracing Legal Interpretation and Response, Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions, as well as Historical Research and Chinese Strategy.
1. Upgrading and expansion: perspectives on strategy of the Japan-U.S. alliance and Japan’s involvement in the South China Sea issue
Northeast Asia Forum,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,Vol 25,No. 01
The South China Sea issue has become one of hot spots in the second decade of the 21st century. Besides the complex Sino-U.S. dispute and game around the South China Sea issue, Japan is also actively planning and designing strategic intervention in the South China Sea issue, which will undoubtedly intensify the complexity of the issue. In view of this, with Japan and the United States (U.S.) promoting their strategic involvement as a entry point, this paper analyzes the basic trend of the Japan-U.S. alliance’s strategic upgrading and expansion, explains the motivation of Japan, and looks ahead to and predict the trend of the Japan-U.S. cooperation in the future by combining the practice of Japan’s new national security strategy. The active involvement of Japan in the South China Sea security game is not only the result of the transformation of its national security strategy, but also a specific measure of transforming the way of Japan-U.S. security cooperation to cater to the rebalance strategy of the U.S. Japan is aimed to establish a new regional security mechanism with the Japan-U.S. alliance as the base to prevent and contain the development of China and to shape and re-construct security order and strategic space favorable to Japan.
Journal of Contemporary Asia-Pacific Studies,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,No. 02
In recent years, with the increasing tension in South China Sea, it becomes increasingly important that how to define China’s national interests of South China Sea. The research path of identity provides a theoretical framework for the analysis of this problem. Identity is the understanding of “who I am” of a state, which influences the strategic definition of state actors and affects the understanding of interests of a state in South China Sea issue. At present, there are two understandings of China’s identity, namely, an ordinary country and a major country of the system, which bring about different understandings of national interests in South China Sea for Chinese people. Meanwhile, the international community tends to interpret China’s strategic objectives in South China Sea by seeing China as a rising state. China will see a major shift in its policy toward South China Sea once the understanding of China’s identity as a rising state becomes dominant both in China and abroad.
Northeast Asia Forum,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,Vol 26,No. 03
This paper focuses on South China Sea issue in Sino-Japan Sea power contradiction. Since Japan is not a South China Sea coastal state, why does it conflict with China in the South China Sea issue as an extra-regional state? Through sea power theory of realism in international relations, a conclusion can be drawn about this problem that in post-Cold War period, while Japan has started to seek political power status as a defeated state in the Second World War, China has extricated from northern threat from which it has suffered for long as East Asia geopolitical main plate state, and has started to develop sea power freely. China has surpassed Japan to become the second largest economy in the world in 2010, leading to bipolar geopolitical structure in East Asia for the first time, which has aroused a strong suspicion of Japan. Against this background, Japan regards China’s strategy of building a maritime power as a threat to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Hence, Japan begins to stir up disputes in maritime field, resulting in emergence and rapid escalation of Sino-Japan Sea power contradiction. Due to increasing disadvantage in the East China Sea issue and no hope of change in the short term, Japan has provoked dispute in the South China Sea issue, attempting to put China into strategic dilemma. In order to contain China at sea, Japan has adopted multiple means to set up obstacles for China in the South China Sea issue, including legal, defense, diplomatic and public opinion. Therefore, it is necessary for China to take corresponding measures in response.
4. Regional cooperation on ecosystem and environmental protection in the South China Sea: reflection and prospect
Southeast Asian Affairs,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,No. 04
Though China refuses to admit the effect of the jurisdiction and admissibility award by the Arbitration Tribunal about seven claims, including marine environmental protection in the Philippines v. China South China Sea Arbitration, it is an undeniable fact that abundant fishery resources and important ecosystems in the South China Sea are suffering negative effects from economic activities of different marine uses and coastal residents’ living. Though arrangements on management, recovery and conservation of ecosystems in the South China Sea are made through international legislation and regional mechanisms, in a long run, subject to the generality of treaties, broadness in adjusting objects and weakness in implementation, countries around the South China Sea are unwilling or unable to truly and fully respond to environment risks in the South China Sea. In contrast to traditional marine environmental protection, the construction of a marine protected area network based on ecosystems faces a series of challenges. However, a practical cooperation mechanism on a targeted and process-oriented basis may help balance ecosystem protection and proper utilization, ease national conflict and maintain regional peace and stability.
Southeast Asian Affairs,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,No. 05
The South China Sea has seen some positive development recently. In the past two years, parties to the South China Sea dispute have taken great effort to manage differences while the negotiation over a Code of Conduct is heading in the right direction. These developments create favorable conditions for promoting functional cooperation between China and ASEAN in the South China Sea. Among the many alternatives of maritime cooperation, China and ASEAN should prioritize marine environment protection considering the pro-cooperation advantages and the preliminary status of regional maritime cooperation. After investigating the four-decade experience of marine environment protection in the Baltic Sea Area, the paper proposes three core elements as the foundation for building a regional marine environment protection mechanism. Establishing a legal framework for marine environment protection and the related marine environment protection mechanism would help reinvigorate existing sporadic efforts of maritime cooperation in the region, thus paving the way for a long-term, institutionalized and overarching regime of marine cooperation in the South China Sea.
6. Fishery cooperation in the South China Sea: lessons from the fishery cooperative governance in the Mediterranean Sea
Southeast Asian Studies,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,No. 06
With the Code of Conduct framework scheduled to be concluded in a few months, maritime cooperation among littoral countries in the South China Sea becomes a priority on the regional agenda. Zooming in on the issue of fisheries cooperation, this paper explores the rich experience of cooperative fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea accumulated over the past half century and analyzes the unique features, framework and legal foundations, development, and challenges and responses of fisheries management in this area. This paper argues that the development of marine cooperation including fisheries cooperation in the South China Sea is a long-term project in which littoral countries need to prepare to face challenges. By looking into the detail of fisheries cooperation practices in the Mediterranean Sea, this paper attempts to offer some insights and policy recommendations for decision-makers to consider when establishing concrete mechanisms of maritime cooperation in the South China Sea.
Northeast Asia Forum,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,Vol 23,No. 07
In October 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the strategic concept of China-ASEAN community of common destiny during his visit to Indonesia. This strategic concept has provided new ideas and new guidelines for the development of China-ASEAN strategic partnership and in particular for the enhancement of the political mutual trust and security cooperation of the two sides. It could also provide new environment and framework for the South China Sea issue and the South China Sea situation. China needs not only to continuously promote the China-ASEAN strategic partnership and create a more favorable political atmosphere for bilateral interaction on the South China Sea issue, but also to actively ensure a smooth communication with ASEAN and response positively to ASEAN’s consideration on the related issues, so as to enhance the effectiveness of interaction and jointly safeguard the stability and peace in the South China Sea, and finally to transform the South China Sea from a focus of dispute into the bond of China-ASEAN cooperation.
Southeast Asian Studies,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,No. 08
In recent years, Australia’s attention on the South China Sea dispute has increased. And it has followed a series of paths, including advocating its South China Sea policy on multiple occasions, expanding its arms and showing military presence in the South China Sea, and strengthening union with countries inside and outside the region such as the U.S., Japan and the Philippines. Australia involves in the South China Sea dispute for the purpose of safety, economic and political interests of their own considerations, also affected by the other party. Australia’s involvement in the South China Sea dispute may engender significant impacts, including aggravating the complexity of the issue, influencing China’s discourse in the South China Sea issue, impeding the development of China-Australia relations and deepening diplomatic difficulties for Australia. As to Australia’s South China Sea policy, China should take some corresponding countermeasures as followed: utilizing some countries’ political changes and policy shifts and maintaining “Dual-Track Approach” for the South China Sea issue to block international attempt to such issue from some countries outside the region such as Australia, broadening the diplomacy with the Australian community of all circles, promoting the development of Sino-U.S. relations and the recovery of Sino-Japan relations to reduce the possibility of other great power’s coping with China jointly, and adopting soft constraints of economy as the main way and hard deterrence of military as supplement to depress Australia’s involvement in the South China Sea dispute.
9. Passive diplomacy based on pragmatism: evolution of the EU’s policy towards the South China Sea issues and its future prospect
Chinese Journal of European Studies,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,Vol 36,No. 09
As the South China Sea issues increasingly become a focus attracting world attention, the EU officially listed it as one of the three major security issues in the Guidelines on the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy in East Asia published in 2012.The EU’s policy on the South China Sea has undergone three stages, namely, a formation stage when the three frameworks were formed, an adjustment one with gradual improvements and a final one when both stability and change existed, which reflects the characteristics of the principle of pragmatism. Although the EU’s policy on the South China Sea is becoming maturing, there are still sharp conflicts among the member states as well as forced passivity from its allies, which are the key bottlenecks containing its regional influence. The EU’s intervention into the South China Sea issues originate not only from its consideration of the transformation of its global maritime strategy, but from its concerns about the safety of the shipping lanes and the possible loss of its economic and trade interests. In addition, the vigilance against China’s development has accelerated the formation of the EU’s policy on the South China Sea. It could be expected that in the future the EU’s policy on the South China Sea will continue to follow the United States in the general direction, but the specific guidelines will present more characteristics of its own. At the same time, the EU’s common position on South China Sea is faced with a risk of being collapsed, which will greatly weaken its overall effects. In fact, the core EU member states will be the real influencing factor. In the longer term, the South China Sea issues may become a potential instrument for the EU to strengthen its influence on East Asian security affairs and to exert pressures on China.
10. Misperception, issue identity and international conflict: a case study of China-US dispute over the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea
Foreign Affairs Review,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,Vol 34,No. 10
One of the core views of the cognitive theories of international relations is that the misperception of decision makers leads to inter-state conflict. However, there is no linear causal relationship between misperception and conflict. The traditional cognitive theories fail to clearly identify the specific conditions under which misperception leads to conflict. Another source of cognition, namely, identity, may shed new light. The concept of issue identity is conducive to understanding the relationship between misperception and conflict. Issue identity refers to actors’ identity activated in the interaction of specific issues, representing actors’ issue cognition and belief as compared with those of others. Actors interact with each other through issues, forming different identities in different issues. Issue identity affects the cognitive process in two aspects. For one thing, it sets actors’ cognitive preference and appropriate belief towards issues, influencing the formation of misperception. For another thing, it confirms actors’ interests in issues. The definition of interests determines the degree of sensitivity of the actors to the interactive issues, thus creating conditions for the generation of conflict. The more sensitive actors are towards issues, the more motivated they will be to act in line with their own misperceptions, and they will be more likely to resort to antagonistic means to defend their own interests. The above enlarges the likelihood of the outbreak of conflict. Recently, China-US misperception of the issue of the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has been characterized by the clear transformation of misperception into conflict and the likelihood of regional conflict. It is the issue identity arising from the issue between the two sides that induces the hyper-sensitivity in their interaction.
11. A constructivist perspective of border theory and the South China Sea: bridging the trust vacuum in the South China Sea
Southeast Asian Affairs,Part 2: Conception and Intervention of Other Countries and Regions,No. 11
The South China Sea is an important region in the Belt and Road Initiative of China, and also a key part of constructing maritime power. In recent years, territorial disputes have severely damaged regional stability, which does not serve the interests of China. In terms of easing tensions only, the difficulty lies in the reality of territory itself. Then, a trust vacuum comes out among neighboring countries. Compared with territory, the border has some features of concept construction. Frontier views of the border theory since the 1990s along with theories of sociology and psychology can support the construction of relaxed, drifting, and permeable border space for us; moreover, the identity of neighboring countries can also be re-constructed. At last, an advanced mode based on constructivism designed for bridging the trust vacuum around the South China Sea and regional peace.